Renault R-35 "early"Edit
The Renault R-35 was the most succesful French light tank in World War Two. More than 1600 R-35s were built between 1936 and 1940. In 1933 the French High Command called for a replacement for the aging Renault FT-17 from the First World War. Alot of new light tanks were designed by Renault, Hotchkiss and FCM. The Renault R-35 was a 10-ton tank with 43mm armor. With a Renault V-4 (82 Hp) engine, it had a speed of 20 km/h. Slow but this was enough as a light infantry tank. The gun was the 37mm Puteaux SA 18 gun. This gun, produced since 1918, was the main gun of the Renault FT-17 with the canon (Officially named as the Renault FT-18). Which meant, when the war broke out in 1940, this gun was more then 20 years old! It was not able to destroy any tank except a few very light- or non-armored vehicles. Ingame, don't try to meet a Pzkpfw II with this tank, because you will be destroyed! The secondary armament was a 7.5 mm MAC31 Reibel machine gun.
In 1937 it had become obvious that the original suspension system was unreliable and ineffective. After many trials it was replaced in the 1940 production run, after 1540 vehicles had been built with the original design, by an AMX system using twelve wheels fitted with six vertical springs (AMX was the new name of the military division of Renault nationalised on 2 December 1936). About the same time the radio and a much more powerful gun were introduced. The long-barrelled L/35 37mm SA38 in the adapted cast APX-R1 turret (with L767 sight) gave it an effective anti-tank capacity: 40 mm at 500 metres. The new combination was named the Char léger modèle 1935 R modifié 1939 but is more commonly known as the Renault R40. It was delivered in time to equip one battalion of the Polish 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade of the Polish Army in France and the last two French tank battalions to be formed. It was intended to fit the R 40 with the welded FCM turret in the second half of 1940, while refitting all existing R 35s with the longer 37mm Puteaux SA-38 gun and bringing R 40 production levels up to 120 per month for the duration of the war. From January 1940, the vehicles of light tank unit commanders were gradually upgraded with the longer gun; but as absolute priority was given to tanks serving in armoured divisions, which were of the Hotchkiss type, of the 273 platoon, company and battalion commanders eligible in Renault units, only a few if any received this "R 39". The only official possible exception to the rule that Hotchkiss tanks had to be modified first was made on 12 February 1940 when it was ordered to replace the turrets of 24 Infantry tanks, without specifying the type, present in depot or driver schools in order to obtain older turrets to be fitted on R 35 export vehicles. In the same period a crash programme was executed to produce 200,000 armour piercing rounds per month for the shorter gun, as there had been only minimal stocks of this ammunition type.