Stridsvagn m/40K, a swedish ww2 tank

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In the late thirties the engineers at the swedish-german firm of Landsverk in Landskrona, Sweden developed a tank of welded construction and torsion bar suspension. It also had a radio and a periscope for the commander. Armed with a Bofors 37mm gun it had a crew of three, Commander, gunner and driver and weighed in at 8,5 metric tonnes.

The swedish army bought 16 in of the type in 1938 and called it the Stridsvagn m/38. The type was also produced under licence in Hungary, where it was called Toldi. It saw service with the hungarian forces during the second world war.

Because of the war there was a great demand for new tanks in the swedish army, whose tank force consisted of the light tank strv m/37, which was armed only with machine guns, and the above mentioned Strv m/38. The Strv m/38 was improved on and 20 new tanks were built by Landsverk as Strv m/39 in 1940-41.

Since there was no way the Landsverk factory could fulfill the demands for new tanks the army ordered TNH tanks from the CKD factory in Prague in 1939. Because of the german occupation the swedish tanks were pressed in to german service where they became the PzKfw 38(t) ausf S. The TNH tank was later produced in sweden under licence from 1941 to 43, and it became Strv m/41.

In Landskrona however the Strv m/39 was further improved on and became the Strv m/40 which was delivered in 1941. The Strv m/40 was equipped with an add-on armour package, that, to save the suspension, was not to be mounted during peace time. Later, in 1944 a second batch was produced in Karlstad. The Landskrona manufactured tanks recieved the letter L, and the Karlstad made vehicles got a K added to the name. The Strv m/40K differed from the Landskrona built tanks in that it had the add on armour package integrated in the construction, and not as removeable panels as the Strv m/40L. To cope with the added weight the 40K got a more powerful engine (162 hp versus 142hp) and a strenghtened suspension. The main armament, the 37mm gun however remained the same, which makes the usefullness of the tank, should sweden have been pulled in to the war, quite questionable. The main gun would have almost no effect on any tank used by the allies or the axis at that time. In Landskrona 100 of the type were built, and in Karlstad the number of built tanks was 80.

The vehicle portrayed in the walk-around below belongs to the armour museum at Axvall, and it is part of their small collection of driveable display vehicles. The photos were taken during an event on the 27th of september 2008. The tank is very weathered, with a very faded, chipped and worn paint job. That is because it has never been repainted. The colours are the same as when it was in active service with the exception of the running gear, which was repainted because the old paint job was in such a bad state that it had to be repainted. But the gray colour is said to be the same as the old one.

The facts are compiled from the website of the armour museum at Axvall and from a conversation with the curator of the museum, Per-Åke Kronbladh. Any factual errors might come from the author of this article however.

About Erik Gustavsson

One of the founding fathers of Plastic Warfare, and the creator and administrator of this website.
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2 Responses to Stridsvagn m/40K, a swedish ww2 tank

  1. Mike Griffin says:

    Hello Erik,

    I am thinking of building one of the 30’s/40’s Swedish tanks, perhaps the Strv M/40. The designs are very forward-thinking for their time and one can see the great influence on German tank development. I’m not aware of any kits available and this is too bad as they are quite an important armor subject in my opinion.

    I would guess a number of Swedish modellers have built some quite successfully?

    I am at a disadvantage being in Florida,USA so I have no museum example to refer to but it seems there may be enough documentation available to suffice.

    I enjoyed viewing the website, best regards, Mike Griffin

    • Erik Gustavsson says:

      Hi Mike
      As far as I know there are no Strv m/38/39/40 in kit form available, but there are however resin kits of the Hungarian version, the Toldi, available in 1/72 and 1/35. Unfortunately the larger scale kits are difficult to get hold of.
      Since I also have plans on building the m/40 I have photographed it whenever I had the opportunity. The best shots are those that I’ve presented above. I feel however, that I need to do some more research on the matter.

      As for already built models of old Swedish armour, I guess they exist, but I haven´t seen that many. I’ve seen at least one m/40 based on the before mentioned resin kit however.
      http://www.plasticwarfare.se/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/DSC5578.jpg
      If you want to build older Swedish used, but not Swedish designed armour, there are a bit more options. There is a resin kit of the LK II available, that really is a Strv m/21. A Pzkfv 38t could be converted in to a Strv m/41 and I heard somewhere that there is a kit of the CKD AH IV (Strv m/37) on the way.
      One tank sadly missing is the Strv m/42, which was later rebuilt in to Strv 74. I´ve seen a scratch built Strv 74 in 1/35. But I have yet to see a Strv m/42.
      There are however drawings of the Strv m/38 and Strv m/42 available from SPHF (http://www.sphf.se) if you want.

      Good luck with your project. Contact me if you have any further questions, and feel free to report on the progress of your build.

      Best regards
      Erik G

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