Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The FReeper Foxhole's TreadHead Tuesday - The 7TP/7-Tonowy Polski Light Tank - June 1st, 2004 ^

Posted on 06/01/2004 12:01:30 AM PDT by SAMWolf


Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.

...................................................................................... ...........................................

U.S. Military History, Current Events and Veterans Issues

Where Duty, Honor and Country
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.

Our Mission:

The FReeper Foxhole is dedicated to Veterans of our Nation's military forces and to others who are affected in their relationships with Veterans.

In the FReeper Foxhole, Veterans or their family members should feel free to address their specific circumstances or whatever issues concern them in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, brotherhood and support.

The FReeper Foxhole hopes to share with it's readers an open forum where we can learn about and discuss military history, military news and other topics of concern or interest to our readers be they Veteran's, Current Duty or anyone interested in what we have to offer.

If the Foxhole makes someone appreciate, even a little, what others have sacrificed for us, then it has accomplished one of it's missions.

We hope the Foxhole in some small way helps us to remember and honor those who came before us.

To read previous Foxhole threads or
to add the Foxhole to your sidebar,
click on the books below.

7TP / 7-Tonowy Polski Light Tank

In 1928, British Vickers-Armstrong designed the 6ton Tank Mark E and of which in 1931, Poland purchased 50 examples. 6ton Mark E was not accepted by the British Army but Vickers sold it along with a licence (in some cases) to Bolivia, Bulgaria, China, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Japan, Portugal, Romania, Russia (T-26 series) and Thailand (Siam). Two types Mark A and Mark B were purchased along with the licence. 16 Model A and 22 B were delived in 1932 and 1933, while the rest remained as payment for the licence or were delivered as spare parts. The twin turret Mark A was armed with two 7.92mm Hotchkiss wz.25 and in late 1930s rearmed with 7.92mm Browning wz.30 machine guns. Single turret Mark B was armed with 47mm Vickers-Armstrong gun and 7.92mm wz.30 machine gun. The main problem with 6ton Vickers was its Siddeley engine, which easily overheated. After examination in Poland, it was decided to modify Mark E and start the development of their own light tank by improving Mark E. New tank development program was designated as VAU-33 (Vickers-Armstrong-Ursus 33), either jw (single turret) or dw (twin turret).


Polish designers attempted to modify original Vickers tanks as late as 1936, including various armament configurations in twin turret models. Polish designers also worked on replacing original Armstrong-Siddeley engine with licensed built Swiss Sauer diesel engine as well as on improving its armor protection. Experience gained during the work was used in the development of new Polish tank and Vickers tanks remained in service to the outbreak of war without major modifications (e.g. cooling system was improved). In 1934, the development of domestic light tank designated 7TP (PZInz.220) based on Vickers Mark E started.

In Spring of 1935, it was accepted for production and production of first 7TPdw with two small turrets, each armed with 7.92mm Browning wz.30 machine gun started. Other alternate armament was 13.2mm Browning wz.30 heavy machine gun mounted in one turret and 7.92mm Browning wz.30 machine gun in the other. Also considered was configuration with 37mm Puteaux SA 1918 gun in one of the turrets. 7TPdw was considered to be the temporary solution and only some 24 were produced, while the rest was finished as 7TPjw tanks. Early 7TPdw were mounted with turrets removed from 22 Vickers tanks in 1934, which were converted to single turret model.

7TP Light Tank, 1939

Next variant was to be armed with a single turret armed with a heavier gun. Various designs and prototypes were presented and armaments included: 20mm, 40mm, 47mm and 55mm guns. In late 1936, second variant 7TPjw was ready and entered production in late 1937. It mounted a single turret manufactured by Swedish Bofors, armed with 37mm Bofors anti-tank gun and one 7.92mm Browning machine gun. Vehicles produced from late 1938, were fitted with turret mounted storage bins to mount 2N/C radio equipment. Original 7TPdw were slowly being converted to jw variant and by September of 1939, only 16-24 were in service. All 16-24 were at the training centre near Warsaw and in September of 1939, took part in the defence of the city. In 1938/39, work on new 7TP started and two designs were made for new tank designated as 9TP Both variants were to have modified 7TPjw's turret, a new engine (Saurer CT1D / PZInz.155 diesel engine), strengthened suspension and wider tracks along with improved armor protection. First variant was to be uparmormed (up to 40mm) version of 7TP, while second had more angled front armor. Outbreak of war stopped any futher development of 7TP and 9TP.

In January 1937, Sweden became interested in purchasing or renting of single 7TPjw for testing purposes along with a purchase of 20 to 60 unarmed tanks and C7P tractors, but Polish side was not interested. In April of 1937, Bulgaria and Estonia were interested in purchasing 7TPjw tanks. Estonia wanted to buy 4 tanks, but Poland was willing to sell only 7TPdw tanks and it was planned to create a hybrid of 7TPjw hull mounted with Vickers turret armed with cannon. In November of 1937, Holand was interested in 7TP, but also no transaction took place. In 1938, technical documentation for 7TPjw was send to Turkey in preparation for the transaction, which never took place. At the same time, Poland considered exporting 36 7TPjw tanks and Yugoslavia and Greece were both interested, but the transaction never took place.

Polish - VickersE-Twin

Overall from 1935 to 1939, 7TP was built by Panstwowe Zaklady Inzynierii (National Engineering Works) at Ursus near Warsaw, in only two main variants - jw (single turret) and dw (twin turret). Polish designers also developed light (artillery) tractor / troop carrier based on 7TP's chassis designated C7P. Production started in 1935 and first units received tractors in the same year. In 1937, plans were also made to produce self-propelled anti-aircraft tank based on 7TP armed with two 20mm FK-A wz.38 L/73.5 automatic cannons (used to rearm TKS tankettes). The entire project was cancelled in 1938 and all efforts were concentrated on production and modernization of Polish armored fighting vehicles. Also few special rail transport cars were made especially for 7TP tanks (similar to those made for Polish Renault FT-17 light tanks) to allow them to travel as part of armored trains.

First prototype of 7TP - VAU-33-2

In September of 1939, Polish Army had only 136 7TPs (24 dw, 97 jw and 11 jw produced in September of 1939 along with 4 prototypes made of regular plate), which equipped two Polish light tank battalions (each with 49 tanks) and other units. During Polish Campaign, 7TP proved to be a match for any German Panzer. Some captured 7TPs were painted in Panzergrau with German markings and were presented during the victory parade in Warsaw on October 8, 1939. Later on captured 7TPs were used for internal policing duties and later on as artillery tractors. Number of captured 7TP tanks, especially jw variants was tested by the Soviets at Kubinka in 1939/40. Today, parts of 7TPjw light tank can seen in the Museum of Polish Armored Forces in Warsaw, Poland.

KEYWORDS: 7tp; armor; freeperfoxhole; poland; tanks; treadhead; veterans; vickers; wwii
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 101-114 next last
The 7TP, VAU33dw, VAU33jw, 7TPdw, 7TPjw

All the names above have been seen in western writings as a designator for the Polish production of the Vickers 6-ton tank. All are correct, and misleading. Every designator is correct if used within the right context. Only the prototypes used the designator "VAU33-dw or VAU33-Jw". The VAU33-dw was the dual turret model while the VAU33-jw was the single turret type. 7TP tanks were produced with two designations; the 7TPjw and the 7TPdw. The 7TPdw was the dual turret design. Most writings simply state "the 7TP" and that designation is used most often to refer to the single turret (7TPjw) model. The single turret model was the tank that Poland was the most proud of and was their most modern production design. By the start of WW2, the 7TPdw was no longer in production and was considered slightly out of date. Some writings refer to the designators VAU33jw and VAU33dw. This designation is used in some Western sources for Polish Vickers Mk.E tanks. It's especially used by some model manufacturers, but this is an ERROR in fact. VAU is a short of "Vickers-Armstrong-Ursus", sometimes they supplement it with "wz.33". The Ursus factory had nothing to do with Vickers-Armstrong tanks. Polish researcher J. Magnuski wrote, that "VAU" was an initial designation for Polish Vickers development project, which led to 7TP tank. Some sources state that the VAU-33 was a prototype of 7TP and was a modification of the Vickers Mark E with a Swiss diesel engine Saurer VBLDb.

Unlike many nations, Poland did not simply produce (or even buy) more clone Vickers 6 ton tanks, but actually improved on the already excellent basic design. Poland's 7TP was the first step in an uncompleted process (interrupted by WW2) of gaining engineering and industrial ability needed to produce a truly Polish Tank.

A back-door view of a prototype 7TP turret interior (serial turrets had no back door). From the left, visible are: periscopic sight, pistol grip of 7.92mm wz.30 TMG, telescopic sight, 37mm wz.37 gun's breech guard and a pipe for case ejecting, and commander's periscope. An interior of serial turrets was similar.

The Vickers tank was well within the capacity of the Polish industrial technology, and the design offered some potential for further development. The PZI design bureau was tasked with the study of making a homemade copy. PZI produced the 7-TP, a 9-ton twin turreted tank that was to be a considerable step forward in design over the Vickers original. At first the original engine of the Vickers was installed, but this was replaced by a license-built Saurer 6-cylinder diesel engine which developed 110hp. This made the Polish 7-TP the world's first diesel-powered tank to reach production status. The 7-TP's armor was also 4mm thicker than the Vickers originals. The first 7-TP to be built by PZI left the works in 1934. While the production of the modified twin turret model 7-TP was proceeding, it was decided to introduce a single version carrying a Bofors gun. This variant appeared in 1937, but the production was slowed by the difficulties of making armor plates and procuring the turrets from Sweden.

Dismounted co-axial mounting of wz.37 gun and wz.30 TMG of 7TP tank.

In 1939, after some minor arguments unsuitable armor thickness, PZI got involved to evolve a heavier variant with an improved engine, welded armor thickened up to 40mm in front, a strengthened suspension, wider tracks and a turret with a rear overhang which could accommodate both transmitter and receiver radio sets. The new up-armored 7-TP, which now weighed 11-tons, did not have time to go beyond the pre-production stage before the events of 1939. During the nineteen thirties and during the development of the 7-TP, the question of designing tanks in Poland had become a very controversial matter. Two schools of thought were in contention: the first one defended the launching of domestic design and production programs, the second one (represented by the Chief of the Armored Force himself), considered this as a waste of time and money which could be better spent in purchasing well-proven foreign tanks. Nothing came of these debates except friction and the slowing of progress. A total of 169 7TPs saw service.

1 posted on 06/01/2004 12:01:31 AM PDT by SAMWolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it; PhilDragoo; Johnny Gage; Victoria Delsoul; The Mayor; Darksheare; Valin; ...

Based on a Vickers Armstrong 6 ton design, a popular product world wide, the 7TP was produced in Poland starting from 1931. Poland purchased 38 Vickers E tanks (22 twin turret and 16 single turret) for the Polish Army along with the license allowing Poland to produce them in Poland. The 7TP was considered a light tank by standards at the time. Some early models had 2 turrets, each mounted a machine gun. Later models had a single turret with a 37 mm cannon as shown above. The 7TP (with the 37 mm cannon) was more than a match for German Panzer 1 and 2, and an equal of Panzer 3's except in armor protection*. The German army was so impressed with this design they incorporated as many 7TP tanks as possible into their service.

Captured 7TP tanks in German service

*Late models had 40 mm of frontal armor. This made the tank stronger than the Panzer 3 of that period. In fact, the Germans lost a great deal of armor in the Polish campaign. That was one of the reasons for the "phony war" on the western front. Germany needed time to rebuild/repair their armor.

Warsaw September 1939 by David Pentland
Polish 7TP (Twin Turret) light tank of Captain F. Michalowski's training company breaks out from the street barricade to counter attack German reconnaissance elements.

Though Poland had limited industrial capacity, there was real interest in tank warfare and design. Sadly (and lucky for the Russians and Germany), the best designs had not reached production level prior to September 1939. The Polish army was equipped with less than 950 tanks in an odd mixture of imports, tankettes, and light tanks. This force had to face a German Panzerwaffe of over 3000. Soviet tank numbers are unknown.

The Poles were far ahead of many nations in tank development. Using the Sauer engine made the 7TP the worlds first diesel powered tank. The 7TP was the Polish version of the Vickers 6 ton (twin turrets) but with thicker armor (17 mm). This actually made the tank a 9.5 ton machine. In 1937 the unit was redesigned to a single turret with a 37 mm cannon. The final model of the 7TP had a larger turret and up to 40 mm of armor (welded). The model also included better suspension and wider tracks.

Crew 3
Engine Armstrong Siddley Puma 91.5 hp air cooled, or Swiss Sauer VBLDb 110 to 115 hp water cooled. Using the Sauer made the 7TP the worlds first diesel powered production tank
Weight (battle) 11+ U.S. tons, 9.9 metric tons
Speed 22.98 mph
Range 150km (road) 130km (cross country)
Communications 7TPjw came equipped with N2C
Armament 7TPdw had 2 x Browning 7.92mm MGs. 7TPjw had 1 x 37mm Bofors and 1 x Browning 7.92mm MG. 
Height 6.61'
Width 7.55'
Length 14.96'
Armor 5 - 18mm. Up to 40 mm (late models).
Power to Weight 11.1 bhp/ton
Track Ground Pressure 0.6kg/cm2

Additional Sources:

2 posted on 06/01/2004 12:02:24 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Now entering Iraq. Please set your clocks back 10 centuries.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

When the Wehrmacht blasted into Poland in 1939, their main opposition was the TK-3, the 7TP, and about 50 French-built R35’s. The TK-3 was a tankette (better known as deathtrap) armed with only machineguns, and proved easy meat for the Panzers.

The 7TP was another matter: this light tank was armed with a 37mm gun and was capable of defeating the Panzer I and II’s that made up the bulk of German armor at the time. The tank had a 110 hp engine producing a speed of 22mph with a range of 93 miles. Armor was 5mm-17mm, with a weight of around 10 tons. There was a crew of three, and armament other than the 37mm consisted of two 7.92mm machineguns.

The Poles had two battalions equipped with the 7TP, and after the capitulation, the Germans used as many as they could salvage. They were initially used as tanks for policing in occupied territories but were later converted to artillery tractors. Thus started the practice of applying the Black Cross to a vanquished foe.

3 posted on 06/01/2004 12:03:05 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Now entering Iraq. Please set your clocks back 10 centuries.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: All

Veterans for Constitution Restoration is a non-profit, non-partisan educational and grassroots activist organization. The primary area of concern to all VetsCoR members is that our national and local educational systems fall short in teaching students and all American citizens the history and underlying principles on which our Constitutional republic-based system of self-government was founded. VetsCoR members are also very concerned that the Federal government long ago over-stepped its limited authority as clearly specified in the United States Constitution, as well as the Founding Fathers' supporting letters, essays, and other public documents.

Actively seeking volunteers to provide this valuable service to Veterans and their families.

Iraq Homecoming Tips

~ Thanks to our Veterans still serving, at home and abroad. ~ Freepmail to Ragtime Cowgirl | 2/09/04 | FRiend in the USAF

PDN members and fans. We hope you will consider this simple act of patriotism worth passing on or taking up as a project in your own back yard. In summary:

Who They Are: Operation: Stitches Of Love was started by the Mothers of two United States Marines stationed in Iraq.

What They Are Doing: We are gathering 12.5"x12.5" quilt squares from across the country and assembling the largest quilt ever produced. When completed we will take the quilt from state to state and gather even more squares.

Why They Are Doing This: We are building this quilt to rally support for the Coalition Forces in Iraq and to show the service members that they are not forgotten. We want the world to know Nothing will ever break the stitches that bind us together as a country.

Ideas to start a local project:

Obtain enough Red, White and Blue material (cloth) for a 12.5 x 12.5 quilt square.
If you have someone in your family that sews, make it a weekend project and invite neighbors to join you.

Consider this tribute as a project for your civic group, scouts, church or townhall group.

Locate an elementary school with an after school program in your neighborhood or locate an after school program in your neighborhood not attached to a school and ask if you could volunteer one or two afternoons and create some squares with the kids.

Invite some VFW posts to share your project in honor of their post.

Send us for digital photos of in progress and finished project for various websites, and the media.

PDN is making this appeal in support of Operation: Stitches Of Love
Media Contact: Deborah Johns (916) 716-2749
Volunteers & Alternate Media: PDN (916) 448-1636

Your friends at PDN


The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul

Click on Hagar for
"The FReeper Foxhole Compiled List of Daily Threads"

4 posted on 06/01/2004 12:03:33 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Now entering Iraq. Please set your clocks back 10 centuries.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: CarolinaScout; Tax-chick; Don W; Poundstone; Wumpus Hunter; StayAt HomeMother; Ragtime Cowgirl; ...

FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!

It's TreadHead Tuesday!

Good Morning Everyone

If you would like added to our ping list let us know.

5 posted on 06/01/2004 12:05:44 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it

Good Night Snippy.

6 posted on 06/01/2004 12:18:48 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Now entering Iraq. Please set your clocks back 10 centuries.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf

Night shift bump for Treadhead Tuesday


alfa6 ;>}

7 posted on 06/01/2004 12:25:36 AM PDT by alfa6 (When you hoist up that cold one this weekend, remember those that made it possible)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: alfa6

Open 24 hours. :-)

Thanks, alpha6

8 posted on 06/01/2004 12:29:38 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Now entering Iraq. Please set your clocks back 10 centuries.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it; JulieRNR21; Vets_Husband_and_Wife; Cinnamon Girl; Alamo-Girl; Bigg Red; ...
hiya kids,

may I point everyone to this thread:

A Tribute to Heroes ... :)

Walk on Warrior! (Hand Salute!) Semper Fi!


"The Era of Osama lasted about an hour, from the time the first plane hit the tower to the moment the General Militia of Flight 93 reported for duty."

9 posted on 06/01/2004 12:34:49 AM PDT by Neil E. Wright (An oath is FOREVER)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf

Ah the joys of 12 hour shift work and only having one 'puter that I can get FR on.

Well it could be worse and I don't want to find out how :-)

Back to work as I my timer went off.


alfa6 ;>}

10 posted on 06/01/2004 12:35:05 AM PDT by alfa6 (When you hoist up that cold one this weekend, remember those that made it possible)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Neil E. Wright

Thanks Neil.

11 posted on 06/01/2004 12:43:39 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf

Good Night Sam. Thanks for today. ;-)

12 posted on 06/01/2004 12:44:07 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
Good morning Tonk and all.

13 posted on 06/01/2004 1:31:47 AM PDT by Aeronaut (Why be a politician when it is so cheap to rent one on those rare occasions that you need one?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
Oops..., I meant: Good morning Snippy.

Durned cut lists.

14 posted on 06/01/2004 1:33:47 AM PDT by Aeronaut (Why be a politician when it is so cheap to rent one on those rare occasions that you need one?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it

Good morning Snippy and everyone at the Freeper Foxhole.

15 posted on 06/01/2004 3:04:25 AM PDT by E.G.C.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: E.G.C.; snippy_about_it

Good morning, all. Poles with tanks ... what'll they think of next?

16 posted on 06/01/2004 4:07:37 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I'm not making this up.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
Good morning

17 posted on 06/01/2004 4:11:30 AM PDT by GailA (hanoi john kerry, I'm for the death penalty, before I impose a moratorium on it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All
God . . . will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but . . . will also make the way of escape. —1 Corinthians 10:13

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin
Each victory will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus, He will carry you through

To withstand temptation, stand with Christ.

18 posted on 06/01/2004 5:32:01 AM PDT by The Mayor (In God's eyes, true greatness is serving others)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it


19 posted on 06/01/2004 5:39:30 AM PDT by manna
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it; bentfeather; Samwise
Good morning ladies. Get yer firepower. Flag-o-gram.

20 posted on 06/01/2004 5:41:25 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (I'm a new father. I FReep one armed now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 101-114 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson