The Amiot 356 was a version of the Amiot 351/354 twin engined bomber that was to be powered by 1,130hp Rolls-Royce Merlin X engines. 35 Amiot 356s were ordered as part of the second production order for the type, alongside 100 Amiot 353s, which were to use less powerful Merlin engines. On 1 December 1939 the number of Amiot 356s on order was increased to 40.
The prototype made its maiden flight at Villacoublay in early June 1940, but by this date the German armies were approaching Paris, and the Amiot 356 was flown to Toulouse, where it went into storage. In April 1941 it became one of five Amiot aircraft that had their military equipment removed for delivery to Air France, and between July 1941 and November 1942 it was used to fly liaison flights between Vichy France and the French colonies in North Africa.