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The Char léger modèle 1935 H modifié 39 (Hotchkiss light tank model 1935 modified 1939) is a reserve 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 replaced the H.35 as one of France's two reserve vehicles in Update 1.85 "Supersonic". Compared to its predecessor, the H.39 features a serviceable gun, thicker armour, and a significantly more powerful engine, which makes it, when fully upgraded, surprisingly speedy on flat ground for low level French tanks.
Nevertheless, this vehicle's gun and mobility are below average compared its peers from other nations. While it is mobile in a straight line, it maneuvers slowly and its narrow tracks slow it down substantially cross-country. The H.39 should be played as a close support tank, best utilized in urban maps and following its teammates while waiting for a good shot opportunity.
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.
The 37 mm SA38 has significantly better penetration and post-penetration damage than its predecessor, but has a longer reload rate than its peers. Know your enemies' insides well, target their gunners first or immobilize them by shooting at the engine, and take care to make every shot count. Avoid exchanging shots at long distances as your gun's penetration values decrease heavily.
Survivability and armour
- Cast homogeneous armour
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 40 mm (8-87°) Front plate
22 mm (75-85°), 40 mm (31°) Front glacis
40 mm (30°) Lower glacis
| 40 mm (1-33°)
40 mm (1-2°)
| 40 mm (24-30°) Top
40 mm (9-32°) Bottom
|Turret|| 45 + 25 mm (5°) Turret front
45 mm (28-30°) Left side
25 mm (10-19°) Gun mantlet
|40 mm (1-27°)||40 mm (8-63°)||25 mm|
|Cupola||40 mm||40 mm|
- Suspension wheels, bogies, and tracks are all 15 mm thick.
- Turret ring is 35 mm thick with a 5 mm protective collar.
- Trench-crossing tail at the hull rear is 5 mm thick.
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armor
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|37 mm SA38 L/33|
|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)||10 (+66)||1 (+75)||Yes|
|7.5 mm MAC 31|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in the battles
Use the same tactics as with other French rank 1 vehicles; follow the pack and take shots whenever the opportunity shows. Use your decent mobility to assist in flanking manoeuvres (i.e. in urban maps) and put shots into your enemies' weak sides. Find hard cover that can't be shot through, angle strongly, and poke in and out between your shots, as your reload can't match that of your opponents.
On maps with hilly terrain, stick with your teammates near the capture point, go hull-down, and wait for anything to fall in your sights. Try to immobilize your target on your first shot. Get back into cover between reloads and pop out a few meters away from your last spot.
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, which has no explosive filler
- Sub-par penetration
- Long reload
- Driver's hatch is almost completely vertical
- Narrow tracks means poor ground flotation
An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as 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;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|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.39 · Char 25t|