World of Tanks: S-Tank in Ten Minutes with Stefan Karlsson

Nicholas Moran of World of Tanks presents a short video on the Swedish S-Tank.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: Strv 103C part 3

The third and final installment in the Chieftain’s series on the Swedish S-Tank.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: Strv 103C part 2

In this second part of the Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch episode about the Strv 103 tank, Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran looks at the crew positions, height restrictions, the number of people required to control the S-tank, and show the unique position of the radio operator/driver who faces backwards.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: Strv 103C part 1

Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran of Wargaming examines the Swedish Striv 103C part 1. This first part looks at the exterior of the vehicle.

Video: WoT – Turretless Swede

Wargaming Europe has released a new video on the history of the Swedish Strv-103 “S-Tank.”

Was the S-Tank a tank destroyer?

A recent video by World of Tanks on Swedish tank history makes the claim that the Swedish Stridsvagn 103, also referred to as the S-Tank, was intended to function as a tank destroyer.  The blog Swedish Tank Archives has taken issue with that assessment in a well researched rebuttal titled Stridsvagn 103 Was Not A Tank Destroyer.

We have taken the liberty of reprinting the first couple paragraphs of the article followed by a link to the Swedish Tank Archives where the entire piece can be viewed.

Stridsvagn 103 Was Not A Tank Destroyer

In internet arguments and popular culture, it is frequently claimed that the stridsvagn 103 (strv 103, “S-tank”) was a defensive tank, or basically a modern tank destroyer. It was, claims the common wisdom (perpetrated and repeated in media such as History Channel), meant to dig down in a forest, take a few shots at attacking Soviet tanks and then retreat, using its rear driver to its advantage. In the recently revealed Swedish tree for World of Tanks, it is indeed classified as a tank destroyer (although mainly for game mechanics reasons). Even in the Swedish army, some officers (although mainly ones who had no experience on the tank) thought it was worthless for traditional tank work – that is, offensive tasks. In this essay, I will show that this is simply not true: the Swedish army set out to figure out how to build a good tank, came up with the S-tank idea, developed and built that idea as a tank, which it then proceeded to use operationally as a tank.

The origins of the strv 103, or “alternative S”

Bofors-FB-P-30304In 1957, the Swedish army initiated a study of the future of warfare, in order to determine what weapons technology it should pursue during the 1960’s – as well as many other things. One of the sub-committees of this study was tasked with studying direct-fire infantry support weapon systems, such as tanks, anti-tank weapons, direct-fire crew-served weapons, etc. The central question that the sub-committee was tasked with answering was: “How should our system for direct fire (both anti-tank and anti-personnel fire) work around 1970 and in the time immediately thereafter?”

Read the full article here.

From the Vault: The Gas Turbine and the S-Tank

When most people think of a gas turbine in a tank, they probably think of the M1 Abrams or maybe the Soviet T-80.  However, the first MBT to utilize a gas turbine was the rather unusual Swedish “S-Tank” STRV 103.   The S-Tank was the most unusual design of its day and its engine layout was unusual as well.  Rather than have a single engine, the S-Tank had two, a 490 HP gas turbine and a 240 HP diesel.  The tank could be run on just the diesel engine when stationary or moving at low speed, when moving at full speed both engines were engaged for a maximum power of 730 HP.  This article from the March-April 1973 issue of ARMOR details the design of the S-Tank layout.  The article author is Sven Berge, the Swedish engineer chiefly responsible for the S-Tank design.

From the Vault: STRV 104 (S Tank) users manual comic book

2mLTLYkToday we present “A day with the Strv 103” comic book from 1970.  Think of this as the “tigerfibel” for the S tank.  The text is in Swedish of course, but the pictures are quite entertaining.  Thanks to the Swedish Tank Archives for scanning and posting this document.

Click here to go to the gallery for “A day with Strv 103”

Report on British S-tank trials

164Swedish Tank Archives has posted an interesting piece concerning a report from British Strv 103 (S-tank) trails from 1973.  In the Summer of that year the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR) sent several tank crews to Sweden to train on the S-tank for four weeks. These crews were then sent to Germany along with the S-tanks to be tested. The Swedish observers of the test considered the results of the evaluation to be highly dubious, claiming that they were conducted in a haphazard and unscientific manner.  They also are quite harsh in their criticism of the BAOR.

Here is an excerpt on the quality of British Tank Gunners:

At the end of the gunnery training, there were two tests with a gun camera, one against a fixed target and one against a moving one, as per usual Swedish standard. The results were bad. The first time these results may possibly be explained by the gunners not taking the trial seriously, but even after they had evaluated their own results and re-did the test the results were very bad. It is possible that more training could have improved the results somewhat, but the more likely explanation is that a large portion of the British gunners simply weren’t suited to their job as gunners. In some cases, problems with bad eyesight were apparent. It should be noted that British tank personnel is not tested in the same way as Swedish personnel before being assigned as tank gunners.


To read the full piece, please go to the Swedish Tank Archives blog.

Swedish Tank Archives blog

173For those interested in Swedish tank development, we recommend taking a look at the Swedish Tank Archives blog.  This blog started back in November of 2013 and the author has managed to post a number of interesting archival documents since then.  The blog is in English although many of the archival documents are in Swedish or other languages.  They have recently published an archival document of a British evaluation of the Swedish S-tank from 1968.  Of particular interest will be pages 6 and 7 of the report which contain the conclusions and recommendations.  Full report here.

People may also enjoy this youtube clip of the S-tank undergoing live fire trials.  English subtitles provided by Swedish Tank Archives.