The Char de cavalerie SOMUA 1935 S (SOMUA's 1935 S cavalry tank) is a rank I French medium tank with a battle rating of 1.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance". As it was considered to be the best tank at its time, being very mobile, easy to maintain while having good combat characteristics. As WW2 struck, these were on the frontlines, hence the nickname "Shield of The Republic". This tank will surely feel like a breath of fresh air over its underpowered predecessors.
The S.35 has the same turret design as on the Char B1 bis, meaning that the penetration, reload and turret rotation speed is the same (But there is no "mail slot" turret ring). The S.35 contains a 3 man crew (Gunner/Commander, Driver and Radio operator) so a well placed frontal shot from HEAT or from a high caliber gun will in majority of cases destroy you on the spot. The S.35 is best used when showing only its strong turret, exposing only one crew member at a time brings extra survivability. The S.35 is a tall and cumbersome tank at its battle rating, though it is relatively mobile with a 40 km/h top speed.
Survivability and armour
- 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 + 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 caliber 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.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
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
|47 mm SA35 L/32||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
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 and very lightly armoured vehicles.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|84||67 (+17)||49 (+35)||25 (+59)||1 (+83)||No|
- As they are modeled by sets of 3, shells disappear from the rack only after you fire all shells in the set.
|7.5 mm MAC 31|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
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, stay behind a well armoured vehicle and land 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, the only thing to fear is facing a good bit of armour. With its low post-penetration damage, tank with many crew members are also hard to take down.
Pros and cons
- Over all thick armour for rank I.
- ~35-40 mm thick on all sides + a bit sloped gives it a chance to survive a hit or two.
- Capable of very noticeable angling due to thick sides.
- Turret is quite thick on all sides.
- One of the first French tanks to be able to fight on its own at close range.
- Shoulder stabilizer makes stop-and-shoot tactics very effective.
- Good acceleration in AB, with an acceptable turn speed when driving At max speed.
- Has 3 crew members, grating better survivability than other 2-man French vehicles.
- 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 from long range.
- Limited ammunition choice.
- Mobility is an issue:
- 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 1000 meters, 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
- Vehicles equipped with the same gun
|France medium tanks|
|D2 · S.35 · Lorraine 40t|
|AMX||AMX M4 · AMX-32 · AMX-40 · AMX-50|
|AMX-30||AMX-30 · AMX-30 (1972) · AMX-30B2 · AMX-30B2 BRENUS · AMX-30 ACRA · AMX-30 Super|
|Leclerc||Leclerc · Leclerc S2|
|Based on M4||▄M4A1 · M4A1 (FL10) · ▄M4A3 (105) · ▄M4A4 · M4A4 (SA50)|
|Foreign||Panther "Dauphiné" (Germany)|