When evacuating at Dunkirk, the British army abandoned all of their equipment including their tanks. The French took about 10 Cruiser MkII tanks and used them against the Germans in the defense of Calais. Their effectiveness or if they even saw combat is not known.
Somua S35 was a French tank which served during World War II. Although the tank was produced in limited numbers from 1935 to 1940, its solid firepower, armor, and agility made the S35 tanks one of the best of its time.
Renault R-35 & D2
St-Chamond French Heavy Tank
Apr 1 1918 “Tanks arrive at Camp Merritt … for Victory Loan Drive. Twenty tanks of American design arrive at Camp Merritt to receive coat of camouflage before starting for New York to participate in opening parade of Victory Loan” on Apr 12 1918.
National Archives Identifier:45508565
Char D1 was an Interwar French light tank.
The French plan of 1926, calling for the creation of a Light Infantry Support Tank.
The Ugly Bastard’s Glory: Char D1 vs Panzer IV at the Kasserine Pass
The Panzer IV by the time of the fighting in North Africa had gone through much refinement by the Germans, transitioning from an infantry support vehicle to the prime tank killer of the German army.
The Char D1 on the other hand has always been swept under the rug in the history of French tanks. Overshadowed by its immediate replacement, the Char D2, and even at the time of its introduction it was barely an adequate tank.
But as fate would have it, in February 1943 during the Battle of Kasserine Pass, a Char D1 fighting with the Free French Brigade Légère Méchanique managed to destroy a Panzer IV tank. How this was done is not clear, as the two tanks were separated by over a decade of tank development. The 47mm SA34 of the D1 was being phased out even during the Battle of France in 1940, so it is likely that the glorified Renault FT had gotten a clear shot at the side or rear of the Panzer from a close range.
With that being said, it must have been quite the embarrassment to have your crown jewel of blitzkrieg be knocked out by what looks like a Somua S35 that had fallen into a vat of acid.
Like an FCM36 that fell down a flight of stairs.
Somua S35, Bovington Tank Museum, Dorset.