WW2 CZECHOSLOVAKIALight, medium & heavy tanks, armored cars
Around 900 armored vehicles in 1938
The Panzer 38(t) was a Czech-built good all-around light tank, mostly used by the Wehrmacht from the beginning of the war almost until the end.
Comparison graphics of Czech tanks
IntroductionSmall, but effective, the Czechoslovak army was one of the best of Central Europe in 1938. The country needed to protect its borders against turbulent neighbors and experienced since the treaty of Versailles in 1919 never-ending quarrels related to these lands inhabited by large foreign minorities. A such, Romania, Hungary and Poland had their eye on the Czech Republic, a single democracy surrounded by more or less authoritarian regimes. Its first threat, however, was Nazi Germany, because of the alleged large minorities (in fact majorities) of German-speaking people in the northern and western part of the country. As soon as 1936 various plans to organize interior insurrections appeared, the result of these culminating in countless border incidents and the Freikorps of Konrad Heinlein in Sudetenland.
The Czech army counted on industrial resources (mostly located in the northwest) and world-class industries, including car manufacturers which were valuable in order to form a basis for tank production, like Skoda and Praga, Aero, etc. Exports counted many excellent automatic rifles and machine-guns. The British Bren was actually based on a Czech regular machine-gun. In terms of armored equipment, the Czech army retained 7 Renault FTs purchased in 1921-22 and the Skoda Fiat-Torino (1920). They began to create their first domestic tank in 1929, as a MU-1 tankette, inspired by the British Vickers Mk.VI design. A talented Hungarian-born engineer, Joseph Vollmer
Around 140 light tanks- Vollmer KH-50/60/70 tanks (1925-30): 5 prototypes, 3 exported - none active by 1938.
- Adamov Tancik vz. 33 (P-I) tankettes (1933-34): a series of 70 plus 4 prototypes (one given to Iran).
- MU-2 to MU-6 tankettes: 5 prototypes - serviceable in 1938.
- Skoda S-I-p (1937): prototype, fate unknown.
- Skoda S-I-d (1935): prototype, fate unknow.
- Skoda T-32 (S-I-d) (1936): exported to Yugoslavia.
- Skoda T-3D (S-I-j) (1938): pre-series prototype, production cancelled after the breakup of Czechoslovakia.
- CKD AH-IV (1938): 157 built, export only.
- Skoda F-IV-H (1938-41): 3 amphibious tank prototypes. Never in active service.
- Skoda SO-T (1938-39): 1 amphibious light tank prototype. Never in active service.
- Renault FT (1921-22): 7 vehicles, including 3 cannon armed, one command and one radio. In service in 1938.
- Skoda SU (1934): prototype of the S-IIa series. Fate unknown.
- Skoda CKD P-II LT vz. 34 (1932-36): 50 vehicles, production started in 1934, torsion arm suspension, 37 mm (1.46 in) gun and machine gun.
- Skoda P-IIa (1935): improved version of the P-II. Never accepted for service.
- Skoda S-IIb (1936): prototype, simplified, lighter version of the LT vz. 35. Never accepted for service.
- Skoda P-IIb (1936): prototype, modified version of the LT vz. 35. Never accepted for service.
- Skoda SP-IIb (1938): prototype, modified version of the LT vz. 35. Never accepted for service.
- CKD vz. 38 (1938): Produced initially for the Czech army, became operational only a few days before the German occupation. Better known and well-produced as the Pz.38(t) - 1,411 produced until 1942 under German supervision.
- CKD TNH (1938). Export model of the vz. 38. Sold to Iran (THN), Peru (TNP), Switzerland (TNH) and Lithuania (LTL). 130 total.
298 medium tanks- 298 CKD LT vz.35 (S-IIa/T-11, 1935-40): production started in 1935, Rushed in service and modified during production. Also used by the Germans as the Pz. 35(t), 219 being modified under their supervision in 1939-40. 10 were sent to the Bulgarian army, and 126 exported to Romania as the R-2. (434 in all).
- Skoda SP-III (1934-38): 2 prototypes, modified version of the LT vz. 35, with a short infantry gun. Never accepted for service.
- Skoda S-IIc (1939): 1 prototype, Modified version of the LT vz. 35, with a pneumatic steering and new gear, license sold to Hungary.
- Skoda LKMVP (1939): 1 prototype, tank hunter. Put in service by the Waffen SS in 1940.
- CKD V-8 H or vz. 39 (1939): 2 prototypes, improved version of the vz. 35.
110 armored cars- 12 Skoda Fiat-Torino (1920): Base on an Italian Lorry and entirely armored by Skoda with 2 machines guns in turrets.
- 2 Skoda PA-I (1923): prototypes of a 7.6 ton armored car. 2 machine-guns.
- 12 Skoda PA-II Zvelva (1924-25): symmetrical model, armed with 4 Maxim machine guns.
- 15 Skoda PA-III (1929): sharp-angled hull, 2 vz.7/24 and a heavy ZB vz.26 machine guns.
- 15 Skoda PA-IV (1929): improved model of the former. 3 Maxim machine guns, or 2 and a hull 37 mm (1.46 in) gun.
- 51 Tatra Koprivnice T-72 (1933-34): six-wheeled, 3 machine guns, 2.78 ton light armored cars.
- 3 other prototypes.
Overview of all Czech tanks
An archive of Czech tanks