This Somua S35 was on display at the Bovington Tank Museum.
The Somua S35 was a French cavalry tank of the Second World War. Built from 1936 until 1940 to equip the armoured divisions of the Cavalry, it was for its time a relatively agile medium-weight tank, superior in armour and armament to its French and foreign competitors, such as the contemporary versions of the German Panzer III medium tank.
The Somua S35 was optimised to fulfil the latter role; it had good speed, an adequate range, a gun powerful enough to easily destroy its to probable opponents the German Panzer III – and armour thick enough to be practically immune to the fire of both at normal battle ranges; the armour of any German tank in May 1940 could be penetrated by the S35’s 47 mm gun up to a range of 1,000 meters (3,300 ft). So it could carry out deep strategic penetrations and destroy enemy armor reserves trying to prevent them, possessing a good anti-tank capacity.
The Somua S35 was a well-designed tank, and it was considered to be one of the best tanks of its time. However, it was not produced in large numbers, and it was not available in sufficient numbers to make a decisive difference in the outcome of the Battle of France.
After the fall of France, the Somua S35 was used by the German Wehrmacht, and it saw action on the Eastern Front and in North Africa. It was also used by the Free French Forces, and it saw action in the liberation of France.
The Somua S35 was a successful tank, and it was considered to be one of the best tanks of its time. It was well-designed, well-armed, and well-armored. However, it was not produced in large numbers, and it was not available in sufficient numbers to make a decisive difference in the outcome of the Battle of France.
More photographs of the Somua S35 at Bovington.
I have a few of these in 15mm scale including a Flames of War Objective.