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"The Pride of our Maginot Girls' Academy, The Cavalry Tank! Somua S35"
The Somua S35 (French Char de Cavalerie, Cavalry Tank) was a French medium tank developed before World War II, considered to be one of the best French tank of the war.

Built from 1936 until 1940 to equip the armoured divisions of the Cavalry, it was for its time a relatively agile medium-weight tank, superior in armour and armament to its French and foreign competitors, such as the contemporary versions of the German Panzerkampfwagen III. It was used by France against the Germany during The Battle of France, after the Fall of France the Germany (under the name Panzerkampfwagen 35-S 739(f)) and it's allies used it against Soviet Union or used them for police purposes.


In 1931 the French cavalry came up with a new system of organization for the units, it was going to have three types of vehicle. The lightest was the AMR (French Automitrailleuse de Reconnaissance, Armored Car Reconnaissance), and this was a very simple light armored vehicle designed to find where the enemy were. The next vehicle in the series was the AMD (French Automitrailleuse de Covert, Covert Armored Car), and this tanks job was to identify what the AMR's had discovered with the understanding that they might enter a little combat. The third vehicle was the AMC (French Automitrailleuse de Combat, Combat Armored Car), this was the heavy fighting vehicle of the cavalry units. The divisions were given the traditional cavalry roles of reconnaissance and security duties, however, although the primary fighting force of the French Army was still going to be the infantry division, the AMC had to be capable of flat out fighting.

The requirements that were drawn up in 1934 was an average speed of 30kmh, 4cm of armor, a 47mm gun and about 320klm range. The contract was given to the Societe d'Outillage Mecanique et d'Usinage d'Artillerie (or SOMUA). The order was given in October, 1934 and was delivered in April, 1935. The reason for the quick 6 month turnover being that there wasn't much new technology being developed, having been taken from other tanks, the only new item being the special V-8 engine.

Before the prototype's trials had been completed, the prototype being the AC3, in late 1935 the order for the first production batch was made, which gives you the other half of the tank's name, the S35, however because the trials hadn't been finished yet and there were still design tweaks to be made, the first 50 vehicles off the production line were actually different to the remainder. There was a requirement of 600 tanks but as these tanks were really expensive to make and only 300 were originally authorized.

During the German invasion of May 1940, the SOMUA S35 proved itself to be a tactically effective tank, but this was negated by the French command's strategic mistakes in deploying the Cavalry armoured divisions. After the defeat of France in June 1940, limiting production to a number of about 440, captured SOMUA S35s were used by the Axis powers, some of them on the Eastern Front. A derived type, the SOMUA S40, with an improved suspension, lowered hull cast and welded turret armor, had been planned to replace the original version on the production lines in July 1940. Agreements to produce this improved type for the benefit of Vichy France, Germany and Japan, ultimately did not lead to any manufacture.

While France did inevitably fall as previously stated the SOMUA S35 is considered the best medium tank of the 30s and best French tank of World War II for multiple reasons. Its 47mm armor and gun were superior to its French and foreign counterparts at the time, such as the Panzer III commonly used at the time. The French Command preferred to fight a defensive battle and was convinced it would be victorious in such an engagement, but was realistic enough to understand that the strategic solution might force it into offensive warfare. It has good speed at 40 km/h, its 47mm gun was powerful enough to destroy everything the Wehrmacht had at the time (it was a threat to the Panzer IV too) and its armor was thick enough to be practically immune to the fire of both at normal battle ranges.

It could carry out deep strategic penetrations and destroy enemy armour reserves trying to prevent them, possesing a good anti-tank capacity.

In Girls und Panzer


The SOMUA S35 is mentioned only briefly in the Anzio OVA. During the Ooarai's briefing for the upcoming match against Anzio, on the board it's stated that in Anzio's previous match Maginot field 2 SOMUA S35.

Fierce Fight! It's the Maginot Battle!

2 SOMUA S35 are also used by Maginot in a mock battle against Ooarai. The 2 SOMUA are labelled Spade Bleu (for Eclair's one) and Heart Bleu (for Fondue's one). In the match Heart Bleu will shot down Duck Team and will be immobilised by the Rabbit Team and Spade Bleu will be take down by Miho and Anglerfish Team.

Gekkan Senshado Magazine

Viking Fisheries High School fields two SOMUA S35 during the match against Koala Forest High School.

Maginot Girls' Academy fields two SOMUA S35 during the match against Anzio Girls High School.



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