Somua SAu 40
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Somua SAu 40
A proposed tank destroyer on the basis of the Somua S35. Existed only in blueprints.
Contrary to what the ingame description says, prototypes of the SAu 40 were actually built and at least one fought during the Battle of France.
The SAu 40, unlike it predecessor the Renault UE 57, is a slow moving warehouse that will take some effort to get used to. Once upgraded, it can equip an able 75 mm long-barreled gun that will take care of any foes up to its tier level, or a very powerful 105 mm howitzer able to destroy or cripple any higher tier tank that it may face, so using it before moving on to the next tier can be a rewarding experience. The SAu 40's frontal armor is not very good, even by Tier 4 standards, but the most glaring weakness is the small turret (also known as "The Tumor") on top, where it can be easily penetrated.
The Somua SAu 40 leads to the S 35 CA.
Pros and Cons
- Short aim time on all guns
- Good gun elevation and depression
- Fairly poor accuracy
- Poor hull traverse speed
- Narrow gun traverse arc
- Poor penetration
- Poorly armored turret on top, presenting a large weakspot and severely limiting hulldown capabilities
Compared to the tiny and fairly mobile Renault UE 57 that preceded it, the SAu-40 is a completely different machine. It is much slower and less mobile, has a far larger silhouette that is much more difficult to hide. In exchange, it gets thicker armour and more HP, as well as far more powerful armament. The 105 mm Canon de 105 court mle. 1934S AC deals massive damage, but requires patience and a window of opportunity to be used to its fullest. The 75 mm Long 44 AC, on the other hand, can just about penetrate Tier 5 or 6 tanks, and is somewhat more accurate than the 105 mm Canon de 105 court mle. 1934S AC.
Depending on the gun equipped, the SAu 40 can either play as a second-line support tank destroyer, or an ambusher. The inaccuracy of its weapons precludes using it as a sniper. The SAu 40's thin armour also precludes its use as a frontline tank destroyer. It plays similarly to the Hetzer, but is much larger, and has thinner armour.
A camouflage net would be a good choice of equipment, as the SAu-40 is quite sluggish to maneuver for relocation, allowing it to get as many shots off as possible before being spotted.
- The ER 53 and ER 56 radios carry over from the Renault UE 57. Install the ER 56 immediately.
- Research the upgraded suspension first, as the additional weight capacity is required in order to upgrade the gun.
- Next research the 75 mm Long 44 AC gun for much improved penetration.
- Now research Somua S-40 Bis engine.
- Go from there.
Unlike the ARL V39, which was based on the BDR G1B tank, SOMUA derived the SAu 40 from the very promising S35 cavalry tank that proved to be the best tank in the French arsenal at the beginning of World War 2. The SOMUA SAu 40 prototype was to be finished and presented to the army in 1937. Unfortunately, since it shared the main gun with competing ARL V39, it had to wait for a full year for the both primary and secondary armament to be mounted. Main armament was to be the 75 mm APX gun, a modification of the mle. 1292 de Casemate gun originally developed for fortifications. The gun un had a semi-automatic breech, automatic shell rammer, and a very odd and unusual feature: it could be retracted inside the hull to decrease the vehicle's length. Secondary armament consisted of a 7.5 mm machine gun placed in a small turret on the roof, similar to the competing ARL project. The 75 mm gun APX 1929 gun was to have a traverse arc of 7 degrees to the left and 7.6 to the right with an excellent elevation arc from -10 to 30 degrees. Maximum effective range was to be 2000 m, with an ammunition capacity of 102 rounds. The sights were quite advanced for its time, and they offered 4x magnification, with a field of view of 125 degrees.With tensions running high in Europe just prior to the outbreak of World War 2, France was desperate for any kind of modern armor, and the SOMUA SAu 40 was ordered into series production. An order for a total of 36 vehicles was placed. By 1 May 1940, 72 vehicles had been ordered, but only the prototype was armed with the 75 mm gun. The production vehicles were instead armed with the powerful 47 mm SA 37 anti-tank gun as tank destroyers. It is known that the prototype SAu 40 fought during the Battle for France in June 1940, probably along with a few production vehicles. The fall of France in June 1940 brought an end to all further development.
- Bingham, J., 1971, AFV Weapons Profile 36 - Chars Hotchkiss, H35, H39, and Somua 35, Profile, Windsor, UK, 24p.
- 1937 Canon Automoteur Somua Sau 40 at chars-francais.net Photos, specs, and brief history in French.