The SOMUA SAu40 was planned to be give anti-tank support to units of the French Army. However, long delays in testing meant that only one prototype was completed before the Battle of France in May and June 1940.
The SOMUA (acronym for Société d’outillage mécanique et d’usinage d’artillerie) SAu40 was a version of the SOMUA S-35 medium tank that began entering service with the Division Legere Mechanique (DML) in January 1936.
The SAu40 was planned to give the DML an anti-tank artillery capability with a main armament of a version of the 75mm model 29 gun with a semi-automatic breach and an automatic loader giving it a firing rate of 10 rounds in 55 seconds.
The prototype was ready in December 1937 but the gun and turret for it were also planned to be used in the ARL40 and there was only one of each, so they had to be swapped between the two vehicles, seriously slowing development.
Seventy-two were ordered in May 1940, armed with a 47mm anti- tank gun, but none were produced.
The only SAu40 may have seen service and was captured by the Germans.
This model represents the only armed SAu40 in service with a S35 unit of the DML in June 1940.
Minitanks 1/72 kit completed by Leigh Edmonds in October 2014.