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Panzer 38(t) file photo [7872]

PzKpfw 38(t)

CountryCzechoslovakia
ManufacturerCeskomoravsk√° Kolben-Danek
Primary RoleLight Tank

Contributor:

ww2dbaseIn 1935, Czechoslovakian manufacturing firm Ceskomoravsk√° Kolben-Danek began producing a new series of light tanks that the Czechoslovakian Army designated LT vz. 38. They were immediately exported to Iran (TNHP variant, 50 units), Peru (LTP variant, 24 units), Switzerland (LTH variant, 24 units), Lithuania (LTL variant, 21 units), and the United Kingdom (1 unit, for evaluation only). The Czechslovakian Army ordered 150 of them on 1 Jul 1938, but none were in service by the time of the German annexation. When the tanks came out of the production line, they went in service with the German Army as LTM 38 light tanks. On 16 Jan 1940, they were re-designated Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) light tanks, with official designation SdKfz. 140.

ww2dbasePanzer 38(t) light tanks were used by the German Army during the invasions of Poland in 1939 and France in 1940. Battle experiences revealed that they were better armed than the comparable Panzer I and Panzer II light tanks, thus the German Army placed further orders with Ceskomoravsk√° Kolben-Danek. By 1941, however, they were considered obsolete as Russian tank and anti-tank weaponry could readily penetrate the armor of Panzer 38(t) light tanks. German tank commander Otto Carius recalled one incident where his Panzer 38(t) light tank was destroyed by Russian fire.

On July 8 [1941], we got hit. I had to bail out for the first time.... It happened like greased lightning. A hit against our tank, a metallic crack, the scream of a comrade, and that was all there was! A large piece of armor plating had been penetrated next to the radio operator's seat. No one had to tell us to get out. Not until I had run my hand across my face while crawling in the ditch next to the road did I discover that they had also got me. Our radio operator had lost his left arm. We cursed the brittle and inelastic Czech steel that gave the Russian 47 mm AT gun so little trouble. The pieces of our own armor plating and assembly bolts caused considerably more damage than the shrapnel of the round itself.

ww2dbaseProduction ceased in 1942. Between 1935 and 1942, about 1,400 units were built. Most of that number served with the German Army, but a number were exported to German-friendly nations such as Hungary (102 units), Slovakia (69 units), Romania (50 units), and Bulgaria (10 units). Additionally, Sweden was given a license to build tanks of this design, which Sweden designated Strv m/41; Strv m/41 light tanks remained in Swedish service until the 1970s. When they were considered obsolete in the face of better-armored Russian tanks, a large number of them were converted into self-propelled guns.

ww2dbaseSeveral captured Panzer 38(t) light tanks were pressed into Russian service after being equipped with Russian DTM machine guns. They largely served in reconnaissance and anti-partisan roles.

ww2dbaseAfter WW2, Czechoslovakia resumed production of the LT vz. 38 light tanks for a brief time.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2009

SPECIFICATIONS

TNH P-S
MachineryOne Praga EPA 6-cylinder inline water-cooled gasoline engine rated at 148hp
SuspensionLeaf Spring
Armament1x37.2mm Skoda A7 gun (90 rounds), 1x7.92mm coaxial ZB53 machine gun, 1x7.92mm bow ZB53 machine gun
Armor10-25mm
Crew4
Length4.55 m
Width2.13 m
Height2.31 m
Weight9.7 t
Speed15 km/h off-road; 42 km/h on-road
Range200 km

PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf. A-D
MachineryOne Praga EPA 6-cylinder inline water-cooled gasoline engine rated at 123hp
SuspensionLeaf Spring
Armament1x37.2mm KwK 38(t) L/47.8 gun (72 rounds), 1x7.92mm turret MG 37(t) machine gun, 1x7.92mm bow MG 37(t) machine gun
Armor25mm front, 15mm sides
Crew5
Length4.61 m
Width2.14 m
Height2.40 m
Weight9.5 t
Speed15 km/h off-road; 56 km/h on-road
Range200 km

PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf. E-G
MachineryOne Praga EPA 6-cylinder inline water-cooled gasoline engine rated at 123hp
SuspensionLeaf Spring
Armament1x37.2mm KwK 38(t) L/47.8 gun (72 rounds), 1x7.92mm turret MG 37(t) machine gun, 1x7.92mm bow MG 37(t) machine gun
Armor50mm front, 15mm sides
Crew5
Length4.61 m
Width2.14 m
Height2.40 m
Weight9.5 t
Speed15 km/h off-road; 56 km/h on-road
Range200 km

Photographs

Panzer 38(t) Ausf E/F light tank, date unknownPanzer 38(t) light tank, date unknown, photo 1 of 3
See all 5 photographs of PzKpfw 38(t) Light Tank



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
4 Nov 2009 11:30:33 AM

The LT38 was used by the German army and called the Panzer 38(t). A total of 1,500
vehicles were built, however after 1942 they were not used as battle tanks.
Many of these tanks, were given to Germany's allies. The germans modified many of the
Panzer 38(t) into self-propelled guns,support
vehicles like armored recovery vehicles known
as Bergepanzer and reconnaissance vehicle.
After World War II the Czech's continued to
re-built salvaged vehicles, for the Czech army.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Dec 2009 02:46:31 PM

Buried for over 40 years, a restored Panzer
PzKpfw 38(t) of Czech design, used by the
Germans during World War II has spent the last 5 years under restortion.
The tanks original marking on the turret show number 524,vehicle markings show,it was
with the 25th Panzer Regiment,7th Panzer Div.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 Jan 2015 03:47:12 PM

GIANT KILLER:

The Hetzer was a small tank destroyer it had a low silhouette making it difficult to see. It was assigned to Panzerjagerabteilungen tank destroyer battalions) Because of its small size, it could get off the first round in an ambush position against much larger tanks. Hetzer's were known to have knock out IS-2 Stalin tanks. The Helzer was armed w/ 1 x 75mm KwK 47 L/70 W/40 to 45 rounds od ammo, Secondary weapon 1 x 7.92 MG34 or 42
machine gun w/1200 rounds.
Crew weapons MP40s, MP44s, pistols, hand grenades
armored fighting vehicle crews carried whatever
weapons were on hand and made sure they always had enough ammo.

The Hetzer was based on the Czech Skoda Light Tank 38(t) chassis, these tanks were rebuilt as tank destroyers, flamethrowers, recovery vehicles, reconnaissance vehicles, self-propelled and anti-aircraft guns. Did you know the Helzer was produced up to war's end.

OPERATORS: AND CAPTURED VEHICLES

German Army, Hungary, Bulgaria. Captured USSR, Polish Home Army

POST WAR SERVICE:

After WWII Czechoslovakia rebuilt salvaged and
abandoned vehicles and continued to build new vehicles for the Czech Army, some of them served into the 1950s and 60s until replaced with Soviet equipment. Switzerland operated the Hetzer until the 1970s.

SURVIVORS:

Today there are about nine surviving Hetzer's left world-wind

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PzKpfw 38(t) Light Tank Photo Gallery
Panzer 38(t) Ausf E/F light tank, date unknownPanzer 38(t) light tank, date unknown, photo 1 of 3
See all 5 photographs of PzKpfw 38(t) Light Tank


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