| Panhard AMD-178|
Panhard modèle 1935
Yeux de l'armée
Work began on its design in the mid-1930's and it was a first-class vehicle in its day. Although the armor was riveted, which meant that in event of a hit, rivets would fly through the fighting compartment like bullets. To make up for the painful lack of recon groups in the French army, the Panhard AMD-178 (Automitrailleuse de Découverte Panhard modèle 1935) armored car was introduced to the armored divisions. High production price and slow deployment rate were compensated by a fairly good mobility, an effective 37mm anti-tank gun, a Reibel machine-gun and the same armor as early light tanks. Autonomous, The Panhard can be used for deep reconnaissance missions or to the contrary as a counter-recon unit, and even as a raider on enemy supply lines.
In 1931 the French Cavalry conceived a plan for the future production of armored fighting vehicles. One of the classes foreseen was that of an Automitrailleuse de Découverte or AMD, a specialised long range reconnaissance vehicle. The specifications were formulated on 22 December 1931, changed on 18 November 1932 and approved on 9 December 1932. They call for a weight of four metric tons, a range of 400km, a speed of 70km/h, a cruising speed of 40km/h, a turning circle of twelve meters, 5–8mm armor, a 20mm gun and a 7.5mm machine gun.
In 1933 one of the competing companies — the others being Renault, Berliet and Latil — that had put forward proposals, Panhard, was allowed to build a prototype. The vehicle was ready in October and presented to the Commission de Vincennes in January 1934 under the name Panhard voiture spéciale type 178. It carried a Vincennes workshop (Avis) 13.2 mm machine gun turret, as the intended one was not ready yet. After testing between 9 January and 2 February 1934 the type, despite having larger dimensions than prescribed and thus being a lot heavier than four tons, was accepted by the commission on 15 February under the condition some small modifications were carried out. Of all competing projects it was considered the best. In the autumn the improved prototype, now lacking the bottom tracks of the original type, was tested by the Cavalry. End 1934 the type was accepted under the name AMD Panhard Modèle 1935. The type was now fitted with the APX3B turret.
The Panhard is armed with a small caliber that fires AP shells and a .30 caliber machine gun.