The US Radar Base Talks Bring CZ Tank Back Home (Diskuze o US Radarove Zakladne Prinasi Cesky Tank Zpet Domu)

25 09 2008

Between the two world wars, Czechoslovakia was one of the Europe’s most industrialized countries and one of the world’s biggest arms producers. The LT-35 light tank was the most cutting-edge weapon in its category. It was admired by Nazis during World War II and also by Americans after the war. Now, it is coming back to the Czech Republic from the United States thanks to the Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova, who negotiated its transport within the framework of US radar-base talks in the United States in July.

The LT-35 was first built in 1935 but it took another three years before it was perfect. The completed tank, equipped with a Skoda T-11 rear engine, could go as fast as 34 km per hour (21 miles per hour). It weighed 11 tons and included a riveted armor, a two-man turret, and a 37-mm cannon, for which 72 rounds were stored on board. Many countries were interested in this lightweight type of tank, such as Great Britain and Afghanistan but all deliveries were interrupted by German Wehrmacht that took over these tanks and called them Panzerkampfwagen 35.


There were 298 LT-35 tanks produced by the Czechoslovak Army, another 126 tanks were produced in Romania (under designation Skoda R-2) and 10 more tanks were made in Bulgaria (as the T-11). Germans took over 219 of the tanks and used them in their battles in Poland and France but over 70 of them did not survive combats or were somehow destroyed. The Czech tanks have traveled throughout the Europe but also overseas. After the World War II, Americans shiped the LT-35 tank to their home country to study its technology.


Ales Knizek, the head of the Military History Institute in Prague, had been in talks with other European countries to negotiate acquisition of this rare tank, but these negotiations were not successful. Then, he decided to ask Vlasta Parkanova, to include acquisition of the LT-35 in one of the negotiations related to the US radar station in the Czech Republic (see SOFA article HERE).

Now, the tank is on a ship on its way back home. It is great to see how cooperative both of the countries are and hopefully this great relationship between the U.S.A. and the Czech Republic will grow even stronger.




LT-35 tank was poprve postaven v roce 1935, ale uplynuly dalsi tri roky nez byl kompletne zdokonalen. Dokonceny tank byl vybaven zadnim motorem T-11 od Skody a byl schopen jet az 34 km za hodinu. Tento jedenacti-tunovy tank mel nytovane oblozeni, dve hlavice a 37 milimetrove delo se 72 naboji. Mnoho zemi melo zajem o tento lehky typ tanku, napr. Velka Britanie a Afganistan, ale dodavky byly preruseny nemeckym Wehrmachtem, thery si tanky privlastnil a pojmenoval je Panzerkampfwagen 35.


Ceskoslovenska armada vyrobila 298 tanku, 126 tanku bylo vyrobeno v Rumunsku (pod jmenem Skoda R-2) a 10 dalsich tanku zhotovili Bulhari (jako T-11). Nemci prevzali 219 tanku a pouzili je v jejich bojich v Polsku a Francii, ale 70 tanku neprezilo boje a nebo byly nejak zniceny. Ceske tanky procestovaly Evropu, ale dostali se take do zamori. Po druhe svetove valce si Americani odvezli LT-35 do jejich rodne zeme k prostudovani jeho techniky.


Ales Knizek, reditel Vojenskeho Historickeho Ustavu v Praze, diskutoval s dalsimi evropskymi zememi o ziskani tohoto unikatniho tanku, ale vsechna vyjednavani byla neuspesna. Pote se rozhodl pozadat Vlastu Parkanovou aby diskutovala ziskani LT-35 v souvislosti s dohodou o americke protiradarove zakladne v ceske republice (prectete is clanek od dohode SOFA ZDE).

Nyni je LT-35 tank na lodi na caste zpet domu. Je to skvele, ze obe zeme vzajemne spolupracuji a doufejme, ze tento skvely vztah mezi USA a Ceskou republikou se bude nadale rozvijet.





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