Hello everyone, today, we are going to talk about the Š-I-D (also known as T-32) and the Š-I-j (known as T-3D), first being a Czechoslovak self-propelled gun by Škoda (as far as I can tell, the only purely Czechoslovak SPG, that actually fought in the war and fired shots in anger) and the latter being its proposed upgrade, that made it into prototype stage. Now, before we start, a word on nomenclature. There is a lot of confusion, when it comes to Š-I-D, because its name is usually being messed up in various way. Examples I have seen in existence are S-1-d, S-i-D, Š1-d and various others. Occasionally, the name was messed up even by Czechoslovak clerks and officers. The correct version is probably the Š-I-D, because the name means: - Š: manufacturer Škoda (Praga vehicles begin with P) - I: roman number 1, representing the lightest vehicle category (tankettes), (category II were essentially tanks, category III were breakthrough “heavy” tanks) - D: “dělový” (gun tankette) One important thing: Š-I-D and Š-I-d are NOT interchangeable. Š-I-d is Š-I-D’s refused prototype, there are differences between them (less armor, one less roadwheel, the gun). This is the prototype, Š-I-d: And this is the Š-I-D: History Š-I-d is a Škoda design, based on the Š-I (MU-4) tankette, developed in mid thirties by Škoda as a response towards the demands of the royal Yugoslavian army (the “d” in the name means “dělový” – “gun variant”). It was designed in 1935 – a simple box-shaped casemate was added on the original hull,made out of 5-20mm armor plates, riveted together. It had a crew of two and it was armed with a modified version of the Škoda A3 37mm AT gun (that could move 10 degrees to the sides from its axis, the elevation was -10 degrees to 25 degrees). The prototype however still had quite a few flaws. By the end of 1935, it was introduced to the Yugoslavian officers, who liked it, but they submitted a number of improvement suggestions, which were later incorporated into the next version, designated Š-I-D. Š-I-D was the result of the Yugoslavian input. Namely, the chassis was prolonged, by adding one roadwheel and a roller and the engine was a more powerful model. The armor plates were a bit thicker (22mm max) and it was armed with an improved model of the A3 gun (the A3J), that had an extended traverse possibility (15 degrees to each side from the axis). The vehicle was well liked and in 1936 (after trials), Yugoslavia signed a contract for 8 of these vehicles. They were subsequently accepted into the service under the designation of T-32. They were used to train crews mostly (but also for combat and recon), but after Yugoslavia was attacked by the Germans and their fascist allies, 4 of these vehicles fought south of Belgrade, where they were destroyed by German artillery – despite their short career, they were regarded as successful. The remaining 4 vehicles (unarmed, used for training) stayed in the military school in Zemun, until they were captured by the Germans there. They were sent to (now German-occupied) Škoda factory for refit and afterwards, they went to the Waffen SS units and were used for training under the designation of Pz. Kpfw. 732 (j). Guns Škoda A3 Caliber: 37mm Rate of fire: 23 RPM (theoretical), 12 RPM (aimed) Barrel length: L/39,5 (sometimes noted as L/40, 1460mm) AP shell weight: 0,85 kg Muzzle velocity: 685 m/s (675 m/s Pejčoch) Penetration: 30mm at 1000m (Francev) or 30mm (90 deg, 550m) (Kosar), 32mm (90 deg, 650m) (Pejčoch) HE shell weight: 0,825 kg (1,42kg the entire shell) Škoda A3J Caliber: 37mm Rate of fire: ? Barrel length: L/41,1 AP shell weight: 0,85 kg Muzzle velocity: ? Penetration: 32mm (90 deg, 650m) (Pejčoch) HE shell weight: 0,825 kg (1,42kg the entire shell) Characteristics (based on Š-I-D) Crew: 2 (commander/gunner/loader, driver) Weight: 4,8 tons Length: 3575mm Width: 1975mm Height: 1755mm Clearance: 28cm Track width: 250mm Engine: Š-I-D: Škoda Flat Six, 60hp (at 2500RPM, 3,99 liter gasoline 6 cylinder boxer), Š-I-d: Škoda Flat Six, 55hp (at 2700 RPM, 3,65 liter gasoline 6 cylinder boxer) Transmission: Škoda 3F 1R (with reduction, eg. 6F 2R), transmission in the front Suspension: five roadwheels on each side (4 on bogeys with leaf spring suspension, one extra with coil suspension, rubber bands on each roadwheels), 4 return rollers, front drive sprocket, minimal turn radius: 2100mm Armor (see schematic above): Frontal hull: 15mm Lower front plate: 8mm Frontal superstructure: 22mm Commander’s copula: 15mm Sides: 12mm Rear: 12mm Roof: 8mm Main gun: Škoda A3 or Škoda A3J, +25/10 elevation, +/-15 degrees traverse Ammo carried: 42 rounds Speed: 41 km/h, 15,6 km/h reverse Š-I-j History After the success of the Š-I-D vehicles in 1937, Yugoslavian government did put a new set on demands for Škoda engineers to work on in mid 1937. These demands included a small gun tankette, prototype of which was to be created until 30.4.1938. The resulting prototype, based on these demands, was designated Š-I-j (“j” stands for jugoslávský (Yugoslavian)). It was bigger than the previous model and had improved suspension and a brand new engine. But most importantly, it also had a new more powerful gun – the 47mm A-9Ja. One prototype was made and tested extensively in Yugoslavia in 1939/1940. It wasn’t found perfect – in fact, it had a few flaws – but despite that, it was accepted for future service. A 108 vehicle production run was planned, but based on the war experience, Yugoslavian army changed the specifications and focused on heavier vehicles – and that was the end of this project. The prototype was taken back to Czechoslovakia (and redesigned, first to T-1D, later T-2D and finally T-3D – D means “diesel” in this case), where it remained until it was taken away by Waffen SS representatives on 17.9.1943 to Munich for testing. Its final fate is unclear, but in 1946, this vehicle type was still in Škoda’s export catalogue. Guns: Škoda A9J Caliber: 47mm Rate of fire: ? Barrel length: L/33,7 (1584mm) AP shell weight: 2,6kg Muzzle velocity: ? Penetration: 32mm at 600m (Pejčoch) HE shell weight: 2,79 kg the entire shell Gun weight: 420kg Škoda A9J (sometimes can be seen under designation A9ja or A9j) was a reworked version of Škoda A9 47mm tank gun. The original can’t fit the superstructure, but (uhnistorically) could be considered as an upgrade gun. Characteristics Crew: 2 (commander/gunner/loader, driver) Weight: 5,8 tons Length: 3585mm Width: 2050mm Height: 1800mm Clearance: 34cm Track width: 270mm Engine: Š-I-D: Škoda Diesel, 60hp (at 2200 RPM, 3,77 liter 4-cylinder inline diesel) Transmission: Škoda 3F 1R (with reduction, eg. 6F 2R), transmission in Continue reading →

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