Czechoslovak Tanks & AFVs of the Cold War
About 20,000 armoured vehicles 1947-1990.
- Czechoslovak built T-54/55: T-54/55 1,800 T-54s were ordered in 1957 and produced under license between 1958 and 1963. 1,700 T-55s were ordered in 1963 and produced under license between 1964 and 1973. Overall 2,700 T-54s were produced under license between 1957 and 1966 and 8,300 T-55s and T-55As between 1964 and 1983 (T-55A was probably produced since 1968) (most for export).
- Czechoslovak built T-72: T-72 About 1,700 T-72/T-72M/T-72M1 were produced between 1981 and 1990. The Czechoslovak army had 815 T-72 in 1991. "During the war, the first encounters with the Russian T-34's quickly led the German army to look for alternative solutions for a new medium tank. One of them was to commission occupied Czechoslovakia's Škoda company to design a new medium tank for the Wehrmacht. In Fall 1941, Germans contacted the Škoda engineers and designers and by the end of 1941, first drawings of the new vehicle (designated T-24) were ready. At the same time, another team was working on an even heavier vehicle, the T-25 and the T-24 project was cancelled in favour of the T-25. Technically, it was one of the most advanced drawings of the Škoda design bureau and just like the T-25, it was inspired by the sloped shapes of the T-34 Soviet tank. As the war came to a close, on 10 December 1945, 1st Department of the Czechoslovak High Command sent its ideas about the new tank to the VTU (Military Research Institute). It was supposed to be a 30-33ton machine, armed with an 85mm to 105mm cannon, with the armor of 20 to 65 millimeters. It was to be propelled by a diesel engine with maximum speed of 50 km/h and it was to have a 5-member crew. On December 3, 1946, VTU design bureau presented a miniature mock-up proposal, named "Tank všeobecného použití" (TVP). It was based on the best elements of studied German, British, Russian and Czechoslovak constructions. The VTU institute proposed to use the German 88mm-105mm guns as its armament. In the years 1947 and 1948, this project was worked on, the demands and construction elements of the vehicle were further refined. There was a parallel development in the other big company - ČKD (Pilsen and ČKD used to compete a lot before the war for military contracts), there is however no information on their involvement in these years. The official request for the new tank from the High command was however given only in 1949 (all the previous army involvement was on an unofficial level). The Škoda project received thus an official designation - T-50, the ČKD project received the T-51 designation, but by 1950, both projects were unified under the designation of T-50/51. Forced by the Soviet Union and pressed into accepting the Soviet tanks into their army, the Czechoslovak High Command had to abandon the support of the project. Few months later, all the independent design and construction works in Czechoslovakia were ended and that marked the end of the last truly independent Czechoslovak tank project.
After the fall of USSRFrom now on for decades, all the Czechoslovak tanks would be derivatives of the Soviet models as seen below: Czechoslovakia - 1,800 T-54s were ordered in 1957 and produced under license between 1958 and 1963. 1,700 T-55s were ordered in 1963 and produced under license between 1964 and 1973. Overall 2,700 T-54s were produced under license between 1957 and 1966 and 8,300 T-55s and T-55As between 1964 and 1983 (T-55A was probably produced since 1968) (most for export). Passed on to successor states. Czech Republic - At least 296 T-54s and T-55s, 2 MT-55s, 25 VT-55s were inherited from Czechoslovakia. 792 T-55s and T-72s were in service in early 2001. According to the UN register of conventional arms Czech Armed Forces operated 948 T-55s and T-72s in 1997, 938 in 1998, 792 in 1999 and 652 as of 1 January 2001. Last vehicles were withdrawn from service in early years of the 2000s (decade). Slovakia - At least 206 were inherited from Czechoslovakia. 1 T-55AM2B received from Czech Republic in 2000. 1 T-55AM2 received from Czech Republic in 2001. 2 T-55AM2s received from Czech Republic in 2005. 275 T-55s and T-72s were in service in 1999. 3 T-55s were in service in early 2001."