7TP file photo [6367]


Primary RoleLight Tank


ww2dbaseThe 7TP light tanks were developed from the British Vickers 6-ton Mk.E light tanks, which Poland held a license to build. Compared to their Vickers predecessors, they were better armed with a 37-mm anti-tank gun, better armored with 17-mm armor in the front, and were powered by a more powerful diesel engine. They were considered better light tanks than the German Panzer I and II tanks, but between 1935 and 1939, only 4 prototypes and 132 production models were built, thus the technological advantage never made much of a different during the German invasion in Sep 1939. All of the 7TP tanks participated in the war, with most of them assigned to the 1st and 2nd Light Tank Battalions, and a few used for training.

ww2dbaseThe 1st Light Tank Battalion with 49 single-turret 7TP tanks first saw combat on 4 Sep, acting mostly as mobile reserve covering the withdraw from the front lines. On 8 Sep, the 1st Light Tank Battalion managed to stop the German advance on the center of the Polish forces, allowing a large number of forces to fall back to the rear before they finally gave in to German pressure on the next day. The unit surrendered to the Germans, along with its surviving 7TP tanks, on 21 Sep.

ww2dbaseThe 2nd Light Tank Battalion, also with 49 single-turret 7TP tanks, entered combat near Prudka River, Belchatow. On 5 Sep, it lead the way of a failed Polish counter attack and suffered serious casualties. On 15 Sep, it took part in the Battle of W?odawa, where it suffered heavy losses from German air attacks. On 17 Sep, all surviving 7TP tanks of the 2nd Light Tank Battalion were destroyed by their crews as the unit gave up after hearing the news of the Russian invasion from the east. All surviving personnel of the unit fled to Romania.

ww2dbaseThe 7TP light tanks previously used for training were reorganized into two improved units, 1st and 2nd Light Tank Companies. The 1st Light Tank Company had 11 obsolete twin-turret 7TP tanks, which fielded two machines guns instead of a single anti-tank gun; the unit was fairly ineffective and was merged into the 2nd Light Tank Company on 12 Sep after losing several tanks. The 2nd Light Tank Company also had 11 two-turret 7TP light tanks, but was further reinforced by armored vehicles. It successfully held down the German forces at Wola, and was used somewhat effectively for tactical counter attacks. On 15 Sep, during a general Polish offensive, it suffered seriously damage by German air attacks. The tanks of the two light tank companies were destroyed by their crews on 27 Sep.

ww2dbaseWhen the invasion was complete, the Germans captured 20 7TP light tanks and the Russians captured one. 20 of them were evacuated with their Polish crews into Romania.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jan 2007


7TP dw
MachineryOne Saurer VGLD diesel engine rated at 110hp
SuspensionLeap-spring bogie
Armament2x7.92mm Ckm wz.30 machine guns
Length4.60 m
Width2.40 m
Height2.27 m
Weight9.0 t
Speed37 km/h
Range150 km

7TP jw
MachineryOne Saurer VGLD diesel engine rated at 110hp
SuspensionLeap-spring bogie
Armament1x37mm Bofors wz. 37 gun, 1x7.92mm Ckm wz.30 machine gun
Length4.60 m
Width2.40 m
Height2.27 m
Weight9.0 t
Speed37 km/h
Range150 km


Single turret 7TP light tanks on the move, circa 1935-1938Single turret 7TP light tank at rest, date unknown

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7TP Light Tank Photo Gallery
Single turret 7TP light tanks on the move, circa 1935-1938
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