Polish tankette TKS - a gallery

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© Micha³ Derela and Zbyszek Cheda, 2007

Part I: Development history & production --- Part II: Camouflage, technical description, data
Part III: Service with photo gallery & modelling --- Part IV: Tankettes with 20 mm cannons
Part V: Experimental tankettes & special equipment --- Self propelled guns --- TKS gallery
TKS [photo Micha³ Derela]

TKS tankette from a collection of the Polish Army Museum (Muzeum Wojska Polskiego) in Warsaw. It was captured by the Germans and taken to Norway during World War II to fulfill an occupation service there. After the war it was found incomplete in the Swedish Axwall museum (chassis and part of upper plates). It was next given in November 2003 to the Polish Army Museum, where it was partly restored, with parts coming from different tankettes found in the ground and some parts reconstructed. The tankette is painted in a standard camouflage, used by the Polish from 1936 until the World War II. A camouflage scheme is based upon an example in manual (showing only front and right side).

Photos from the MSPO 2005

Photos from the first public show of the restored tankette, at International Defence Industry Salon (MSPO) in September 2005 in Kielce. Author: Micha³ Derela.

The tankette here has a complete 7.92mm wz.25 Hotchkiss machine gun, dug from the earth and borrowed from a private owner.

Photos from the Polish Army Museum

Photos from 2005. Author: Zbyszek Cheda.

Left: note an anti-aircraft machine gun mounting.
A cover of the Gundlach reversible observation periscope is seen. Holes on both sides were for sleeves (lacking) for signal flags. Hatches have leather straps. Visible are tank helmets, converted from general use French World War I helmets by replacing front peaks with leather pads.
Left: view of the upper plate, from the back. A hole with a sleeve for a rear signal flag is seen.
Right: view of the rear superstructure plate, with a mesh outlet of the cooling air, above a radiator, and a rear observation hatch.
Visible are: an anti-aircraft machine gun mounting (left) and a muffler and a spare wheel mounting details (right)
Left: rear view of a bottom. An additional cooling air outlet hatch is visible, and a crank holder. In a bottom plate, on the left, there is a an additional air intake hatch.
Right: front view of a bottom.
Left: an idler wheel with a tension adjustment gear.
Right: a sprocket wheel.
Left: grill outlet of a cooling air. A semicircular hole is for an emergency starting crank. To use the crank, the grill must be opened and the crank should be put into holder and coupled with a shaft inside.
Right: side observation hatch.


The interior is incomplete, on photos there are lacking, first of all, a Polski Fiat 122 engine between crew seats, an exhaust collector, a water radiator behind driver's seat, a steering wheel, a control panel, seats' backrests and some other minor equipment.

View from the rear - visible are a gearbox and an incomplete wz.25 machine gun. The commander's reversible periscope is post-war, but is basically a copy of the Gundlach reversible periscope (the Polish invention of Ryszard Gundlach, was sold to Vickers before the war, then popularized as Tank Periscope Mk.4 in allied vehicles, then copied by the Soviets and finally manucfatured in Poland again under Soviet licence...).
Left: view from the rear. Visible is a plate before the driver, the gearbox and a steering wheel shaft.
Right: view towards the rear. Visible is, among others, a transversal beam, on which suspension frames were mounted.
View towards right rear corner. Visible are a fuel tank and an ammunition rack behind commander's seat. There is also visible a shaft for crank-starting the engine. Due to a lack of a radiator, in the right bottom corner there is a mesh additional outlet of cooling air visible, covered with a hatch. Between observation hatches there should be an exhaust pipe outlet.

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Photos copyright to Micha³ Derela and Zbyszek Cheda © 2005, released under cc-by-sa-2.5 licence.