The Nationalists Strike Back
The ‘Panzer I Breda’ (an unofficial name) is a rare conversion from the mid-Spanish Civil War. It was intended as a means of countering the Republican army’s Soviet-supplied vehicles (mainly the T-26 and BA-6). Nationalist forces only typically had CV-35s and Panzer Is armed with machine guns, which were not able to perform AT (anti-tank duties), and as a result, a proposal to mount a 20mm gun onto a tank chassis was put forward. However, as large numbers of captured Soviet-supplied material became available to the Nationalist forces, the Panzer I Breda was no longer required, and only four vehicles were converted. Two are known to have been knocked out before the end of the war, and it is quite possible that the other two did not survive either due to gun barrel damage.
Panzer I Breda “351” of the 3a Compañia (3rd Company, Command). Undated, unlocated. Usually, a black ‘M’ would denote ‘Mando’ (Command), but this vehicle has an ‘E’, believed to still indicate that it belonged to the Command unit. Artemio Mortera Perez, however, believes that this indicates it belongs to the 3a Sección (not least because it is sometimes pictured with a T-26 M1936 of 3a Compañia/3a Sección. The black ‘E’ in the white diamond may mean ‘Especial’ (Special), but this is not proven. This vehicle suffered a broken piston connecting rod on 26th January 1939, and on 28th March, the engine set on fire. The righthand side exhaust is also missing.
Context: First Nationalist encounter with a T-26
Even the most generalist histories on the Spanish Civil War remind the reader that with their 45mm guns, Soviet-built Republican vehicles were able to outfight Nationalist vehicles, which were armed with only machine guns. Moreover, Republican armored forces were also able to outfight Nationalist/Nationalist-allied forces at a basic level leading to unnecessary Nationalist losses, even despite losing the initiative, suffering significant losses to Condor Legion aerial attacks, and engaging in suicidal offensives (examples including the Battle of Brunete, 1937, and the Ebro Offensive, 1938).
Soviet military hardware for the Republicans arrived in Spain on October 4th, 1936, and the first Nationalist encounter with a T-26 tank is reported as taking place during one of two Republican counterattacks as late as late-October or early December 1936 at Seseña (situated south of Madrid, and northeast of Toledo). Nationalist forces also had to rely on towed artillery or exceptionally brave soldiers armed with local variants of the Molotov cocktail (as in this case) for AT duties, which was not considered viable.
Subsequently, the Nationalists had to develop an AFV that was able to provide significant AT duties that was at least on par with the Republican T-26 and BT-5. As a result, a proposal to mount a gun capable of AT duties onto an existing tank chassis was put forward.
The early design stages
Two 20mm guns were put forward for the conversion. These were the Flak 30 and the Breda Model 1935. Whilst both guns were capable of destroying armored vehicles from reasonable distances, the Breda was likely chosen because it was simpler in design and had fewer moving parts, meaning that the gun would be more reliable, and maintenance would be substantially easier.
In summer, 1937, a request was made to a delegation of the CTV (Corpo Truppe Volontarie, an Italian unit) to donate a CV-35 and a 20mm Breda Modelo 1935 gun to the Nationalist army for tests. CV-35 chassis number 2694 was eventually handed over and work began on installing the new gun.
Before the work was complete, Spanish Generals involved in the project decided that the developments seemed very promising, and as a result, General HQ ordered 40 more CV-35s to be modified. However, this order amounted to nothing because General García Pallasar wrote to General HQ about the possibility of having a 20mm gun mounted on a Panzer I, which he thought would be better as it is a much larger vehicle. This was accepted, and a request was made to a German delegation to transfer over a Panzer I for modification.
The Panzer I Breda is born
A Panzer I Ausf. A was transferred and modified with the new gun at some point before late September 1937. Importantly, the new Breda gun was given a gas protection shield, in order to prevent gas from leaking into the tank and harming the crew, and a gun shield for additional armor. The Panzer I’s turret had to be modified in order to mount the large 20mm gun, specifically to allow vertical aiming for its intended AT duties.
The turret of the Panzer I was enlarged for the purposes of mounting the new, larger gun by welding a new superstructure to the existing turret. The original gun mantlet was also removed and replaced by bolting on a much larger, curved mantlet. The original turret hatch was even retained and mounted on the new superstructure. A viewport was also cut into the structure which allowed the gun to be aimed.
By late September 1937, both the modified CV-35 and Panzer I were ready for trials and were then brought to the recently-captured city of Bilbao via lorries (as many tanks were transported in Spain). Results of the tests showed that the modified Panzer I was the superior vehicle, likely owing to it having a traversable turret and more internal space. Shortly after tests ended, three more Panzer I Ausf. As were converted in the Fábrica de Armas in Seville, and other conversion tests on the Panzer I were later attempted (see sidenote below).
However, a spanner was thrown into the works by General Von Thoma, commander of the ground elements of the Condor Legion. The aforementioned viewport was simply just a hole and was therefore totally unarmored. As a result, it became the subject of significant criticism.
Condemnation from Von Thoma
One commonly mentioned reason as to why only four vehicles were built is that by 1938, the Nationalists had captured significant numbers of T-26s and BA-3/6s, which were being incorporated into the army. With their 45mm guns, these were superior in design to the Panzer I Breda, and therefore the vehicle was effectively redundant. The basic facts of this are correct – the Panzer I Breda was, indeed, made redundant, but this is not the real reason for the project’s termination. The suggestion in contemporary documentary evidence is clear in that Von Thoma was strongly opposed to the conversion because of the poor crew safety resulting from the unarmored viewport, and as a result, he was able to convince the Cuartel General del Generalissimo to cancel the order for more vehicles.
On 6th January 1938, General Pallasar ordered Tentiente Coronel Pujales, the commander of Agrupación de Tanques del Legion Española to deliver six more Panzer I Breda tanks. Two days later on 8th January, Von Thoma penned a letter with significant criticisms, stating: “The people who built it call it the ‘Death Car’“, suggesting that the vehicle’s aiming port, being just a hole, was insufficiently protected with no apparent solution. Von Thoma even reported that crew members refused to even get in the vehicles because they considered them so dangerously unprotected. He also stated, as a final nail in the coffin, that there were simply not enough tanks to go around, and the vehicles could not be spared for the conversion. As a result of this letter, the order for more conversions was canceled the following day by the Cuartel General of the Generalissimo.
General Pallasar was clearly unhappy with the decision and responded to Von Thoma’s complaint by asking General HQ a simple question. He asked whether it would be better to remove the only highly mobile AT duty tank they had, or to run the risk of some tank crewmen receiving injuries inside the tank because of a lucky rifle shot through the aiming port (which he even suggested should be closed until aiming was necessary in order to prevent this minuscule danger).
The Cuartel General del Generalissimo gave their reply on 24th January, suggesting that Von Thoma and Pallasar should see if mounting bulletproof glass over the hole, supplied by the Germans, would resolve the issue. It seems as though on 25th January, Pallasar agreed. The glass must have eventually been fitted, as Lucas Molina Franco (a modern scholar) reports an invoice for “Bullet-proof glass for tanks” costing a total of 4861.08 Reichsmarks.
Despite the effort to improve the safety of the crew, it seems as though no more vehicles were modified thanks to Von Thoma’s successful complaint campaign.
There is, indeed, a question to be asked on how genuine Von Thoma’s fears for crew safety were. An enemy rifleman being accurate or lucky enough to shoot through the small unarmored aiming port seems quite unlikely. It is entirely possible, given Von Thoma’s hint towards an insufficient number of German AFVs, that he was potentially trying to sell the Spanish more tanks – something which may not have happened due to the capture and integration of Soviet-supplied vehicles into the Nationalist army.
Operational organization of the Panzer I Breda
On 1st October 1937, the vehicles were supplied to Primer Batallón de Carros de Combate. On 1st March 1938, they were reassigned into Bandera de Carros de Combate de la Legión (which existed between 12th February 1938 and 31st November 1938). The Bandera de Carros de Combate de la Legión was formed by two Grupos which were subdivided into Compañias. 1a Compañia, 2a, and 3a were in 1er Grupo, and 4a, 5a, and 6a were in 2o Grupo. The Panzer I Bredas are believed to have been divided into these four Compañias:
- 1a Compañia (Primera – First)
- 2a Compañia (Segunda – Second) Note: It is possible that this may actually have been 5a, according to combat reports, see below.
- 3a Compañia (Tercera – Third)
- 4a Compañia (Cuarta – Fourth)
On 1st October 1938, the vehicles were reassigned to Agrupación de Carros de Combate de la Legión – apparently their final user.
Operational Colours and Identifying Individual Vehicles
The camouflage scheme of the Panzer I Breda has been the subject of significant speculation. The original chassis of the vehicle would have been the usual three-tone Buntfarbenanstrich – Panzer grey was not instituted until July 1940.
Over time, it is known that the vehicles would have their new turret superstructures painted (and the rest of the turret would also likely be homogenized). This means that there is quite a variety in camouflage schemes between all four vehicles, some of which are closer to the original Buntfarbenanstrich scheme than others. In any case, all of the vehicles appear to have used a three-tone scheme similar to Buntfarbenanstrich, using roughly the same colors (in reality, likely local Spanish military grade paints that were not quite the same shades as German paints).
Tactical / unit / operational markings also changed at least two or three times. Prior to December 1938, Spanish tanks used a letters system, whereby they would be given a letter of the alphabet to distinguish their units. After December 1938, a standardized system was put into place, whereby each tank had unit markings based on shapes – diamonds and circles, and were given a Spanish Legion marking in white. However, not all vehicles can be accounted for in both of these systems due to a lack of photographic evidence.
Regardless of the changes in camouflage and markings, by breaking them down into the Compañias system of Bandera de Carros de Combate de la Legión (for a standardization of reference), the following can be used as a general guide for differentiation between vehicles (attempting, as best as possible, to keep in mind that some vehicles may have changed Compañias):
- 1a Compañia’s Panzer I Breda’s markings are unclear because of a lack of photos. According to one photo (far too grainy to be conclusive), there might have been a large ‘H’ in white on the upper glacis plate. There was also a Nationalist flag painted a few inches to the right of the driver’s viewport. It may generally be assumed that, like the other Panzer I Bredas, this tank was painted in a three-tone scheme of some sort.
- 2a Compañia’s Panzer I Breda is shown in the little available photographs to have had a (faded) white ‘L’ on the lower glacis plate, and a Nationalist flag a few inches to the right of the driver’s viewport, with a small, white circle painted next to the flag. The ‘L’ indicates that these are the vehicle’s markings before December 1938, as from that date, the markings of Nationalist armor was being standardized from the original letters system into a numbers system. This tank is also believed to have had a three tone camouflage, painted on locally. The colors are likely to have been similar to Buntfarbenanstricht, but much more radiant. The new turret superstructure, for example, appears to have been painted with a very dark color (possibly dark green), whereas the rest of the vehicle is likely to be lighter green or sand and brown. In fact, one photo seems to indicate the hull to have retained the original Buntfarbenanstrich.
- 3a Compañia’s Panzer I Breda is shown in extant photos to have had a white Spanish Legion symbol (a halberd and crown crossed with a crossbow, and blunderbuss) on the right hand side of the driver’s port, and a white diamond with a black letter ‘E’ in the middle of the diamond (possibly meaning ‘Especial’) on the right of the Spanish Legion symbol. It also had the number 531 in white on the upper glacis plate behind the central headlamp. These markings were painted on from any point after December 1938, and the vehicle likely had fewer markings before that date.
The colour scheme visible in most photographs (likely painted also painted after December 1938) appears to be very close to the original Buntfarbenanstricht, except the white (or very light brown, as colour footage seems to indicate) stripes are much more radiant (most evidently on the turret and side of the hull). The turret also appears to have been painted darker. This may be an optical illusion caused by the painting of the same paint onto two different metal types (IE the original turret and the new superstructure), or perhaps even an effect caused (or exacerbated) by shadows resulting from the slight outwards sloping of the new superstructure.
The vehicle is also missing its right-hand side exhaust pipe.
- 4a Compañia’s Panzer I Breda had a large white cross on the hull below the driver’s port. Whilst it might seem to be an aerial recognition Saint Andrew’s Cross, it is actually more likely a unit marking pre-December, 1938. A Nationalist flag was also painted directly on the right of the driver’s port.
The turret appears to be painted with a sort of ‘globular’ or ‘amoeba’ paint scheme, whereas the hull looks to be kept in its original Buntfarbenanstrich.
According to one photograph, after transfer into Bandera de Carros de Combate de la Legión in March 1938, the tank had a crudely painted Cruz de Borgoña on the right side of the hull, (a red cross with a white background) indicating that the crew were Carlists. Carlist crews are known to often display their own insignia on their vehicles, even despite General Franco’s official orders for unity among the Nationalist. The photo also shows that the tank had a long Spanish Nationalist flag painted on the rear of the hull (above the engine deck, but below the turret). The only evidence for the vehicle with the Cruz painted on being from 4a Compañia’s is that Mortera Perez reports this vehicle to belongs to 2o Grupo de la Bandera de Carros (thus, if he is correct, it must belong to 4a Compañia, because 4a was the only Compañia in 2o Grupo with a Panzer I Breda). He also reports that the photo was taken after fighting at Vinaroz, thus on, or shortly after, April 15th, 1938, thus allowing us to date Cruz’s painting to around March 1938, when the tank was transferred into Bandera de Carros de Combate de la Legión.
Extant photos clearly do not show the full history of their paint schemes and markings, and it is probable that as more photos show up, it will become even more evident that as the vehicles saw more combat, additional lines, dots, and dashes may have been added to the paint scheme by the crew.
Consider also that photos may show the vehicles after long marches, from which sometimes a significant amount of dust would gather onto the hull, thus creating the appearance of the tanks being repainted. However, this is not always the case, and often, Buntfarbenanstricht is mistaken for dirt and dust, leading to many tanks being painted a dusty panzer grey by illustrators, scale modelers, and even Spanish museums such as at El Goloso.
Specific combat data on the Panzer I Breda is lacking. Whilst the vehicles undoubtedly saw combat, the majority of what can be ascertained is roughly where and when the vehicle was fielded, and with which units.
Some photos seem to indicate that the vehicle was sometimes dug into a position, camouflaged in shrubbery, and used as an ambush tank, but specific tactics are not recorded in any literary primary sources.
Panzer I Breda (believed to be of 2a Compañia but there are not enough identification details), camouflaged by shrubbery, likely for an ambush attack. Unknown date and location. As taken from “La Maquina y la History No. 2: Blindados en España: 1a. parte: La Guerra Civil 1936-1939” by Javier de Mazarrasa.
They were apparently first photographed in Guadalajara, and Soria, in December 1937, at which point, they would have been operated by Primer Batallón de Carros de Combate.
4a Compañia’s vehicle belonging to served throughout and survived the Aragon Offensive (March-April, 1938), as photos show one during the offensive, and at the end after fighting in Vinaroz.
Fate of the vehicles
None of the vehicles are believed to have survived the war due to their destruction or faulty guns.
2a/5a Compañia’s: One vehicle was fielded at the Battle of the Ebro (July-November, 1938), reportedly with the 5a Grupo de Bandera de Carros de Combate de la Legión (this is where the possibility of 2a Compañia’s Panzer I Breda actually being 5a Compañia comes from, or the probability of vehicles changing Compañia). During the Nationalist counter-offensive, on 6th August, three armored groups were formed under two Tentiente Coroneles (Lieutenant Colonels), Linos Lage, and Torrente y Moreno, who controlled sixteen vehicles consisting of T-26s and Panzer Is (one of which was a Panzer I Breda) belonging to the 2a, 3a, 5a, and 6a Compañias de Bandera de Carros de Combate de la Legión. The offensive started at the Vesecri Plateu and eventually reached the River Ebro. During this counteroffensive, the Nationalists suffered four casualties – two wounded (one Captain, and one Legionary), and two dead (two Legionaries), resulting from the Panzer I Breda being “struck by an enemy projectile“. It is unclear if the vehicle was left operational or not.
4a Compañia’s (and likely 1a Compañia’s): On 19th November 1938, the gun of the Panzer I Breda from 4a Compañia (then fielded with 2a Batallón de Agrupación de Carros de Combate) was reported as having suffered an internal explosion. Two new guns were requested in a note of the Staff of the Jefatura de M.I.R. addressed to the Cuartel General del Generalissimo (dated in Burgos, 11th November 1938 – meaning either the date of the internal explosion or the date of the note is wrong). The chassis of multiple Panzer I Breda tanks were reported as in perfect condition. Two days later, General Pallasar replied that there were no more Breda Modelo 1935s available and that the broken guns on the vehicles should be sent to the artillery arsenal at Saragossa for repairs. No further information is available on this, but it seems to imply that two vehicles had broken guns, which was likely to be 4a and 1a Compañia’s, by deduction.
3a Compañia’s: On 26th January 1939, a piston connecting rod broke on the 3a Compañia’s Panzer I Breda in unreported circumstances. On 28th March, the engine caught fire, and the vehicle was disabled, also in unreported circumstances.
The Panzer I Breda, whilst quite a sound idea on paper, was evidently flawed because of the limitations of the chassis it was based on, and a handful of problems are apparent in the design. The Panzer I, without any modification to the armor, was clearly vulnerable to the guns of the Republican army’s Soviet-supplied vehicles. The Panzer I Breda’s turret was, even with the new superstructure, too small for the purpose, also. The somewhat feeble 20mm gun was also simply not on par with the 45mm gun of Soviet-supplied vehicles, and it seems apparent that there were not enough spare parts for the Panzer I Breda to be viable in the long term. Whether the aiming sight, even with the bulletproof glass, also made the conversions hazardous to the crew or not is debatable. Indeed, the capture and integration of Soviet-supplied tanks made the need for more vehicles redundant anyway.
With only four Panzer I Breda tanks built, the extent of the photographic evidence of the tank is quite surprising – an estimated thirty photos of the vehicle are known. Many of these are private photos taken by Condor Legion soldiers. It is quite probable, if not certain, that more Condor Legion private photos exist in other private collections which will reveal more on the still somewhat mysterious tanks.
Panzer I Breda of 4a Compañia with a Cruz de Borgoña. The other side of the vehicle is shown in photos to have the Cruz, but it is possible that this side also had one. The camouflage scheme appears to be a locally painted amoeba pattern on the turret, painted over the original Buntfarbenanstrich, still visible in photos on the hull.
A depiction of 4a Compañía’s Panzer I Breda fictionally illustrated in a two-tone livery. The correct scheme should be three tone. This three tone scheme was, as indicated above, probably a mix of the usual three-tone Buntfarbenanstrich of pre-WWII Panzers on the hull, and a new scheme on the turret. The Cruz de Borgoña has also been mistaken for a typical aerial ID cross in this depiction.
Panzer I Breda, illustrated here in another fictional livery, likely based on 3a Compañía’s vehicle. The Panzergrey base is particularly anachronistic, but the sand stripes are in fact quite accurate. In reality, the scheme should, in fact, look more like this, with green, dark-grey-ish brown, and sand stripes.
Panzer I Breda “351” of the 3a Compañia (3rd Company) with a T-26 M1936 of the 3a Compañia/3a Sección, dated to some time between 1st December 1938, and 28th December 1939. Usually, a black ‘M’ would denote ‘Mando’ (Command), but this vehicle has an ‘E’, believed to still indicate it belonged to the Command unit. The ‘E’ in the white diamond may mean ‘Especial’ (Special), but this is not proven. Weld beads are also visible where the original turret meets the new superstructure.
A different view of the above, along with a Panzer I Ausf. B of 3a Compañia, Mando. From this angle, the white (or, again, very light brown) stripes and dots on the Panzer I Breda’s hull side and turret are clearly visible. As taken from “Los Medios Blindados en la Guerra Civil Española: Teatro de Operaciones de Levante, Aragón, y Cataluña, 36/39 1a parte” by Artemio Mortera Pérez.
Panzer I Breda, undated, unlocated. There is a flag on the vehicle’s mantlet, likely a signal flag. The vehicle is missing its right-hand side exhaust, indicating it to belong to 3a Compañia. This is likely from before December 1938, as the new camo scheme and markings seen in other photos are not visible in this photo. Source: Author’s collection.
A different view of the above. Source: Author’s collection.
Panzer I Breda from 2a Compañia, apparently marked with the letter ‘L’ on the lower glacis plate. at Guadalajara or Soria, December, 1937. As taken from “Los Medios Blindados en la Guerra Civil Española: Teatro de Operaciones de Levante, Aragón, y Cataluña, 36/39 1a parte” by Artemio Mortera Pérez.
Panzer I Breda reportedly of 2a Compañia, with the turret clearly showing a three-tone camouflage. This was almost certainly Buntfarbenanstrich, or, more likely a Buntfarbenanstrich scheme in non-standard and more radiant tones (as evidenced by the turret). The hull appears to have remained in the original Buntfarbenanstrich. Unknown date and location – possibly at the Battle of the Ebro (July-November, 1938).
Panzer I Breda reportedly of 2a Compañia. Unknown date, unknown location – possibly at, or just after (based on the soldier’s overcoat) the Battle of the Ebro (July-November, 1938).
Panzer I Breda of 4a Compañia with a Cruz de Borgoña on the right side of the vehicle (a red cross with a white background). The tank also had a long Spanish Nationalist flag painted on the rear of the hull (above the engine deck, but below the turret). “Los Medios Blindados en la Guerra Civil Española: Teatro de Operaciones de Levante, Aragón, y Cataluña, 36/39 2a parte” by Artemio Mortera Pérez reports this to belong to 2o Grupo de la Bandera de Carros (if correct, this vehicle can only belong to 4a Compañia, as this is the only unit in 2o Grupo that had a Panzer I Breda). The photo was taken after fighting at Vinaroz, thus on, or shortly after, April 15th, 1938.
Panzer I Breda of 4a Compañia, likely at an earlier point in time to the above, with a large white cross on the hull (likely a unit marking). The turret hatch is also open in this picture, apparently the Panzer I’s original hatch. Credit: Museo del Ejercito.
One of few photos available believed to show 1a Compañia’s Panzer I Breda. The hull is apparently marked with a large, white ‘H’, but this is unclear.
A different view of 1a Compañia’s Panzer I Breda. Even in this poor resolution image, the white ‘H’ (indicating this to be 1a) is clear, as is the Nationalist flag on the hull. To the left of the flag may be a small white dot, similar to 2a Compañia’s Panzer I Breda, but the image is too poor resolution to be sure.
Unidentified Panzer I Breda (more likely 4a Compañia, but possibly 2a – although there are no useful identification details visible), at the Aragon Offensive, 1938. As taken from “Los Medios Blindados en la Guerra Civil Española: Teatro de Operaciones de Levante, Aragón, y Cataluña, 36/39 2a parte” by Artemio Mortera Pérez.
A still from some original color footage of a Spanish Panzer I Ausf. A (belonging to 2a Compañia/1a Sección). This clearly shows the type of Buntfarbenanstricht three-tone camouflage used on Spanish Panzer Is. Note: This particular vehicle may have additional camouflage markings, as it appears as though it has been repainted since it was supplied by the Germans (beyond the addition of unit markings).
Sidenote: Panzer I with 37mm and 45mm guns?
On October 23rd, 1937, shortly after testing the Panzer I Breda and CV-35 20mm, the Ejército del Centro was ordered by National Command to send a Panzer I to Seville in order to study the possibility of mounting captured Soviet 45mm guns. A month later, the Ejército del Norte also sent a 37mm McLean field gun (AKA Maklan), captured in Asturias in order to test being fitted to a Panzer I. In spite of the orders, these tests do not appear to have gone much further than concepts with the possibility of some design work. As such, there only appear to have been two major Panzer I modifications done in Spain – mounting a Breda Modelo 1935, and another project concerning mounting a flamethrower in the original turret.
Private Correspondence with Guillem Martí Pujol regarding the Panzer I con Breda 20mm – its paintscheme, its organization, and scholarship on the vehicle.
“Los Medios Blindados en la Guerra Civil Española: Teatro de Operaciones de Levante, Aragón, y Cataluña, 36/39 1a parte” by Artemio Mortera Pérez.
“Los Medios Blindados en la Guerra Civil Española: Teatro de Operaciones de Levante, Aragón, y Cataluña, 36/39 2a parte” by Artemio Mortera Pérez.
“Heráldica e historiales del ejército, Tomo VI Infantería” by Ricardo Serrador y Añino.
“La Maquina y la History No. 2: Blindados en España: 1a. parte: La Guerra Civil 1936-1939” by Javier de Mazarrasa
“La Base Alemana de Carros de Combate en Las Arguijuelas, Caceres (1936-1937)” by Antonio Rodríguez González
“AFV Collection No. 1: Panzer I: Beginning of a Dynasty” by Lucas Molina Franco
“Spanish Civil War Tanks: The Proving Ground for Blitzkrieg” by Steven J. Zaloga
Discussion of Panzer colours on flamesofwar.com
Colour footage of the Spanish Civil War, including some tanks