Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Zvezda 1/100 (15mm) Pz 38(T).. completed

Also at last!

The Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) was a Czech tank design - the 38 came from it's year of starting production, and the (t) stands for tschechisch, the German word for Czech.

The 1938/39 German take-over of the Czechoslovak state resulted in the tanks being incorporated into the German Army and PzKpfw 38(t)s were built under German supervision and saw extensive service in Poland, Norway, France, the Balkans and Russia. 

The Panzer 38(t) was a conventional pre-World War II tank design, with riveted armour and rear engine. The riveted armour was largely un-sloped and varied in thickness from 10 mm to 25 mm in most versions.

The two-man turret housed the tank's main armament, a 37 mm Skoda A7 gun with 90 rounds stored on board, the turret was also equipped with a 7.92 mm machine gun that could fire independently or co-axially. The driver was in the front right of the hull, with the bow machine-gunner seated to the left, manning another 7.92 mm machine gun.

By 1942 it was a bit long in the tooth (the armament was deemed too light and the small turret didn't allow for up-gunning) so like the Pz II it was relegated to other duties, and was also used in a reconnaissance  role. Like the Pz II, the chassis was used as the basis for the Marder III and Hetzer tank destroyers.

By the end of the war 1,411 had been made so it was clearly no slouch..  it was always a mystery to me why the Germans had ordered so many, clearly it had something going for it, and my research would seem to indicate that the primary benefit was mechanical reliability. "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" (from Spielberger, Walter J. (1990). Die Panzer-Kampfwagen 35(t) und 38(t) und ihre Abarten (2nd ed.). Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-87943-708-4)

I can't help thinking that at a time when the Pz III was not yet available, a tank with a 37mm gun would also be highly prized.

Picture courtesy Achtungpanzer.com

NB. Apparently the British Army trialled one in 1939 and rejected it!


  1. Nice model. I really like the 38(t) in early war engagements well until the T34 pokes it's nose out then it's not so much fun LOL


    1. Ian - never fails to amaze me how men had the courage to go up against superior tanks in these early war models.... either a Stuart in northern France, or one of these against a T34.. no thanks!

  2. Replies
    1. Cheers Ray... next post is something up your street I think..

  3. Nice paint job on the panzer and the infantry! I actually thought that this was a 28 mm model when I saw the first picture. It doesn't hurt that it's pretty much my favorite early war tank too.

    1. Nick - way too kind... it's a nice looking tank in a clanky, pulp fiction, Indiana Jones kind of a way!

    2. You're talking to the guy who wants his late-war Flames of War tank company to be made up of Cromwells. Why? They're boxy, they're unmistakably British (1), and they've got HUGE sexy rivets. Yes yes, I am choosing my armor company (excuse me, armour) based on the rivets.

      Indeed, I did put a footnote in a blog comment:
      (1) Anything that gives me the excuse to yell "Crikey!" when my opponent brings some Tigers in from reserve, which isn't an expression heard much at all here in Texas, is good in my book