The peace treaty between France and Germany signed on June 22nd, 1940, meant the defeat of France in WWII. The fact that France was only able to hold on against Germany for 40 days shocked many. France had the second largest tank force behind only the USSR, and it seemed impossible that this armada could not resist the German advance. However, this defeat was inevitable. The problem wasn't that French tankers, as fiercely as they fought, had little experience. The problem was in the tanks themselves.
Echoes of the past war
The French were the second nation to develop and use tanks in WWI. Despite the British head start, the French managed to build the better tanks. Instead of heavy tanks, they started with medium ones. One of them, the Saint Chamond, was the herald of a revolution. Its designer, Émile Rimailho, the chief designer at Compagnie des Forges et Acieries de la Marine et d'Homecourt (FAMH), used an electric transmission on this tank. Unlike the British, the French rapidly abandoned the "machine gun hedgehog" form factor and developed a tank with armament in a turret by 1917. The French were also the first to put a light tank into production, the famous Renault FT. This was the best tank of WWI and the most numerous one, put into production at multiple factories.
The French were also successful at heavy tank development. Even though they were only put into production after WWI ended, these vehicles were a true testament to engineering expertise. The FCM 2C was the largest and heaviest tank ever built in France (and the largest mass produced tank to this day). This was the first vehicle to receive shell-proof armour and the first to have a three-man turret with a 75 mm gun. The FCM 2C remained competitive for over a decade, which explains its long service life.