For the Record: LTP for Argentina (Birth of Nahuel)
Hello everyone, when I say “LTP”, many of you will think of the Soviet premium light tank in World of Tanks – some of you however, who read this blog for a long time might remember, that that was the designation of the light tank for Peru as well – a tank, produced by ČKD (Praga). If you are interested, you can read about the tank’s history here. Now, why am I writing this. Generally, it was believe that the tank was offered just to Peru, but as it turns out, other countries were interested in it as well – countries such as Argentina. I’d like to thank player COLDOWN for the information, that follows. The commercial and military ties with Czechoslovakia were nothing around the beginning of the Second World War. In 1932, Škoda sold Argentine an undisclosed number of AA guns (possibly the 76,5mm L/50 export variant). Ever since, Czechoslovak arms had a good name in Argentine and it was no wonder that when Argentine saw Peru purchasing the Praga light tanks in 1938, they wanted some of their own as well, as they were fast, nimble, had sufficient firepower and were quite capable of dealing with the low-tech armies in the region. Between 1937 and 1938, Argentine sent a letter of intent (to Škoda and PRaga), expressing its desire to purchase as many as 160 light tanks of the LTP type (between 7-9 tons, modern design, anti-tank capabilities). There was some unspecified communication, but the deal was cancelled when Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany. The intent, however, did not die. Three years later, in July 1942, Domingo Martínez, head of the federal police, contacted the German charge d’affaires, Erich Meynen, about purchasing the same tanks over Spain. The Germans however refused this time as well. This decision was one of the key moments for the birth of Argentine’s very own tank program, resulting in the Nahuel tank. Here, Peruvian LTP’s can be seen in this 1941 Peru-Ecuador war propaganda video at several moments. * * Sources: www.valka.cz Militariarg – Vehicles Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales Navarro. “Tanque Vickers.Colección Museo de Armas de la Nación”. Sigal Fogliani. “Blindados Argentinos. De Uruguay y Paraguay”.