The Somua SM was originally developed as part of a competition between AMX and SOMUA to produce a heavily armoured tank that shared similar components and parts, due to the French army forcing both companies to work under identical specifications. The order to build a prototype was given in 1946, but the vehicle was only delivered in October 1951, weighing 56 tonnes but still lacking an engine. In contrast, the AMX-50, the SOMUA SM's direct competitor, had already been tested, and a variant of the AMX-50 with a 120 mm cannon was already being designed. Ultimately, the SOMUA SM was not tested until 1953, by which point the AMX-50 Surbaissé had already been delivered for testing, and the AMX-50 (TOA100) had been deemed insufficient due to its armament. These delays would doom the project, leading to eventual cancellation of the project and scrapping of the only constructed prototype.
Introduced in Update "Raining Fire" as a premium pack in the Gaijin store, the Somua SM will be a familiar tank to French players; it possesses the excellent 100 mm SA47 L/58 autoloaded cannon that is equipped on both the Lorraine 40t and AMX-50 (TOA100), while featuring similar mobility. Unlike the tanks previously mentioned, however, the Somua SM possesses decent armour, capable of bouncing almost all APCBC and even some APDS rounds aimed to its hull and upper turret front. The armour on the Souma SM, combined with the slightly larger ready rack for the gun compared to the Lorraine and AMX-50, allows the player to use the tank more aggressively.
Survivability and armour
The upper glacis of the hull and the upper part of the turret are the only well-protected areas, which will give you good protection against most conventional rounds, especially from far ranges. However, the rest of the armour is very weak and can be easily penetrated by pretty much everything, and you will still be vulnerable against HEAT-FS, ATGMs, APFSDS and such. Your best bet is to flank the enemy and take them out with your auto-loading gun before they can get a hit on you. If an enemy spots you, face them so they can only hit the front of the tank, and hope that they don't hit the very weak bottom portion of your turret. Try not to angle your tank as the sides can easily be penetrated. Since you have 5 crew members, with 2 in the front of the hull and 3 in the turret, and come equipped with a handy autoloader, you can take a few hits and lose a couple of crew members without having to worry too much.
- Rolled homogeneous armour (hull, turret roof)
- Cast homogeneous armour (oscillating turret, turret base, cupola)
|Front (Slope angle)
| 150 mm (55°) Front glacis
60 mm (55°) Lower glacis
| 40 mm (25°) Top
40 mm Bottom
|40 mm (30°)
|5 - 20 mm
| 40 - 120 mm Turret front
200 mm Gun mantlet
|40 - 60 mm
- Suspension wheels, tracks and torsion bars are 20 mm thick.
Although heavier and not as mobile as the AMX-50 or Lorraine 40t, the Somua SM is still pretty mobile for a heavy tank. You will still want to flank the enemy as much as possible and take them out quickly with your auto-loading gun, but don't be afraid to take a few hits from the front. However, your reverse speed is pretty slow and will not save you, so watch out for that.
|Max Speed (km/h)
|Engine power (horsepower)
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Modifications and economy
|100 mm SA47 L/58
|Turret rotation speed (°/s)
|Reloading rate (seconds)
| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
|Obus de rupture
| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
|Obus de rupture
- Shells are modelled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
- Rack 9* (autoloader magazine) is a first stage ammo rack. It totals 9 shells.
- This rack gets filled first when loading up the tank and is also emptied first.
- As it is equipped with an autoloader, manual reloading of the gun is not possible.
- Once the autoloader magazine has been depleted, you can't shoot until the loader has restocked the autoloader. The restocking time is longer than the normal reload time of the gun. Take this into account when playing.
- Simply not firing when the gun is loaded will move ammo from racks 1 to 8 into rack 9*. Firing will interrupt the restocking of the ready racks.
- The depletion order at full capacity is: 9 - 1 - 2 - up to 8.
|7.5 mm MAC 31
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.
Usage in battles
Try to play the Somua SM quite aggressively because it has a very strong autoloader. Hardly anyone else on the battlefield owns an autoloader like the French do at this battle rating.
It's best to find a good, but safe position close to the front to get good shots onto targets. If encountering an enemy tank with good turret armor like a Tiger II, try to shoot the weak spots. Though the gun should be sufficient for front penetration, the Somua SM can drive around to hit the target's side armour do to its semi-good mobility. If the enemy tank tries to drive away, shoot it in the tracks to immobilise it.
Though the 4-second autoloader is the Somua SM's greatest asset, try not to fire too quickly as the autoloader can only carry 8 rounds at a time. Refilling the autoloader can take a long time. Once the 8 shots are depleted, look for a safe position behind the terrain or other cover and wait until the autoloader is refilled with shells.
A Somua SM's main worry on the battlefield is its own armour, as while the hull front is somewhat good, everywhere else is easy to penetrate by most tank shells being shot at the Somua SM. This is especially the case when encountering tanks with HEAT rounds, as then nowhere on the tank is safe from a penetration. Always make sure that no one shoots the Somua SM from the side because the damage can be very serious due to the ammunition stowage.
When fighting at the front lines, always try to drive with other tanks so that the Somua SM does not get as much focus. Attacking the enemies while they are attacking allies is the best way to catch them off guard with the 100 mm cannon. With its autoloader, the Somua SM can be a deadly machine by picking off the enemies one by one before they can react.
Plan carefully your moves as there is no good way to get out of a bad position without having either to expose its weak sides or to reverse at a very slow speed.
Pros and cons
- Great 100 mm gun
- Equipped with a huge 9-shell autoloader, making this one of the best tanks to attack multiple enemies at once
- Unlike most French tanks, the SOMUA has good frontal armour; the upper turret and upper plate are basically immune to all conventional rounds
- Due to the frontal armour and nine shot autoloader, the tank is not only great at flanking and ambushing, but also very good at brawling
- The strong upper turret coupled with the eight degrees of gun depression makes this tank great at hull-down fighting and cresting ridgelines
- Due to how tall this tank is and how high the gun is placed, it can shoot over obstacles that many tanks have trouble seeing over
- Quick and manoeuvrable for a heavy tank
- This tank has a high level of survivability thanks to the spacious crew compartment and a five-man crew
- Good set of optics with 6x magnification
- The APCBC round has a tendency to cause lots of spalling upon penetration
- Absolutely huge tank. Longer, wider, and taller than a Tiger II. Finding proper concealment is difficult
- The neck of the turret a prime weak spot that's hard to effectively hide
- The lower plate is as weak as British lower plates. Any APHE shell that enters here will likely knock out the whole crew
- Will face a lot of enemies that fire APDS and HEAT, the upper turret and upper plate just can't absorb those kinds of shells
- Terrible side armour, side-scraping or angling the tank is extremely hazardous
- Is much slower than the Lorraine and AMX-50
- Mediocre elevation angles thanks to the inherent nature of oscillating turrets
- Once the autoloader is expended, reloading the magazine takes a considerable amount of time
- Because of the 4.0s reload, you can quite easily empty the 9 round magazine
At the end of WW2, the French army realized that they needed a new modern heavy tank. The SOMUA Company competed with AMX to design a new heavy tank for France, and they were given the order to build a prototype in 1946. The hull of the tank was based off the German Tiger II, and the tank used an oscillating turret armed with an auto-loading 100 mm gun. Because the two companies were forced to make a new design with the same requirements, the Somua SM design looked similar to the AMX 50, and both tanks had equipped the 100 mm gun. The prototype was delivered in October of 1951 but was still lacking an engine and some other parts. Due to delays, the prototype was not tested until 1953, but it was already too late. The SOMUA's design was rejected in favour of the AMX 50.
In 1946, at the same time when AMX was given the order to develop what would eventually become the AMX-50 tank, SOMUA was instructed to come up with a competing design that would act as an alternative to the AMX.
Due to both companies being issued identical technical requirements by the French Army and taking much inspiration from the German "King Tiger" at the same time, both designs turned out to be very similar. In fact, SOMUA's design stood out from AMX's only in increased mass, coming as a result of heavier protection, and in its more simple running gear.
The SOMUA SM, as it became known, was presented for the first time to army officials in October 1951, albeit without its engine installed. At the same time, prototypes of the AMX-50 had already been tested. By 1953, SOMUA had completed the construction of its SM tank, subsequently conducting trials.
During testing however, several design issues were revealed. Because of this and the fact that the upgunned version of the AMX-50 with a 120mm gun was already available, the decision was made to cancel further work on the project. As a result, the SOMUA SM never left the prototype stage and the only constructed vehicle was scrapped shortly after the project's cancellation.
|France heavy tanks
|B1 bis · B1 ter
|2C · 2C bis
|Somua SM · AMX-50 Surbaissé · AMX-50 Surblindé
|France premium ground vehicles
|AMD.35 (SA35) · H.39 "Cambronne" · LVT-4/40 · AMX-13 (SS.11) · AMX-13-M24 · E.B.R. (1954) · E.B.R. (1963) · VBCI-2 (MCT30)
|M4A1 (FL10) · Panther "Dauphiné" · AMX-30 · AMX-30 Super · AMX-50 (TO90/930)
|B1 ter · 2C bis · Somua SM
|Lorraine 155 Mle.50