Tank War 1939 - 1945
By Janusz Piekalkiewicz
Publisher: Blandford Press 1986 332 Pages
PDF 47 MB
A cold wind drove along the snowflakes and dark clouds covered the sky outside Hradcany Castle in Prague, the residence of Dr. Emil Hacha, the president of the Czcchoslovakian republic, as armored reconnaissance cars of the German 4th Infantry Division rolled up to the gates. It was 8:45 A.M. on 15 March 1939. By noon General von Schwcdler, the commander of IV Corps based in Dresden, and his energetic chief of staff General Model, had arrived at the same spot despite the ice-covcred roads. At 4:00 P.M. Hitler, accompanied by an SS squad, arrived at Hradcany Castle in his heavy Mercedes, having driven there from Dresden.
The occupation of Czechoslovakia not only gave Hitler strategic advantages in his planned attack on Poland, but also brought crucial reinforcements to the German panzer arm, which now ac quired several hundred sturdy and well-armed Czech tanks highly respected by military experts. Previously the German panzer divisions had been rather weakly armed, mainly with two types of light tank known as Panzer I and II (short for Panzerkampfwagen I and II, often designated PzKpfw I and II).