The Char léger modèle 1935 H modifié 39 (Hotchkiss light tank 1938 model H) 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.39 features a potent gun, an improved armour thickness from its predecessor while keeping the same engine, which makes it, even fully upgraded, a very slow-paced tank.
As a rank 1 French tank, this vehicle is quite reluctant to its likes: under-powered engine and gun with a decent armour at distances. This is a close support tank that is best used in urban maps, following its teammates and waiting for a good shot opportunity.
With a rather constant 50 mm effective thickness from all sides, this tank can certainly take a good beating if spotted at distances (500+ m). Avoid facing heavy guns and you should survive long-range engagements. From closer, you are vulnerable...but you actually need to close in with your foes in order to have a chance (see "Firepower"). With only 2 crewmen, any penetrating shot could be your last.
While not having the best mobility, this tank surely can carry its user wherever it wants, provided there is not too steep hills and/or soft ground: this tank's narrow tracks and low power ratio makes for a poor cross-country capability (for a tracked vehicle).
The new 37 mm is a better gun than its predecessor in every possible way. Not only does this shoots actual AP shells (more shrapnel on penetrating shots) but it also got 50% more penetration while keeping the same (long) reload rate. Know your enemy's inside well, target its gunner first or immobilize it by shooting at the engine. Take your time while aiming as every shot is important. Remember your opponents mainly have twice your firing rate and more penetration. Avoid long range engagements 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 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 @ 90°|
|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 a few shots whenever the opportunity shows. Use your decent mobility to assist short flanking manoeuvres (i.e.:in urban maps) and fire at your foe's weak sides.
In hilly terrain, stick with your teammates near the capture point and wait for anything to fall in your sights. Make sure to immobilize the target on your first shot. As your reload time is quite slow and half of your crew resides in the exposed turret, get back into cover for the reload time and pop out a few meters away from your last spot.
Pros and cons
- Tiny profile
- Tiny tank
- Has MAC 31 coaxial MG
- Better engine than its predecessor
- -13° of gun depression
- Has LOCK, which makes stop-and-shoot tactics easier and faster.
- Decent reverse speed of -7 km/h
- Can be very strongly angled due to thick side armour (up to ~60 mm LOS thickness)
- Arguably the best French rank 1 vehicle.
- Only one choice of ammunition.
- That one choice has no explosive filler
- Only two crew members, one knocked out means tank destroyed.
- Long reload time
- Narrow tracks means poor ground flotation.
- Poor penetration
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:
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