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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's PzKpfw 35(t) tanks


The PzKpfw 35(t) was originally the Czechoslovakian LT vz 35 medium tank.

When Czechoslovakia was taken over they Germans also took the tanks that were already produced and ordered 219 more to their specifications. After initial experience in Russia the tanks had modifications done to the engine and steering system. These were used until 1942 at which time most of the tanks were converted to other roles.

In March 1939, 218 were taken by the Germans.


  • Command: Some added extra radios and a collapsible aerial.
  • Mörserzugmittel: Mortar tractors, used with heavy artillery units.
  • Zugkraftwagen: Removed turret and used as a tractor with maintenance sections and could pull 12 tons. Had a crew of 2.
  • Artillerie Schlepper 35(t): At least 12 were converted to artillery tractors.


Invasion of Poland

106 / 298 were used in the invasion, with 218 in the German forces, and 79 in Slovakian forces.

112 were assigned to the 1st Light Panzer Division for the invasion of Poland. They fought a battle to establish a bridgehead over the River Warta on September 3, 1939. The 37 mm guns provided much fire support from behind the infantry that were crossing the river. During its 8 day, 497 miles/800 km advance, the Panzer 35(t) was mechanically reliable, although it was found that it had heavy maintenance requirements. 12 were destroyed and 65 damaged.

In other actions the 37 mm gun was sufficient against the Polish TK and TKS tankettes.

Invasion of France

The 1st Light Division was upgraded to the 6th Panzer Division and 116 Panzer 35(t)s were used in France. The 6th, 7th, and 8th panzer divisions were outfitted with Czech tanks.

Invasion of Russia

189 were still available at the beginning of operation Barbarrosa. Most of these were with the 6th Panzer Division. It lost most of them in the early months, and especially in early December 1941 around Klin (close to Moscow).

During the 1st winter in Russia the pneumatic steering system froze easily.

Some PzKpfw 35(t)s were kept in reserve in Germany and were used in September 1941 to outfit the 22nd Panzer Division. This was sent to the Eastern Front in the Spring of 1942. It used them in it's drive to Stalingrad in the summer of 1942. These were destroyed with the 6th Army at Stalingrad.

By June 1, 1942, there were still 167 available. In the spring of 1942 the rest were withdrawn from frontline units.

Other countries:

Germany supplied Bulgaria 36 in 1940. They were also supplied to Romania and Slovakia in 1939.


The Slovak Fast Division still used many of the LT38 during its retreat from the Caucasus in the winter of 1942-1943.

During the Slovakian national uprising in August 1944, they were used against the German forces, but were quickly destroyed.


A regiment was used by the 1st Armored Division, but was destroyed with the encircled German 6th Army at Stalingrad.


  1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  2. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  3. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  4. Tanks - Over 250 of the World's Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, Chris Chant, 2004
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site