Czech tanks of the Second World War should be obscure vehicles, but
since they were much better than their German counterparts they got a
new breath of life in the Wehrmacht. This title covers the LT vz. 35,
or Panzer 35(t) series of small tanks. The text is in both Czech and English
and it covers the entire life of the tank, from its small beginnings in
the Czech army to its German career. The text is accompanied by an excellent
selection of photos that clearly show the differences between all the
major variants of the LT vz. 35, as well as show the vehicle in combat.
Drawings are also included, with most being in 1/35 scale.
The center section adds some color to the book in the form of profile
views. Czech, German, and Romanian examples are depicted, as is a nice
color rendering of the interior of the tank. The last section of the book
takes a closer look at the PzKpfw 35(t) in both photos and drawings, with
many of the photos being of museum pieces found around the world.
LT vz. 38/PzKpfw. 38(t)
Vladimir Francev & Charles K. Kliment
MBI Publishing House, 1997
Following on the heels of the LT vz. 35 was the LT vz. 38. This was
a much more powerful tank, made apparent by the huge numbers that made
their way into the German Wehrmacht. The great success of the basic vehicle
can be seen in the extremely long life of the chassis, serving throughout
the Second World War and beyond, with many armies in Europe using different
variants of the PzKpfw 38(t) for many years.
The LT vz. 38 and PzKpfw 38(t) went through many different variants
and this book does a good job at describing the tank. This book does not
cover the self-propelled guns that were built on the PzKpfw 38(t) chassis,
however (these being covered in a separate book reviewed below). There's
still a lot of meat in this book, though, and nothing regarding the tanks
is left out. Starting with the beginnings in Czechoslovakia, this book
gives a well-written history of the type and the changes throughout its
life. A history of the PzKpfw 38(t)'s military service is also included,
both in the German Wehrmacht and in foreign countries such as Slovakia
The center section is filled with many excellent color profiles showing
this versatile tank in a wide variety of schemes, including an interesting
two-tone Swedish example. In addition to the profiles there are plenty
of black and white photos as well as scale drawings showing the major
variants of the PzKpfw 38(t). Like the book above, this title is easily
the best single reference on the LT vz. 38/PzKpfw 38(t) tanks.
III & Grille
Vladimir Francev & Charles K. Kliment
MBI Publishing House, 1999
The huge success of the PzKpfw 38(t) tank quickly led to thoughts of
turning it into a self-propelled gun. The chassis was well suited for
this and the Marder III was born. This book ties in well with the above
title to provide a complete view of the PzKpfw 38(t) chassis during the
Second World War. Whereas the above title focused on the tank variants,
this book looks at nothing but the self-propelled guns.
The 38(t) became the chassis for a wide variety of self-propelled guns,
ranging from 20mm to 149mm in size. Along with this range of weaponry
came a wide variety of color schemes, as these vehicles found their way
into just about every front during the Second World War. Interestingly,
while the PzKpfw 38(t) found its way into the armies of many European
countries, the self-propelled guns remained mainly a German vehicle. This
is reflected in the color profile section, with all but one being depicted
in German markings (the remaining one is Czech).
Scale drawings accompany the large selection of photos, giving an excellent
visual outline of the life of the self-propelled guns based on the Panzer
38(t) chassis. In addition to this is an extremely well-written text,
again in both Czech and English, covering both the technical differences
between the variants and the operations of the vehicles.
If you are at all interested in Czech fighting vehicles or in the early
main fighting vehicles of the German Army during World War Two, these
three books should definitely be on your shelves.