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Remembered Today:

German light tank on the drawing board in 1917


Jonathan Saunders
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The subject of German tanks came up on another thread.

From the indispensible EXECUTION AND COLLAPSE OF THE GERMAN OFFENSIVE by General Kuhl, I am aware that in late 1917 the Director of Mechanical transport proposed mass production of a light tank to be ready for March 1918.

The concept was rejected as late as Jan 1918 so I doubt this could have been produced in large numbers by March 1918. This is further endorsed by the model subsequently being sanctioned for production around June/July 1918 with an anticipated delivery date of Spring 1919.

Whether a prototype was produced before the Armistive I dont know, but if so, does anyone have a photo, or plans of this light tank?

Thanks and regards,

Jon S

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Jon;

I certainly do not have plans, but I can only add that the indispensible Colonel Bauer probably was involved with this; in fact he may have written that the tank was designed by Krupp on his initiative. (Running on memory here.) Of course it could have been a different project. But he should have been involved in such a proposal. The title of his book is eluding me. If you want I could look into it. I don't think that it was translated; they are inexpensive on German e-Bay or ZVAB.

The Krupp archives from the period exist, and a German researcher (Dr. Axel Turra?) was recently able to access them for a different research project.

Bob Lembke

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Bob - many thansk for the info.

I take it that Dr Turra may be producing a book in the near future? If so I hope it finds its way into an English language version!

Thanks and regards,

Jon S

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Bob - many thansk for the info.

I take it that Dr Turra may be producing a book in the near future? If so I hope it finds its way into an English language version!

Thanks and regards,

Jon S

His book is out, on the German 42 cm and 30.5 cm guns, which my grand-father had a lot to do with. He has written several books on German WW I and WW II weapons. I have never seen his books in English, I fear. Just was interesting to see that he got into the Krupp archives, and that they exist. But possibly he used some Hunnish secret handshake (like my fraternity handshake) to get in the door.

Bob Lembke

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German light tank development is covered in "German Tanks in World War 1" by W. Schneider and R. Strasheim (Schiffer). Briefly, testing of prototype light tanks began in March 1918. The single prototype from Krupp was eliminated from further development. Testing proceeded with the War Ministry's LK (Leichter Kampfwagen) designs, the LK I (armed with a rotating machine gun turret) and it's successor the LK II (armed with a 57 mm gun in a fixed superstructure). It seems that about 3 protoypes of the LK series were built. The LK II was approved for production, two-thirds of the vehicles to be equipped with a 37 mm gun, the remainder with a rotating machine gun turret like the LK I's. Ten vehicles were slated for delivery in Dec. 1918. These vehicles appear to have been incomplete at the time of the Armistice; they were shipped to Sweden in 1921 and completed there as the Strv21, Sweden's first tank.

post-11482-1174248632.jpgpost-11482-1174248652.jpg

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Look similar to the Whippet tank! Possible design steal?

thanks for the pics

Arm

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Look similar to the Whippet tank! Possible design steal?

thanks for the pics

Arm

The British and French were 12/18 months ahead of the Germans in tank production so as a "quick fix" (and because the A7V was so awful) copying the design of the whippet was the obvious solution to quick production.

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