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Another amazing photo from Yuri Pasoholok.

LK II

There are two types tanks on this photo, taken in Hungary in late 1920s – the Italian Fiat 3000 and the German LK II WW1 tank. As Yuri writes, there is a myth going around that the LK II and its Swedish derivative, Strv m/21, were heavily modernized after WW1. It is not so. In 1918 (autumn, that is), the tank continued to evolve – the original 57mm gun proposed for it was too big. In September 1918, Krupp developed a 37mm gun instead, which was supposed to be installed in a casemate superstructure, not a turret. That’s when a decision was taken to make one third of the tanks MG variant only with the MG installed in a fully traversable turret.

At the same time, a serious overhaul of the hull was started. The air intakes in the frontal engine compartment plate were removed and it became sloped forward. The “old” version was not supposed to be mass-produced – or, more specifically, this isn’t an evolution of a production design. This is still the part to the mass-produced variant. In the end, the 37mm gun was not fitted into the tank and the MG version became the only one built.

It’s possible that the Germans actually continued to develop and build LK II even after the armistice because according to the German military plans from 30.9.1919, the German army of the Weimar Republic was supposed to have 100 light tanks. However, on 10.1.1920, the Versailles Treaty came into effect, forbidding Germany to operate any tanks. And so the Germans sold 14 LK II tanks to Hungary in 1920, tanks that looked exactly like those that showed up later in Sweden – the conclusion is that the Germans “upgraded” the tanks themselves, not the Swedish. Compare. The old model:

And the new one.

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