SA35 L/72 (25 mm)

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During the First World War, France together with Britain were the most important users and producers of armoured cars. Starting from 1916, when France started to produce its first tanks, numerous studies were launched to properly understand armour and how to effectively defeat it, mainly so that the French troops had an easier time dealing with armoured vehicles.

A great number of the 25 mm SA 34 cannons were developed in the 1930s to fulfill a variety of roles. A version used in armoured vehicles existed, under the designation 25 mm SA 35. This version of the gun was further shortened so that it could fit into smaller armoured vehicles. This variant was then assigned the designation L/47.2 instead of L/72.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

The SA34 L/72 is a cannon which takes shells of the 25 x 193.5 mm calibre, however only the APC round is available. Reload rate is 3.9 seconds, which translates to 15 rounds a minute. It has an effective range of 1,800 m. Length of the cannon is 1,800 mm.

Available ammunition

  • Mle1934 TP (Ch.F): The only round available to the SA34 is an APC round that relies on kinetic energy and spalling to cause damage to targets.

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
Mle1934 TP (Ch.F) APC 71 68 56 44 34 27
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
Mle1934 TP (Ch.F) APC 950 0.31 - - - 48° 63° 71°

Comparison with analogues

Cannons comparable to SA34 L/72
Name Year of Creation Mass Rounds Per Minute Ammunition Maximum Penetration
25 mm/60 Type 96 (25 mm) 1935 115 kg 220 - 260 RPM APT Belt
55 mm

Usage in battles

Due to a low tier vehicle, a penetration value of 71 mm is sufficient enough to bring down most of the opposition you'll face. The velocity of 950 m/s will come in handy if one is trying to snipe, but the penetration value drops drastically and even more so if one hits an angled piece of armour due to the subcalibre nature of the round.

There are two main ways of using the SA34;


If one is using the AMD.35, speed allows for quick repositioning but also more importantly, huge flanking potential on some maps. The user can try to get around to the hostile team's sides or rear. Due to being an armoured car, protection is seriously lacking so one should avoid direct confrontation at all times. Taking out critical modules or crew mates such as the cannon or the gunner of the hostile vehicle is a sure way of killing an enemy rather quick. However, if one is playing against a vehicle that has access to .50 calibre machine guns, they should take extra precautions and disable it if necessary as a quick burst of it will destroy the user rather quick due to the AMD.35 only having 15 mm front and 10 mm side armour.


If one is using the AMR.35 ZT3, it is highly recommended to not engage in direct confrontations but rather to find a good vantage point where the user can see most of the territory without exposing themselves all that much. The user lacks armour and they only have 2 crew mates, so protection and likelihood of surviving more than a single shot is highly unlikely. The armour is even worse than on the AMD.35 as the front and side armour is just 13 mm thick, while the rear is only 10 mm thick allowing even 7.62 mm bullets to penetrate and damage your engine or setting you ablaze.

Pros and cons


  • High velocity, clocking in at 950 m/s
  • Good penetration for a low tier French vehicle, being up to 71 mm
  • Fast reload rate, only 3.9 seconds long


  • Only has access to the APC subcalibre round, which might be inconsistent at longer ranges or when facing sloped armour
  • Creates below average spalling, one hit kills are inconsistent
  • Can only carry 48 rounds in total


In the last two years of the First World War a French Chef d'escadrons (Chief of squadrons), Filloux, designed some light, high-velocity anti-tank weapons. Those being the 13 mm and a 17 mm anti-tank guns, with the latter being able to be mounted on carriage of the standard 37 mm SA 16 infantry support gun. While studies of the 17 mm anti-tank guns stopped with the conclusion of the First World War, they set a precedent for the concept of small, high-velocity anti-tank guns in the French military.

With the studies of the Filloux anti-tank rifle and gun discontinued, and similar anti-tank projects such as Delaunay-Belleville's 20 mm anti-tank machine-gun remaining at prototype stage, the French Army had to rely on the 37 mm TR SA 16 gun to defeat enemy armour. From this gun, the FT's 37 mm SA18 gun was derived, however it was quickly proved to be highly inadequate against an army with vast amounts of armoured vehicles.

Hotchkiss, a giant of the French industry particularly when it came to light artillery pieces, offered an anti-tank gun to the French military as early as 1926, however it was not immediately adopted. The French Army waited until 1934, after extensive trials and perhaps out of fear caused by the rise of the Nazis in Germany to adopt Hotchkiss' gun.

Hotchkiss' anti-tank gun was a low-calibre one, even for the era. While most anti-tank guns of the 1930s exceeded 37 mm, the SA 34 fired 25 × 193.5 mm rimmed projectiles, which the French documents refer to as cartridges instead of shells. The gun had a 1,800 mm, 72-calibres long barrel, resulting in a high muzzle velocity of 950 m/s.

While the main purpose of this gun was to be mounted on a carriage, which allowed the French troops to carry it with them, it also served well when it was attached to lightly armoured vehicles, such as the AMD. 35. Many variants were derived from the SA34, such as the SA35 or even the SA-L 37.



See also

External links

France tank cannons
20 mm  20F2
25 mm  SA35 L/72
37 mm  SA18 L/21 · SA38 L/33
47 mm  SA34 L/30 · SA35 L/32 · SA37
75 mm  APX · APX Canon de 75 mm modèle 1897 · SA35 L/17 · SA44 · SA49 · SA50 L/57
90 mm  D.911 APX · CN90 F2 · CN90 F3 · CN90 F4 · D915 · DEFA F1 · SA45 · SA47
100 mm  SA47 L/58
105 mm  CN-105-F1 · Modele F2 · PzK M57
120 mm  GIAT CN120-25 G1 · GIAT CN120-26 F1 · SA46
142 mm  ACRA
155 mm  Schneider 155 C · L'Obusier de 155 Modèle 1950
15 mm  MG 151 (Germany)
20 mm  MG 151 (Germany)
37 mm  M6 (USA)
40 mm  Bofors L/60 · QF 2-pounder (Britain)
75 mm  KwK42 (Germany) · M3 (USA) · M6 (USA)
76 mm  M7 (USA)
90 mm  M3 (USA)
105 mm  M4 (USA)