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.