Tanks in the Spanish Army
Tanks in the Spanish Army have over 90 years of history, from the French Renault FTs first delivered in 1919 to the Leopard 2 and B1 Centauro models of the early 21st century. The FT took part in combat during the Rif War and participated in the first amphibious landing with tanks in history, at Alhucemas. The Spanish Army bought a Schneider-Brillié in 1909 to be used in conflict with local tribes in Melilla.
About Tanks in the Spanish Army in brief
Tanks in the Spanish Army have over 90 years of history, from the French Renault FTs first delivered in 1919 to the Leopard 2 and B1 Centauro models of the early 21st century. The FT took part in combat during the Rif War and participated in the first amphibious landing with tanks in history, at Alhucemas. Spain also experimented with the Italian Fiat 3000, acquiring one tank in 1925, and with another indigenous tank program called the Landesa. In 1953, the United States and Spain signed a military aid program agreement which led to the supply of M47 Patton and M48 Patton tanks. In 1994, the Spanish Ministry of Defense began to negotiate with the German government over the purchase of the German Leopard 2. Ultimately, 108 Leopard 2A4s were procured and integrated into the Spanish army, while 219 Leopard 2Es were built in Spain. The Leopard 2E and Leopard2A4 replaced the fleet of M60 Patton tanks, while Spain’s AMX-30EM2s were replaced by Italian B1 centauro anti-tank cavalry vehicles. Presently, theSpanish Army possesses 108 Leopard 1s and 219 Leopard 1Es, with a total of 1,000 Leopard 2s and 2A2s. The Spanish Army bought a Schneider-Brillié in 1909 to be used in conflict with local tribes in Melilla. Before the First World War, the French government made a formal petition for one Renault FT light tank. This was processed on 28 October 1918, however it was not processed until January 1919, when the Spanish government bought a second one. Although it was big and its performance was not good, Spanish Army learned the value of armored vehicles in the Colonial War in Spanish Morocco and First War of World War I.
In 1909, where armed with an armoured body, a French bus was used as troop transport that was fitted with an armored body to be fitted with a large armoured body. The French government was not aware of its value until January 1918, when it made the formal petition to Spain to purchase the Renault FT. The Renault FT remained the most important tank, in numbers, until the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Between July 1936 and April 1939, the two opposing armies received large quantities of tanks from foreign powers. Spain’s Second Republic received tanks from the Soviet Union, many of which were captured by the Nationalist and pressed into service against their former masters, while the Nationalists were aided by the Germans and Italians. In late 1943, the army’s requirements were temporarily satisfied by the procurement of Panzer IVs in late 1943. However, the failure to acquire more Panzer IV’s led Spain to field a largely antiquated collection of light tanks and an insufficient number of medium tanks. The AMx-30E, based on the French AM X-30, was the first modern tank to be fielded by the army in the early 20th century. Over half of the AMZ-30Es were upgraded to a standard known as theAMX- 30EM2, while the rest suffered a more finite modificationknown as the AMX 30EM1.