Hi everyone. Thanks to a recent find we are finally going to take a look at one of the tank projects that I skipped earlier in the series due to a lack of information. With this article I also intend to cover the Swedish tier 8 medium problem. I hope you will find this convoluted story interesting, i know i certainly did.
mid-1943 a Swedish army delegation got the chance to study captured T34
tanks in Finland. The heavily sloped armor and the mobility of the T34
came as a shock to the Swedish delegation. It had become clear that even
the modern tanks they had were completely outclassed. As a response
KATF (the army ordinance administration) issued a demand for the
development of a 30 ton medium tank to match the T34. The new tank was
to be a further development of the Strv m/42 which was just entering
service at the time. Proposals had been made previously for upgrading
the Strv m/42 but had been dismissed due to strict weight restrictions.
In comparison to the Strv m/42 the 30 ton was to use thicker and better
sloped armor. It would be armed with a long 75mm gun developed for the
Pvkv m/43 tank destroyer and use a new gearbox and engine under
development by Volvo. Considerations were also made for the use of an
autoloader for the main gun. Development would be handled by Landsverk
who internally designated the tank Pricken (the dot).
Earlier Landsverk drawing for an improved strv m/42
In 1944 the Pricken was little more than a widened Strv m/42 with sloped
frontal armor. The tank still retained the same turret ring diameter as
its predecessor, likely to allow interchangeability of the new
autoloader equipped turret that was under development for the Strv m/42.
At this point most of the work was focused on working out the general
layout and design.
Pricken hull drawing from 1944
after a series of failed negotiations with Britain about purchasing
Sherman fireflies KATF again approached Landsverk. The plan was that
they would help fund the development of a new 30 ton tank destroyer, the
hull of which would provide the basis for a tank in the same weight
class. KATF designated the projected tank destroyer TLP 46 and the tank
TLS 46, although Landsverk kept the Pricken designation. KATF wanted a
number of changes to the design. Earlier in 1946 an army delegation had
met up with their contacts at the in Czechoslovakia. Based on the
feedback they had gotten they wanted to switch to a rear mounted
transmission, have even thicker and better sloped armor, a 5 man crew
and also changes to the suspension. Landsverk was opposed to the
suspension changes and after some discussions it was decided to keep the
torsion bar suspension but move the transmission to the rear.
My copy of the TLS 46 / Pricken drawing from 1946
With the general layout agreed upon, work started on getting the design
ready for prototyping. The prototype for the TLP 46 tank destroyer was
the major concern with the TLS 46 being more of a side project. In 1947
KATF requested changes to the gun traverse of the TLP shortly after
which they decided to cancel the project entirely. The decision seems to
have been based on the idea that 75mm subcaliber rounds for existing
vehicles would be able to replace the need for the bigger caliber guns
planned for the 30 ton projects. With the army funding cut Landsverk
stopped working on the project, instead choosing to focus on lighter
designs the export market. The last mention of the Pricken was as part
of a report on landsverk‘s export tanks from 1948 where it appeared with
some info and no drawings.
TLP roadwheel layout drawing from 1947
It should be said
that neither KAFT nor Landsverk really knew what they wanted to do with
tank design at the time. A lot of new technology had come to fruition
during the war and Sweden lacked the experience of other nations that
had taken part in it. A lot of ideas were thrown around without the army
having any real idea what they wanted or where tank design was going.
It wasn’t really until the 1951 EMIL project that the Swedish army had
really worked out what it wanted from a modern tank.
As you can
probably tell the long and complicated history of this project has been
problematic when researching the vehicle. During 1943-1948 many
different versions of the Pricken were considered and scrapped. This
combined with the often incomplete documents regarding the project (a
lot of which has been either burned or misplaced) has made it impossible
to find drawings for the vehicle. But as it turns out at least one
concept drawing from 1946 had survived. However the drawing seems to
have been drawn up mostly to give an idea of how interleaved suspension
would look on the tank and isn’t very detailed. My drawing of the seen
in this article has been based on that drawing as the original is
unfortunately covered by a NDA.
its problems it’s rather likely that we will see this vehicle in the
game. This is because the lack of original Swedish tier 8 medium tank
candidates. There are enough upgrades to justify the tier 8 placement
but the Pricken if added to the game will be a compromise between many
different versions of the project and will have to be partially
reconstructed by WG. Currently there are three candidates for the tier 8
medium spot. The historical option would be to use the Strv 81 which is
just a Centurion Mk.3. The ideal option would be to use the 40 ton
Landsverk export tank drawn up in 1950, but we have been unable to find
the drawings for it. That leaves the Pricken as the only real
alternative, at least for right now.
As for how it would play, it
would be a fast medium with a very capable gun but with bad armor and
gun depression. With a power to weight ratio of over 20hp/t and a top
speed of 60 kph the Pricken would be one of the fastest tier 8 mediums.
The top gun would be a version of the 20pdr which should mean good gun
performance. It is likely that with this gun the tank will end up with
at most -5 degrees of gun depression. The armor would be nothing special
for tier 8 with a max thickness of 75mm at the front and 50mm at the
sides, It is however rather well sloped on the hull and rounded on the
Weight: 28-32 ton
Track width: 0,55m
Armament: 7.5cm kan m/43, 10cm kan m/34, 8.4cm kan strv Lansen
Elevation/depression: +25/-10dg (75mm)
Ammo load: 70 rounds
Engines: Volvo A8B improved (450hp), DB 605 (600hp), Rover Diesel Engine (620hp)
Top speed: 60 kph
Power to weight ratio: 20 hp/t
Side front: 50mm
Side rear: 40mm
Engine deck: 40mm
Sideskirts: circa 5mm
That’s it for now, next time I will cover the UDES 03. Until then feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.