Somua S-35 in German service.

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seydlitz
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Somua S-35 in German service.

Post by seydlitz » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:07 am

Has there been any consensus on the use of the Somua S-35 in Wehrmacht (German) service? I've read they modified them with a new cupola (IIRC from a Panzer III)

What list should I use, and are there any special rules in regard to the crew?

Neal Smith
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Re: Somua S-35 in German service.

Post by Neal Smith » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:42 pm

The only real modification I've heard of was that they changed the cupola to have an actual hatch in it.

They turned some into flammpanzers.

What kind of special rules were you thinking of for the crew?

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pedivere
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Re: Somua S-35 in German service.

Post by pedivere » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:46 pm

I do not know which combat units actually used them, but the Somua turret was a 1,5 crew turret, that would allow the radioman to act as a loader for the gun.
So I guess you can simply use the french stats and allow the crew to recieve orders from a tank senior leader.
The new cuppola would only improve the overview of the commander.

btw, I was wondering whether the CoC command rules might not make german tanks more difficult to control because of the larger crew, thus producing a kind of a paradox regarding an actual advantage....

seydlitz
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Re: Somua S-35 in German service.

Post by seydlitz » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:15 pm

In regards to crew special rules, there was talk that there was only room for the commander in the turret, so he (as the JL) would be less effective (because he'd have to fire the main gun)

Any definitive conclusions on that?

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Seret
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Re: Somua S-35 in German service.

Post by Seret » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:20 pm

pedivere wrote:I do not know which combat units actually used them
It probably changes as the war goes on, certainly the later you get the more likely you are to find obsolete designs like this only in security divisions.

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pedivere
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Re: Somua S-35 in German service.

Post by pedivere » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:27 pm

unless he gets a penalty for that, I don't see how it affects the rules.
The JL gets 2 activations. Doesn't matter if he uses the one to fire the gun himself or order the gunner to fire. The only difference would be that a leaderless tank would still have the gunner to fire on 1, while a french tank has only the JL in a double role. Unless you make special rules for all the different french tank turret concepts. In the Somua and B1, the loader/radioman could take over the shooting. In 1 man turrets, this would not be possible

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Seret
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Re: Somua S-35 in German service.

Post by Seret » Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:39 pm

Personally I'd give the early war turrets a greatly reduced arc of fire. The main advantage of separating the role of gunner and commander is so that the commander can maintain situational awareness and prioritise targets which the gunner then focuses on. If you give the tank a really narrow arc then it'll be good at engaging targets to the front, but will take a whole extra phase to engage anything popping up elsewhere.

Just a thought.

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Arlequín
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Re: Somua S-35 in German service.

Post by Arlequín » Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:36 pm

The crew positions are described as conducteur, opérateur radio/pourvoyeur, commandant/canonnier. In the French tank the radio operator sat next to the driver. He certainly passed rounds to the commander from the storage racks, but to load the gun he would have to climb over his seat to reach it. It appears the commander, loaded the shell, aimed and fired the gun all by himself.

I suspect that the Germans changed that as well as adding a cupola, judging by this photo at least. Note that they have sealed the radio operator's view port (which might suggest they have moved the radio and the seat too).

Image

It would be a tight squeeze...

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Emilio
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Re: Somua S-35 in German service.

Post by Emilio » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:31 pm


poiter50
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Re: Somua S-35 in German service.

Post by poiter50 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:44 am

My understanding is that 21 Pz Div used them in Normandy in 1944 and to that point I have recently purchased the Solido one (marketed as Battle of the Bulge) in 1/50 scale which comes with German markings and is in (anachronistic) Panzer Grey. I plan on using the French list and stats. They were a stop gap based on the fact that Pz IVs were not available. The Panzers in Normandy Then & Now book is very useful for actual allocations.

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