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Item No. CP-132
Tanks and Armour

One of the most successful of prewar light tanks was the Czech LT-38 (TNHP). Built by CKD of Prague. A compact and reliable vehicle, it was sold to Iran, Latvia, Peru and Switzerland and was also built under license in Sweden. After the German annexation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 all serviceable Czech tanks were absorbed into the German Army.

Redesignated the Panzerkampfwagen 38(T), the Germans were well pleased with the LT-38 as, armed with a 37.2mm (SKODA A7) gun of good armor-piercing performance, it was clearly superior to the Panzer I and IIs that formed the bulk of German armor at that time. In the battle of France, the 7th and 8th Panzer Divisions were composed almost entirely of ex-Czech tanks; indeed during 1940-41 they formed a quarter of all German tank strength.

On the Russian front, it was completely outclassed as a gun tank but production of the chassis continued as the basis of several improvised anti-tank self-propelled guns, such as the Marder III, and later as the efficient tank destroyer, Jagdpanzer Hetzer. The gun tank continued to serve late into the war with armored train units; the tanks being carried on flat cars for dismounted action against partisans.

Soft Cover, 9 x 12, 96 pages, 170 b/w & color photos.


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