Stridsvagn L-60 (Strv L-60) Light Tank
The Strv L-60 was an indigenous light tank design intended to make all current and future Swedish military products in-house endeavors.
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While remaining a neutral power throughout World War 2, Swedish authorities saw fit to modernize and stock their military inventories with capable components to deal against any attempted invasion. As such, the Stridsvagn L-60 Light Tank was developed in 1934 under the direction of Joseph Vollmer to promote mobility and capable firepower in an increasingly mechanized world. After evaluation, the type was manufactured in number by AB Landsverk of Sweden and the first L-60 was delivered in 1935.
Vollmer's earlier work included the A-7, K-Wagen and LK series of track vehicles for the German Army as well as the m/21 - Sweden's first indigenously designed combat tank. Vollmer later sold the Swedish Army on the Landsverk L-10 which became the m/31 in inventory. The L-30 succeeded the L-10 and saw export sales. The L-60 came online next and formed the beginning of Swedish wartime tank design and production for the foreseeable future.
Design of the L-60 was highly conventional, with a rear-set engine compartment, mid-set turret and forward driver's position, offset to the left side of the hull. The glacis plate was well-sloped and made up of three facings leading up to the hull roof. There was a shallow superstructure under the turret to allow for adequate interior room for the crew and systems. The driver's vision was supplied through vision slits at his cupola. The turret was small and cramped, containing the gun mount and applicable systems as well as the gunner and tank commander. Access to the turret was via turret roof hatch or turret side hatch. The vehicle was propelled by its side track systems which were rather slim compared to late-war counterparts. There were four double-tired road wheels to a track side with two track return rollers, a track idler at the rear and a drive sprocket at the front. Extra road wheels and track links could be carried externally about the design as desired. Armor protection was 5mm to 13mm across the vehicle's various facings. All told, the L-60 exhibited an operational weight of 7.5. tons with a running length of 15 feet, width of 6.5 feet and a height topping 6.6 feet.
Primary armament of the early L-60 production form was the 20mm Madsen cannon housed in the 360-traversing turret. The Madsen 20mm system actually maintained origins in a Danish design, produced by the ammunitions concern of Danish Industry Syndicate (DISA) and further stocked the inventories of Finland and Ireland. Secondary armament was a single 0.303 Madsen machine gun with Danish origins as far back as 1896. The machine gun was fitted coaxially to the turret and operated by the gunner. Later production models upgraded the small-caliber 20mm main gun to a design of 37mm caliber - more capable of dealing with the then-modern threats.
Power to the L-60 frame was supplied by way of a single Bussing-Nag 8-cylinder gasoline engine developing between 150 and 160 horsepower at 2,500 to 2,700rpm. The listed operational range was approximately 168 miles while road speeds equaled 30 miles per hour in ideal conditions, less so off-road or on uneven terrain. The suspension system on the L-60 proved rather excellent in nature, making cross-country travel possible while this same system allowed for a relatively high speed to be reached on roads.
The L-60 was evolved into five production marks beginning with the base L-60 and followed by the L-60A, L-60B, L-60C and L-60D. The base model sported a 20mm Madsen main gun while the A-, B- and C-models all featured a 37mm main gun. The L-60D was given an all-new turret fitting a 37mm main gun as well as 2 x 0.303 machine guns. The Hungarians produced the type under license as the "Toldi 38" for the Hungarian Army. These were produced by the Hungarian Weiss Company and based on the L-60B model. The L-60 went on to form the basis for the similar Strv m/38 light tank
design of 1938, basically a more refined version of the L-60. At least two L-60 tanks were sold to Ireland. No more than 150 total L-60s were produced in all.