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German cross

Germany's Leichte Kampfwagen Lk I, Lk II light tank

Photos

LK I light tank:
Germany's LK I light tank
LK II light tank:
Germany's LK II light tank
LK II light tank:
Germany's LK II light tank

Design

L. K. I

Joseph Vollmer designed the LK I to be simple and cheap to manufacture.

The chassis of the L. K. I was a Daimler heavy passenger car's chassis.

Track frames were added and the rear wheels were replaced by drive sprockets. The turret was placed towards the rear.

L. K. II

In 1918 Daimler converted a passenger car chassis into the L. K. II. There was no turret and the 5.7 cm gun was mounted at the front in a fighting compartment.

After the war the L. K. II was taken to Sweden for additional work and the Swedish Army used them starting in 1921. It became the Strv M/21 light tank.

Prototype

The L. K. I prototype was demonstrated to the Kreigsministerium and they issued new specifications which lead to the L. K. II.

Production

An order for 580 LK IIs was placed right before World War I ended.

  • LK I: 1 prototype
    • Production: 1918
  • LK II: 2 prototypes
    • Production: 1918

Variants

  • L. K. I:
  • L. K. II:
  • L. K. III: Was to have the engine placed in the rear but no prototype built.

Specifications

  Leichte Kampfwagen L. K. I
Crew 3
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 6.89 tons
7,000 kg
Length 18'
5.49 m
Height 8' 2"
2.48 m
Width 6' 7"
2 m
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: MG
1: 7.92 mm / 0.312" MG
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 8
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model)  
Cylinders 4
Net HP 60
Transmission  
Fuel type Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 8 mph, 12.4 mph
13 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 37 miles, 40 miles
64 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  
  Leichte Kampfwagen L. K. II
Crew 3, 4
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 8.74 tons, 8.75 tons, 9.5 tons
8,890 kg
Length 16' 8", 16' 9"
5.1 m, 5.7 m
Height 8' 2"
2.49 m, 2.52 m
Width 6' 5", 6' 6"
1.98 m, 2.05 m
Ground clearance 0.27 m
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 5.7 cm KwK
1: 57 mm / 2.24" gun
OR 2: 7.92 mm / 0.312" MG
Secondary  
MG 1: MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG 3,000
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 14
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Daimler-Benz
Cylinders 4
Net HP 60
Transmission  
Fuel type Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 7.46 mph, 7.5 mph
12 kph, 18 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 37 miles, 40 miles
64.4 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 1 m
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle 45°
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  2. Atlas of Tank Warfare From 1916 to the Present Day, Dr. Stephen Hart, 2012
  3. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site