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Pz Kpfw 38 (t)

Description

Following the German invasion of Czechoslovakia, the partially-assembled batch of 150 Lehký Tank LT vz. 38 were ordered to be completed by ČKD. To supplement Germany's Pz Kpfw III's, production was continued until 1942 as the Pz Kpfw 38 (t), with a total of 1414 tanks completed.

Although classified as a light tank, the Pz Kpfw 38 (t) was an important addition to Germany's tank force in the early years of World War 2, representing a significant portion of Germany's modern tanks in Poland and France. Although rivetted, rather than welded, the Pz Kpfw 38 (t) was a modern design in terms of armor and armament. Because of its narrow turret ring diameter compared to the Pz Kpfw III, however, it was not possible to install a larger gun. Thus, with the arrival of the Russian T-34 and KV-1, the Pz Kpfw 38 (t) was rendered obsolete.

As was the case with other obsolete German tanks, the reliable chassis of the Pz Kpfw 38 (t) continued to be used after production of the tank was ceased. The most common variants were:

Other designes, including a reconnaissance vehicle, were in trial production when the war ended.

Technical Details

Pz Kpfw 38 (t)
Crew
Crew
  • Commander/gunner
  • Loader
  • Radio operator
  • Driver
Physical Characteristics
Weight 9.725 t
Length 4.61 m
Width 2.135 m
Height 2.252 m
Armour
Armour (range) 8-30 mm
Performance
Speed (max) 42 km/h
Speed (road) 35 km/h
Speed (cross-country) 17 km/h
Engine
Engine Praga Typ TNHPS/II
Net h.p. 125
Cylinders 6
Displacement 7750 cc
Armament
Primary weapon 37 mm Škoda A7 (1)
Secondary weapon 7,92 mm ZB-37 (2)

Images

The Pz Kpfw 38 (t).
Profile view of the Pz Kpfw 38 (t).

Further Reading

Sources

  1. JENTZ, Thomas L. Panzer Truppen 1 : The Complete Guide to the Creation & Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force, 1933-1942. Atglen, PA : Schiffer Military History, 1996. 287 p. ISBN 0-88740-915-6.