Hotchkiss H39 or Char léger modèle 1935 H modifié 39 was a French light tank developed prior to World War II.
Armour: 40mm, main armament: 37 mm SA38 gun.
An extension of H-35 tank was Char léger modèle 1935 H modifié 1939 (model 1935 H modification 1939), unofficially designated H-39, equipped with a more powerful engine with an output of 120 hp, which allowed for the development of higher speed. It is distinguished visually elevated engine compartment in the rear part of the fuselage. Factory designation was Hotchkiss modèle 38 série D, so common is also the unofficial designation H-38 to distinguish them from the model with improved weapons. The tank was adopted on equipment at the end of 1938, and deliveries began in March 1939.
In 1940 we started to deliver improved model H-39, which amended the main armament with the 37 mm gun Puteaux SA38 L/33 with long barrel, in a modified turret APX-R1. This model does not have a separate official designation. The improved towers with cannon SA38 rearmed also a few older tanks H-35.
The German army after the defeat of France captured approx. 600 tanks Hotchkiss H-35 H-38 H-39 and after refurbishment and modernization have been accepted for weapons as Panzer. 35H 734 (f) and Panzer. 39H 735 (f). Part of the vehicles have been converted into self-propelled howitzers (105 mm) and 75 mm anti-tank guns, 11 vehicles armed with rocket launchers 280 or 320 mm. These tanks fought on the eastern front and in Normandy in 1944. A number was assigned to 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen, fighting with the Tito partisans in Yugoslavia.
After the Allied landing in Normandy, 30 gained back PzKpfw 38H has been incorporated into the French army and were used even in 1945.