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Last Update: 05.02.2019, 21:30
Last Author: Norbert Schrepf

Panzerkampfwagen I

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Panzerkampfwagen I edition A(SdKfz 101)

During the First World War, tanks were used for the first time on the western theater of war. With the defeat of the Empire, Germany was banned from owning and developing battle tanks under the Treaty of Versailles. Only the Wehrmacht disregarded these regulations and reintroduced tanks into the German army. During the Spanish Civil War the PzKw I was used in combat for the first time. However, its armament and armor against the Soviet tanks was already evident. Nevertheless, it was still used by the Wehrmacht at the beginning of World War II until it was finally decommissioned in 1941. The remaining PzKw I were subsequently converted into a weapon carrier and ammunition transporter and thus found further use.

Of course, the toy manufacturers also produce vehicles for the existing figures. While initial models looked only conditionally similar to the original vehicles, with the introduction of the Panzerkampfwagen I amazingly detailed models were produced.

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History

The intention of introducing the Tank Model I (Sd.Kfz. 101) into the Wehrmacht was to use it as a training and exercise vehicle until the successor Tank Models II, III and IV were developed and available. Krupp commenced mass production of this tank (version A) in 1934.

The Tank Model I was first seen in action during the Spanish civil war in 1936. At the beginning of the Second World War the Wehrmacht was using about 1500 of these tanks in the ‘Blitzkrieg’ against Poland. After this operation the number of this kind of tanks in action was constantly reduced. However, the basis of this vehicle was still in use for a large variety of other Wehrmacht vehicles (e.g. tank hunters).

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Technical Data

crew:commander and driver
weapons: 2 x 7.92 mm MG34
height: 1.70 m
width: 2.06 m
length: 3.96 m
weight: 5,4 ton
max. speed: 39 km/h
range: 145 km road
97 km cross-country
engine: 4 cylinder Krupp M304, 60 PS

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Models

A model of the Tank Model I was first produced by Lineol in 1937. It was equipped with a clockwork motor and a steering mechanism for changing driving directions. There were also various other functions available like automatic smoke equipment (for a detailed description see the user manual 'Der Lineol Tank', German language). This model was produced in four variations:
  • camouflaged, four supporting wheels for tracks
  • camouflaged, four supporting wheels for tracks, smoke equipment
  • grey, three supporting wheels for tracks
  • grey, three supporting wheels for tracks, smoke equipment
In the 1938 Elastolin price list Hausser offered a new tank model under the internal number of 737/2. Unfortunately there are no pictures of this model available in the price list. However, there do exist pictures of a tank I model from the Hausser photo archive. This model is known by collectors as the "Hausser Tank".

Around 1939 Tipp & Co produced a a model of the tank I too. However the scale of this model is a little bit larger then the scale of the 7.5 cm soldiers. Nevertheless it is a very well manufacturered model with a nice clockwork engine for driving and simulating the machine gun fire with "Amorces". Unfortunately the turret is not movable which prevents it from aiming at targets on it's flank positions.




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