The first French tank with an AMX solution

November 22, 2022

An AMX mobility solution on a Renault tank, but that was in 1939 !


The nationalization of Renault's armored vehicle manufacturing workshops, established in Issy-les Moulineaux, led to a reorganization of the activity of the Billancourt industrial complex.

On December 2, 1936, the Atelier de construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux, or AMX, was created, which took over on behalf of the state, in the same premises, the assembly of tanks and tankettes, while the public limited company of the Renault factories (SAUR) continues to manufacture the mechanical components.

But nationalization leads to rivalry between design offices responsible for developing existing equipment and designing new ones. From now on, two distinct teams are looking into, among other subjects, the improvement of the R35, one at Renault, which has kept a "tank" design office and the other at the AMX.
Quality, even for an 8 cm model !

The Renault tank model 1935-R modified 1939 or R40 reduced model

As soon as it was put into service in the French army, the Renault R-35 light tank revealed its mediocre movement capabilities on soft ground. Thus, from 1936, solutions were studied at Renault to improve the running gear. With the creation of the AMX in 1936, their design office also looked into the case of the R-35 and in 1938 a new 12-roller suspension inspired by that of the B tank and the AMX 38 prototype was offered with pads Holt-type tracks (called boat). The solutions developed by Renault revealing little improvement, it will finally be the AMX suspension which is adopted in 1939

Prototype with raised armor showing the mobility system

The AMX undercarriage significantly improves the performance of the 1935-R tank on soft and greasy terrain and on steep slopes. In addition, an 8mm steel skirt protects the undercarriage from shrapnel and shrapnel from the battlefield. In return, it increases fuel consumption by approximately 40% and reduces range to 100 km on the road.


Models of our heritage by Promodels

The Renault light tank with AMX undercarriage was adopted during 1939, under the designation of "light tank model 1935-R modified 1939" but will be more commonly called R 40.

The preparation of the tools and the supply of the parts only allows the realization of a little more than a hundred R 40 which will take part in the battle of May-June 1940.


In the Arquus heritage model collection

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This scale model is made in our Paris workshop.