Short Feature Article with Marcin Ciesielski
A note from Geoff C…
Here’s a quick look at Marcin’s completed model and very nice it is too!
Over to you Marcin…
I would like to describe you how I build the light tank model of Academy Pz.Kpfw.35 (t) in the 1:35 scale. The model from the box has only German markings. I decided to make it with Slovak insignia, therefore it will be Skoda LT vz.35. The tank belonged to Rapid Brigade, which was stationed in Ukraine in 1941.
The history of the tank…
The Slovak Army seized 52 LT vz. 35 tanks when they declared their independence from Czechoslovakia in March 1939. They were organised into a battalion that was later incorporated into the Armoured Regiment.
Three of these tanks participated in the Slovak-Hungarian War of March 1939.One tank company participated in the invasion of Poland, but didn’t see any fighting.
The Army upgraded the internal communications system of its tanks with German intercoms in 1941, but it is unknown if they added a fourth crewman as did the Germans. When Slovakia joined the German invasion of the Soviet Union it sent a Mobile Group that included thirty LT vz. 35. The Mobile Group was reinforced and reorganised in early July 1941 as the Mobile Brigade, also known as Brigade Pilfousek after its commander, and it mustered only twenty seven tanks despite seven reinforcements because breakdowns had caused ten to be evacuated back to Slovakia. This was due to a conspiracy among the Slovak tankers that the tanks would be needed to overthrow the regime at some point and couldn’t be wasted in combat against the Soviets. This caused a high incidence of crew sabotage to which the officers and maintainers turned a blind eye, which caused the tanks to be withdrawn to Slovakia at the beginning of August 1941.
On 1 January 1942, the Slovaks had 49 LT vz. 35 on hand because three had been destroyed in the battle for Lipovec earlier in the summer. However, of these 49 only seven were operational as part of the conspiracy to keep the tanks in Slovakia The LT vz. 35s were relegated to the training/reserve role by 1943 when the Germans began to supply more modern tanks to Slovakia.
At least eight LT vz. 35s were used by the insurgents during the Slovak National Uprising in 1944.