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Leichttraktor Vs.Kfz.31 (Versuchs Kampffahrzeug 31)
Profile of the Leichttraktor
Type Light tank
Place of origin Germany
Service history
In service 1930–1945
Used by Germany
Wars none
Production history
Designed 1929–1933
Manufacturer Krupp, Rheinmetall
Produced 1930
No. built 4
Weight Krupp: 8.7 tonnes (9.6 short tons)
Rheinmetall: 8.96 tonnes (9.88 short tons) (Rheinmetall)
Length Krupp: 4.35 m (14 ft 3 in)
Rheinmetall: 4.21 m (13 ft 10 in)
Width Krupp: 2.37 m (7 ft 9 in)
Rheinmetall: 2.26 m (7 ft 5 in)
Height Krupp: 2.35 m (7 ft 9 in)
Rheinmetall:2.27 m (7 ft 5 in)
Crew 4 (commander, driver, radio operator, and loader)

Armor riveted and welded steel
3.7 cm KwK 36 L/45
7.92×57mm Mauser MG 13 machine gun
Engine Daimler-Benz M36 six-cylinder liquid-cooled gasoline engine.
100 hp (75 kW)
Suspension Krupp: Coil spring (Krupp)
Rheinmetall: Leaf spring
137 km (85 mi) on-road
Speed 30 km/h (19 mph)

The Leichttraktor (Vs.Kfz.31) was a German experimental tank.


After the end of World War I, Germany was restricted in military development by the Treaty of Versailles, however a secret program under the name cover "Traktor" was developing armoured military vehicles and artillery. Its engine was mounted inside the front portion of the hull and the turret was mounted above the fighting compartment in the rear of the tank. Both Rheinmetall and Krupp produced prototypes, and in 1928, Rheinmetall was awarded the order of 289 tanks. However, some time later, the order was cancelled.[1] Krupp models had coil spring suspensions, while Rheinmetall had leaf spring suspensions.

The Germans tested the tank in the Soviet Union under the Treaty of Rapallo – agreed between the USSR and Germany in 1922 under high secrecy and security. The testing facility used from 1926 to 1933 was named Panzertruppenschule Kama, located near Kazan in the Soviet Union. The location was a joint testing ground and tank training ground for the Red Army and Reichswehr. It was codenamed "Kama" from the words Kazan and Malbrandt because the testing grounds were near Kazan and Oberstleutenant Malbrandt was assigned to select the location for testing.[2]

Leichter Traktor ("Light tractor") was a cover name for all three meduim tank designs produced there.[3] In the early years of World War II it was used as a training tank.[4]




Further reading[edit]

  • Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  • German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966