Identification of French tank, 1940?

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Dimitrii
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Identification of French tank, 1940?

Post by Dimitrii » 01 Feb 2004 19:16

The tank has a clover leaf on the hull, carries the number 67 and some sort of backward "e" as well. What does this say about the unit?

daveh
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Post by daveh » 01 Feb 2004 19:47

oh for a picture! :D

Could the "clover leaf" be a spade symbol? Such a symbol was used for the 1st section of a company

The number 67 suggests it might be a tank from a DLM as the numbers used in these units were continuous running from 10 to 90 for their 40 Hotchkiss and 40 Somua tanks.

The "reverse e" may just possibly be part a regimental insignia?????
Is the "reverse e"in the centre of the "clover leaf"?

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 01 Feb 2004 19:50

Hello,

Would it be possible to see the photo ? What kind of tank is it ?

Have a look here for the usual tactical markings (clover leaf = club in the ace marking system) :
http://france1940.free.fr/armee/colours.html

Where is the 67 ? in an insignia ? It could be the 67e BCC (bataillon de chars de combat) equiped with D1 tanks ? Or it could also be a cavalry tank numbering in a DLM (division légère mécanique).

Regards,

David

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Dimitrii
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Post by Dimitrii » 02 Feb 2004 16:33

Thanks for the interesting replies. I attach a scan of the tank, I hope this gives you a better a idea of what I mean. Indeed as daveh said, it's more of a spades than it is a clover leaf. Then again, I'm no conaisseur of French armour :)

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 02 Feb 2004 18:16

It is the Ace of Clubs as per the deck of cards numbering system as mentioned by David.

The tank is a Hotchkiss H35 one of some 400 in the French inventory

Andy H

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 02 Feb 2004 18:35

Indeed this seems to be a Hotchkiss H-35.

HOTCHKISS H-35
Its conception is close to the Renault R-35, the H-35 is equiped with the same turret. The H-35 is equiped with a 37mm SA18 gun and sometimes with a 37mm SA38 gun. About 700 produced between 1936 and 1939 and about 398 H-35 were operationnal on the front facing Germany in May 1940.
weight : 9.6t
crew : 2 men
maximum armor : 40mm (bolted casted plates)
maximum speed : 35 km/h
autonomy : 150 km
armament : a 37mm SA18 L/21 gun or a SA38 L/33 gun and a 7.5mm MAC1931 CMG
The Germans used it under the name Panzerkampfwagen 35H 734(f), Munitionsschlepper 35H 734(f), 7,5cm Pak40 auf PzKpfw 35H (f) "Marder I (SdKfz 135)", Slf. fur 28/32cm Wurfrahmen auf PzKpfw 35H (f), Artillerie Panzerbeobachtungswagen auf 35H 734(f) and some were some were used in armored trains.

It is better seen on these less tagged/cropped photos from http://www.chars-francais.net/ :

Image

Image

Image

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Dimitrii
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Post by Dimitrii » 03 Feb 2004 20:41

Thanks for the very elaborate information. So, in conclusion:
- this tank is from a DLM
- the spades means 1st. section from a company
- the strange "e" is not identifable?
- the number, 67, merely notes the oder of the tank in the DLM?

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 03 Feb 2004 21:44

Hello,

This Hotchkiss is more than probably from a cavalry unit ... It may be a DLM, a DLC or even a motorized recon group at the level of the division (GRDI = Groupe de reconnaissance de division d'infanterie) or of the army coprs ( GRCA = Groupe de reconnaissance de corps d'armée). These recon group contains cavalry (horse) and/or motorcycles/side-cars and generally armored cars but sometimes also Hotchkiss tanks.
There is no "e" to be seen, back on the turret it is only the national flag that is partly hidden/erased, the tanks on the first photo have the same flag on the same area.

David

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