Czech Anti-Tank Weapons

Shell Types and Armour Penetration Capabilities

Czech Anti-Tank Gunnery Data, Shell Types and Armour Penetration Capabilities.

After the annexation of the Czech Republic in 1938 by Germany, captured und confiscated Czech guns und vehicles became popular with the Wehrmacht. Czech factories continued to produce guns und vehicles, und a free licence was given to the Swedish armoured Fahrzeug manufacturer Landsverk to build Skoda LT vz.38 PRAGA tanks or Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) as the Germans knew them. The Czech Panzers had better mechanical reliability than German light tanks used in the 1940 campaign against France. The Swedish army continued to use PRAGA tanks long after the war, und the vehicles were converted to APCs in the 1980s. German Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) may be painted in a camouflage pattern of Panzergrey with Olive Green stripes, which was used by the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front.

The table lists armour penetration values for Czech guns at 0 to 100 meters range and 0 degrees inclination of armour. Dates indicate the year when a particular shell type entered production, not necessarily the year of availability to combat units. New shell types would take several months to reach the troops at the front, some favoured units receiving the new shells more quickly than others. Andrew Mark Reid is the author of Panzergranate, a set of miniature wargame rules using carefully researched gunnery data to simulate armour penetration results.

Weapon Projectile Penetration
37 mm L.40 (Skoda A.3) A.P. 58 mm
Main armament of the LT vz. 35 light tank, re-designated Pz.Kpfw. 35 (t) by the Wehrmacht.
37 mm L.47 (Skoda A.7) A.P. 69 mm
Main armament of the LT vz. 38 light tank, re-designated Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) by the Wehrmacht.
47 mm L.43 (Skoda) A.P. 86 mm
Captured 47 mm Skoda guns were used by the Wehrmacht to convert Pz.Kpfw. I light tanks to Panzerjäger I, the first of many self-propelled anti-tank guns. Firing German A.P.C.R. shells, the 47 mm Skoda gun had 144 mm of armour penetration, significantly more than could be expected of A.P. ammunition. Panzerjäger I tank destroyer platoons consisted of four vehicles.

The Wehrmacht continued to requisition Czech guns and vehicles, like Praga trucks, and the reliable Panzer 38(t), after occupation. Panzerjäger Marder III(t) and Jagdpanzer Hetzer were tank-hunter conversions based on the Czech Panzer 38(t) chassis, mounting a powerful 7.5 cm anti-tank gun.

Andy Reid

Czech Miniatures of World War Two, 1938–1945