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A British Mk IV Beutepanzer during WW1

Beutepanzer (German, lit.'Captured Tank')[1] is the German designation for a captured armored fighting vehicle. The Germans used Beutepanzers to gain insight into enemy technology and to augment their own armored forces.

Beutepanzers were usually repainted to sport distinctive national emblems and unit insignia in order to reduce friendly fire from other Axis forces.

First World War[edit]

During World War I, the Germans had many Beutepanzers in their arsenal, far exceeding the production of their own tanks. Beutepanzers were given a German national cross and new camouflage. By the end of the war, a total of 170 Beutepanzers were still in running condition with 35 reported to be battle ready. In comparison, over a third of the 20 A7V tanks built by Germany had been destroyed or captured by then.

Second World War[edit]

A captured Soviet T-60 pressed into service in the Kholm Pocket
A Tiger 1 captured by the Soviets

Beutepanzers played an important role in the Wehrmacht.[2] After the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939, many Czech tanks were claimed. In October 1940, the Heeresamt ordered two of each Beutepanzer type to be delivered to the Army Weapons Office for evaluation. Beutepanzers were used by the German Army on all fronts.

During the Western Campaign, Germany had captured 691 British tanks in total with an estimate of 350 being reusable. Most Beutepanzers captured during the campaign were modified into observation tanks or ammunition transports. Heavily damaged units were salvaged for spare parts. Additionally, roughly 1,800 modern (non-FT-17s) French tanks were captured during the May–June campaign and returned to service as Beutepanzers, alongside a similar number destroyed beyond repair.[3]

The Germans captured many T-26 and BT tanks[4] on the Eastern Front from 1941 to 1942.

The Germans were not the only users of captured tanks, though other nations usually did not deploy captured vehicles into combat. The British were able to secure a Tiger 1 near Tunis in April 1943 (Tiger 131), and the Soviets soon captured a Tiger 1 tank thereafter.

A complete list of all Beutepanzers in German service are available in Chamberlain and Doyle's Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two.

German Beutepanzers during WW2[2][4][5][6]
Beutepanzer Original Tank Captured From
Pz.Kpfw. 35(t)[6] Škoda LT vz. 35[6] Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
Pz.Kpfw. 38(t)[2] CKD-Praga LT-H
Praga T-33
Pz.Kpfw. T-26C 740(r)[4] T-26 Soviet Union Soviet Union
Pz.Kpfw. 751(r) T-35[4]
Pz.Kpfw. KW I 756(r) KV-1
Pz.Kpfw. KW II 754(r)[4] KV-2[4]
Pz.Kpfw. 747(r)[2][4] T-34[2]
BA-10 203 (r) BA-10
Artillery Tug 604 Comintern
Pz.Kpfw. Kreuzer Mk VI 746(e) Crusader I United Kingdom United Kingdom
Sturmpanzer Churchill[2] Churchill[2]
Pz.Jg. Bren 731(e) British Universal Carrier
7TP[2] Poland Poland
wz. 34
Pz.Kpfw. 35H 734(f) Hotchkiss H-35 France France
Pz.Kpfw. 39H 735(f) Hotchkiss H-39
Pz.Kpfw. B2 740(f) Renault Char B1
Pz.Kpfw. 18R 730(f) Renault FT
Pz.Kpfw. 35R 731(f) Renault R35
Sp.Pz. AB41 201(i) Autoblindo AB41 Italy Italy
Sd.Kfz 735 (i) Fiat M13/40
Pz.Kpfw. P40 737(i) Fiat P26/40
Sturmgeschütz M42 Semnovente 75/18
Soviet Beutepanzers during WW2[5]
Beutepanzer Original Tank Captured From
Sturmgeschütz III Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
T-V Pz.Kpfw. V Panther
T-IV Pz.Kpfw. IV
T-III Pz.Kpfw. III
LT-38 Praga Pz.Kpfw. 38(t)
T-1 Pz.Kpfw. I
Finnish Beutepanzers during WW2
Beutepanzer Captured From
BT-7 Soviet Union Soviet Union
Romanian Beutepanzers during WW2
Beutepanzer Captured From
T-40 Soviet Union Soviet Union

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " dictionary :: Beutepanzer :: German-English translation". Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Budanovic, Nikola (2016-07-02). "Beutepanzer, How Nazi Germany Relied on Captured Military Vehicles To Continue The Fight". WAR HISTORY ONLINE. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  3. ^ Garraud, Philippe (April 2004). "LE RÔLE DE LA " DOCTRINE DÉFENSIVE " DANS LA DÉFAITE DE 1940: une explication trop simple et partielle". Guerres Mondiales et Conflits Contemporains (in French). 214 (2): 97–123. doi:10.3917/gmcc.214.0097. JSTOR 25732954.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Russische Beutepanzer | Beutepanzer | Panzer". 2013-02-12. Archived from the original on 12 February 2013. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  5. ^ a b "Panzerkampfwagen T 34 - 747(r)The Soviet T-34 Tank as Beutepanzer and Panzerattrappe in German Wehrmacht Service 1941-45 - TANKOGRAD Publishing - Verlag Jochen Vollert - Militärfahrzeug". Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  6. ^ a b c "Škoda CKD Lt vz.35". Retrieved 2018-08-03.