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Laffly S20TL


The Laffly S20TL (TL being short for "tracteur, châssis long") was a 6x6 truck intended primarily to transport the dragoon regiment belonging to the Cavalry's Light Mechanised Division (DLM).

Two S20 TL trucks from Pithead in front of a Timecast building.
Note: The 25mm ATG and crew in the back of the left truck and the dragoons
seated in the rear of the right truck are Minifigs figures.


When the French Cavalry decided to form the Light Mechanised Divisions (DLM) in 1932 a vehicle was required to transport the infantry (dragoons) supporting the tanks. Tenders were requested for a cross country truck capable of transporting the 10-man platoon.

Lorraine won this tender and started producing their Lorraine 28 4x6 truck.This was unpopular with the crews and proved unsatisfactory. To replace this, Laffly designed the S20TL, a 6x6 truck with much better cross country performance. Laffly delivered the first 140 in 1937.

Laffly S20TL VDP by Pithead Miniatures


During the 1930's Laffly produced a range of six-wheel-drive military vehicles, often collaborating with Hotchkiss who even provided the engines. All featured an additional set of small wheels in front and similar set suspended beneath the driver's cab to help the vehicle cross ditches and obstacles. 

The basic truck was often known as the S20TL VDP (Voiture de Dragons Portés).

Laffly S20TL VDP


The Laffly was innovative in that the one design could transport all the different section types in the dragoon regiment. It had 20 storage boxes providing adequate room for all equipment. The S20TL could transport:

  • A command section
  • A fusilier section with 10 men and two LMGs.
  • A machine gun section with 10 men and two MMGs
  • A 60mm or 81mm mortar section with of 7 men
  • An anti-tank gun section with two 25mm anti-tank guns, 16 men was transported in 3 trucks. The guns were carried not towed. 

The truck was fitted with one or two machine-gun mounts for anti-aircraft use, which could be equipped with LMGs or MMGs. However no machine-guns were fitted, these being provided by the transported section.


The dragoon regiement (RDP) in the Light Mechanised Division (DLM) had 3 battalions (BDP) each equipped with 65 S20TL trucks; 21 in each dragoon squadron, 19 in the heavy weapons squadron and 4 in the command troop.


S20TL 25mm Anti-Tank

S20TL with 25mm ATG - an early version without the split windscreen.

The 25mm anti-tank gun was very fragile and could not withstand prolonged towing by vehicles. The 3e BDP found a solution by carrying their anti-tank guns in their vehicles. This was quickly adopted by the other dragoon battalions. The guns could be mounted facing forward or backwards, however when the gun faced forward the windscreen had to be lowered. In 1938 Laffly produced 40 special vehicles with split windscreens that allowed the driver’s side to remain up with a forward facing gun.

An S20TL truck from Pithead. 
It has been converted by adding a Minifigs 25mm ATG and a crew figure from a 47mm ATG.


The S20TL PC (PC being short for "poste de commandement", command post) had a radio command car body built onto the standard chassis. They were equipped with ER 26 ter radios with a range of 60km when stationary.


S20TL Citerne tout terrain

The S20TL Citerne tout terrain was a petrol tanker with cross-country mobility. Two different versions of the tank (1,450 litres and 1,900 litres) were built on the standard chassis. Only 39 were delivered.

S20TL Colonies

The S20TL Colonies was a special version of the S20TL adapted for use in Africa; 16 were delivered in the spring of 1939.

Technical Data

Laffly S20TL
Manufacturer Laffly and Hotchkiss (1937-1940)
Quantity 1st September 1939: 400
1st May 1940: 630
Physical Characteristics
Weight 3.9 tons
Length 5,35 m (17' 7")
Width 2 m (6' 7")
Height 2 m (6' 7")
Height with canvas top 2,45 m (8' 0")
Main When carrying an anti-tank section: a 25mm SA Mle 1934 (Hotchkiss) or 25mm SA-L Mle 1937 (Puteaux) anti-tank gun.
Secondary When carrying a section: one or two LMG or MMG for anti-aircraft defence.
Engine Hotchkiss 680, 3 litre, 6 cylinder, petrol, 68 HP at 3,200 rpm
Drive 6x6
Speed (Road) 65 km/h (41 mph)
Speed (Cross-Country)  
Range (Road) 900 km (562 miles)
Range (Cross-Country)  
Load 1750 kg
Crew 1: Driver
Radio None

Laffly S20TL PC
Manufacturer Laffly and Hotchkiss (1939-1940)
Quantity 1st September 1939: 32
1st May 1940: 68
Physical Characteristics
Weight 4.95 tons
Length 5,6 m (18' 4")
Width 2 m (6' 7")
Height 2,6 m (8' 6")
Engine Hotchkiss 680, 3 litre, 6 cylinder, petrol, 68 PS at 3,200 rpm
Drive 6x6
Speed (Road) 65 km/h (41 mph)
Speed (Cross-Country)  
Range (Road) 900 km (562 miles)
Range (Cross-Country)  
Load 875 kg
Crew 2: Commander, Driver
Radio E.R. 26 ter