The Char B 1 was designed as the French armies breakthrough tank . Armed with a 47mm anti tank gun in the turret, a 75mm howitzer in the hull and with 40mm thick armour it was in its day a formidable opponent superior to all German designs . At the battle of Stonne a single Char B attacked and destroyed thirteen German tanks and returned safely despite being hit 140 times. However , despite its superior qualities, the vast majority of Char B1 combat losses were inflicted by German artillery and anti-tank guns. Char B 1�s were used to equip all French armored divisions (DCR) and several independent reserve companies.
The Renault R35 light tank was designed as the replacement for the old FT-17 of WW1 fame. The tank was armed with a short 37mm L/21 SA18 cannon and a 7.5mm machine gun. It was produced in great numbers and equipped two thirds of all French independent tank battalions. Models of this tank were also exported to Poland and they also supplied to units of the Rumanian army.
The Somua S 35 was a medium cavalry tank . Armed with a 47mm anti tank gun and with 40mm thick cast armor, it is said to be the best tank produced in the 1930's. Used to equip French cavalry divisions, the vehicle was deployed in mixed tank battalions operating alongside the H35 light tank.
The Hotchkiss H 39 light tank was and uprated version of the earlier H35 tank. The hull was enlarged to accommodate a 120hp engine which improved the vehicles top speed to 36km/h (22.3 mph). The first, second and third French armoured divisions (DCR) were each equipped with two battalions of these tanks .
The Hotchkiss H35 tank was issued to French BCC ( Battalions Chars de Combat ) units 13e and 38e in the French order of Battle of May 1940 . This early version of the light tank Armed with a short 37 mm SA 18 gun lost out to the Renault model R35 and was produced in smaller numbers. The later improved model H39 however was produced in greater numbers . The H35 had a 2 man crew it had a relatively slow top speed of 28Km / Hr.
The Hotckiss H35 tank was originally armed with a short barrelled 37mm gun which had a low muzzle velocity and poor armour penetration. In 1940 a programme was put into place to rearm some H35 tanks with the longer barrelled 37mm SA 38 cannon that was capable of penetrating 30mm of 30 degree armour at 400 metres. Not all H35 tanks were rearmed in time but there were enough vehicles modified to be issued one to each Peleton as command tanks.
The AMR 33 was a light tank armed with a single machine gun used by the cavalry in the reconnaissance role.