The SOMUA SM is a French experimental tank, developed in the immediate postwar years as an alternative to the AMX-50 being developed in parallel at the time. Despite it being the AMX which ultimately entered service, this won’t stop the SOMUA SM from joining the ranks of the French ground forces tree in the upcoming War Thunder update!
Briefly: The alternative design to the AMX-50, featuring heavier armor protection at the expense of mobility.
SOMUA SM, heavy tank, premium, France, IV rank.
- Excellent 100mm cannon
- Autoloading mechanism
- Good hull protection
- Premium bonuses
- Low armour protection for the turret
- High combat weight
- Average mobility
- Somua SM (Rank 4 France) – available after the next Major Update;
- 1000 Golden Eagles;
- Premium account for 7 days;
- Pre-order bonus: unique “Savate Boxer” decal;
- Pre-order bonus: unique “Savate Master” title.
In 1946, at the same time when AMX was given the order to develop what would eventually become the AMX-50 tank, SOMUA was instructed to come up with a competing design that would act as an alternative to the AMX.
Due to both companies being issued identical technical requirements by the French Army and taking much inspiration from the German “King Tiger” at the same time, both designs turned out to be very similar. In fact, SOMUA’s design stood out from AMX’s only in increased mass, coming as a result of heavier protection, and in its more simple running gear.
The SOMUA SM, as it became known, was presented for the first time to army officials in October 1951, albeit without its engine installed. At the same time, prototypes of the AMX-50 had already been tested. By 1953, SOMUA had completed the construction of its SM tank, subsequently conducting trials.
During testing however, several design issues were revealed. Because of this and the fact that the upgunned version of the AMX-50 with a 120mm gun was already available, the decision was made to cancel further work on the project. As a result, the SOMUA SM never left the prototype stage and the only constructed vehicle was scrapped shortly after the project’s cancellation.
In War Thunder, the SOMUA SM will be a new premium heavy tank awaiting commanders at rank IV of the French ground forces tree, following the release of the upcoming major update. Unlike its close relatives – the AMX-50 and Lorraine 40t – which share a similar general design, the SOMUA SM offers its future commanders a slower, but much more heavily armored platform, carrying the excellent French 100mm cannon.
As already mentioned, the SOMUA SM is fitted with the proven 100mm SA47 anti-tank cannon, present on a number of French machines at rank IV and therefore all too familiar to tankers. Furthermore, the SOMUA SM is also equipped with the same autoloading mechanism as found on the AMX-50, giving it an astonishing reload rate of just 4 seconds!
Some keen-eyed tankers may have already noticed an extreme resemblance in the SOMUA SM’s turret to that of the AMX-50. And indeed, your eyes are not playing tricks on you – the turret is similar in design and with the protection it offers to that of the AMX-50. On the other hand however, the hull of the SOMUA SM offers vastly better protection than that of the AMX-50, featuring a much thicker 150mm frontal plate, while the side and rear armor was also thickened.
Although the SOMUA SM offers improved protection while retaining identical levels of firepower as the AMX-50, these improvements do come at the cost of mobility however. Namely, as the SOMUA SM is fitted with the same 1,000 horsepower engine as the AMX-50, but its mass increased to 60 tons, the vehicle’s mobility decreased as a result. As such, the SOMUA SM can only reach a top speed of 40 km/h under ideal conditions, while its modest power-to-weight ratio of 16.6 hp/t will further limit its mobility in off road conditions.
The SOMUA SM will be obtainable through the purchase of a special bundle in our online store, arriving in the hangars of its prospective owners with the release of the next major update. In the meantime, make sure to stay tuned to the news in order not to miss out on the latest information concerning the next major update coming to the game. Until then, happy hunting tankers!