Lorraine 37L

France (1936) - Supply Tracked Carrier - circa 630 built

The French Armored Tank supplier

The Renault UE was the most produced tracked armored vehicle in the French army before WW2. Its bigger brother, the Lorraine 37L, was designed to serve the same purpose, the supplying of ammunition, gasoline, and water, but for the tank units. The specifications for the light tractor were first issued by the Chief of Staff in April 1936, by which time the UE had already been in production for two years. Production started just before the commencement of hostilities, in January 1939, but never completed the order of 1012 vehicles. The vehicle was found to be reliable and sturdy despite its lightness and also served to as a basis for a self-propelled artillery vehicle and an armored personnel carrier before the war. The Germans would capture most of the existing vehicles following the defeat of France. Many were converted in 1944 into self-propelled guns by the famous "Baukommando Becker", while a tank hunter variant, the Marder I, was also developed in 1942.

Development of the Lorraine 37L

Lorraine 37L tractor

Lorraine 37L tractor towing a tracked fuel trailer in muddy conditions. Source: Wikimedia Commons The French army used the Renault UE to supply troops, as well as tow mortars and small artillery pieces. However, it was not suitable for working with tanks, as both its autonomy and its armor were limited. At first, in 1934, the Army entrusted Renault with the design of a larger tracked vehicle for this purpose. The Renault 36R was chosen, which was initially considered satisfactory and 300 vehicles were ordered. In the meantime, it was realized that its lack of armor was a problem to when operating alongside tanks on the front line.

Therefore, on 17 April 1936, the Chief of Staff ordered the development of a new fully armored tractor explicitly meant to supply tanks on the move, on the frontline. In early 1937, the first prototype by Lorraine-Dietrich was ready to be shown to the Commission de Vincennes. This was a lengthened version of a 1931 vehicle that competed against the Renault UE. In February, the Commission was supposed to take delivery of the prototype in order to start a long campaign of trials and evaluations, with a decision regarding the vehicle to be taken in November. However, the prototype was still not ready, being plagued by teething problems, and the presentation was delayed until July.

The first trials started on July 9 and lasted until August 4. However, this first version appears to have been woefully underpowered. While on solid flat ground the vehicle was capable of reaching 30 km/h, the speed fell to 22.8 km/h when towing the petrol tank trailer, and was further reduced on muddy ground. As a result, the commission rejected the prototype, finding it unacceptable. Lorraine retrieved the vehicle, which was driven back to the factory. After modifications of the engine compartment and exhaust, the new Delahaye type 135 six-cylinder inline engine was chosen to power the tractor. This was one of the most powerful car engines available in France at that time, outside of those from Bugatti. The Delahaye 135 luxury and sports cars, which used the same engine, were finding success on the race tracks of the time.

However, the engine was not military-grade and had to be modified for these new requirements. This mostly included a modified, sturdier transmission. The first factory trials were successful, and the vehicle was taken back to the Vincennes proving grounds. New official trials took place between 22 September and 29 October, and the vehicle was able to reach 35 km/h, which was found to be acceptable by the commission. After a few revisions, the commission granted the vehicle a greenlight for ordering in November or December 1937. The excellent suspension system was most appreciated as noted by the commission.

Design of the 37L

The 37L was derived from a much shorter model of tankette designed as a competitor to the Renault UE. Therefore, Lorraine lengthened the chassis to 4.22 m while adding another suspension bogey, up to a total of three per side instead of two. The width remained the same at 1.57 m. This was advantageous on narrow roads and paths and also allowed the Lorraine 37L to be carried on a standard railway carriage. However, it left little space for cargo capacity. Since the driver and co-driver were seated quite low, the vehicle was only 1.215 m high without anything sticking above, and was easy to conceal and difficult to spot.

A light, stretched-out hull

The narrow, low hull was lightly armored, only offering limited protection even in the frontal arc. It had 12 mm (0.5 in) of armor on the cast nose, 9 mm on the sides and only 6 mm for the top and bottom of the main hull. The armor was made of riveted plates. Therefore, the empty weight was only 5.24 tonnes, rising up to 6 when battle-ready, while the trailer weighed another 1.2 tons.

Outstanding Suspension

Despite this, the vehicle was able to carry a 5-ton load without stressing the chassis. This was due to the addition of leaf springs above each bogie. This was quite efficient at spreading the load and offering a relatively smooth ride. However, it did not allow blazing speeds, with 35 km/h being its maximum. This was enough to keep up with almost all medium, heavy and light tanks in the arsenal except for the reconnaissance cavalry tankettes and the Somua S35. However, the 37L was supposed to catch up with them after they stopped for resupply, as well as travel with them as part of the unit. The great advantage of this suspension system was its ruggedness and simplicity. This contrasted with the delicate and complex, sometimes fragile suspension systems encountered on most French tanks at the time. The bogies were relatively massive, supporting two pairs of large roadwheels, and despite the narrow tracks (22 cm), the vehicle still operated well on muddy ground and in snow. Each bogie could move along the vertical axis, connected to an inverted set of leaf springs just under the upper track. Four return rollers supported the track on each side. The drive sprockets were are at the front, with the transmission housed in the cast nose, the strongest part of the hull. The two crew members were seated at the front, separated by the gear lever. The driver was on the left, with the commander on the right. Two large access hatches in the front of the vehicle allowed the crew to access their stations. The smaller, more vertical one was also used to allow unimpaired vision when no danger was present, being dropped down in combat areas.

Meaty Engine but Limited Range

The engine compartment was located in the center, behind the crew compartment. Above it, there were air intake grilles and a fireproof bulkhead separated it from the crew. Near the exhaust, a silencer was placed on the left under the shielded hood. Inside was the Delahaye type 135 engine, which was a 6 cylinders in-line engine with a capacity of 3,556 cm3. This was enough to develop 70 hp at 2,800 rpm. Whereas the sportscars it came from reached an amazing 100 km/h, the 37L tractor only reached the designed 35 km/h on flat ground. During trials, it was shown able to ford 60 cm, cross a 1.30 m trench, and climb up a 50% slope. The engine was fed by a single gravity tank that could hold 144 liters of fuel. This gave a theoretical maximum range of 137 km, with far less on rough terrain, high regime, and heavy load. This range was rather limited for modern warfare, but still fitted the trench warfare requirements of the time and already limited range of French tanks.


The Lorraine 37L was delivered with a tracked trailer using a pair of roadwheels on each side. It was of the same type as that of the Renault UE and allowed the storage of 810 kg ammunition in the bin or a 565 l fuel tank. The total weight would then rise to 1,890 kg and, added to the vehicle, the whole thing reached 6.05 t and 6.9 m in length. The trailer was relatively high too, at 1.33 m. The trailer, in addition to the utility bin, also carried Vulcano petrol, oil, grease, water canisters as well as tooling for tank maintenance.

Production 1939-1940

Despite the first order being issued in 1938, production really started in January 1939, one year after. Contracts had been given to Lorraine for 78 of the new Tracteur de Ravitaillement pour Chars 1937 L (TRC 37L), then another two for 100 vehicles each. In 1939, another order for 100 vehicles came through, followed by another order of 78. Soon, an order was issued for 100 "short" Lorraine tractors, an alternative to the Renault UE. The vehicle was called a "chenillette" (tankette), as it barely approached 4.8 tons empty. Setting up the production lines at Lorraine-Dietrich took time, with numerous delays, along with some disorganization in the networks of the part suppliers and social troubles. The first vehicles emerged from the factory lines in January 1939. Nine-months after, in September, when the war erupted, 212 had been delivered to the Army. With the war, and the creation of new semi-autonomous armored units, the head of staff decided to rush production and, in addition to the already ordered 556 37L tractors, a further 1012 were ordered. The theoretical production goal, as set by the general staff, was 50 vehicles per month. This would never be approached. It was decided that, besides the Lorraine factory at Lunéville, near the frontier with Germany, a second less exposed one would be built at Bagnères de Bigorre, in South-West France.

Fearing delays in deliveries even before the war, the FOUGA factory in Béziers (Southern France) was contacted to help with the orders. Again, tooling took time and the factory received a 20-30 vehicle monthly goal. These figures were never achieved and, in January 1940, deliveries amounted to only 20, reaching 32 in later months. By the time the western campaign started on 26 May 1940, 432 had been delivered, reaching 480 in June. The Vichy regime would take over the production of more vehicles from this factory, under the cover of building civilian agricultural and utility tractors.

Tactical use

When the 37L arrived at frontline units in 1939, tactical thinking was just undergoing a full reset. In the 1930s, French armored doctrine revolved around deep protection "belts" meant to counter and defeat enemy infiltrations. The only aspect in which armor was instrumental was part of the larger "operation art" school, the in-depth breakthrough, with the goal of breaking the enemy lines and being later reinforced by the slower infantry. Other aspects requiring greater mobility, like envelopment tactics, were completely set aside. At the end of the 1930s, combined tactics went in vogue. However, most officers did not entertain the idea of large armored units (with organic artillery, reconnaissance and infantry), as it would imply a large professional army. Politics also prevented this move and the army was stuck with a large conscription structure unfit for these large armored units.

Lorraine VBCP 39L with an enlarged platform and raised forward deck, tested without a roof in June 1939. Source: Armorama

It was agreed that large armored formations, without infantry or with very limited specialized troops, would be used as a "masse de manoeuvre" (maneuver mass) capable of piercing enemy defensive positions. This breakthrough would be exploited by armored cavalry, while the armor would dig into position to repel enemy counter-attacks while waiting for the infantry to catch up. This was the point at which the Lorraine 37L and Renault UE would come in most handy, as they could bring supplies and human reinforcements to the rapidly moving frontline positions. APCs such as the 38L and modified APC versions of the UE were developed with this prospect in mind. Trucks were too vulnerable for the task since the flanks of the open corridor were not protected against enemy artillery.

rare conversion with a machine gun 1944
A rare conversion with a machine-gun armored casemate used by the Free French in 1944-45. Credits: Flickr, Massimo Toti. The Free French also allegedly converted one to carry a British 17 pounder.

Therefore, the Lorraine 37L vehicles were organically integrated into the bataillon de chars de combat (BCC). 13 were given to each unit, split into platoons of 4. Each platoon was allocated to one of the three companies (with one spare vehicle). BCCs attached to the Armored Divisions were equipped with Char B1/B1 bis heavy tanks, each having two guns and requiring significant amounts of gasoline and oil. In fact, the requirement per battalion was of 27 TRC 37L. Each B1 bis required its own Chenilette just to keep on the move, as its range was very limited. In practice, this could never be achieved, as the tractors were not allocated in time, leading to a large number of Char B1s being abandoned due to a lack of fuel and other supplies during the campaign of France. The DIM (Division d'Infanterie Mécanisée) were not supplied with these tractors, neither the second-rate units equipped with the Renault FT.

However, a single colonial unit was equipped with the Lorraine 37L. This was the 67e BCC sent in June 1940 to Tunisia with a battalion of Char D1. Cavalry units, or Division Légère Mécanique (DLM), were also equipped with the Lorraine 37L, 24 being allocated per unit, or three tractors for every 20 tanks (Somua S35). The units equipped with fast vehicles such as the AMR 35 or the AMD 35 were not provided with any tractors, as these were too slow to keep up. Lorraine proposed a more powerful and faster version (50 km/h) to solve the issue, but this was not followed by any order. The Divisions Légères de Cavalerie (DLC) received no TRC 37L either.

Main Variants

The Lorraine VBCP 38L APC

Bundesarchiv - abandoned VBCP 38L
A VBCP 38L photographed by German trooper Böhmer, left over in May 1940. Bundesarchiv fund - Creative commons (cc)

The first development of the Lorraine 37L chassis was called the Voiture Blindée de Chasseurs Portés 38L or "Armored Car for Reconnaissance Infantry 38L" (VBCP). This was an armored personnel transport for light reconnaissance infantry (chasseurs). The 38L consisted of a modified tractor with an armored tracked trailer. Like on the regular 37L, the driver and co-driver were seated in the frontal cab. Four infantrymen were seated in the rear platform, with six more in the trailer, for a total of ten, a platoon. Protection consisted of a tall box-shaped rear superstructure. The armor plates were proof against small arms and were riveted to the rear open body. The same arrangement was present on the trailer. Rear doors were present in these crew compartments, but there were crude. There were no hatches, window slits, or pistol ports. Nevertheless, as the French armored units were transitioning to organic mechanized infantry, like the German Panzergrenadiers.

The 38L model supplied to the Chasseurs Portés was hastily converted and must be seen as a stopgap. A separated platoon in a small armored compartment and a trailer was indeed an odd choice. Tactically they inherited the same role, following light tanks after the position was forced, cleaning it up. Introduced with the 1st and 2nd DCR, they comprised two "batallion de chasseurs portés" units equipped with the VBCP 38L, the 5th and 17th BCP. Theoretical dotation was 61 vehicles per battalion. However, this dragged on as the towing version for the organic 25 mm antitank version was not ready in time. Instead, Latil L7T1 vehicles were adopted as a stop-gap measure.

Before the 1st of September 1939, 240 VBCP 38L were ordered (120 for the first two BCP from August 1939, 120 in February 1940 for two more BCPs), but production was slow and only nine were delivered in time and 140 more until the capitulation of 1940, so about 150 in total. When the mobilization was declared, two hundred Lorraine 39L were also ordered, to be delivered on 31/12/1940. However, none were completed when the armistice was signed on 25 June.* These vehicles were used only by the mechanized infantry battalions within the DCRs, plus the organic armored battalions of infantry divisions. However, infantry divisions used existing, unprotected semi-tracked vehicles, like the Laffly.

The Lorraine VBCP 39L APC

Lorraine VBCP 39L
VBCP 39L APC, manufacture official photo - SOURCE The 38L was only a transitional model. Plans were only set in motion in 1939 to replace the VBCP 38L with the VBCP 39L. The latter was created by enlarging the payload platform with a larger armored box (30 cm more) and moving the engine forward under a raised hood. It could carry eight infantrymen and no trailer was added. Only a single prototype was made.

The 39L was very much the final evolution of the concept started with the 38L, but refined and matured. It had the characteristics of postwar tracked APCs. The prototype was presented to the Vincennes commission in 1939. The whole chassis was lowered a bit, but the driver and commander were seated in a much more comfortable and straightforward position compared to the Lorraine 37 and 38L.

However, only the front compartment was protected by an armored roof, the troop compartment was left open. The men could always place a tarpaulin above in rainy weather, but it offered no protection against airborne shrapnel. It should be remembered that this was also the case with the US M2 and M3 half-tracks, the British Universal Carrier and German Sd.Kfz.250 and 251. However, this open-air configuration facilitated fire on the move and throwing grenades. The chasseurs entered the vehicle through rear hinged doors, while their commander and driver entered through the front panel, which folded down. The armor was not improved in thickness, but slightly sloped for the front section's sides and better sloped at the front, at least for protection against heavy machine-gun fire and shrapnel.

The commission in charge of the adoption, or CEMAV, estimated on 31 August 1939 that the second prototype "is sufficiently ready on technical terms and is sufficiently superior to the 1st prototype to be preferred for the next series of VBCPs ad should be built from now." On 1 October 1939, an order was passed for 150 VBCP related to the second prototype (39L) to be delivered at a rate of 50/month. However, this had to wait for the delivery of the 241st 38L, which would only happen in theory by August 1940. This explains why this advanced APC (by WW2 standards) never passed the prototype stage.

Renault was also ordered to deliver a prototype for this role on 8 April 1940, having the capability to deliver the vehicle faster and in greater numbers. Trials of the Renault prototype were to start in June and production in October, with 100-150 vehicles per month, reducing the delivery rate of the Chenillette UE2.*

The Lorraine SA-47 tank hunter

Lorraine 38L SA-47 antichar
Chasseur de Chars Lorraine - SOURCE: Chars-Francais.net

Another interesting variant which reached pre-production status was a tank hunter armed with a SA 47 cannon, the new standard antitank 47 mm gun of the French army, although only 1300 would be built. It was simply called the « Chasseur de Chars Lorraine ». It was the only conversion of a tank hunter outside the Laffly W15 TCC. This vehicle led to the appearance of wrong information that this was a German early tank hunter conversion. However, this is not the case and this vehicle was produced by the French. In addition, it was unlikely for the Germans to venture into doing a conversion using the French 47 mm, of which supplies were limited and of which they had a poor opinion. Another close derivative was a command tank with a large enclosed compartment, allowing the mounting of a map table and radios. It looked similar to the 38L VBCP.

The Lorraine 37L in action

In operations, the Lorraine was meant to advance, preferably using roads for speed, and supply gasoline using its fast Vulcano pump. It could transfer around 565 l in 15 min, meaning a B1 tank could take up to one hour for a full supply, which also included oil, spare parts if needed, and ammunition. The Lorraine would not return afterward to a regular depot, but a moving truck-based field depot, placed far from any possible artillery barrage, keeping the distances short. Each truck carried 3,600 l of fuel, supplied to the Lorraine in 50 l jerrycans. These trucks needed to be resupplied themselves at battalion depots in the rear. However, in 1940, the quick pace of operations rendered all this process ineffective. Tanks were more often than not directly supplied by trucks.

On May 10, the French Army had, on paper, about 606 Lorraine 37L. However, they were either not crewed, not supplied to their units or stuck in depots. Those that found their way to the frontlines were far fewer than needed by active units, notably those of the first army in the North. A third of active units never received their intended complement of supply tankettes. On 10 May, the French high command ordered the doubling of the tankette allocations to the 1st and 2nd Divisions Cuirassées (DCr). Entirely equipped with the slower Char B1, these units were kept in reserve near Gembloux. This enhanced allocation was made by diverting the vehicles meant for the 3rd DCr. Ironically, the 1st DCr was surprised on 15 May 1940 by the 7th Panzerdivision while refueling. The first weeks of fighting also lead some units to try to fit machine-guns to their Lorraine Chenillettes.

The Lorraine 38L in action

This APC for "chasseurs portés" (the French loose equivalent of the Panzergrenadiers) was used to accomplish many tasks: Carrying a platoon of ten chasseurs with two FN 21 machine guns, carrying a 60 or 80 mm mortar, servants and ammo or towing the 25 mm standard AT gun (which was never done). The cramped crew of 12 comprised the driver and section chief in the front compartment, four infantrymen in the rear armored "castle" and six in the trailer. The reality soon showed the vehicle's deficiencies. In May 1940, both the 5th and 117th BCP were fully equipped but with 96 instead of the 120 planned vehicles. Latil trucks were used to fill in the gaps. In action, the vehicle soon came under criticism for their poor overall visibility, with few and narrow sight slits, poor off-road handling of the trailer, and inadequate armor for frontline service.

Wartime Production

Semi-Clandestine production 1941-42

Outside of the FOUGA factory in Béziers, the only plant capable of producing the 37L was the second Lorraine plant at Bagnères de Bigorre. Both FOUGA and Bagnères had the crucial advantage that, after the partition resulting from the capitulation, both were in the Free Zone controlled by Vichy. Therefore, production was continued, as these vehicles were unarmed. Production was resumed in June 1940, reaching around 150 units, with some of these being built with a smaller chassis with four bogies instead of six. Officially, the German authorities turned a blind eye, as these new vehicles were declared "agricultural tractors" and therefore compatible with the capitulation conditions.

Lorraine tracteur 44
Tracteur Lorraine 37L with the shorter chassis. Source: WW2 Images

Clandestinely, the model evolved into the Tracteur Lorraine 37L 44, which was unarmored in case of an inspection. However, the armor plates are kept away for fast conversion if needed. The armor was done at the Ateliers de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux and stockpiled in secret. In case of a general insurrection, vehicles could be quickly converted. After November 1942 and the occupation of the Free Zone, these tractors were hidden. However, the Allies were unaware of these plans and suspected that the factory was used for the German war effort. From London, the French Resistance was contacted and directed to attack the Bagnères factory in the spring of 1944.

The Armed tractors of 1945

When the real intentions of the project manager became known, any other attacks were canceled. Linked with the Resistance, work resumed for clandestine production after discussions with London and De Gaulle. In January 1945, the twenty new units, fully armored, were delivered to the French army involved in operations and "cleaning up" of pockets of resistance using a growing number of armed tractors. About 20 were delivered monthly. These were equipped with a single MAC 7.5 mm machine-gun and act as armed APCs. The best-protected model had a single forward-firing ball machine-gun mounted in the rear compartment, fully enclosed. Some had a front-mounted armored superstructure.

Rare conversion of a self-propelled howitzer done by the Syrians during the first Arab-Israeli war. Source

German use

After the 1940 campaign, numerous Lorraine TRCs fell into German hands, practically all in perfect state. The new vehicle partially filled the Wehrmacht's need for an armored supply vehicle. Therefore, 300 to 360 (depending on the source) Lorraine vehicles were reconditioned and pressed into service with the Wehrmacht as Lorraine Schlepper (f).

Gradually, the Germans came to appreciate it and the vehicle was renamed Gefechtsfeld-Versorgungsfahrzeug Lorraine 37L (f) or Munitionstransportkraftwagen auf Lorraine Schlepper. They were used by frontline units in 1941, in the Balkans, Russia and North Africa. The Germans came to appreciate the sturdiness and simplicity of the suspension.

Self-propelled gun conversions

Hitler himself headed an evaluation commission on 23 May 1942. He ordered the conversion of a hundred self-propelled howitzers. Therefore, in 1942, about 40 15-cm schwere Feldhaubitze 13/1 (Sf.) auf Geschützwagen Lorraine-Schlepper (f) were ordered. These were converted from Alkett, with 166 delivered in total. About 60 10.5-cm leichte Feldhaubitze 18/4 (Sf.) auf Geschützwagen Lorraine-Schlepper (f) were also ordered, but only 12 were delivered.

Of course, the best-known conversion was the 7.5 cm PaK40/1 auf Geschuetzwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f). This was the first tank hunter designed for the Eastern Front, kick-started by encounters with the T-34 and KV-1. They replaced the inefficient Panzerjäger I armed with a Skoda 4.7 cm gun, while the Marder I received the 75 mm (2.95 in) Pak 40. The idea was experimented in May 1942 by Major Alfred Becker and about 170 were delivered, the first lost on the Eastern Front, while later conversions fought in Normandy in 1944.

Beobachtungswagen auf Lorraine Schlepper (f)

This was a dedicated Wehrmacht artillery observation vehicle made by Baukommando Becker. It was meant to sit near the frontline, keeping a safe distance from the shelled area and anti-tank guns, in order to observe and communicate the results of the bombardment and any corrections in real-time. The observation post was in the elevated top rear part, with a telemeter and binoculars. The radio operator had a powerful emitter-receiver FuG radio. The vehicle was unarmed except for a defensive multipurpose MG 34 pintle-mounted at the rear of the casemate. Access was done through the rear. A ventilation plate was mounted above the engine for extra ventilation.

Beobachtungswagen auf Lorraine Schlepper
Beobachtungswagen auf Lorraine Schlepper, 1st August 1943 - German Army Official Photographer (cc)

12.2 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 396 (r) auf Geschützwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f)

A rare conversion with a Soviet M30 122 mm howitzer captured from the USSR. It was used as a mobile unit carried (or firing from) an armored train in France, in action in 1944.

4,7 cm Pak-181(f) auf PanzerJäger Lorraine Schlepper (f)

This vehicle was actually a French conversion attempted in June 1940, with a French standard-issue AT gun. It was wrongly attributed to being a German conversion.

Surviving Lorraine 37L/38L

According to the Shadocks website, there is quite a substantial number of Lorraine tractors still in existence, not even counting surviving converted vehicles
-Two Lorraine 38L APCs are displayed at the Militärhistorischen Museum, Dresden (Germany) in the exterior court and in poor condition
-Two 37L in good condition are showcased in the Private collection of Paul Bouillé, a CRI version and a TRC version. The first is in French 1940 livery, the second in 1944 all olive green FFL camouflage.
-One Lorraine 37L tractor is in restoration at the Association France 40 véhicules (France) - Just started in 2016
-One 37L was spotted in Ghisonaccia, Corsica (France), rusty, without engine and part of the hull missing
-A short 37L version is housed by the Kevin Wheatcroft Collection (UK), restored in German colors
-A 37L tractor (shortened) in French colors is the property of All American Imports BV, in Kaatsheuvel (Netherlands), used as a prop for movies
-A short 37L painted in green is displayed at the MM Park, La Wantzenau (France)
-A short 37L in grey artillery color is displayed at the Maurice Dufresne Museum, Azay-le-Rideau, not far from Saumur.
-A short 37L in working condition is owned by the Dupire Collection, Monthyon (France)
-A modified 38L tractor, short, is used in working conditions and German colors by the MVCG Midi-Pyrénées, Villeneuve-sur-Lot (France)
-A short 37L, postwar tractor conversion, is kept outside in a Private collection in France (rusty)
-Another one, in working condition and better shape is part of another Private collection at Saint Féliu d'Avall (France)
-A brownish, working condition short 37L is part of the Igor Ballo Collection (Slovakia)
-A German-painted supply version is owned by the State Military Technical Museum at Ivanovskoje (Moscow)
-A German-color shortened 37L is in a US Private collection
-A wreck of a short Lorraine 37L is in a Private property in Poland
The authors can be contacted for any find at [email protected].


Yves Buffetaut, Le Baukommando Becker et les chars français modifiés Batailles n°60,‎ Nov. 2013
S. Zaloga and Ian Palmer - Osprey 209 - French Tanks of World War II
F.Vauvillier, JM Touraine, L'Automobile sous Uniforme 1939-40



Lorraine 37L specifications

Dimensions 4.20 m (13 ft 9 in) x 1.57 m (5 ft 2 in) x 1.29 m (4 ft 3 in)
Total weight, battle-ready 6 metric tonnes
Crew 2 (driver, commander)
Propulsion Delahaye type 135, 6-cylinder inline gasoline, 70 hp
Speed 35 km/h (22 mph)
Suspensions Leaf Spring suspension
Range/fuel capacity 137 km (86 mi)/114 l
Armament None
Armor (max) 5 to 9 mm (0.33 in)
Total production Circa 630

French model

Lorraine 37L of the 342th independent company operating in Norway, March-April 1940.
Lorraine 37L of the 342nd Independent Company operating in Norway, March-April 1940.

Lorraine 37L of the 3/15e BCC in May 1940
Lorraine 37L of the 3/15e BCC in May 1940.

Lorraine 37L with TRC trailer in june 1940
Lorraine 37L with its trailer in June 1940.


Lorraine VCTP 38L with its trailer in May 1940
Lorraine VCTP 38L with its trailer in May 1940

Lorraine VCTP 39L APC Project.

Lorraine 38L of the 1942 type
Lorraine 38L of the 1942 type ("demi-chassis")

Free French armoured cab model, 1945
Free French armored cab model, 1945

German Conversions

Geschützwagen Lorraine Schlepper(f)
Geschützwagen Lorraine Schlepper(f), Eastern Front, 1942

Geschützwagen Lorraine Schlepper(f), 15th Panzerdivision, North Africa 1942
Geschützwagen Lorraine Schlepper(f), 15th Panzerdivision, North Africa, 1942

122cm FK auf-GW Lorraine Schlepper(f)
12.2cm FK auf-GW Lorraine Schlepper(f)

Grosser Funk-und Beobachtungspanzer auf Lorraine-Schlepper (f)
Grosser Funk-und Beobachtungspanzer auf Lorraine-Schlepper (f). 30 conversions were made with a brand new armored compartment with sloped sides.

Baukommando Becker Beobachtungspanzer auf Lorraine Schlepper
Baukommando Becker's Beobachtungspanzer auf Lorraine Schlepper(f) adapted from the LVTP 38, Normandy, June 1944

150cm sFH-13/1 auf Geschuetzwagen Lorraine Schlepper(f) Baukommando Becker, Normandy Summer 1944
15 cm sFH-13/1 auf Geschuetzwagen Lorraine Schlepper(f), converted by Baukommando Becker, Normandy, Summer 1944

105mm LeFh-18 self propelled howitzer auf lorraine schlepper
10.5-cm leichte Feldhaubitze 18/4 (Sf.) auf Geschützwagen Lorraine-Schlepper (f) in the background. Bundesarchive (cc)

Captured 150mm German Lorraine artillery gun in 1944
Captured 150 mm German Lorraine-based artillery SPG in 1944. SOURCE

105mm Lorraine self propelled howiter conversion by Alkett
105 mm Lorraine self-propelled howitzer conversion by Alkett. SOURCE

Marder I
7,5 cm Pak 40 auf Geschuetzwagen Lorraine Schlepper(f), better known as the Sd.Kfz.135 Marder I, winter 1942-43, Eastern Front.


Lorraine 37L at Militracks 2018 at Overloon museum - Panzer Picture Channel

Lorraine 37L modified in 1944 (8 mm Mle1914 Hotchkiss MG), aviarmor.net

Lorraine 37 towing a 47 mm anti tank gun SA mle 37 APX
Lorraine 37 towing a 47 mm anti-tank gun SA mle 37 APX - Source: Pinterest, user: Uchron

Lorraine 38L - Source
Lorraine 38L - Source

Lorraine 39L APC prototype in testings. SOURCE

Rare conversion by the FFL of a 37L as a 17-pdr armed tak destroyer
Rare conversion by the FFL of a 37L as a 17-pdr armed tank destroyer - Note the impressive custom muzzle brake. SOURCE

Lorraine 37L (short chassis) in German service - preserved, Kevin Wheatcroft Collection (from the shadocks pdf)

WW2 Tanks

Argentinian tanks of ww2 Australian tanks of ww2 Blegian tanks of ww2 Bolivian armor in ww2 Bulgarian tanks of ww2 Canadian tanks of ww2 Chinese tanks and interwar AFVs Czech tanks of ww2 Finnish tanks of ww2 French Tanks of ww2 Hungarian tanks of ww2 Indian tanks of ww2 Irish armor in ww2 Italian tanks of ww2 Imperial Japanese Tanks of ww2 German tanks of ww2 New Zealand tanks of ww2 ww2 polish armor ww2 romanian armor ww2 south african armor ww2 soviet tanks ww2 spanish civil war AFVs ww2 swedish tanks Ducth ww2 tanks and afvs British ww2 Tanks American ww2 tanks Yugoslavian ww2 tanks

WW2 tanks posters

All Tiger tanks liveries.

Panther liveries and variants

WW2 Armour - All tanks

tanks posters - Soviet Armour 1941

Tanks aces and single tanks series

otto Skorzeny M10 Ersatz

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Museums, Movies, Books & Games
The Tanks and Armor in pop culture

Tanks and armored vehicles in general are only really grasped when seen first person: The mass, the scale, it's all there. Explore also the way tanks were covered in the movie industry, in books and in video games.

Best tanks movie on warhistoryonline.com
On imdb.com
On bestsimilar.com/

Video Games:


They go hand in hand.

Tanks had no tactical manual when first used. It was learned the hard way and perfected over decades, as well as weapons, countermeasures and accompanying vehicles.