Warspot Digest for September 2020

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Our authors include specialists who put a lot of effort into their articles. They tell you about little-known military conflicts, development and use of military vehicles, creation of iconic weapons, outstanding engineers, tactics of renowned commanders, heroic deeds of ordinary soldiers, and more.

Here is the Warspot Digest for September 2020—all this and more on Warspot.net!

Warspot Digest: September 2020

Leopard and Luchs: Reconnaissance Cats

The last light tank of the traditional variety produced in Germany, the Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F, was removed from production in July of 1942. Nevertheless, light tanks continued to exist within the Third Reich. These were reconnaissance tanks, similar to reconnaissance armoured cars in function. Even the German term "Panzerkampfwagen" was not used to refer to these vehicles. This article will cover German reconnaissance tanks of WWII: Gefechtsaufklärer Leopard, Pz.Sp.Wg.II Ausf.MAN Luchs and Aufklärungspanzer 38(t), none of which were truly mass produced. [READ MORE]

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. A through C

In December of 1936, the German military signed a contract with the Krupp conglomerate for a batch of 35 Begleitwagen tanks. This tank was designed to fight as a direct fire support tank, as its name suggests. The tank's main targets were going to be enemy infantry and light fortifications. Ironically, this vehicle became Germany's most numerous medium tank by the start of WWII. Later, the Pz.Kpfw. III became more numerous, but only for a short time. By 1943, the Begleitwagen, known as the Pz.Kpfw. IV, retook the lead; it was the only German pre-war tank that never went through a radical chassis modernization. [READ MORE]

Strv 74: Europe's Last Medium Tank

The Swedish post-war Strv 74 medium tank is interesting due to the fact that medium tanks died out as a class after the end of WWII. They evolved into main battle tanks, built by all leading tank building nations at the time. The Strv 74 was designed and accepted into service at the same time as the Soviet T-55, American M60, and a little earlier than the German Leopard. The Strv 74 was also the last Swedish tank with a classical layout, as it was replaced by the exotic turretless Strv 103. How was the last European medium tanks created and what was it like? [READ MORE]

VK 36.01: Half a Step from the Tiger

Henschel's tank program looked somewhat comical in late 1941 and early 1942. The company was working on three heavy tanks at the same time. The lifeline of one of them, the VK 30.01 (H), was just about to end, but work was still going on in December of 1941. The second tank being developed was the VK 45.01(H). Another tank, indexed VK 36.01, took the place between them in mass. The story of the first tank with a tapered bore gun that nearly went into production was far from simple. [READ MORE]