MMP Books' Camera On #26: Renault R35 & 40
Author: Alan Ranger
Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Price $25.00 from 
Reviewer: Scott Van Aken
Notes: 80 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-83-65958-99-0

The next offering in MMP Books' Camera On series is this one on the Renault R35 and R40 light tanks. This one is subtitled 'Through a German Lens' as all of the photos are of one that are either in German markings (not many) or destroyed/abandon tanks left by the side of the road after or during the French campaign of 1940.

The R 35 was a tank developed in the mid 1930s with a low cost being a primary goal for the designers. They were supposed to be armed with a newly developed 37mm gun, but due to the slow pace of French armament providers, many were armed with the same gun as the WWI era FT-17 tanks. These older guns were unable to fire armor piercing shells, putting the tanks at a disadvantage. Also was a requirement for these to be able to accompany infantry, which, like many other tanks of the time, meant that they were slow. The tanks were also to have a two man crew with one man to drive and the other to operate the gun.

The light armor of these tanks meant that a standard German 37mm anti-tank gun could easily penetrate the armor and thus these tanks were easily immobilized. A later version with improved suspension, the R40 was also built, but in very small numbers before the end of France's participation in the war. There were so many of these tanks abandon or easily repaired that the Germans used them as both trainers and in 'backwater' zones where their small size and light weight made them useful for anti-partisan duties. Their turrets were also used for fixed defensive positions along the Atlantic Wall.

Typical of all of the other books in the series, this is a photo book pure and simple. The book starts with a brief history of the tank and goes into the two variants that were built. The majority of the photos are of the R35 with only a handfull of photos of the later R40. Information on the tank in the image is provided through the captions of the many photos in the book. This sort of thing is a boon to modelers and enthusiasts alike. It is a welcome addition to this series. Apparently readers like these books as the titles are continuing into the future. Well worth picking up.

September 2021

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