Hotchkiss H-39 Light Tank

Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:54 pm

The Hotchkiss H-39 Light Tank was the last tank in the Hotchkiss H series and the only tank in the series with a long-barreled main gun.

The H-38, an interim version that was built after the H-35, had a better 120 hp petrol engine than the H-35, but it kept the H-35’s 1.46 inch (37 mm) main gun, which completely ineffective against German forces.

Although it had a better gun than its predecessors, the H-39 still was no match for contempory German tanks.

(Although the H-39’s main gun had a longer barrel than that of the H-35 and the H-38, the gun was of the same caliber.)
Hotchkiss H-39 Light Tank
In 1940, when the Germans captured Hotchkiss H-39s, they removed their turrets and used them as “schleppers” (tractors) for carrying weapons and munitions. They did the same with the H-35s and H-38s that they captured.

The Germans fitted radio sets on 6 ½ foot long antennae and attached these to the right-hand mudguards of the H-39s.  They used these tanks in Russia and the Mediterranean.


Hotchkiss H-39

Active: 1939
Crew: 2
Weight: 11.9 tons (12,100kg)
Length: 13ft 10in (4.23m)
Height: 7ft 1in (2.16m)
Width: 6ft 5in (1.96m)
Weapons: Main – 1.46in (37mm) gun, Secondary – 0.295 inch (7.5mm) machinegun
Armor Maximum – 1.57in (40mm)
Engine: Hotchkiss 1938 6-cylinder gasoline, 120hp
Speed: 22.7mph (36.5kph)
Range: 93.2 miles (150 km)