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French Forces


German soldiers inspect the 'hearts' painted on this Hotchkiss H35.Nice detail view on the 'crossing tail' at the back of the Hotchkiss.The heart insignia means this is a tank from the second platoon.It could be blue with a white rim (=1th company)or red with a white rim(=3rd company) or white altogether(=2th company).This was probably the red /white one. National Marking:the roudel between the hearts: Although relatively frequent on Cavalry armoured vehicles which operated far to the front of friendly forces, the practice of painting national roundels doesn't seem to have been the subject of any regulation. The usual locations were turret tops (often on the commander's cupola) to serve as air recognition markings and turret rear. A very narrow white outer ring was sometimes added to the roundel but this practice was not very widespread. The actual number, size (between 30 and 50 cm) and location of national roundels depended very much on the size of the vehicle and the unit's amount of experience with friendly fire. According to the high number of such incidents, including between friendly armour, vehicle recognition does not seem to have received much emphasis during training ! Some particularly unlucky units soon sported these roundels on hull front and sides as well as turret rear and top. The crossing tail is a WW1 leftover,used on small tanks to aid the tank in crossing trenches. Surviving French tanks were pressed into German service in secondary roles