After the Anschluss of Austria and occupation of Czechoslovakia by Germany received many industrial enterprises, actively to make money on the German war machine. A similar situation occurred with the plants seized during the Blitzkrieg 1939 — 1940 period. They not only continue to produce the previous models, but also began to develop new models of military vehicles. Among them Tatra 57K, which will be discussed
Model T57 (Tour 57) replaced the Tatra T12, produced from 1922 to 1933. The new entry-level line of Tatra was the first car of the brand created by engineer innovator Ledvinka Hans (Hans Ledwinka) together with Erich Yubela-kerom (Erich Ubelacker). Subsequently, this duet will create famous Tatra T77, Tatra and Tatra T97 T87.
Baby Tatra T57 was typical of Hans Ledvinka design with spinal tubular frame and front mounted air-cooled engine. Typical was the design of the hood with a characteristic «beak». The machine turned light (780 kg), and its 18-horsepower air-cooled boxer engine volume of 1150 cm3 was enough to accelerate to 85 km / h. Tatra T57 Series production began in 1931, four years released the 5997 machines. Subsequently, 57-I model has earned high marks for handling and good for its class dynamic performance. All prewar runabout were, of course, «Dead.» So, Tatra T57 was one of the brisk!
And in 1935 to replace the T57 models come updated version, which received the designation Tatra T57A. Engine power grew to 20 hp instead of «beak» on the front of erupted false radiator grille. The number of cars has increased the options. Thanks to the modernization of the machine proved successful predecessor: from 1935 to 1938 released 8019 Tatra T57A. And in addition to Tatra this machine still produced in Austria under the brand name Austro-Tatra.
They expressed interest in the model T57A and the higher ranks of the Czechoslovak army. Like the Germans, the local military decided to order a military version of the civilian cars. Disguised as a «uniform» Tatra T57A different simplified body, made in the image of German «kyubelvagenov.» This machine, however, was small: the whole army received 156 cars of this type — not a lot, even by the standards of the army of Czechoslovakia! For comparison: Skoda has delivered 350 cars of similar purpose Popular model 1000 military version. Reasons for the low volume of deliveries were at the surface even with a simplified and lightweight body Tatra 57A remained essentially civil highway machine. The military also needed a special vehicle and preferably four-wheel drive.
Following their wishes, in 1937 developed a model Tatra V750: a car with four-wheel drive, 4-cylinder, 30-horsepower engine volume of 1689 cm3 and quadruple open body with cut-outs instead of doors. Later produced another prototype with two-door body, and altered the hood.
V750 has shown himself quite well, but the production car, which is going to assign an index T75, was not followed. The fact that Tatra design office is already working on more advanced machine, which received the designation V799. This car, which was released to the test in 1938, surpassed its predecessor in all respects. Engine volume 2191 cm3 developed capacity of 50 hp, it can be used also as a light artillery tractor. And his body with canvas doors could not be better suited for light vehicle commander. Like Horch 901 in the middle of the body Tatra V799 were hinged spare tires, performs when moving through the trenches as a «perekatyshey.»
The resulting from the Czech car designers have such a high potential that it is interested not only in Czechoslovakia, but also in the Romanian army. The second prototype Tatra V799 built just counting on Romanian customers. But, alas, very soon, Czechoslovakia was not up to foreign contracts!
Lohan FOR NEW OWNERS
March 15, 1939 Germany finally occupied the territory of Czechoslovakia. Simultaneously, the country was divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This was done with the acquiescence of Britain and France. What think the British and French policy, giving at the mercy of the Germans second European exporter of weapons and military equipment, are difficult to understand. A little more than a year in the Czech factories built tanks will trample the mud of the army of France and England, whose leaders more recently «appeasing» Hitler. Fully Germans used guns and Czech and Czech military vehicles. This, we have a «response to Chamberlain» in Czech …
After gaining control of industry, the Germans placed on them their own orders. Do not stay aside and car factories. Model Tatra T57V, which started in 3938 was not impressed with the new owners, but the V799 prototype caused an increased interest.
Work on the machine continued, and in 1940 was born the improved model — V809. The power of the new engine has remained the same, but its volume increased to 2470 cm3, which had a positive impact on its high-torque. Body underwent strong alteration: in particular, the canvas was replaced with a metal door.
In the same 1940 Tatra V809 prototype was submitted for testing, which, however, was delayed. Last but not least it was due to the fact that the Czechs used at its plants quiet sabotage tactics. Yes, Czech industry regularly worked for the new owners, but the development of new models deliberately delayed. Suffice it to say that the model V809 manufactured in only two instances. The second was the four-door sedan, built in 1942 for Marshal Rommel. This car was different not only in appearance: under its hood hiding a V-shaped engine with increased to 2969 cm3 volume.
Meanwhile, in 1941 the Germans was not up to the prototypes. Running third year of World War dictated the rules: fronts demanded the continuous supply of new machines. And then the Germans again drew attention to the runabout Tatra T57V. Immediately, of course, it was clear that this machine where stars from the sky is not enough, but better to have a production car than a good army jeep in a pilot prototype.
The new model, which received index Tatra T57K became the complete analog Civil T57V. The only power of its engine fell from 25 to 23 hp No change was and hood. Only here the new four-door body with a soft-top was modeled on the German command vehicle. This standardization of body parts with the «Germans» did not go even speech! Get the car in 1941 and launched a series produced until 1943, only made 5414 copies.
Continuous war machine has become an excellent example of silent sabotage, which occupies the Czechs. On the one hand, turned out quite decent car, a little heavier and a little less powerful than the KdF Tour 82 Kiibelwagen, too, who had only one drive rear axle. But if the brainchild of Ferdinand Porsche was originally created for military service and constructively calculated for operation in harsh environments, the Tatra T57K remained road car. Dry along the country road course she drove, but no more, and therefore on the Eastern Front was a rare visitor.
The foregoing, however, does not mean that Tatra 57K will not old enough. In Europe, with asphalt roads it felt very good. She sent in part, fought in Italy and Western Europe, she received the Waffen-SS, a lot of «57’s» gone to the police. Finally, the machine appeared on the Eastern Front, but only when he moved to Europe.
FOR YOURSELF, Favorite
In 1945, Czechoslovakia has again appeared on the political map of the world. Some of the enterprises of the newly formed state was not damaged by the bombing, including proved and Tatra. The main activity of the plant began production of trucks, but also on the cars have not given up. However, the time and resources to develop a fundamentally new car was not so logical decision was the resumption of production of Tatra T57V with a modified body.
Returned to release Tatra T57K: new customer car first produced for the Germans, was the Czechoslovak army. On the role of full-fledged SUV she, of course, not pulling, but local conditions the car is well suited. Release T57K lasted until 1948, all Czechoslovak army received 640 machines. Tatra 57B on the conveyor lasted a little longer — until 1949. For all the time they have produced 6469 pieces. The story ended midget cars Tatra. The company in Kopřivnice finally switched to «large» model.
GERMAN AT THE SERVICE OF THE CZECH
After the war, the history of the production technology of the German orders took an unexpected turn. In the mid 50-ies of XX century, the army of Czechoslovakia ordered the auto industry to develop an armored personnel carrier. Without thinking, the Czechoslovak industry took as the basis of the new German half-track armored personnel carrier Sd.Kfz.251. Armored personnel carriers, has received index 0T-59, did not become a full copy of the German model, but repeated it conceptually. By the way, this machine is driven by diesel air cooling company Tatra. In a series of armored personnel carriers went under the symbol 0T-occupies 8, just released their 1140 pieces. This machine has been closed, close, stuffy, and therefore deserved the troops caustic nickname «Mr. itlera revenge.» Most interestingly, 0T-810 is best known for his «role» in the movie where he naturally shows Sd.Kfz.251.
Do not think that the Czech industry supplied the Germans just any junk. Same Tatra produced quite modern trucks Model 111, designed in 1942 specifically for the Germans. Like other heavy trucks of the German army, the model 111 has received a diesel engine, and it was much more interesting of the truck: V-shaped 12-cylinder 103 Tour volume of 14.8 liters and 210l.s. In addition to the truck they were equipped with heavy armored vehicles family Sd.Kfz.234. It was assumed that it will also be used on self-propelled — a light tank destroyer Jagdpanzer 38 (d). Thus Tour 103 was the only diesel engine, fitted as standard on the German armored vehicles.