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Author Topic: Panzer I "Negrillos" used in Spanish Civil war  (Read 8766 times)
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Location: Spain
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« on: 26 September 2009, 20:11:37 »

MODEL: IA and B Panzer PzKpfw I
Gun: None
Armour: 6mm to 13mm
machine guns: 2 independent MG 13 machine guns 7.92 mm.
crew: 2
cartridges: 2250 7.92 mm
Scope upon the draft: 150 m up against the car drilling T26B
weight: 5,400 Kg
Engine and max. speed: Krupp M 305, Petrol, 4 cylinder, 57 hp with a
speed: 37 km/h on paved road
Autonomy: 120 km
radio: Fug2
ditches / vertical obstacles: 1,75 m / 0,42 m
In 1936, 41 Pz IA arrived in Spain organizing them into a battalion of two companies. The battalion was sent to Front Madrid on 27 October of that year to PUJAL command of Carrasco and entered the battle on November 1st. They occupied Villamantilla, Villanueva de Perales and Brunete, but suffered its first setback in clashes with the Soviet tanks T 26 B.

The total number of  PzKpfw IA and IB nazionale was 180 tanks and they were commanded by Major Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma, all Panzer I were integrated in the German Condor Legion. This tank was very effective at the beginning of the war against militants badly equipped however later proved useless in dealing with the tanks of the Republicans.
Experienced German tankcrew of the Legion knew this and attacked with the support of anti-tank artillery and German planes, sometimes decimating Republican T formations 26B.

The Panzer I was known to Republicans as Negrillo by the dark gray paint them on their arrival in Spain.

Later in the second half of 1938 some units were equipped with the Italian anti-aircraft gun mod BREDA 35 of 20 mm.

Here you can notice the Spanish Legion emblem in the front of the tank

Even just disolved last tankers group participated in first national Victory Parade in 1939

PZI had no gun, so until it was added in a few units lately a antiaircraft Breda gun it had no power against russian T26 and had to use planes support frequently, so for national band was usual to paint a Spanish Flag in their tanks

Here you can see captured t26 painted for being noticed by planes

There were german and Italian tankers, first tankers in Spanish Civil war were Italian who came with their Fiat Ansaldo, here are the emblems



Flag used by Spanish forces

This one is from my particular collection. It´s an italian emblem of Legion tanker, as you can notice it uses a Fiat Ansaldo on it.

Tank crews used to wear black berets, and most them used skulls on them. For me it´s difficult to say if they wore the fascio skulls or the german Totemkopft (i think that´s the word). I suppose the used whatever they met, probably more used the german one. In photos you can see it. Should be more or less like this, although I think this beret is not original, probably no oficial berets, simply black berets, it that time it was a head hat very used and common to find.

Emblems for using like collar tabs, also italian

Sorry I mixed many things. Much more to say about Spanish Legion tanks and so little time to write.

« Last Edit: 26 September 2009, 20:55:59 by Solideo » Logged

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