Possible EU tier 2 premium: Š-I-SPO

Hello everyone,

today, we are going to have a look at one vehicle, that could fit as a tier 2 premium tank.



Much of the history of the Š-I series has already been written about in the previous article. Basically, it in the early 30′s, the tankettes were the “flavour of the year” and most armies dabbled in them one way or another. Czechoslovakia produced whole bunch of tankette designs, the most important of them being the P-I (also known as Tančík vz.33) and Š-I platform, on which the Š-I-d, Š-I-D and Š-I-j projects were built. The Š-I-D was then sold to Yugoslavia and served there under the designation of T-32, participating even in the war against Germans early on. That was in 1936-1937.

At the same time, the army decided to create units called “Smíšený předzvědný oddíl” (“mixed recon unit”) and attach them to mobile divisions to improve the recon units capability and firepower. These SPO units consisted of one cavalry escadron, a bicycle infantry company and an attached platoon of light tanks – specifically, the Praga LT-34, which by that time was already growing somewhat obsolete). New special tanks for these units were requested by the army and Škoda decided to answer that request with the Š-I-SPO proposal. Developed along with the improved gun vehicle (Š-I-D) for Yugoslavia, it was basically the Š-I-D tankette platform with a twist: the engineers decided to add a turret.

Needless to say, it was not a brilliant idea. The result was not really a light tank, more like a tankette with a turret. One prototype was made in 1937 and it was submitted to army trial program. It was found out that the vehicle – being quite tall for its width – suffered from poor stability as a result (basically, it had tendencies to tip on one side). Furthermore, thin tracks resulted in poor terrain passability and what was even worse, its speed was not sufficient for a fast recon vehicle: the 4,7 ton vehicle was powered by a 60hp Škoda Flat Six engine, allowing it to go as fast as 41 km/h, but not thru any serious terrain. The armor was quite thin of course (25mm frontal plate, but only 15mm on the sides) and the armament was not available either: the vehicle was supposed to be armed with the 15mm ZB-60 machinegun and coaxial 7,92mm ZB-35 in the turret, but the ZB-60 development was not yet finished by the time the prototype was built, so it had to be equipped with a wooden mockup instead.

By the way, if you are wondering what the ZB-60 machinegun is, it’s nothing else than the original version of the British 15mm BESA, which the British licensed. 140 of those were sent to the United Kingdom from January to April 1939, along with the license agreement. This gun already is in World of Tanks with following parameters: PEN:25 DAM:9 ROF:76-102 ACC:0.53-0.56 AIM:1,7-2.


Either way, the army trials of the prototype were not considered successful and the army was not interested. The lack of proper armament, light armor, terrain passability, stability and speed were all considered to be problematic. Škoda tried to propose the vehicle to another customer: Royal Afghan Army – the Afghans were looking for armored vehicles at that time too, but weren’t interested for the same reason the Czechoslovak army wasn’t. In the end, unable to find a customer, the prototype was disassembled by Škoda in 1938 and its components were used in different designs.


Crew: 2
Weight: 4,7 tons
Engine: Škoda Flat Six V6, 60hp
Maximum speed: 41km/h
Armor: 25/15/12mm
Gun: 15mm ZB-60

Pejčoch – Obrněná Technika

49 thoughts on “Possible EU tier 2 premium: Š-I-SPO

  1. One problem – WG don’t seem to do low tier premium tanks any more. The last one was Sexton 3 I think, and that was arty. It would make a good New Year giveaway though.

          • The thing to have in mind is that the czech had a very good pre-war and early war tanks and tank production, more than any else EU country that wasnt Germany and probably England

            • Biggest arms exporter in the world before the war, gets shafted bad by all sides involved during and after it.
              There’s some irony in there somewhere.

              Seriously now, it was roughly the same with the Polish and the aircraft industry. Their models got copied, sold and licensed everywhere before the war, and everyone knows the fate of Poland. There might be lesson there about weapons suppliers.

            • Having a siemka moment, Poland had a similar retarded idea, but few years earlier, in 1933. Engineers took a TK tankette, slapped a turret on it and called the monstrosity TKW. Despite trying hard (two variants of turret were bulit) there were no redeeming qualities, so the whole gig was scrapped.

            • @JagdWehrwolf,
              By the way TK, TKS and TK-3 sucked too :D Were thoose things really a weapon? My car is bigger and better armored.

              I love tow tier tanks, they are cute.

              [ignore if not from Poland]
              I dla tych z dziwnych kręgów politycznych oraz niedowiarków: Tak cały pomysł tankietki jest chybiony. Tak możecie mnie teraz zwyzywać :)
              [/ignore if not from Poland]

  2. WTF u will add new branch of CZ/TANKS wtf lol czech tanks only that we need wtf

    its not enoufh that u will add some koreans and japanese ??

  3. It would have to be pretty overbuffed though… Low tier or not, it’s just a turreted tankette pitted against somewhat bigger and more successful designs like the lt35, the vickers 6ton clones or, hell, the tetrarch…

    • Well, the gun obviously works, the speed is fine for WoT and on tier 2 pretty much every gun can penetrate every armor anyway, so I don’t see it as that much of a concern. Plus, as a premium tank, it would be in quality like tier 1,5.

      • Dammit… And here I thought that putting a 100mm gun on a T-34 was silly, but You Yugoslavians were bonkers.

        • It was a virtue of necessity, because at that time noone would sell Yugoslavia any modern tech and they needed to come up with a way to destroy tanks with what they had.

          • SS, does this means that you think there will be a separate YU branch?

            BTW guys, in Yugoslavia everything was acceptable, since we had planed economy a NO market, meaning you were working and getting payed no matter how your work or if product was useful or meaningful :) :) :)

  4. I don’t think this would sell well as a (normal) premium tank since there is strong opposition with the T2 Light.
    But it would be a great Christmas gift.

    • Yep, though it looks a little like the T-26 too. It looks to me like some sort of MS-1/T-26 love child.

  5. can you please fix the title? there’s a difference between possible and speculation. This is just speculation. T57 foch nerf are possible, jap tanks coming in 9.0 is possible, and these whole speculation/historical articles should get their own blog

    • Don’t like the way the blog is run, you’re free to find one that fits you better.

    • “Your opinion is very important to me.” On more personal note, given your retarded comments from the past, you are about the last person to make any requests.