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On this page, I showcase some of the more interesting World War II photographs from my personal collection. These photographs depict French tanks, and all were taken by German soldiers. (Apparently almost every German soldier in 1940 carried a camera.) I reserve all reproduction rights on these images, so please contact me for permission if you would like to use any of them for research, articles, etc.


FrenchTankjpg

I collect original photos of French World War II tanks. This rare photo shows a destroyed French Renault Char D 2 tank, "L'Alma" (the French army in WWII named their tanks after famous battles or French cities, regions, etc.). It was one of the few equipped with a long SA 35 tank gun shortly before the war. Photos of Char D 2s are often mislabelled as photos of Somua S35s, because they had the same type of turret (APX 1). Note the traitorous French dog following the Krauts!


CharB1bis.jpg

Destroyed French Char B1 bis tank No. 265, "Mistral," with a German officer and NCO posing near it. This photo was taken on August 10, 1940, according to a notation on the back.


CharB1Rapidejpg

Disabled French Char B1 bis tank No. 249, "Rapide" - a photo from a German soldier's personal album.


CharB1bisMad.jpg

Disabled French Char B1 bis tank No. 206, "Madagascar." This tank was scuttled after it broke down on the road to Guiscard after the fighting at Ham, France, on May 19, 1940.


CharB1Reims.jpg

Disabled French Char B1 tank No. 107, "Reims." According to the reference book, Les Chars B, by Pascal Danjou, this tank was scuttled and abandoned on June 17, 1940. The book features a similar photo of this tank at the same location. However, a pencil notation on the back of my photo has the date "12.6" (June 12).


CharB1bisCraonne.jpg

Disabled French Char B1 bis tank No. 391, "Craonne".


CharB1bisNiv.jpg

Disabled or abandoned French Char B1 bis tank No. 467, "Nivernais II", surrounded by young German soldiers.


CharB1bisSpade.jpg

Destroyed French Char B1 bis tank, identity and location unknown. Note the Cross of Lorraine unit insignia on the tank's turret - the spade insignia identifies this tank as being in the first section of its tank company. Either this tank took a lot of hits from a German anti-tank gun in combat, or it was used for target practice. The German soldier holding the live round in the center of the photo has an Iron Cross ribbon on his uniform.


FrenchHotchkiss.jpg

Two disabled or abandoned French tanks - I believe one is a Hotchkiss H39 (left) and the other is a Renault R35 (right).


Hotchkiss.jpg

Abandoned French Hotchkiss H39 tank. Again, the spade insignia identifies this tank as being in the first section of its squadron or tank company.


Somuas.jpg

Two captured French Somua S35 tanks. The heart insignia on the body of the tank in the foreground indicates that the tank was in the second section of its squadron or tank company.


Somua.jpg

Abandoned French Somua S35 tank. The Germans put a lot of these into service for themselves, as the Somua S35 was the most advanced tank at that time. They designated it as the Panzerkampfwagen 35 S 739(f).