|This page is about the German light tank Pz.38(t) F. For other uses, see LT-38 (Family).|
The Pz.Kpfw. 38(t) Ausf. F is a rank I German light tank with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.41.
The Pz.Kpfw. 38(t) Ausf.F variant is an up-armored version of its predecessor - Ausf. A. Armor plates at all sides have been doubled, from 25/15/15 mm to a decent 50/30/30 mm. However, increased armor thickness brings additional weight, making the tank a bit slower than the Ausf. A variant. Gun remains the same, pretty good quick-firing 3,7 cm Kwk 38(t) L/48. It can still hold its ground at this BR, although usage of APCR ammo is sometimes necessary, and damage of the gun is comparable to other 38Ts.
Survivability and armour
The Panzer 38(t) F has similar bad survivability to the Pz.35(t) and Pz.38(t) A, but it boasts double the front hull and turret front armour. This makes it frontally immune to many reserve rank guns, particularly Japanese, French, and Italian guns. Thus while it is harder to initially penetrate, once it is opened up it is taken out easily. Many tankers can compare it to the Pz.38 (t) A. Angling your hull will increase your chances of survival.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The Pz.38(t) F has nearly identical mobility to the Pz.38(t) A, aside from slightly higher weight making it a tad more sluggish in all respects. The role on the map of finding and using ambush points is the same as its predecessors.
The gun is the same KwK 38(t) as the Panzer 38(t) A. It is slightly better than the Pz.35(t)'s gun, but not by a practical amount, and therefore is used in exactly the same way. 56 mm penetration APC-HE, 61 mm penetration APCBC-HE, and 93 mm penetration APCR. This works vs most things it encounters, but Valentines, B1 bis, B1 ter, Matildas, and Sherman 105s are nightmares, and the higher battle rating of 2.0 means it sees these often.
The tank has a coaxial 7.92 mm MG37(t) machine gun, which is good to hose down flak trucks, but not good for much else.
Usage in battles
The tank is the same average mobility that the predecessors of it have, and the okay-at-best gun means it needs to act the same way despite semi-frequently running into near-impossible situations against Valentines, B1s, Sherman 105s, and Matildas.
Pros and cons
- Decently good gun
- HE filler helps easily knock out things you can penetrate
- Armour is good against enemies encountered during down-tiers
- Has high-pen APCR for some of its armoured nemeses
- Many other tanks are faster than it
- When it does get penned, it generally gets destroyed in one shot due to the small crew compartment
- Gun is very inadequate in up-tiers
In 1935, ČKD (Českomoravská Kolben-Daněk), the tank manufacturer in Czechoslovakia wanted to find a replacement to the LT vz.35 (Also known as the Panzer 35(t) in German service). Reason being is that the vz.35 was complex and had its faults that impeded its efficiency and orders for new tanks would be coming from the gradually growing Czechoslovak army and other countries. They work jointly with Škoda Works in the development of this new tank.
The next tank design, designated in Czechoslovakia as the LT vz.38, fitted a conventional design for the interwar period. The armour was riveted with about 25 mm thick in the front hull and was not sloped. The engine was placed in the rear, with a two-man turret in the center, and the driving compartment in the front with a front transmission. Perhaps the biggest distinction for this tank design was the use of a leaf-spring unit suspension consisting of four large wheels. The turret housed the 37 mm Skoda A7 armament with about 90 rounds of ammunition stored in the vehicle. Unlike traditional designs, the coaxial machine gun is mounted on a ball mount allowing it to be aimed independently on targets, yet could be fixed for coaxial usage. There is another machine gun in front used by the assistant driver, who also doubled as the radio operator placed on the left of the operator as the driver was on the right side of the tank. The LT vz.38 was a very reliable design.
The LT vz.38 was successfully exported under the name "TNH" and was given to Iran, Peru, Switzerland, and Lithuania, all under different names, but done in small quantities (Iran bought the most at 50 units). The British Royal Armoured Corps ordered one trial model out in an evaluation, but their evaluations came that the vehicle was uncomfortable for the crew and was impossible to lay the gun when the vehicle is in motion, thus the British did not order any and returned the trial model. Then in 1937, the Czechoslovak armed forces started a contest for a new tank to be put into service. Three companies, Škoda, ČKD and Tatra, were involved and submitted their various designs with Škoda a variant of the LT vz.38, ČKD a prototype model different from the LT vz.38, and Tatra a very different design concept altogether. The army then chose the LT vz.38 model and ordered 150 units in July 1938, but these were never put to service in Czech usage when the German occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939.
When Germany took control of Czechoslovakia, they ordered the LT vz.38 production to continue as its firepower, armour, and mobility was considerably better than the Panzer I and Panzer II, which made up most of the German armoured forces in 1939. At first, it was used under the designation LTM 38, but this was changed in January 1940 to the Panzerkampfwagen 38(t), or the Panzer 38(t) for short. The Panzer 38(t) was used as a substitute to the Panzer III due to the similarity in armour and armament. The 37 mm Skoda A7 cannon was renamed the 37mm KwK38 (t). The Germans would gradually upgrade the design in its production life and have seven different variants (A-G) of the normal production model, but are divided into one with 25 mm of frontal riveted armour originally, and the other with a total frontal armour thickness of 50 mm by bolting on another 25 mm of armour to the hull. Production under Germany control continued from 1939 to 1942 with a total of 1,414 tank units built (excluding export models and other vehicles built with the chassis).
The Panzer 38(t) served well in the initial campaigns for Germany in World War II, performing well in the invasion of Poland and France in 1939 and 1940 respectively. Some notable German tank aces would start their careers with this tank; such as Otto Carius, who would become one of Germany's well known Tiger Ace. Though unable to deal with the heavier tanks in Allied service, it was able to engage the armour of most light tank designs at the time. It wasn't until the initiation of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, where the Panzer 38(t) has become outclassed in all ways by the Soviet T-34s and KV-1 tanks. Due to the small two-man turret, it could not be modified to accept a larger gun capable of defeating these tanks. Not only that, but the Panzer 38(t) was also vulnerable to the Soviet 47 mm anti-tank gun due to the lower armour quality on the tank. These two drawbacks of the Panzer 38(t) caused it to be retired from front-line services for better tanks such as the Panzer IV. Despite its retirement, the chassis was found to be a very adaptable design, so it would continue to be used in a variety of roles such as the Marder III and Jagdpanzer 38(t) tank destroyer, Flakpanzer 38(t) anti-aircraft gun, and the Grille self-propelled artillery piece. A dedicated reconnaissance variant known as the Aufklärungspanzer 38(t) was also built to supplement the need for reconnaissance vehicles.
Despite its retirement as a front-line weapon, the Panzer 38(t) tank still saw usage as a reconnaissance vehicle and an anti-partisan vehicle in German-controlled territory. The usage of the chassis in different roles freed up many turrets to serve as fortifications to be used in various of locations, such as the Atlantic Wall, which proved well in against infantry attacks as its small 37 mm cannon was inadequate against the increasing armour of Allied tanks.
The Panzer 38(t), as a widely exported tank model, also saw service with Romania, Kingdom of Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Peru, and Iran. Sweden were one of the few countries that were granted license to construct the Panzer 38(t) under their designation as the Stridsvagn m/41 after their initial batch were seized by the Germans with the takeover of Czechoslovakia. Deliveries of the first batch of the initial tank model started in December 1942 and ended in August 1943. Then a second batch of 122 units was ordered in mid-1942 for more of these tanks due to an urgent demand, the second batch would have the 50 mm armour plate thickness and with a redesigned interior and better engine to compensate the weight increase. 104 of the second batch was delievered before production ended in March 1944. Some of these tanks would be converted into sav M/43 assault guns or armoured personnel carriers during and after the war. Peru were also another prolific user of the Panzer 38(t), using them in the Ecuadorian-Peruvian War in 1941 as the main stay of their tank battalions. The tanks added with the lack of capable anti-tank weapons in Ecuadorian forces made the Panzer 38(t) proved very well in the war and even stayed in service for more than 50 years before being retired.
A modified version of the Pz.38(t) light tank designed on the basis of combat experience in Poland. The tank’s armor was enhanced to 50 mm in the front and 30 mm on the sides. Two similar versions of the Pz. 38(t) Ausf. E and Ausf F were released between November, 1940 and October, 1941. 525 tanks were produced, including both versions.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
- Pz.38(t) A - Preceding vehicle model in the German tech tree
- Official War Thunder forum article: [Vehicle Profile] Pz.Kpfw. 38(t) Ausf. A & F
- Official War Thunder forum article: [Legends] Panzerkampfwagen 38(t)
|Germany light tanks|
|Pz.II||Pz.II C · Pz.II C (DAK) · Pz.II F · Pz.Sfl.Ic|
|Wheeled||Sd.Kfz.221 (s.Pz.B.41) · Sd.Kfz.234/1 · Sd.Kfz.234/2 · Sd.Kfz.234/2 TD · Class 3 (P)|
|Czech||Pz.35(t) · Pz.38(t) A · Pz.38(t) F · Sd.Kfz. 140/1|
|Post-war||Begleitpanzer 57 · Ru 251 · leKPz M41 · SPz BMP-1 · Radkampfwagen 90 · JaPz.K A2 · TAM · TAM 2C|