Les chars moyens Renault D2 formed the backbone of the Division de Ligne français envisioned by de Gaulle en 1934-35. The formation should have had a tank brigade consisting of one heavy tank regiment, one medium tank regiment, et un bataillon de chars légers. The heavy regiment was to consist of 48 chars lourds et 48 chars moyens, avec 24 each as replacements. The medium regiment would have been composed of two medium tank bataillons avec 48 chars et 24 replacements each. The Division should have had deux régiments d’infanterie de trois bataillons chacun, et a bataillon d’infanterie légère, which would have become a bataillon d’infanterie mécanisé eventually. Reconnaissance, engineers, light et heavy artillery, transport et a dedicated camouflage bataillon would have completed this division.
De Gaulle’s ideas were not put into effect. By 1938, l’armée française maintained a small training establishment at Nancy, which consisted of three heavy (Char B1) et one medium (Char D2) tank bataillon, deux bataillons d’infanterie motorisés, et an artillery group. From these modest beginnings, the 1re et 2e Division Cuirassée were hastily built in Janvier of 1940, et the 3e DCR followed in March. On 15 Mai 1940, well into the war, de Gaulle took command of a mixed batch d’unités de cavalerie blindée et mécanisée which made up the 4e DCR. When his formation attacked elements of Guderian’s Panzer Corps at Grécy, de Gaulle had 80 chars légers, 40 moyens et 30 chars lourds, but only one bataillon of infantry at his disposal. Les chars légers were repulsed when they encountered a concentration of canons antichar tirant from ambush. The infantry failed to come up in time to participate in the attack des chars moyens, who suffered des pertes as well before returning to their own lines.
A lot of captured equipment français was subsequently used by the Wehrmacht, but very few chars moyens remained in service until the Normandy landings en 1944. Panzer Ersatz und Ausbildungs Abteilung 100 had one Somua in operation at Carentan, et there were deux chars Somua avec Panzer Abteilung 206 in the Cotentin Peninsula. Chars moyens Renault D2 are not listed in the 1944 inventory of these units, probably because they were slower than the Somua, a significant disadvantage in combat. Recaptured chars Somua are known to have served avec l’armée française again en 1944-45.
Char Moyen Renault D2
- Type: char moyen, 1934-1940
- Armement: 47 mm L.35 Hotchkiss,
Turret MG et Hull MG
- Penetration: 62 mm at 0-100 meters
- Poids: 20 t
- Vitesse: 23 km/h sur route
- Équipage: chef de char, conducteur, tireur
- Choix de sujet excellent. Chars moyens Renault D2 served alongside chars lourds Renault B1.bis en 1940, sometimes in adhoc formations created from units immediately at hand, et from replacements which could be called up. The resulting mix of véhicules from different units, et les différents schémas de camouflage they sported, creates a most interesting picture in simulation games.
- Scale model avec much raised detail, hinges, locks, engine gratings, hatches et other small parts. The véhicule shows a lot of undercutting, particularly around the exhaust et the antenna mounting.
- Easy to assemble, only 4 parts. The running gear was slightly warped, et the left fender was wildly bent out of shape. These parts were softened in hot water, straightened, et set avec cold water. The area between the fender et the hull front had to be filled avec putty.
- Good quality kit avec only minor air inclusions. Three of the six engine gratings were damaged, but they can be filled avec putty et engraved again avec the tip of a modelling knife.
- Compatible avec Airfix, Fujimi, Matchbox, Nitto, et VAC-U-CAST.
- Decals are not included, they may be scrounged from another kit ou painted by hand.
- The turret does not attach to the hull, it may fall off quand le char is handled au course d’un jeu de guerre. One way to correct this is to glue a 20 mm pin of 0.6 mm pianowire into the turret, et locate the pin in a corresponding hole in the hull. The friction of the pin will keep the turret in place, but it still turns when it needs to.
- Char moyen de l’Armée Française, 1940
Possibilités de Conversions
- Atlantic Wall bunker avec Renault turret, 1944. Dismounted Renault turrets were used to arm many emplacements along the Atlantic Wall.
This Renault D2 model will serve very well alongside chars lourds Char B1.bis de chez Matchbox, et chars de cavalerie Somua S-35. De Gaulle’s 4e DCR division blindée was an adhoc formation built around available tank et cavalry units, avec very little infantry attached. Chars légers, moyens et lourds will be needed to recreate this interesting unit. The camouflage pattern used on chars moyens Renault D2 is different from that used on Char B1.bis et Somua S-35, it’s fun to paint et looks very nice on this tank.
Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter les éditeurs de la revue Military Miniatures Magazine au Miniatures Forum.