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Post Info TOPIC: Strv M21/LK II


Legend

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Strv M21/LK II
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At the risk of creating another conflagration I’m opening up this subject again in the hope that we can all approach this subject with some detachment. I’ve used the published figures and photographs to first compare the Strv M21 and the LK II to try to objectively determine if they are indeed the same beast. I’ve listed the variations below. All of the photos I’ve used have appeared on this forum in other postings but I attach a montage of some as its easier to compare different machines when you can see them effectively side by side. However I’m limited by the max file size available on the forum. If anyone has difficulty let me know and I’ll post each photo separately and you can print them out much larger and compare the hard copies.

I’ve then tried to provide a logical explanation for the different accounts of the development of the tank. What I can ask is read it and ponder before bursting into flames and could I make a special plea, if anyone has evidence that either supports, contradicts or modifies my suggestions can you please try to find a way to post this in a way that we can all look at it? Otherwise it’s a bit like playing cards where one player will only tell you what they think they have in their hand –  very difficult to hold a balanced discussion.


 
LK II/Strv M21 differences
 
Length

LK II              16ft .8in


Strv M21          18ft .9in


 


Width

LK II              6ft. 5in


Strv M21          6ft. 9in


 


Height

LK II              8ft. 2in


Strv M21          8ft. 3in


 


Engine output

LK II              60 HP


Strv M21          55 HP


 


Max speed    

LK II              8.5 Mph


Strv M21          8.0 Mph


 


Engine cooling system

LK II              Forced water cooling*


Strv M21          Water cooling


 


*         Forced water cooling uses water under pressure in tubes around the engine to act as a form of heat exchange in addition to the normal radiator. A similar system was used by some Christie designed tanks. It allows the engine to run hotter for longer. However it is vulnerable to battle damage. Today it is used for small objects (such as high speed motors in tools) and very large objects (such as some nuclear reactors) where overheating could have undesired results. An engine with forced water cooling needs a much greater air flow around it – see cooling louvers below.


 


Cooling louvers

LK II             Front of engine compartment, top of engine compartment, sides (middle) of engine compartment


Strv M21       Sides (rear) of engine compartment


 


Engine compartment length

LK II             ‘Short’ - bottom of engine compartment  in line with third rivet back from track adjustment aperture


Strv M21       ‘Long’ -. bottom of engine compartment  in line with middle of track adjustment aperture


 
Engine compartment front

LK II             Rearward sloping


Strv M21       Forward sloping


 


Engine access

LK II             Hatch towards front of engine compartment -9 rivets between cab and rear edge of hatch


Strv M21       Hatch towards rear of engine compartment – 3 rivets between cab and rear edge of hatch


 


Exhaust

LK II             Pipe through front port mud chute


Strv M21       Pipe through rear port mud chute


 


Tracks

LK II             Track shoes that have inset in which rivets holding shoes are located


Strv M21       Simple plates with rivet heads proud *


 


*         Strv M29 had LK II like tracks


 


Armament

LK II              57mm cannon in fixed barbette


Strv M21          Mg in rotating turret


 


 


The conundrum

 


The Strv M21 appears to be a slightly bigger tank than the LK II with many differences in its structure (including longer track units). However there are reports that this tank was in fact sold to Sweden by Germany as a sort of flat pack (shades of IKEA!) and is in fact the machine gun version of the LK II. To add to the confusion there is no evidence in the public domain that the projected machine gun version was ever produced in Germany (a contributor to this forum has said that he has a photo of such vehicles being produced but unfortunately has been unable to make it available to view). For the Strv M21 to be an LK II it would be necessary after delivery of the 2nd prototype in Nov 1918 for the German team at Daimler to have completely redesigned the tank, making it longer, slightly wider, with a different engine and crew compartment layout, a revised cooling system, different tracks and a turret (effectively a new tank) and then build ten. This seems unlikely. An alternative view expressed by some historians (notably Robert Icks) is that the Strv M21 is only based on the LK II and was developed at the Landswerk plant. Some in Sweden have hotly denied this.


 


I think that it may be possible to ‘square this circle’. The tank historian Col. Robert Icks indicates that only two LK II were completed in Germany and a number, probably five or six, were in various stages of completion at the Daimler factory. Icks’ source appears to be the report on German tank production by Captain Wegner (a member of the A7V committee and a co-designer with Vollmer. Extracts from this report indicate that the LK I, II and III were included in it and Icks certainly had a copy (he quotes from it on a number of matters). (If anyone has a complete copy of this report its publication would be most welcome). The only photographic evidence in the public domain that clearly shows German built LK IIs is of two cannon armed machines. (There is a photo that is said to show a row of mg armed LK IIs but as I shall explain below these are likely to be Strv MK 21s outside the Landsverk plant). The Hungarian historian Miklos Eder’s researches indicate that Daimler sold a number of LK IIs to Sweden (no more than six) together with the detailed drawings (this latter item is significant). Swedish correspondents of this forum have indicated that they have proof of the purchase of LK IIs but unfortunately have not yet felt able to publish the evidence.


 


Given the above evidence coupled with the distinct differences between the Strv M21 and the LK II a logical explanation of the various discrepancies would be that Daimler  sold Sweden the remaining five or six LKIIs  (whether completed or part complete is probably a matter for further discussion) together with the plans and these were used , with some reverse engineering, to produce an improved design that was built as the Strv M21 of which there were ten. Whether or not Vollmer was involved remains a moot point. The two completed cannon armed prototypes appear to have been destroyed at the behest of the Allied Control Commission. There were some good reasons why it would have been convenient for the Swedish authorities to have it appear that the Strv M21 was assembled directly from components that had come from Germany.


 


Contrary to some general assumptions it was not a breach of the Versailles Treaty for Sweden to buy arms from Germany. Indeed Sweden openly purchased some heavy howitzers that the German army was not permitted to retain. Nor was it a breach (of the letter at least if not the spirit) of the treaty for Germany to sell tanks to Sweden. Germany was forbidden to build or import tanks or armoured cars but the idea of selling existing stock was not covered (it was probably assumed that there was no existing stock). Selling tanks to Hungary would be a treaty violation but of Trianon not Versaiiles.. Daimler might have been rapped over the knuckles for not declaring the existence of the vehicles sooner but accounts of other violations by other factories do not suggest that the consequences would have been much worse. What was strictly forbidden was the export of military technology in such a way as to allow its continued development, especially if German nationals were involved in this. The sale of the detailed plans would probably fall under this prohibition especially if it turned out that these were used as the basis for the development of an improved version of the tank. The construction of such an improved version by Landswerk would have been a definite and serious violation. As Petter Wulff of the Swedish Defence Research Agency has pointed out in a recent paper “there seems to have been a distinctly German rule at the Landswerk plant. The first head of the department was a very authoritarian German engineer. He was followed by a country man with a very heavy hand”.  Thus whilst the reassembly of tanks sent from Germany would not constitute a breach the development of an improved version would do so. The purchase of the LK IIs from Daimler could provide a convenient fig leaf to cover the development of the Strv M21.


 


I said I would cover that photo of the line of tanks that has been said by some to constitute proof of the manufacture of the turret armed version of the LK II in Germany. This photo has already been posted on this forum in a thread on Vollmer both the full picture and a detail. In the full picture it shows a row of tanks that look exactly like Strv M21s (forward sloping front to engine compartment without louvers, side louvers near the rear of the engine compartment, a long engine compartment etc etc.). They are parked outside a building with very distinctive tall columned windows. The Landswerk plant had such windows. I enclose a photo of the inside of the assembly shop at Lansdwerk. These windows can be seen clearly behind the Strv M29 suspended from the works crane. The main justification for the claim that the tanks are at a German plant is some German words chalked on the front of one of the tanks. However as there were German engineers at Landswerk they could be responsible for the chalked instructions.


 


 



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Just because there are some differences between old data collected from different sources just so it will fit your statement, do not convince me.


It is not so hard to find a third or even a fourth example of say for instance length of the two vehicles. I do not believe that many of the authors have measured the real thing. So if any of you readers, find a third measurement, it is not enough evidence that there ever was a third type of LKII.


 


Then you compare the LKII 57mm gun tank, with strv m/21, and I do agree with you, there are big obvious differences between the two.  One has a 57mm gun, and the other a mg turret.


 


Then I quote from Robert J Icks Encyclopedia of Tanks “-completion of LKII tanks from parts shipped from Germany to Sweden”  


 


The tank parts that we bough did not come from Daimler, they came from a company in Berlin.  


 


The wall of the assembly shop at Landsverk (not Landswerk) looked like this, I do not think it has any resemblance at all, with the wall on the LKII photo. By the way, the old assembly hall is still standing so you can even have a look for you’re self.


 


The assembly of the strv m21 was not done at the Landsverk factory, it was done in Stockholm.


 


   



 


 




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Kjell S wrote:



 


Just because there are some differences between old data collected from different sources just so it will fit your statement, do not convince me.


 


Are you implying that I selected data to fit a theory? I'm sorry but if that were the case I would find that an inappropriate statement. I'm sure thats not what you mean. The LK II data was first published in 1920 in Berlin by Kruger, he also reproduced scale drawings of the vehicle.  The Strv  data was taken from a Swedish web site but is the same in several othe sources


It is not so hard to find a third or even a fourth example of say for instance length of the two vehicles. I do not believe that many of the authors have measured the real thing. So if any of you readers, find a third measurement, it is not enough evidence that there ever was a third type of LKII.


So whatever is produced you won't believe it?


 


Then you compare the LKII 57mm gun tank, with strv m/21, and I do agree with you, there are big obvious differences between the two.  One has a 57mm gun, and the other a mg turret


 And a different cooling system, different cooling louvres, a longer and different shaped engine compartment, different tracks, a different location for the exhaust pipe etc?


 


Then I quote from Robert J Icks Encyclopedia of Tanks “-completion of LKII tanks from parts shipped from Germany to Sweden”  


 


I can quote you several of Icks books in which he catagorically says that the Strv was only based on the LK II


 


The tank parts that we bough did not come from Daimler, they came from a company in Berlin.  


 


Daimlers factory was in Berlin and they were given the contract to build the LK II. What is the name of thuis third company? However it doesn't change the fact that someone would have had to redesign an build a 'new' version of the LK II


 


The wall of the assembly shop at Landsverk (not Landswerk) looked like this, I do not think it has any resemblance at all, with the wall on the LKII photo. By the way, the old assembly hall is still standing so you can even have a look for you’re self.


 


The assembly of the strv m21 was not done at the Landsverk factory, it was done in Stockholm. By whom?


 


   



 


 







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It is of no interest to compare LKII 57mm gun tank with the LKII with mg turret. We all can see that there are several small and big differences even from looking at the few photos available.


The real discussion is, where there ever any LKII mg tanks completed in Germany.


 


I have no distinct evidence if there were or not, the photo of the row of tanks against the wall could be that evidence, if we could say with some certainty where it was taken.


 


What I do know, is that we imported the tank parts to Sweden from a company in Berlin called "Willhelm Ugè GmbH".


And the delivered parts where assembled at “Stockholm tygstation” this was the main workshop for the artillery in Stockholm, and probably the only place the Swedish Army had with sufficient knowledge and resources in 1921.  


 



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Kjell S wrote:



It is of no interest to compare LKII 57mm gun tank with the LKII with mg turret. We all can see that there are several small and big differences even from looking at the few photos available.


The real discussion is, where there ever any LKII mg tanks completed in Germany.


 


I have no distinct evidence if there were or not, the photo of the row of tanks against the wall could be that evidence, if we could say with some certainty where it was taken.


 


What I do know, is that we imported the tank parts to Sweden from a company in Berlin called "Willhelm Ugè GmbH".


And the delivered parts where assembled at “Stockholm tygstation” this was the main workshop for the artillery in Stockholm, and probably the only place the Swedish Army had with sufficient knowledge and resources in 1921.  


 


No. we know that two cannon armed LKIIs were completed in Germany and a number of others were under construction. However those LK IIs built in and delivered Germany that we can see were similar in general layout to the Strv M21 but different in many details and in size. It would seem unlikely that the remaining tanks under construction would have had so many differences even if they were Mg armed (of which there is no proof). Nor is there now much doubt that Sweden purchased the LK IIs under construction (whether they were still uncomplete or not isn't known). However there weren't enough of these to make ten Strv M21s and anywaythey wouldn't build into Strv M21s without so much modification as to amopunt to a complete rebuild. As I said in my first posting they could, together with the detailed design drawings, and some reverse engineering, have formed the basis for the design of the Strv M21 (which appears to have have been a more practical machine in any case). In such as case there would be no contradiction in the LK IIs being assembled in Stockholm and the Strv M21s at Landswerk. As I've said there would have been very real political reasons to keep the latter quiet.


Thanks for the name of the German supplier (who does not seem to have been the original contractor) - one can now look further.







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Centurion wrote:




However there weren't enough of these to make ten Strv M21s and anywaythey wouldn't build into Strv M21s without so much modification as to amopunt to a complete rebuild.


Now you must be guessing. No facts published of how many part to the LKII where under production, or is there.


 


 


As I said in my first posting they could, together with the detailed design drawings, and some reverse engineering, have formed the basis for the design of the Strv M21.


This is also a guess of yours, you do not know what model of the LKII was under production, nor how many.  


 


 


In such as case there would be no contradiction in the LK IIs being assembled in Stockholm and the Strv M21s at Landswerk.


This is so totally wrong and just another wild guess, where do you get all these things from?


We got parts enough to complete 10 tanks and they where assembled in Stockholm as I have said several times before, and nothing else. And, for the fifth time, Landsverk (not Landswerk) had no part what so ever in this.


 



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Please read my original article properly before accusing me of guessing. I've quoted a Hungarian historian on the number of LK IIs under construction and sold to Sweden - nore more than 5! Other sources come up at best with no more than eight. Which ever figure is correct there are not enough to make 10 Strv M21s


Would it not be better for a vivilised discussion if you actually put some evidence on the table to support your position rather than merely attacking every statement? Some rational alternative explanation of the many diffeences between the machines  delivered in Germany and the Strv M21 for example,.



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Centurion wrote:

Contrary to some general assumptions it was not a breach of the Versailles Treaty for Sweden to buy arms from Germany.





From the text of the Versailles treaty (online at: http://net.lib.byu.edu/~rdh7/wwi/versa/versa4.html)

ARTICLE 170.

Importation into Germany of arms, munitions and war material of every kind shall be strictly prohibited.

The same applies to the manufacture for, and export to, foreign countries of arms, munitions and war material of every kind.

The text, as well as the spirit of the law seem crystal clear to me.



You can play the XXXXX XXX barrister with that and say that it does not say that a third country is not allowed to buy weapons from Germany if she starts the operation, but I dobut that would hold in a court...

I think it's all in the dates. If the date when the German Gov purchased something like the 50% of the shares in AB Landsverk was -correct me if I'm wrong here- 1920, it could be interesting if that was after or before the signing of the Treaty by Germany. Also, if the famous LK IIs, or parts of them, it's the same, were purchased before the signing, then, well... it was just free market, right?

I suspect the same might hold true for the Hungarian batch. Which, BTW, was delivered before  21 July 1921, when Trianon went into effect, right?

Returning to Sweden, of course if they got the shares before they signed the treaty and were aware of its content -which I think was pretty much open source, or at least known to high circles in the German military-industrial complex-, then the whole AB Landsverk affair was a ruse to circumvent Versailles from the very begining.

Besides, your whole point of the size differences between LK II/Strvn m/21 is clever, but I don't think it's so decisive. The differences you note are measured in inches in almost manufactured machines, hardly a proof of different origins or designs.

Also, not attacking your sources, but it would be necessary to check where did they got their numbers and so on... Lets say simply that I became stat-esceptic a long ago. And, anyway, there could be a very simple explanation to the diferences on the haphazard manufacture history of German tanks. The A7V were almost manufactured, with lots of minor differences between examples of the same batchs. If the LKs were mounted the same way, and certainly they were produced under similar industrial conditions, there could have been differences between examples, and even more added when assembled in a foreign country.

I would accept the argument if the Germans had been able to standarize component production, which I suspect they were unable to do so. If they simply sold hulls in different stages of completion, plus miscelaneous components and parts -and the whole LK idea was about recycling after all- I wouldn't be surprised if the completed examples had minor diferences due to non-standar parts plus some "local flavour" by the assemblers.

Also, the Swedish LKs had hardened armor? I seem to recall that a great disavantage of the German LKs was a "soft" steel armor. The OHL rejected them on that basis in December 1917, right? Was that fixed in the LK II and Swedish derivatives?

Would like to hear what do you guys think about that.

Cheers!



-- Edited by Gustavo on Friday 2nd of November 2012 01:08:18 AM



-- Edited by Gustavo on Friday 2nd of November 2012 01:14:40 AM



-- Edited by Gustavo on Friday 2nd of November 2012 01:28:15 AM



-- Edited by PDA on Saturday 3rd of November 2012 01:28:46 AM

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Centurion - Last Access Apr 15, 2012
Kjell S - September 20th

It's an interesting discussion, even if it is a classic bit of threadomancy!
We've two, known, surviving Strv M21/29, one at Axval, one at Munster.
Kevin Wheatcroft's reputedly in possession of LKII remains.
Centurion's post looks convincing, the 1" difference in height is no big deal, an error in measurement could account for it. The 4" in width & especially the 25" in length are different matters.
Unless someone comes up with original plans, or other documented proof, I'd suggest that the debate can't be solved.

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To be honest I didn't realise the date of the debate. It could be nice to put the date of thread/post bigger in a more visible spot. Just a newcomer's opinon.

In fact, while it's a matter of opinion if the material is out of date or not (it was mostly the problem with Centurion's approach which doesn't seem convincing at all to me), I think that the bringing back to life threads like this, well packed with info and point of views (Kjell's reluctance to provide, for example, archival reference numbers for the documents he claimed to have that would have definitedly closed the debate putting his contributions well above the "opinion" mark), is a good way of advancing fresh approaches. After all, this thread is nothing like the scriptures, right? I can't see why a newcomer can't chime in so that new members can left their two cents.

 

No, the debate can't be solved. But it could still be debated, and that could have been funny, if anybody just retained their composture.



-- Edited by PDA on Friday 2nd of November 2012 12:33:10 PM



-- Edited by PDA on Saturday 3rd of November 2012 01:24:03 AM

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Pzkpfw-e wrote:

We've two, known, surviving Strv M21/29, one at Axval, one at Munster.


 Actually, there are two tanks in Sweden. If I remember correctly, one of them is an M/21 and the other a M/21-29.

I saw both of them this spring. One of them is located in the new military vehicle museum "Arsenalen", outside Strängnäs. The other one is standing outside the museum's garage, under a tarp.

 



-- Edited by Kaiser on Friday 2nd of November 2012 12:47:23 PM

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Re LK.II article on Landships II, is anyone able to tell me which of the forward-sloped-nose tanks in the photos is LK and which is Strv?

Prior to reading the article, the only info I had on the M/21 suggested a fairly different vehicle from the reverse-sloped LK.II I was familiar with, and what similarity there is between the two was accounted for in a book by the claim that Joseph Vollmer designed both and moved to Sweden after the war.

The understanding I gained from the Landships II article suggested that LK.II was modified with a forward-slope nose for the MG variant, leading to great similarity between the two tanks.

So is it known with certainty that the MG variant of LK.II was built (some sources say it wasn't), in order that it could be possible for Sweden to have bought existing vehicles, or is it just the case that Vollmer reproduced the design (with or without having the original plans) after moving abroad?

Coming back to the Landships II photos, I note that one photo shows the engine vents in a forward position, identical to that on the 57mm variant of LK.II: is this evidence that the MG version was indeed built, with further-back vents indicating a Swedish M/21? There's also the matter of the track frames, which in one of the photos (which I've seen described in a book as an M/21) are raised slightly in height - whether for sprung bogies or not is unclear.

I note that M/21 is described as a four-man tank, whilst LK.II was three-man: could the design have been lengthened to create space for the fourth crew member, accounting for the considerable difference in length, whilst width and height remained similar (an inch is negligible, and a few inches can easily be gained or lost if someone is converting between metric and imperial and makes a mistake).

Hope my queries are understood, I'm not trying to repeat the basic question of the thread, but it may seem like it.

PS - probably should have posted this on the new thread...



-- Edited by TinCanTadpole on Saturday 3rd of November 2012 01:03:43 AM

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Kaiser wrote:
Pzkpfw-e wrote:

We've two, known, surviving Strv M21/29, one at Axval, one at Munster.


 Actually, there are two tanks in Sweden. If I remember correctly, one of them is an M/21 and the other a M/21-29.

I saw both of them this spring. One of them is located in the new military vehicle museum "Arsenalen", outside Strängnäs. The other one is standing outside the museum's garage, under a tarp.


 

There is one m/21 at Arsenalen, it came from Axvall museum.

There are two and a half m/21-29 at Arsenalen, one of them comes from Axvall museum and the other has been a monument outside on the P10 regiment in Strängnäs. The half one is a bit of a chassis and some small parts found in a lake a few years ago.

Then there is one m/21-29 in Munster- Germany, that was a monument at the P18 regiment in Visby.

www.arsenalen.se



-- Edited by Kjell S on Saturday 3rd of November 2012 05:34:31 PM

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