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Interesting S-35 History

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After the fall of France a number of S 35s (297 were captured according to some sources) were taken into service with the Wehrmacht as the Panzerkampfwagen 35-S 739(f). The Germans modified the cupola by cutting its top off and installing a simple hatch. On 10 December 1940 the first German tank unit equipped with French Beutepanzer was formed: 201. Panzerregiment with 118 tanks, 36 of these were S 35s, the rest "38Hs". On 10 February 1941 202. Panzerregiment was established; both regiments were united into Panzerbrigade 100. On 27 January the independent 301. Panzerabteilung was formed with French vehicles; total S 35 organic strength in the Wehrmacht was thus ninety. On 22 March this independent battalion replaced the Second Battalion of 201. Panzerregiment, which battalion was renamed to Panzer-Abteilung 211 and sent to Finland in June, the only German unit with S 35s that would fight on the Eastern Front. The 21st and 25. Panzerdivision in 1943 used some S 35s when reforming after having been largely destroyed. Some vehicles had their superstructure removed and were used for driver-training, while others were used for security duties. Some of these units fought in Normandy in 1944, such as 100. Panzer Ersatz und Ausbildungs Abteilung and 206. Panzer Abteilung, while others were used in Yugoslavia for anti-partisan duties (7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen", 12. Panzer-Kompanie z.b.V. and I./Panzer-Regiment 202). There were still twelve S 35s listed as in German service on 30 December 1944.

Some of the captured S 35s were delivered to German allies: 32 to Italy in 1941, two to Hungary in 1942 and six to Bulgaria in 1943. They were used by the Italians for training purposes and to equip a reserve unit. The Bulgarian vehicles were after the war used by police units.:)

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