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Renault R35


The Renault R35 was the most numerous French tank during World War 2. It was designed to replace the World War 1 Renault FT-17, which was completely obsolete when designing began in 1933. The Renault R35 used the suspension of the AMR 35 light tank, to be able to finish the prototype faster, as Renault's design was competing against the Hotchkiss H35 for the contract. A total of 1540 Renault R35s were build.

When the original AMR 35 suspension proved too weak, an improved tank, the Renault R40, was build. This tank had a new suspension, and a more powerful gun.

Romania and Poland bought 41 and 50 Renault R35s respectively in 1939, and several other countries and French colonies also aquired limited numbers of Renault R35s.

During the German invasion of 1940, 843 Renault R35s were captured by the Germans. Most were used by the Germans for guard duties, or for conversions as self-propelled artillery and anti-tank guns. Some were also given to Italy and Bulgaria. During the Normandy invasion, a few Renault R35s were used against the Allied forces.

Technical Details

Renault R35
  • Commander/gunner/loader
  • Driver
Physical Characteristics
Weight 10.6 t
Length 4.02 m
Width 1.87 m
Height 2.13 m
Armour (max) 43 mm
Speed (max) 20 km/h
Primary weapon 37 mm SA18 (1)
Secondary weapon 7,5 mm Reibel (1)


Profile view of a Renault R35.
Inspection of a disabled Renault R35.

Further Reading


  1. VON SENGER UND ETTERLIN, Ferdinand Maria. Kampfpanzer 1916-1966. München : J. F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1966.