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 HQ Batallón) November 12, 2016

The Renault R35 was a French light infantry tank. This tank should replace the older Renault 17 dating back to the First World War. The R35 never fully replaced the R17 but by 1940 about 1,600 had already been produced.

The R35 was a small tank for two crew. The shield used lot of foundry. The driver was positioned at the front while the commander had to work as a loader of the main weapon, and target it and shoot it. The tank tower lacked effective observation devices but until then the tank was enough.

Designed from 1933 and produced from 1936, the type was intended as a light infantry support tank, equipping autonomous tank battalions, that would be allocated to individual infantry divisions to assist them in executing offensive operations. To this end it was relatively well-armoured but slow and lacking a good antitank-capacity, fitted with a short 37 mm gun.

On 10 May 1940, on the eve of the German invasion, in mainland France the R35 equipped 21 battalions, each fielding 45 vehicles. During the campaign of France, the R35 was the most common tank in the French army. In comparison to the Panzers, he was more armored, and his gun was better than Panzer Is ones. 

The armament was still a terrible problem. Due to the weak armor of Germans tanks in 1940, they weren't so hard to destroy, but for some others, it was way more easy. The cannon of the R35 (the same as FT-17s one) was obsolete, with a poor penetration.

The R35 also had a other problem: His poor speed. Even if he was a infantry tank, it was still a problem against the Panzers, who, even if they had a poor armor and a armament who could have problems to penetrate a R35, they were faster.  

Nevertheless, even with those problems, the R35 and their crew fought with courage during the Battle of France, but it wasn't enough so stop the german wawe. At the end of the Battle of France, 843 R35 were captured by the Heer. 174 were modified with a 47mm cannon and used as tank hunter. 131 were used against french resistance and yugoslavian partisans. 124 were sold to Italy, a similar number to Bulgaria. The others were used as artillery tractors with their turret removed. 

This video is of Renault R35 tank from the Saumur Tank Museum, being presented to the public during the "Concours International de Maquettes 2016".

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Mgrg (Youtube) | Wikipedia | www.worldwar-two.net | forum.warthunder.com

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