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Rank VI USA | Premium | Golden Eagles
A-10A Thunderbolt (Early)
GarageImage S.35.jpg
ArtImage S.35.png
1.3 1.3 1.3
Research:2 900 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:700 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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The Char de Cavalerie SOMUA 1935 S was a French cavalry tank. It was a remarkably manoeuvrable tank for its period, superior in armour and armament to both its French and foreign counterparts. It was constructed of well-sloped, mostly cast armour parts, which made it costly to create and time-consuming to maintain. The hull and turret were cast armour with maximum thicknesses of 47 mm and 40 mm, respectively; the bottom was made by two longitudinal plates, and the superstructure was separated into front and back sections. The turret was a variant of the APX 1 turret that was primarily used on the Char B1 heavy tank. Similarly to the Char B1 heavy tank, the commander was tasked with directing the tank while also loading, aiming, and firing the 47 mm SA35 L/32 tank gun.

Introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance", the Char de Cavalerie SOMUA 1935 S is best used as a support tank, following allies and hitting the enemy from a safe distance. Do not attempt to lead the assault. Light tanks are all dangerous since they can easily outmanoeuvre this tank. Another challenge for this tank is the tremendous reduction in armour penetration at long ranges. While inferior to tanks from other countries, the main weapon of this tank has adequate anti-tank capability when compared to other French tanks in its rank. Its biggest flaws are its lengthy reload time and poor post-penetration damage. The commander performing multiple duties was the fundamental weakness of early French tanks, and knocking out the commander effectively meant destroying the tank.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull35 / 40 / 35
Turret45 / 45 / 45
Crew3 people
Visibility99 %

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (engine vents, side skirts)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (hull, turret. cupola)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 47 mm (24°) Upper plate
35 mm (cylindrical) Upper glacis
40 mm (cylindrical) Lower glacis
40 mm (15-25°) Top
38 mm (17-21°) Top - Access panels
40 Bottom
40 + 20 mm Bottom - Side skirts
35 mm (31°) Top
25 mm Centre
25 mm (25-29°) Bottom
35 mm (cylindrical) Front glacis
25 mm (4-9°) Centre and rear
8 mm (13°) Engine vents
Turret 56 mm Turret front
45 mm Gun mantlet
45 + 56 mm Machine gun port
40 mm Turret ring
45 mm (20°) 30 mm (24°) Front part
30 mm Rear part
Cupola 40 mm (8°) 40 mm (25-26°) 40 mm (9°) 30 mm (spherical)


  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • Belly armour is 20 mm thick.
  • Hull underside above the tracks is 10 mm thick.
  • Gun barrel is 15 mm thick.

Armour is the S.35's main attribute as it is thick and provides good protection for its 3-man crew. Still, do not completely rely on it as there are many foes that can easily penetrate it at any range. Take every bounced shot as a "lucky roll" and get back into cover as quick as possible as the next shot could be your last. Armour this thick makes this tank very resilient to SPAA shots from all sides. An effective way to angle this tank is by facing your enemy at 45°, showing them your right-hand track: this sides minimises shot traps (on the other side, a flat 40 mm plate is conveniently placed at the right angle to make this tactic as ineffective as possible). As for top armour, this tank is pretty much immune to strafing from anything ranging from rifle-calibre to HMG rounds, which are common aircraft armaments at this BR.

If you see a S.35, aim at the connection of the lower/middle plate with the upper plate which meets at 90 degrees, despite being curved, creating a weak spot that often knocks them out if penetrated. If not then aim at the driver's optics to knock out both driver and gunner. Flank if possible and make sure to be quite close to this tank's side as its armour is thick in this general area. The S.35 cannot fight more than one tank at a time, so if you can surround the S.35, it will fall quickly due to poor reload rate and turret turning speed.


Speedforward / back
AB45 / 6 km/h
RB and SB40 / 6 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight19.5 t
Engine power
AB363 hp
RB and SB190 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB18.6 hp/t
RB and SB9.7 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 45 6 19.5 294 363 15.08 18.62
Realistic 40 6 168 190 8.62 9.74

Forward motion of the S.35 is great, turning and reverse are awful. It has average crossing capability on soft terrain (snow, mud, etc.). Align your hull in a straight line towards your objective and hit the gas without correcting trajectory is the best way to maximise this tank's speed as any turning motion slows it down quite significantly.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB132 → 169 Sl icon.png
RB110 → 141 Sl icon.png
SB120 → 154 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications2 970 Rp icon.png
890 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost190 Ge icon.png
Crew training200 Sl icon.png
Experts1 000 Sl icon.png
Aces20 Ge icon.png
Research Aces96 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
10 / 10 / 20 % Sl icon.png
100 / 100 / 100 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
200 Rp icon.png
60 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
250 Rp icon.png
75 Sl icon.png
65 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
320 Rp icon.png
95 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
320 Rp icon.png
95 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
200 Rp icon.png
60 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement fr.png
Crew Replenishment
250 Rp icon.png
75 Sl icon.png
65 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
200 Rp icon.png
60 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
250 Rp icon.png
75 Sl icon.png
65 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
320 Rp icon.png
95 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png


Main armament

Shoulder stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in one plane while moving
Ammunition84 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
5.2 → 4.0 s
Vertical guidance-18° / 18°
Main article: SA35 L/32 (47 mm)
47 mm SA35 L/32 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 84 ±18° ±180° Shoulder 9.5 13.2 16.0 17.7 18.8 5.2 4.6 4.2 4.0
Realistic 6.0 7.0 8.5 9.4 10.0

While being subpar to later pre-war tanks, this vehicle's main armament provides decent anti-tank capability. Its main flaw being slow reload and low spalling: make every shot count. Early commanders of French tanks should be used to command one-man turrets, with all their benefits and flaws. It is worth mentioning the shoulder gun stabilizer, which makes stop-and-shoot tactics effective.


The S.35 has a limited choice of ammunition:

  • Mle1935: APC; a solid shot with average penetration and no explosive filler. Make sure to target modules and crew positions to maximise the damage. Knowledge of enemy vehicle layouts is essential with this type of ammunition.
  • Mle1935 HE: HE; useful for destroying open-topped and very lightly-armoured vehicles.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Mle1935 APC 62 59 47 36 27 20
Mle1935 HE HE 6 6 5 4 4 4
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
Mle1935 APC 660 1.62 - - - 48° 63° 71°
Mle1935 HE HE 590 1.41 0.1 0.1 143 79° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the S.35
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
84 67 (+17) 48 (+36) 25 (+59) (+83) No


  • As they are modeled by sets of 3, shells disappear from the rack only after you've fire all shells in the set.
  • Bring 25 (+59) shells into battle to carry enough rounds while keeping most racks empty.

Machine guns

Ammunition3 300 rounds
Belt capacity150 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
6.5 → 5.0 s
Fire rate551 shots/min
Main article: MAC 31 (7.5 mm)
7.5 mm MAC 31
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 3,300 (150) 551 N/A N/A

The small calibre of the MAC 31 machine gun makes it largely ineffective against all armoured vehicles but the ones with an open compartment. It still can be used to ping targets as a rangefinding help or to mow down minor obstacles blocking your line of sight.

Usage in battles

Your best option is to play in a supportive role, staying behind a well armoured vehicle and landing shots on the enemy from a medium distance. Do not try to rush in ahead of the team or go solo, as 7/10 times you will be destroyed by a counter-flanking player. The S.35 is able to hold its ground if you create a corridor for people to come at you. If you are able to flank without being seen, just remember to check behind you every now and then.

All light tanks are to be feared as they can out-manoeuvre this cumbersome tank quite easily and most enemies with a bit of luck will eventually hit one of this tank's weak spots. Another challenge for this tank is facing a good bit of armour at ranges, where the SA35's penetration drops off. With its low post-penetration damage some tanks with many crew members (like the T-28) are also hard to take down.

In a defensive role, it can be played in a hull down position on a hill. This lets you take full advantage of the gun's -18° of gun depression and means that only exceptionally well-placed shots will be able to harm you.

Pros and cons


  • Over all thick armour for rank I
    • ~35-40 mm thick on all sides with a slight slope gives it a chance to survive a hit or two
    • Capable of successfully angling due to thick sides
    • Turret is quite thick on all sides
  • One of the first French tanks which can brawl at closer ranges without support
  • Shoulder stabilizer makes stop-and-shoot tactics very effective
  • Good acceleration in AB, with an acceptable turn speed when driving at max speed
  • 3 crew member configuration grants better survivability than other 2-man French tanks


  • Big cupola is an obvious shot trap
  • Angling can be defeated by knowing its shot traps: even a well-angled S.35 shows flat armour
  • Gun has poor penetration power on longer ranges
  • Limited ammunition choice
  • Mobility is limited:
    • Long and narrow chassis makes for difficult turning
    • Reverse speed feels slow


The SOMUA S.35 was developed in 1934 in response to demand for a cavalry tank that could withstand direct hits from contemporary anti-tank weapons. SOMUA was the company assigned to the challenge, and by spring 1935 they completed construction of the first prototype, designated the AC3.

Unfortunately, early testing revealed some flaws with the first prototype, which SOMUA subsequently fixed and released in a pre-production batch of four vehicles (called the AC4). This first batch demonstrated satisfactory performance. In 1936, the AC4 modification of the vehicle was adopted as the standard medium tank for the cavalry units of the French army. Shortly thereafter, it received the official designation of SOMUA S.35.

Production of the SOMUA S.35 began in 1936, with a goal of producing 600 vehicles. During production, however, financial restraints limited the number that could be produced. Of the initial 600 planned, only 450 were actually ordered and built for the French army.

Following the outbreak of WW2, the S.35 was soon deployed to defend French soil against a German invasion. Because the tank was designed to fight contemporary armoured vehicles of other nations, it fared well against the onslaught of Panzer III's and early modifications of the Panzer IV.

In fact, in most battles where the S.35 clashed with German Panzers in engagement ranges of around 1,000 m, the S.35 was able to destroy the Panzers without taking any critical damage in return.

Unfortunately, while the S.35 did reasonably well in combat, the mechanics servicing the vehicle had few kind words for it. Due to its cast hull and complex suspension design, the S.35 was notoriously difficult to service and maintain—so difficult that if the tank was damaged in combat, the crew was unlikely to be able to repair it on the battlefield.

While the S.35 saw some success in battle, its victories were short-lived. In June 1940, France surrendered and German forces occupied the northern part of the country, while the Vichy government was established in the south. Dozens of S.35s were captured, modified, and then deployed by the German and Italian forces. A handful of S.35s were also given to axis allies such as Hungary and Bulgaria.

The S.35 was eventually decommissioned from active service at the end of hostilities in 1945.

- From Devblog



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

Société d'Outillage Mécanique et d'Usinage d'Artillerie (SOMUA)
Medium tanks  S.35
Heavy tanks  Somua SM
Tank destroyers  SAu 40

France medium tanks
M4 Derivatives  M4A1 (FL10) · M4A4 (SA50)
AMX-50  AMX M4 · AMX-50 (TOA100) · AMX-50 (TO90/930)
AMX-30  AMX-30 · AMX-30 (1972) · AMX-30B2 · AMX-30B2 BRENUS · AMX-30 ACRA · AMX-30 Super
AMX-32/40  AMX-32 · AMX-32 (105) · AMX-40
Leclerc  Leclerc · Leclerc S2 · Leclerc SXXI · Leclerc AZUR
Other  D2 · S.35 · Lorraine 40t
Germany  Panther "Dauphiné"
USA  ▄M4A1 · ▄M4A3 (105) · ▄M4A4 · ▄M26