I was able to get my hands on a Char B1 Bis tank for my France '40 Flames of War army, which meant I got to see this rather unusual tank in person at last.
When you get so used to seeing Royal Tigers, Easy Eights and Stuggs all the time, these WWI looking hybrids are even more strange. To make that more interesting, one must ponder that German tankers actually feared the Char Bis, referring to it as the Colossus.
I have to try and do the captured German paint scheme at some point!
While it is large compared to the Renault and Souma tanks, it is quite narrow compared to the later war versions.
These types of vehicles are great illustrations of the technological experimentation that was conducted in the inter-war years. Lots of different designs were explored, and many limbs from the evolutionary tree would be trimmed as the war dragged on.
The tiny turret and the innumerable responsibilities of the tank commander limited the success of the Char B1 Bis tank, as did the outmoded unit organization and tactics. The poor guy had to load, drive, shoot, bottle wine, and many other tasks all at once!
This is why I look forward to trying out these early war units, to see if there is a way for them to be victorious... with the benefit of hindsight, of course!