At the end of the 1940s, during development of the AMX-50 heavy tank project, French engineers also decided to try creating a lighter tank that could serve the same role as the AMX-50.
The project was initially designated “40 ton battle tank”. Later, the vehicle was called the Lorraine 40t, based upon the name of the region in which the experimental prototypes of it were built. The tank used many of the same technological developments of the experimental AMX prototypes, and was clearly influenced by the German Tiger II, Panther/E-50, and the Soviet IS tanks.
With armor plating at a maximum thickness of 45mm, the Lorraine 40t isn’t as well armored as the AMX-50. The designers, however, set the armor plates on the Lorraine 40t at clever angles and implemented a chevron shape for the front of the hull (for which the tank is known). This effectively armored the most vulnerable parts of the front projection and effectively exceeded the equivalent of 90mm armor..
In addition, the Lorraine 40t’s lighter armor significantly reduced its weight, thereby increasing its speed and allowing the use of steel paired roller wheels with bulletproof tires. Combined with the 850 horsepower German Maybach engine, the Lorraine 40t could reach 60 km/h, move smoothly and fire effectively at low speeds.