Type 58 and T-34-85 in Chinese Service

People’s Republic of China (1950-~1990) Medium Tank – 1800+ Supplied (T-34-85), Unknown Number Converted (‘Type 58’) The Chinese Upgrade of the T-34-85 ‘Type 58’ is an unofficial name which refers to the mysterious Chinese upgrade package to the T-34-85. All T-34-85s in operational service with the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) came to the People’s Republic …

Type 63/65 SPAAG

Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Circa Early 1970s) Improvised Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun – 2+ Built “You catch fish with both hands” (Vietnamese Proverb) ‘Type 63 SPAAG’ and ‘Type 65 SPAAG’ are unofficial names for a mysterious improvised self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. Put simply, the vehicle is a Soviet-supplied T-34-85 chassis with a new superstructure which features a …

Type T-34 (Fake Tank)

People’s Republic of China Medium Tank – Fake Fake Until Proven Real “Type T-34” is a made-up designation for the T-34/76 in Chinese PLA (People’s Liberation Army) service. The only suggestion of the PLA operating the T-34/76 comes from the video game, World of Tanks, and their Chinese client company, Kongzhong. It is claimed that these tanks …

Medium Tank M4A2 Sherman in Chinese Service

Republic of China (1947-1949?) – 7? Donated  Communist China (~1949) – At Least 1 Captured Medium Tank From USMC to KMT to PLA The only known photograph of a Chinese M4A2 (Sherman) shows one in PLA (People’s Liberation Army) service on a victory parade in 1949, apparently with a non-standard main gun. The history of …

T-26s with Kremlin Armory Cannons (April Fools)

Soviet Union (1941) Self-Propelled Gun – Fake April Fools This article was originally published on Tanks Encyclopedia on 1st April 2018, as part of our April’s Fools Day celebrations. The information contained within is mostly fictional but some parts are actually true, such as the use of the prototype vehicles from Kubinka in combat, or …

Panzerkampfwagen I ‘Breda’

Nationalist Spain (1937-1939) Light Tank Destroyer – 4 Converted The Nationalists Strike Back The Panzer I ‘Breda’ (an unofficial name) is a rare conversion from the mid-Spanish Civil War. It was intended as a means of countering the Republican army’s Soviet-supplied vehicles (mainly the T-26 and BA-6). Nationalist forces only typically had CV-35s and Panzer …

Renault ZB

France (1935) Republic of China (1938-1942?) Light Tank – 19? Built Upgrading the AMR 33 The Renault ZB was essentially a lengthened test (and later, export) version of the AMR 33 fitted with a more versatile suspension type. The suspension type influenced later designs, such as the Renault R35, but the Renault ZB was rejected …

Panzerkampfwagen I ‘Lanzallamas’

Nationalist Spain (1936-1939?) Light Flamethrower Tank – 2 Converted The Civil War Heats Up Panzer I ‘Lanzallamas’ is an unofficial name for two Panzer Is which were converted into flamethrower tanks during the early Spanish Civil War. Little is known about the vehicles due to a lack of primary sources, and as a result, there …

Type 95 So-Ki

Empire of Japan (1935-1943) Armored Railroad Car / Tankette – 121-138 Built Occupational Hazard The Type 95 So-Ki was an armored railroad car and tankette. It had the niche ability to drive on both the ground with its tracks, and on railroads with its retractable railroad wheels. It was technically classified as an engineering vehicle …

Tanque Barbastro

Second Spanish Republic (1936?) Light Tank – 1 Built + 3 Partially Complete The Republican Behemoth The “Tanque Barbastro” is an unofficial name for a handcrafted light tank built by local (not government) initiative early in Spanish Civil War. The first and only completed tank was an improvised design, but production of several more was …