Somua S. 35 Armour Thickness

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CanuckMan
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Somua S. 35 Armour Thickness

Post by CanuckMan » 15 Dec 2017 01:48

Hello everyone,

I am trying to track down an official data source on the armor thickness of the Somua S 35 Tank. Specifically the Front of the Hull.

Some of you may know of the Game War thunder. Their development team is releasing French tanks and I believe they have modeled the front hull armor thickness incorrectly. They state that it was 35mm thick while most sources online state it was 47mm.

However I can not find any official documents or schematics to back this claim up. Does anyone have any idea where one might come across data like this? It would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Somua S. 35 Armour Thickness

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Dec 2017 02:23

Not quite what you are looking for but if you hit the 'Bibliographie' button it is liable to lead you there, & you can read a lot of other useful info on the French armor. http://www.chars-francais.net/2015/inde ... view&id=16

Now, if you have some info handy on the penetration performance of both versions of the 47mm gun I'd be pleased. I have a passing interest in the difference, but not the time to pursue it.

Knouterer
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Re: Somua S. 35 Armour Thickness

Post by Knouterer » 16 Dec 2017 16:45

A table from Engins Blindés Français. Cent ans d'histoire, by Stéphane Ferrard. Penetration of the the 47 mm Model 1934 tank gun is given as 35 mm at 400 m and that of the Model 1935 as 50 mm at 400 m.

Interesting that the stubby 75 mm gun as mounted in the Char B has a higher muzzle velocity and better penetration than the German 75 mm gun.
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Knouterer
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Re: Somua S. 35 Armour Thickness

Post by Knouterer » 16 Dec 2017 18:01

There is indeed general agreement that the front of the hull of the S.35 was 47 mm thick, starting with Wikipedia (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somua_S-35 ), but I can't find any "official" document confirming that in a hurry.

Here's a picture of the upper front half of the hull at the factory, being ground, polished and drilled for fittings and attachment to the other parts of the hull. The turret was also cast in one piece, which (in principle) provided greater strength and resistance to enemy fire than the welded and/or riveted construction of German and British tanks.

A standard criticism of French tanks is the one-man turret which was indeed a disadvantage. The reason was that French tank designers wanted to present as small a target as possible (especially frontally), with maximum protection. It was calculated that for a two-man turret the diameter of the turret ring of the S.35 would have to be enlarged fom 113 cm to 139,5 cm (internally), with a corresponding increase of the size and weight of the hull, which was not considered worth it.

As it was, the third crewman could assist the commander/gunner by handing him ammunition from the racks in the hull.

(Picture from French magazine GBM 105, July-Sept. 2013)
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Dili
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Re: Somua S. 35 Armour Thickness

Post by Dili » 21 Dec 2017 01:28

I don't know if it answers your question but maybe you'll like this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... faVeZ_xjIc

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Somua S. 35 Armour Thickness

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 31 Dec 2017 01:56

Knouterer wrote:A table from Engins Blindés Français. Cent ans d'histoire, by Stéphane Ferrard. Penetration of the the 47 mm Model 1934 tank gun is given as 35 mm at 400 m and that of the Model 1935 as 50 mm at 400 m. ...
Thanks. Thats the basic of what I was looking for. What is the sources? Its clear the mass of the projectile & the velocity of the 35 version are better. I'm wondering if the propellant charge was significantly superior. The Improvement in velocity over the previous 47mm caliber cannon does not seem to be attributable just to the increase in length.
... Interesting that the stubby 75 mm gun as mounted in the Char B has a higher muzzle velocity and better penetration than the German 75 mm gun.
Must be a large difference in the ammunition. Despite a 30% better barrel length there is a 20% difference in velocity.

This does bring up a question: Are the penetration results vs similar armor test targets, or from dissimilar test armor? I remember a set of penetration tables where the French results were described as taken from hits on flat planes somewhat characteristic of German tank construction, while the German results were against curved targets which was more common to French tank armor. One suspects the results will be different in these cases.

Thanks again for providing this information.

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