"Stridsvagn 103 Was Not A Tank Destroyer"

"The stridsvagn 103 was conceived as a tank, developed in response to a demand for a tank, and used as a tank. It was not a tank destroyer or a “defensive” vehicle. Repeated trials both in Sweden and abroad showed that in most cases it was insignificantly slower to react to a target appearing on its side than a turreted tank was. In fact, due to its duplicated controls (the commander could override the gunner/driver’s controls and, for example, point the tank at a target that he could see through his rotating cupola but the gunner/driver hadn’t spotted) it could even be faster to react than a turreted tank without similar functionality – the turreted tank’s commander would have to talk the gunner into finding the target. The inability to fire on the move was not considered a significant disadvantage considering the Swedish gunnery doctrine at the time."
"some nerd who got sick of all the usual internet second-hand sources and wild speculation and just walked into the military archives one fine day to see what was in there"

I can recommend his blog "Swedish Tank Archives" in general if you are interested in Swedish tanknology, or in comparisons of Swedish tank with foreign ones.



  1. "The inability to fire on the move was not considered a significant disadvantage considering the Swedish gunnery doctrine at the time."

    Renault FT
    Armor: 16mm
    Gun: 37mm L/21
    Power/weight: 5hp/ton
    Crew: Gunner, driver
    Comms: Signal flags
    Cost: Surplus
    Firing while moving: Not really
    Hunter-killer operation: Trained owl sold separately

    Pak 36
    Armor: 5mm
    Gun: 37mm L/45
    Power/weight: ~5hp/ton sustained with a fit crew
    Crew: Commander, gunner, loader, extra hands, pack-horse
    Comms: Telephone maybe
    Cost: Very affordable
    Firing while moving: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi4f76bOgDc
    Hunter-killer operation: Gunner can be shoved off if needed

  2. Interesting blog. - Cheap Czech paper magazine "Zbraně" (Weapons) landed in my mailbox, with article "The only turretless tank", 12 000 characters long, in it. Even if the biggest part of articles in this magazine is in fact compiled. So if you are right, Sven, the internet is actually full of dumb-dumb bullets. Most people already talking about "drones" instead of UAVs, etc.

    1. Actually, "drone" was the well-established word for unmanned aircraft capable of landing. "RPV" (remotely piloted vehicle" was a sub-group.

      "UAV" and later "UAS" are merely U.S. DoD terminology that the DoD had to make up just because.

  3. "Strictly speaking, a drone is an unmanned aircraft that can fly autonomously—that is, without a human in control. - Many people (the author included) have used “drone” to describe any aircraft without an on-board pilot. But that is an oversimplification that masks the incredible range in shapes, sizes and capabilities that characterize today’s unmanned aircraft." http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/what-is-a-drone-anyway/

  4. To paraphrase a famous film quote:

    "That's not a Tank Destroyer... THIS is a Tank Destroyer".