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Manufacturer: Zvezda (Russia)
Paint: Unpainted, Unassembled, Kit do not contain paints and glue.
Condition: New in Box
The Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) was originally a Czech tank of pre-World War IIdesign. After Czechoslovakia was taken over by Germany, it was adopted by the German Army, seeing service in the invasions of Poland, France and Russia. Production ended in 1942, when its armament was deemed inadequate. In all, over 1400 were manufactured. The chassis continued to be produced for Marder III (1942-1944) and Hetzer (1944-1945) tank destroyers, turretless assault guns, anti-tank guns and anti-aircraft guns.
The (t) stands for tschechisch, the German word for Czech; the Czechoslovak military designation was LT vz. 38. Manufacturer's designations included TNH series, TNHPS, LTP and LTH. The special vehicle designation for the tank in Germany was Sd. Kfz. 140.The Panzer 38(t) was a conventional pre-World War II tank design, with riveted armour and rear engine. The riveted armour was mostly not sloped, and varied in thickness from 10 mm to 25 mm in most versions. Later models (Ausf. E on) increased this to 50 mm by bolting on an additional 25 mm armour to the front. Side armours received additional 15 mm armour from Ausf. E onward.
The two-man turret was centrally located, and housed the tank's main armament, a 37 mm Skoda A7 gun with 90 rounds stored on board. It was equipped with a 7.92 mm machine gun to the right of the main ordnance. This turret machine gun was in a separate ball mount rather than a fixed coaxialmount. This meant the machine gun could be trained on targets independently. Alternatively, the commander/gunner could couple the machine gun internally to the main gun and use it as a coaxial machine gun. The driver was in the front right of the hull, with the bow machine-gunner seated to the left, manning the 7.92 mm machine gun. As with many 1930s tanks, the bow gunner was also the radio operator. The radio was mounted on the left of the bow gunner.
Minor adjustments, such as adjustable seats for the driver and firmer footing for the commander/gunner and loader, were provided in German service. A total of 2,550 rounds were carried for the bow and turret machine guns. The driver could also fire the hull machine gun with a trigger fitted on the left tiller barOn July 1, 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 16 January 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.
The main advantages of the Panzer 38(t), compared to other tanks of the day, were a very high reliability and sustained mobility. In one documented case a regiment was supplied with tanks driven straight from the factory in 2.5 days instead of the anticipated week, without any mechanical breakdowns (in: History of the 25 Panzer Regiment of the 7 Panzerdivision). In the opinion of the crews, the drive components of the 38(t), engine, gear, steering, suspension, wheels and tracks were perfectly in tune with each other. The 38(t) was also considered to be very easy to maintain and repair.
The Panzer 38(t) was manufactured until June 1942. The small turret was incapable of taking a weapon big enough to destroy late-war tanks such as T-34, and manufacturing of the tank version ceased. However, the chassis were used for Marder III tank destroyer from 1942-1944. About 1500 Marder III models were produced, which is more than 1400 Panzer 38(t) produced. After Marder III, Jagdpanzer 38(t) was produced based on altered Panzer 38(t) chassis with approximately 2800 produced. Chassis for Panzer 38(t) was the basis for small number of anti-aircraft guns as well.
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