Skoda LT vz.35, Panzerkampfwagen 35(t)
The Romanian Army started a modernisation program in 1935, as part of that program 126 Skoda LT vz.35 tanks were ordered from Czechoslovakia in August 1936. The first 15 tanks received in May 1937 proved problematic and were sent back for modifications to make the tanks more suitable for Romanian conditions.
By 1939 all 126 modified R-2 Tanks had been delivered. The Romanians tried to order another 382 tanks from the now German controlled Skoda works in the middle of 1939, but the Germans denied their request.
The 1st Tank Regiment of the Armoured Division was equipped with the R-2 during the campaigns of 1941-42. The unit proved very successful against the disorganised Soviets in the early days of Operation Barbarossa, the Armoured Division spearheaded the assault on Kishinev. At Odessa, however, it suffered heavy losses supporting the infantry during the battle for the Black Sea port.
By the end of 1941 26 R-2 tanks were lost and in 1942 Germany agreed to deliver 26 almost identical, but used, Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) to replace the losses. The Armoured Division reorganised and rebuilt behind the lines during August 1942, and was attached to the 3rd Romanian Army defending the Don River Bend.
Field test against captured Soviet T-34 tanks soon proved that the R-2’s gun was all but useless against it. During the subsequent breakthrough of the Third Army’s positions in late 1942, Soviet medium and heavy tanks proved too much for the exhausted and poorly equipped Romanian troops. The Armoured Division lost 60% of its combat strength. They crossed the Chir River with only nineteen R-2 Tanks.
Weight: 10.5 ton
Engine: 6-Cylinder Skoda T11, water cooled
Fuel/Capacity: petrol/153 litres
Max road speed: 40km/h
Max cross-country: speed 15km/h
Road range: 190km
Cross-country range: 115km
Main Armament: 37.2mm Skoda gun
Ammunition: 78 rounds
Secondary: 2 x 7.92mm ZB-53 Machine-guns
In Flames Of War
The R-2 was the mainstay of the Romanian armoured forces in 1941-42, and was only supplemented in small numbers by the T-3 and T-4 tanks supplied by the Germans in 1942. It was lightly armed and armoured, but a fair number can be fielded in a Companie Cari de Lupta, where they will prove devastating against any light armour or infantry forces.
The R-2 Tanks is Fully-tracked with armour front 2, side 1 and top 1. It is armed with a 3.7cm KwK 35(t) gun (ROF 2, AT 6, FP 4+), a Co-ax MG and a Hull MG. It’s Unreliable, but has Protected ammo.
The R-2 is the same as the Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) used by the Germans during the early war and the model can be also used to represent the tank in German use.