Forces of Valor 85107 German PzKpfw 38(t) Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"We must do everything we can to promote anti-tank defense, and work just as hard to guarantee successful counter-attacks through the instrument of powerful tank forces of our own."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
Through the invasion of Czechoslovakia the Germans got a reasonable tank in the LT-35, but they also got a better tank in the LT-38, otherwise known as the TNHP-8 or, in German service, as the PzKpfw 38(t) (t=tschechoslowakish). The LT-38 shared many features with the LT-35, like riveted and bolted armor (weaker than welded armor), the same crew and high silhouette. It was, however, also faster, had a greater range and better cross-country performance because of its high power-to-weight ratio, in spite of its narrow tracks. The LT-38 was produced by C.K.D. (Ceskomoravska Kolben Danek), which was renamed Praga by the Germans who preferred a simple name. The vehicle remained in production as a tank until 1942, and the chassis was used in the Marder III and Hetzer tank destroyers, the Bison self-propelled gun, and Flakpanzer 38(t). Others, like flame-thrower and engineer versions were also produced in small numbers towards the end of the war.
The PzKpfw 38(t) was very essential to the German Army and Waffen SS; at one time it made up 25 per cent of the Panzer divisions' strength. From 1941 onwards it was outmatched by Allied tanks, but it continued to serve until the end of the war. The tank used Christie-type suspension even though it was changed to include two return rollers above and in between the first two roadwheels on each side. The vehicle was tough and field maintenance was easy. The Germans made improvements to the commander's vision blocks to help tactical deployment. Prior to the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Sweden ordered the LT-38. During 1939-40 the Reich continued delivery, which was canceled just before the invasion of Russia.
This particular 1:72 scale German 38(t) medium tank was employed on the Eastern Front during mid-1944.
Now in stock!
Release Date: May 2014
Historical Account: "Longevity" - In 1935, the Czechoslovak tank manufacturer KD were looking for a replacement for the LT-35 tank they were jointly producing with Skoda Works. The LT-35 was complex and had shortcomings, and KD felt there would be orders both from the expanding Czechoslovak army and for export.
KD decided to use a suspension with four large wheels for their new tank. It resembled the Christie suspension outwardly, but was actually a conventional leaf spring unit. The resulting vehicle was reliable, and an export success: 50 were exported to Iran, 24 each to Peru and Switzerland. Latvia also ordered some. Britain evaluated one tank, but rejected it.
On July 1st, 1938, Czechoslovakia ordered 150 of the TNHPS model, although none had entered service by the time of the German occupation. After the German takeover, Germany ordered continued production of the model, as it was considered an excellent tank, especially compared to the Panzer I and Panzer II tanks that were the Panzerwaffe's main tanks. It was first introduced into German service under the name LTM 38; this was changed on January 16th, 1940, to Panzerkampfwagen 38(t). Production of tanks for Germany continued into 1942, and amounted to more than 1,400 examples. Examples were also sold to a number of German allies, including Hungary (102), Slovakia (69), Romania (50), and Bulgaria (10). In German service the 38(t) was used as a substitute for the Panzer III.
A modified Panzer 38(t) chassis was also the basis for a number of self-propelled gun mountings and tank destroyers, including the highly successful German Jagdpanzer 38 Hetzer tank-destroyer. The Panzer 38(t) was manufactured up to the middle of World War II. Manufacture ceased because the small turret wasn't capable of taking a weapon big enough to destroy the latest tanks. However, because the chassis was mechanically reliable, turretless versions were built with a weapon mounted on the superstructure. Assault guns, anti-tank guns and anti-aircraft guns were mounted on the chassis. A Swedish variant, the Sav m/43, remained in use until 1970, which is probably a longevity record for a pre-WW2 tank.