I'm afraid it is not that simple. Yes, it's a Hotchkiss but the exact name is a bit more complicated. The factory plans called it 'char léger modèle 1938 série D'. Officially it was known as the 'char léger modèle 1935 H modifié 1939'. You might want to call it a H35/39. Today we just call it the H39 just as the French Army did.Luftflotte2 wrote:This must be an H35
The H35 was the predecessor of the H39. There are clear visual differences such as different boogies and wheels, different engine and engine deck. I recommend this link for both Hotchkiss types and the R35 as well: http://www.chars-francais.net/new/index ... &Itemid=78
Is that all? No, not really. The 'char léger modèle 1935 H modifié 1939' is sometimes referred to as the H38 as well. This is supposed to distinguish the vehicles with the long(=H39) and short (=H38) 37mm guns. To the best of my knowledge this was not an official difference and never used by the French Army at all. I suspect it was a post-war invention, but I can't prove that.
Funnily the Germans had their own confusing thoughts on giving the vehicles a new name.
They knew the H35 as the Panzerkampfwagen 35H 734(f) and the H39 as the Panzerkampfwagen 38H 735(f). Some people say they also used Panzerkampfwagen 39H 735(f) for vehicles with the long gun, but I'm unable to confirm that from original sources. Personally I just use Pz.Pkf.W. 38H for both types, especially since the Germans referred to their conversion as '........ 38H', not 39H. But the easiest thing to do is what the French army did: call them both 'H39', which generally has my personal preference.
No matter what you call it, your photograph clearly is not just simply a H35. Fun isn't it ?
I still have the feeling the confusion of the H39 and H38 could very well be a post-war mix up when trying to explain the French and German names and seeing the different guns as an explanation for them. Can anyone confirm the German used the '39H' at all, and if that was indeed preserved for the vehicles with the long guns? At number of books suggest it is but fail to produce any evidence. Is there even any?