Thursday 5 December 2013

T is for Tschechisch

The Wehrmacht was pretty big on using enemy equipment whenever possible, appending it with the first letter of the country of origin. French equipment had the (f) suffix (Französisch), Soviet equipment had (r) (Russisch), etc. Some of the most frequently used captured tanks were Czech, the Pz 35(t) and Pz 38(t) (Tschechisch). However, in tank names, "t" following a number usually indicates mass. Naturally, some people were confused.

One such person was the translator of Franz Halder's diaries, as a result of which, the Russian version has the following line: "Reinforcements for tank units: Tanks will be sent from Germany ( PzIII - 100, 38-ton tanks - 40, PzIV - 40)"

Seeing as how this is August of 1941, and Germany didn't have anything close to a 38 ton tank, this is clearly a Pz 38(t). These mistakes also appear in several other non-German sources. The mistake is even common enough to be made fun of in the "Girls und Panzer" cartoon.

However, it seems it was more common than originally though.

Seeing as how the PzIII was not even close to weighing 35 tons, clearly some confusion with the Pz35(t) is taking place.


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