Hotchkiss H.39, first tank of Israel

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​caid’s suggestion #17


i would like to suggest a tank decently armored but just okay in everything else, the H39


the H39 is the famous WW2 French light tank intended for the cavalry who’s was a more mobile and better-armed version of the H35. the French already have this tank in the game. but Israel also used it. it was one of the first tanks Israel ever used. acquired in 1948 from the stock of WW2 vehicles withdrawn from services, Haganah had bought 10 of those tanks for their armoured force. that is not a large number but it was enough to start their armoured force. they served with the 8th brigade which formed the elite of the Haganah militia and very likely the first proper Israeli tanks. they served during the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 but in the summer of 1948, after the failed attack of the 82nd Armoured Battalion on Iraq al-Manshiya (Kiryat Gat) where the Israeli realized the Hotchkiss tank was just unfit to fight the enemy tank. the tanks needed high maintenance, and the spare parts were difficult to find. the tank was withdrawn from service and most of them were scrapped and their guns salvaged for mounting them on other vehicles.

a notable Israeli version used was the ex-German H.39. The German had modified the H.39 with a new commander’s copula who’s was flat top. this allows the commander to exit the tank faster in an emergency. at least 6 of them was used. but the original French copula was also used (at least 3 of them). so we sort of have 2 types of H.39



the main armament was the 37mm SA38 gun , the gun had a decent rate of fire with 15 rounds minutes and a penetration that was a bit lacklustre but still capable with 50mm at 100m using APC rounds . the turret turns on 360° at a speed of 15° sec. there is also a coax LMG which is a 7.5mm MAC 31 . 76 rounds could be carried for the 37mm which is quite enough. the elevation -13°/+20° which allows a very versatile use in all terrain.

as the Israeli didn’t got the French Mle 1938 in their inventory, it would be normal not to have it. Israel did refitted the French HE cartridge with a American 37mm Armour piercing round. this could be the M51B1 but this is not specified. the round have a very different weight and the velocity will change the anti-tank performence. until more infos are found, i think we could just keep the French round as place holder.


The mobility of the H.39 is okay. the tank capable of reaching 36 km/h on the road is not bad at all. the vehicles would have an average mobility in comparison to many rank 1 tanks. weighting 12.1 tonnes the tanks are also relatively light. the engine providing 120 hp is a bit weak but with its light weight, it remains enough to give a p ower-weight of 10 hp/tonnes . the overall mobility would just be average without more.


the protection is probably the best feature of this tank. with actual 40mm of armour on every side you can hit, the tank would also often bounce the round as well as the slightly slopped armour would increase the armour effectiveness in many cases. the turret front is a bit more armoured with 45mm . the tank could take many hits without letting any penetrate and can be rather hard to destroy at long range. but the crew of 2 men make it easy to destroy when the rounds penetrate.



+1 for expanding the Israeli tree down to 1.0. The current price tag and higher BR start means playing Israel is not a choice available to new players, which leads to lower numbers playing it.

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it is also unfair to play a tank of rank 4 without trained crew.

even if there were identical tank in the other techtree. let’s said that the US had a M-51 too, the American one would fare much better due to the fact that before playing it, the American had a dozen vehicles to grind. while Israel didn’t. the crew would have a lot of skills and maybe could be a level high enough to train it right away. while Israel have level 0

having a better crew give you about 5 to 10% chance of sucess. in many time it make the difference between win and die when you are in dificulty

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