At the end of 1914 the French Army began to consider how it was going to overcome the machine-guns and barbed wire of trench warfare. In January 1915 the French armaments firm of Schneider et Cie began work on a new military vehicle.
Designed by Eugene Brille, the prototype tank was demonstrated before Raymond Poincare, the French President, on 16th June 1915. Encouraged by what he saw, Poincare ordered ten tanks to be built. Later this was increased to 400. The first Char Schneider tanks were delivered to the French Army in September 1916. Built for a six man crew, the tank was fitted with one 75-mm gun and a Hotchkiss Machine Gun.
The Char Schneider was used for the first time on 16th April 1917 during the 2nd Battle of the Aisne. The tank performed badly and the poor ventilation and vision arrangements made it difficult to use. The inadequate armour and internal petrol tanks made it extremely dangerous to crew members. The French Army decided to abandon this tank and ordered the British Mark V instead. Seventy-seven of the British tanks were delivered to the French before the Armistice.