R.35 (SA38)

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Char léger d'accompagnement 1935 R (SA38)
General characteristics
2 peopleCrew
72 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
32 / 40 / 40Hull
45 / 40 / 40Turret
11.0 tWeight
156 hp82 hpEngine power
14 hp/t8 hp/tSurface density
22 km/h forward
3 km/h back
19 km/h forward
2 km/h back
37 mm SA38 L/33 cannonMain weapon
58 roundsAmmunition
4.0 / 5.2 sReload
-8° / 12°Vertical guidance
1 800 roundsAmmunition
5.0 / 6.5 sReload
150 roundsBelt capacity
1 350 shots/minFire rate
2 900 Rp icon.pngResearch
700 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png180 / 233/180 / 233/140 / 181Repair
200 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
20 Ge icon.pngAces
100 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
30 % Sl icon.png30 % Sl icon.png20 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage R.35 (SA38).jpg

The Char léger d'accompagnement 1935 R (SA38) is a rank I French light tank with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance".

Although it is a "light tank", the R.39 feels pretty cumbersome in every way: slow reload speed, low max speed and bad acceleration. It actually feels more like an heavy tank...without the benefits of heavy armour. This tank's design is very reminiscent of other rank 1 French tanks, hence, players should be used to a subpar gun, "heavy" armour and low mobility.

General info

Survivability and armour

With good armour thickness and surprising hull angles, this tank can take some beating at a distance, provided you do not get a lucky shot in the turret ring or that you face a heavy-hitting gun. This should get you into effective combat ranges (500 - m) in relative safety. The most obvious weakspot is its turret flat left side, which is only 45 mm thick and badly angled, this makes hull-down position ineffective.

With its heavy side armour, one should use angles at its advantages and angle it at about 35° while facing opponents. Such an angling gives about 60 mm of effective thickness for 80% of the exposed area.

In an ambush position, this tank could face its opponents backwards (engine deck first). This unusual tactic could confuse enemies for a moment and provide extra protection as your engine may absorb shots. This will also decrease the chances of a lucky penetration : if turret is facing enemy, almost 90% of exposed surfaces have ~60 + mm of LoS thickness. If danger gets too high, you could give it the gas and "fly" away in forward motion.

Armour type:

  • Cast homogeneous armour
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 32 mm (13-64°) Front plate
22 mm (73-74°), 32 mm (24-26°) Front glacis
32 mm (0-74°) Lower glacis
32 mm (23°) Driver’s plate
40 mm (1-33°)
40 mm (1-2°)
40 mm (24-30°) Top
40 mm (9-32°) Bottom
25 mm
5 mm Engine grille
Turret 45 + 25 mm (5°) Turret front
45 mm (28-30°) Left side
25 mm (10-19°) Gun mantlet
40 mm (1-27°) 40 mm (8-63°) 25 mm
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 40 mm 40 mm


  • Suspension wheels, bogies, and tracks are all 15 mm thick.


The mobility is this tank's biggest weakness: while it does not like long-range engagements and needs to close-up with its foes in order to damage them, its very low speed will always leave it far behind its allies. With its narrow tracks and poor power ratio (8.09 HP/ton), the R.39 hates being taken out in the mud as its speeds fall drastically. 20 km/h forward and -3 km/h backwards is all you'll get from this struggling 73 HP engine. Plan your moves in advance and do not stay too near to the front line as a successful retreat is hard to achieve with such a slow tank.

Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armor
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
11.0 N/A 22.2 (AB)
20.0 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 89 ___
Realistic/Simulator 73 ___
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 8.09 __.__
Realistic/Simulator 6.64 _.__


Main armament

Main article: SA38 L/33 (37 mm)

The 37 mm is not the best gun, but it can actually do some damage at reasonable ranges. Bear in mind its long reload time (for the BR) and back up into cover between shots. One should be an experimented tanker in order to use the most out of this gun as its post-penetration damage is poor: snipe crew members and modules one at a time. Avoid being too close to the front line as your slow reload speed makes multi-target engagement difficult. Your turret slewing rate is also an issue since you'll not be able to react in time to flanking opponents.

37 mm SA38 L/33
Capacity Vertical
58 -8°/+12° ±180° Vertical
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 14.95 20.69 _.__ _.__ 29.55
Realistic 9.33 10.99 _.__ _.__ 15.70
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
5.20 _.__ _.__ 4.00
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
Mle1938 APC 48 45 32 21 14 9
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
in m/s
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
0% 50% 100%
Mle1938 APC 705 0.7 N/A N/A N/A +4° 48° 63° 71°
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the R.35 (SA38).
rack empty
rack empty
58 45 (+13) (+57) Yes

Machine guns

Main article: MAC 31 (7.5 mm)
7.5 mm MAC 31
Coaxial mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
1,800 (150) 1,350 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

As with any French rank 1 vehicle, follow your allies and effectively be a support tank. With your low max speed, your role is very limited in the battlefield and resumes as such: stick to the frontline and try to avoid being shot at.


This is the intended role for this tank. As described in the "Vehicle characteristics" section, the R.39 should be held close to the frontline and provide covering fire for its allies. As this tank is slow, it means that it should never lead an assault. Go in with your allies and fall back with them.


If your team gets destroyed and/or they flee their position, there you should not run with them as you will always be left behind by your faster allies. Instead, find yourself a narrow spot and wait for the enemy to go by. Shoot at them only if necessary as this tank performs poorly in multi-targets engagements. Use the "rearwards angling" tactics described in the "Armour" section earlier.

Pros and cons


  • Tiny profile = tiny tank
  • Has one of the best French gun at rank 1
  • Has decent sloped hull armour
  • Has a very thick gun mantlet area: 10mm gun shield + 45 mm armour + 20 mm internal shield.
  • Thick sides allows for heavy angling


  • Only one choice of ammunition, that one choice also has no explosive filler
  • Only two crew members, one knocked out means tank destroyed.
  • Extremely low speed, with bad cross-country and hill-climbing ability
  • Thin turret ring
  • Slow reload speed
  • Only 2 crew members in a cramped position (easy to one-shot)
  • Awful reverse speed of -3 km/h


The Char Leger mle 1935 Renault (Renault Light Tank model 1935), armed with the SA 18 short 37 mm gun, was the most common French tank at the onset of the war in Europe, with 900 on active service in infantry tank battalions in May, 1940. However, like its competitor H.35, its gun was known to be unsatisfactory as an anti-tank weapon.

Only a few of these R.35s could be converted to the improved SA 38 main gun prior to the fall of France, with the H.35s and H.39s of the cavalry receiving priority. It is known the 1st (Free) Polish Tank Regiment in France near Paris did receive some converted R.35s in May, 1940. These upgunned R.35 tanks are sometimes referred to (erroneously) as the R.39.

Concurrently, in 1939, AMX had developed a new type of track and suspension for the R.35, which had continued to be produced. This new variant, also armed with the SA 38, and sometimes designated the R.40, had gone into production in March, 1940. It saw limited service, but it is known the 40th and 48th tank battalions had received 30 each, and the 1st Polish as many as another 25, in time to serve in the invasion and fall of France. Some of these were still around to be seized by French Resistance forces during the fall of Paris in 1944.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the tank;
  • other literature.

France light tanks
AMC  AMC.34 YR · AMC.35 (ACG.1)
AMX  AMX-13 (FL11) · AMX-13 · AMX-13-90 · AMX-13 (HOT) · AMX-13 (SS.11)
Hotchkiss  H.35 · H.39 · H.39 "Cambronne"
  FCM.36 · R.35 (SA38) · Char 25t