How many tanks did Vichy's Armee Nouvelle conceal from the German and Italian Armistice Commisions?

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Sid Guttridge
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How many tanks did Vichy's Armee Nouvelle conceal from the German and Italian Armistice Commisions?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 13 Jan 2022 14:32

I recently bought a book titled Une Entreprise Clandestine sous l'Occupation Allemande by Joseph Restany (Paris 1948).

On p.79 it mentions a Rernault D2 tank hidden at Saint-Martial-de-Nabirat. This had fallen into a gorge during the 1940 campaign and had been presumed written off, but the Vichy French successfully repaired it. This seems to be very well attested.

However, I recall several other mentions over the years of other tanks being hidden by Vichy from the German and Italian Armistice Commissions in mainland France.

Other instances from my notes:

1) The SOMUA factory reportedly managed to smuggle sufficient spare parts across the Demarcation Line to complete three hidden S-35 tanks. However, I have no details about where these were allegedly hidden.

2) Eight B.1bis heavy tanks were hidden in the Alpilles but were betrayed to the Italians. I have no further details beyond, "Italy independently from Germany captured eight Chars B1 bis when in October 1940 an Italian worker disclosed to the Italian Armistice Commission that they in July had been hidden in a cave near Les Baux-de-Provence."

Can anyone confirm these two reports or add more details?

Does anyone know if any other French tanks were claimed to have been hidden from the Armistice Commissions inside Vichy France?

Many thanks.

Sid.

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