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The Char léger modèle 1935 H (Hotchkiss light tank model 1935) is a rank I French light tank with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance". The H.35 was removed from its reserve status and hidden from the main tech tree during Update 1.85 "Supersonic" after the ammo update, though it is still unlockable after reaching rank II French ground vehicles. During its session in the main tree, it was arguably the worst reserve vehicle in War Thunder.
Combining a 17 years old gun from WWI, average armour, and a sub-par engine sounds like a bad tank design, right? Well someone did it anyways.
Survivability and armour
The armour is decent and it will protect you from incoming long-range shots... but nothing more than that. At close ranges, anything bigger than HMG fire can shred your tank very easily. If you're lucky enough to survive a shot, retreat and ask your allies for help.
- Cast homogeneous armour
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 34 mm (8-87°) Front plate
22 mm (75-85°) Upper glacis
34 mm (31°) Central glacis
34 mm (30°) Lower glacis
| 34 mm (1-33°)
34 mm (1-2°)
| 34 mm (31°) Top
34 mm Bottom (7-32°)
|Turret|| 45 + 25 mm (5°) Turret front
45 mm (28-30°) Left side
25 mm (10-19°) Gun mantlet
35 mm (9-88°) Vision port
| 40 mm (1-28°)
35 mm (8-87°) Vision ports
|40 mm (8-63°)||25 mm|
|Cupola||40 mm||40 mm|
- Suspension wheels, bogies, and tracks are all 15 mm thick.
- Belly is 8mm thick.
- Gun barrel is 10mm thick.
With its low speed, don't even dream of bold flanking manœuvres, you must rely on road and downhills in order to achieve a decent speed. Climbing hills and turning on the spot are also hard thing to achieve while driving this vehicle. The only thing "light" about this tank is the weight.
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armor
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
With only 36 mm of penetration, poor post-penetration damage and a long reload time, this tank's main gun is the main failing of the H.35. With -13° of depression, it is actually a very depressing gun to shoot in a figurative and literal sense.
|37 mm SA18 L/21|
|Turret rotation speed (°/s)|
|Mode||Stock||Upgraded||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Stock||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
|76||75 (+1)||62 (+14)||49 (+27)||36 (+40)||23 (+53)||10 (+66)||1 (+75)||Yes|
|7.5 mm MAC 31|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in battles
Playing the H.35 is a hard task. Having such a bad gun, it cannot reliably engage a fight without getting the first shot off; hence, one must stick with its teammates in order to survive an encounter. Never drag attention on yourself since anything bigger than HMG fire will shred you at normal combat ranges (~500 m).
Since your turret armour is decent, a good way to use this tank can be to hide the hull behind a rock, an hill or any shell-proof prop and wait for the enemy to fall in your sights. This way, you will either be able to shoot at their weak side or have enough time to aim before they can react to your presence. Ensure yourself to pick a spot near a choke-point such as a capture point or a popular main road.
In urban maps, narrow streets and crossroad allows for many flanking and close-quarter action: follow your team, always cover behind allied vehicles and don't bother stealing a score from them since it's about the only good shots you will get on an enemy with such a poor vehicle.
Turn your back to the enemy and use your engine deck as a shield for the crew. Use this tactic anytime you are left alone and go find yourself another teammate. Don't use your reverse speed since it's too low : turn back and flee, your armour is as thick as on the front of your tank. Never stop to try a shot since your pursuers have a way better gun than yours.
Pros and cons
- Decent armour for its BR (at distances).
- Good depression of -13°.
- Tiny target.
- Thick and sloped turret makes good hull-down position.
- Coaxial MAC 31 MG.
- Arguably the worst beginner ground vehicle: very frustrating to play.
- It has the worst APCR-shot in the entire game.
- APCR deals only punctual damage: unable to one-shot anything but other French light tanks.
- Reload speed is a little on the slow side for the caliber.
- Not very mobile for a light tank.
- Tracks are narrow, offering poor cross-country capability.
- HP/ton ratio is unsatisfying (8.49 HP/ton).
- Only two crew member allows for no survivability, and barely so with crew replenishment.
Officially known as the Char Leger mle 1935 Hotchkiss (Hotchkiss Light Tank model 1935), this was a competitor with Renault's R.35 to replace the WWI-era FT-17 as France's infantry tank. While the infantry went with the R.35, the French cavalry adopted the H.35 to serve alongside the S.35 Somua. The R.35 and H.35 were very similar in construction and visual appearance, with the same turret and the SA 18 37mm main gun, a tank gun conversion of a 1916 infantry gun. Both tanks also used a cast hull, a novel idea in 1935. As with all French tanks, none were equipped with radios. The H.35, as a cavalry tank was heavier but also somewhat faster than the R.35.
In total 400 of the Hotchkiss model would be built, 300 for the cavalry and another 100 for the 13th and 38th independent tank battalions. Cavalry units equipped with the H.35 during the fall of France included the 4th Cuirassiers, the 11th (Motorized), 13th, 18th and 29th Dragoons, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Armored Car Regiments, and the 5th Divisional Reconnaissance Group, in total comprising 16 squadrons of 16-20 tanks each. Another three H.35s were on trials with the Polish Army at the onset of war in September, 1939. They, along with 4 stray R.35s, fought in an ad hoc unit on the Ukrainian front until the fall of Poland.
Another 900 R.35s, using the same turret, the SA 18 gun and a very similar hull, were in service in 1940, in 20 tank battalions, making it the most common tank in French service during the war. In total, somewhere between 1400 and 2000 of the Renault model would be built. Another 190 of the R.35s were exported pre-war, to Poland (50), Yugoslavia (50), Turkey (50), and Romania (40). Most of those in Polish service were with the 21st Light Tank Battalion, which escaped to Romania without seeing combat; it is unclear how many of the Yugoslav-purchased tanks were even delivered before the France fell, but those that arrived served with that country's 2nd Tank Battalion, which saw limited or no action during the 1941 invasion; after that country fell those R.35s would have been turned over to the Romanians as well. The Romanians would upgrade their R.35s with captured Russian 45 mm tank guns and continue to use them through to 1944.
The SA 18-armed R.35 also continued in service with Vichy France until 1942, and were used in fighting in Syria and North Africa. Another 124 SA 18-armed R.35s were turned over by the Germans to Italy, where they fought and were lost in the invasion of Sicily in 1942. The Germans converted another 174 R.35s to tank destroyers (PanzerJager), generally armed with 47mm guns in the place of turrets and used primarily in France and secondary theatres. 110 of these were still in service at the start of 1944.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
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Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
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|France light tanks|
|AMC||AMC.34 YR · AMC.35 (ACG.1)|
|AMX||AMX-13 (FL11) · AMX-13 · AMX-13-90 · AMX-13 (HOT) · AMX-13 (SS.11)|
|Hotchkiss||H.35 · H.39 · H.39 "Cambronne"|
|FCM.36 · R.35 (SA38) · Char 25t|