French Tanks of World War II

Renault R35

The most numerous French tank of World War II with 950 in service, the tank's top speed was 12.5 mph and its main gun was 37mm caliber.  Despite the war, France exported many of these tanks as late as 1940.  In all French tanks, the commander was overburdened with the jobs of gunner and loader.

Somua S-35

     Possibly the best tank of the 1940 campaign, the S-35 had a top speed of 25mph and boasted a 47mm gun with a muzzle velocity of 2,200 feet per second.  These tanks along with the excellent Hotchkiss H39s equipped the three light mechanised divisions or DLMs.  These divisions were only formed starting in 1939 and were poorly prepared for the German invasion, which succeeded with inferior tanks.


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