World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill ©2016
Czechoslovakia's flag

Czechoslovakia's History

New Independence

Early Days of Independence

In 1918 Czechoslovakia was established as an independent country by being separated from Austria-Hungary. The Skoda Company of Pilsen already had a world-wide reputation of producing guns. Shortly after independence they started to design aircraft and automobiles.

Early Purchases

Czechoslovakia did purchase seven FT-17s from France after being formed as a country.

Air Force Founded

On October 28, 1918, the Czechoslovakian air force was founded and within two years there were 165 airplanes in the air force.


Plane Manufacturers

Aero, Avia, and Letov became the three main plane manufacturers in Czechoslovakia.

By 1928 90% of the planes in the Czechoslovakian air force were made by native manufacturers. There were 50 different designs of aircraft with 34 of them in large scale production.

Early Designs

In the early 1920s Skoda started producing armored cars for the Czechoslovakian Army. Tatra soon joined them in production.

In 1927 CKD (Ceskomoravska Kolben Danek) was formed by combining four companies which produced tanks. Tetra was also a large producer of automobiles.


J. Vollmer, a German who had worked in Sweden, cam and designed a wheel-on-track tank the KH50 at Skoda in 1925 with Tetra. In 1928-29 this let to the KH60 and in 1930 the KH70. The wheel-on-track designs were abandoned in 1934.

Czechoslovakia obtained samples of the Vickers Carden-Loyd tankettes from Vickers-Armstrongs. CKD/Praga developed a similar vehicle named the T33 (P-I). It wasn't liked by its users but were still produced for the army. Skoda produced a similar vehicle, the S-I, that was more powerful but it wasn't adopted and the contract had already been awarded to CKD. The Skoda model was sent to Yugoslavia for evaluation. The Yugoslavians decided that the model should have a 47 mm gun. This was designated the S-Id.

In 1933 CKD began designing a light tank (TNHB) for export called the LT-34 (P-II). It was 7.5 tons with a 37 mm gun. It was accepted by the Czechoslovakian Army.

World War II Vehicles

Skoda in 1935 introduced their S-IIa/T.II and it was 8 tons with a 37 mm gun. CKD became a co-contractor with Skoda and this became the LT35. The LT35 was the army's most numerous tank.

In October 1937 the Czech Defense Department formed a tank evaluation committee to test all Czech tank designs. A tank testing center was established outside of the CKD factory in January 1938. Two other firms (Skoda and Adamov) submitted vehicles for testing. CKD's TNHS model passed the tests by going 3,000 miles and 1,000 of those cross country without any major mechanical problems. An order for 150 was placed.

Air Force in 1938

There were 1,514 aircraft in the Czechoslovakian air force in September 1938. Of those 566 were available for combat.


On March 15, 1939, Germany occupied Czechoslovakia. Existing stocks of tanks and airplanes were taken over. There were about 300 LT-35s confiscated and used in the German Heer (army) as the PzKpfw 38(t).

Many of the pilots in the Czechoslovakian air force escaped to Britain and France.


  • 10,300,000
  • 15,167,800


  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. Tank War 1939-1945, Janusz Piekalkiewicz, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site