|This page is about the premium French tank H.39 "Cambronne". For the regular version, see H.39.|
The H.39 "Cambronne" 14eBCC is a premium rank I French light tank with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance" and was part of the 2017 "Christmas presents" giveaway.
It is functionally identical to the standard H.39 in every way except it lacks the 5 mm trench-crossing tail at the hull rear.
Survivability and armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (hull, turret, cupola)
- Structural steel (mudguards, trench-crossing tail, exhaust cover)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 40 mm (8-33°) Upper plate
22 mm (74-79°)Upper glacis
40 mm (30°) Lower glacis
| 40 mm (1-25°) Top
40 mm Bottom
| 40 mm (26-29°) Top
40 mm (29-31°) Bottom
| 22 mm (14-15°) Front glacis |
22 mm (0-4°) Centre & rear
|Turret|| 45 mm (4-28°) Turret front
45 mm (28-30°) Left side
25 mm (10-11°) + 45 mm (4°) Gun mantlet
|40 mm (0-28°)||40 mm (30°)|| 25 mm (22°) Front |
25 mm Centre and rear
|Cupola|| 40 mm (cylindrical) Base |
40 mm (spherical) Dome
- Suspension wheels, bogies and tracks are 15 mm thick.
- Turret ring is 35 mm thick with a 5 mm protective collar.
- The trench-crossing tail is 5 mm thick and the mudguards are 4 mm thick.
With a rather constant 45-50 mm effective thickness from all sides, this tank can be a hard nut to crack if spotted at a good distance (500+ m), and can take a good beating up close if care is taken to properly angle and avoid tanks with especially potent guns. However, its armour should not be relied upon; most reserve tank guns are capable of penetrating its raw armour thickness and have faster reloads, so hard cover should be utilized generously. With only 2 crewmen, any penetrating shot could be your last.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The top speed is reasonable for a light tank but it takes the H.39 "Cambronne" quite long to build up speed. The lack of neutral steering makes turning on the spot difficult: make sure to build a little speed before turning. Every turn will also bleed your speed. The reverse speed is a bit lacking: it won't get you out of a dangerous situation quickly enough but it isn't a handicap either. The H.39 "Cambronne" reaches 13 km/h when fording and 8 km/h when driving uphill. Narrow tracks also mean poor mobility on soft terrain (mud, snow, sand). Light obstacles (fences, posts, bushes and small trees) are not a problem for the H.39 "Cambronne" but medium to large obstacles will drastically reduce your mobility as your acceleration is slow: try to avoid them.
Modifications and economy
The SA38 gun offers a reasonable penetration power at its battle rating. Its higher than average muzzle velocity allows for a flat firing trajectory but the accuracy drop is noticeable from 500 m distance and becomes a handicap over 700 m. The rotation speed of the turret is good compared to other tanks at the same rank or battle rating. Elevation and depression angles of the gun are important, allowing you to fire from unusual positions (behind a ridge, on a slope, etc.). Your recoil is nonexistent. The shoulder-stop stabilizer allows for a good targeting but at very slow speed. The reload times of the gun are in line with other light tanks at the same BR. The weak accuracy of the gun (due to its shortness) coupled with the absence of post-penetration damage from the solid shot are the biggest weaknesses of the armament. This will cause you to have to shoot enemy tanks repeatedly to destroy them entirely.
|37 mm SA38 L/33||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The H.39 "Cambronne" has a very limited choice of ammunition:
- Mle1938: APC; a solid shot with average penetration and no explosive filler. Make sure to target modules and crew positions to maximise the damage. Knowledge of enemy vehicle layouts is essential with this type of ammunition.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Fuse delay|| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|76||76 (+0)||75 (+1)||68 (+8)||62 (+14)||55 (+21)||49 (+27)|
|42 (+34)||36 (+40)||29 (+47)||23 (+53)||16 (+60)||10 (+66)||1 (+75)||Yes|
- The visual discrepancy concerns racks 1 to 4. Racks 1 and 2 are modeled but never filled. Racks 3 and 4 are modeled but empty after only 1 shell is removed from either of them.
- The racks 5 to 15 disappear when all shells in the racks have been shot/loaded.
- Packing 23 (+53) shells is a good compromise to have enough shells at your disposal while reducing drastically the risk of ammo rack detonation.
|7.5 mm MAC 31|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
The small calibre of the MAC 31 machine gun makes it largely ineffective against all armoured vehicles but the ones with an open compartment. It still can be used to ping targets as a rangefinding help or to mow down minor obstacles blocking your line of sight.
Usage in battles
- Offensive role
The H.39 "Cambronne" was designed as a light infantry tank. It should be played as a support tank, taking advantage of its good cannon, armour and mobility. By playing as a support tank, you will help kill enemy tanks and thus turn the tide of engagements on the frontline. Once the enemy is destroyed, your mobility allows you to move forward together with frontline tanks and help capturing objectives. Stay close to the frontline to maximize penetration power and support spearheading tanks with it, all while staying away from the frontline to avoid being flanked or swarmed. When engaging enemy tanks, angle your tank to maximize your armour. Your cannon can take on most opponents but your only shell lacks post-penetration damage.
- Defensive role
In the event the spearhead tanks of your team get crushed by the enemy, you will then play a defensive role by containing enemy breakthrough attempts. Being at a (short) distance from the frontline will force enemy tanks to drive in the open to get to you. Play with a nearby obstacle you can use as cover if you get hit and need to repair. Have a planned escape plan as the enemy will try to use artillery or CAS to dislodge you from cover. Make good use of your gun depression and fire from the cover of a ridge. Aim precisely to immobilize enemy targets on your first shot. Get back into cover between reloads and pop out a few metres away from your last spot.
- Other roles
If you try to use the H.39 "Cambronne" in a different role on the battlefield, you will quickly reach its limits:
- If you try to play as a frontline tank, you will take shots from long range tank destroyers that will disable your tank: your armour is sloped but not very thick and not enough for long guns. Your limited crew makes it easy to incapacitate you. You will also be easily flanked by light tanks or armoured cars, especially if they swarm you. Your reverse speed is too poor to get you out of hot spots quickly enough. Only 1-on-1 engagements should be performed in this role.
- If you attempt to play long range engagements, your good gun depression will be useful but your short gun will lack accuracy and your shell penetration will greatly drop over distance. Any successful enemy penetrating shot will disable your tank.
- Notable enemies
Many tanks are capable of easily disabling you. By order of lethality:
- Long range tank destroyers
- Howitzers with powerful HE shells
- Tanks with HEAT shells
- Frontline tanks with APHE shells
- Light tanks or armoured cars with autocannons
- Defeating a H.39 "Cambronne"
The H.39 "Cambronne" has several weak spots:
- In a frontal encounter, the driver's hatch or the almost vertical hull below the turret are the easiest to target.
- When flanking, aim for the flanks right under the turret.
- In all situations the turret cupola is a sure way to knock out the gunner.
Pros and cons
- Tiny tank with tiny profile
- -13° of gun depression
- Has a gun stabilizer mechanic, which makes stop-and-shoot tactics easier and faster
- MAC 31 is an excellent coaxial MG
- Thick all-around armour that can be very strongly angled
- Moderately powerful engine that can keep it at its 41 km/h top speed on flat ground
- Decent reverse speed of -7 km/h
- Arguably the best French rank 1 tank
- Only 2 crew members
- Only one choice of ammunition, with no explosive filler
- Sub-par penetration
- Long reload for the calibre
- Driver's hatch is almost completely vertical
- Narrow tracks means poor ground flotation
The H.39 "Cambronne" belonged to the 14ème Bataillon de Chars de Combat (14th Battle Tanks Battalion) of the French Army. The 14th was created in August 1939 and composed of 45 H.39 tanks, organised in 3 companies of 15 tanks. In addition to the tank companies, the battalion also consisted of 3 special-purpose tanks, 16 APC, 33 light trucks, 41 heavy duty trucks, 15 tractors, 4 trailers and 51 bikes for a total of around 550 soldiers.
The 14ème BCC was deployed in May 1940 in the Aisne region 30 km from the Belgian border, along the river Oise whose bridges they defended from westbound German forces. The 14th was involved in harsh engagements with Germans tank divisions outnumbering them. They suffered heavy losses while defending the bridges: within a week the Battalion had only 12 out of 45 tanks left. The remaining elements of the battalion fell back towards Paris, merged with the remnants of another tank battalion and kept fighting advancing German tank divisions until June.
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
|Light tanks||H.35 · H.39 · H.39 "Cambronne"|
|France light tanks|
|AMC.34/35||AMC.34 YR · AMC.35 (ACG.1)|
|H.35/39||H.35 · H.39 · H.39 "Cambronne"|
|E.B.R.||E.B.R. (1951) · E.B.R. (1954) · E.B.R. (1963)|
|AMX-13||AMX-13 (FL11) · AMX-13-M24 · AMX-13 · AMX-13 (SS.11) · AMX-13-90 · AMX-13 (HOT)|
|Wheeled||AMD.35 · AML-90 · AMX-10RC|
|Other||FCM.36 · R.35 (SA38) · Char 25t · MARS 15|
|Great Britain||▄Crusader Mk.II|
|USA||LVT-4/40 · ▄M3A3 Stuart|
|France premium ground vehicles|
|Light tanks||H.39 "Cambronne" · LVT-4/40 · AMX-13 (SS.11) · AMX-13-M24 · E.B.R. (1954) · E.B.R. (1963)|
|Medium tanks||M4A1 (FL10) · Panther "Dauphiné" · AMX-30 · AMX-30 Super|
|Heavy tanks||B1 ter · 2C bis · Somua SM|
|Tank destroyers||Lorraine 155 Mle.50|