Strv m/42

Weight: 22,5 tons

Crew: 4 men

Top speed: 42 km/h

Armament: 7,5 cm gun

Secondary: 4 8 mm Ksp m/39 Strv

  This tank originally was intended to be fitted with a long barrel 7,5 cm gun. But since it was thought to be difficult to manever the turret in typical Swedish wooded terrain if the barrel protruded in front of the chassi the barrel was simply cut of to a more appropriate length, totally sacrificing penetrention and long range accuracy. The gun was still the equal of the Shermans 7,5 cm gun since it became equally long. After the war the Sherman was tested since surplus Shermans were made available but the m/42 was of equal performance and no quantity of M4 were purchased. A working tank is part of the brigades museum.  

Strv m/42 had as all tanks some limitations, and weaknesses. To some degree these where consequenses of the civilion traficregulations. The most obvious was that the tanks width was limited by these regulations. The tank was too thin compared to its length. This led to that the tank was difficult to steer. The tank was steered by levers and the steering was "digital". The levers were pulled back fully and released completely,   for sharp turns the levers where pulled back several times which meant that the tank turned jerkely. This was not something limited to Strv m/42 but common in tanks of that era. Strv m/42īs lack of width accentuated the effects especially since the tank also was high compared to its width.  Failure to steer the tank in this way would wear down the steeringclutch and the steeringbrakes very quickly. The steeringgear reduced the trackspeed to 50 % on the side to which you wished to turn (when the tanks where rebuilt to Strv 74 this was reduced to 30 %). To avoid loss of speed the driver had to accelerate when pulling the steeringlever. The steeringeares had to be adjusted often and thouroughlly. As a rule of thumb adjustment was necessary after 40 - 50 km of driving. Fire in the steeringgearcompartment or burned brakebands where not uncommom.

The tracks also needed a lot of attention. They wore down quickly and the tracktension often had to be adjusted. This was due to the track beeing to thin. The trackpins where also a bit on the week side. The rather brutal steering also contributed to the wear and tear of the tracks. When the tracklinks where wore down it sometimes happened that the tracklinks lockplate came off and the trackpin started to move either outward or inward. if it moved inward it would start to hit the hull of the tank with a thumping noice. If it moved outward it could fall clean off  causing the track to brake. In 1956 that happend to a Pvkv m/43 that used the same track as the Strv m/42, the loose end of the track lashed up on the rear deck of the tank injuring the infantrymen riding on the vehicle. The tracklink itself was of flawed design since the holes for the teeth of the XXXXXXXXXXXX where put exactly where the roadwheeles where to roll on the tracklinks. One third of the roadwheel was pressed down into these holes creating a savage wear and tear on the roadwheeles. It was not uncommon to replace 5 - 6 tracklinks after a days driving.

To replace a roadwheel was cumbersome and messy. The wheel was all in one piece with hubcap and bearings. This of course  meant that changing a roadwheel included heavy use of specialtubs  and greasing the bearings when replacing the wheel. The tank used torsionbar suspension and when the tank aged these also started to show signs of wear and tear. It was not impossible for a torsionbar to snap when driving the tank in or out of the garage since the ledge (5 cm) became to much of an obstacle for the worn out torsionbar. On one occasion a tank  undergoing maintenance sufford from 3 torsionbars snapping at once causing the tank to lean against the wall. To replace a torsionbar was even more cumbersome and messy than replacing a roadwheel since you first had to remove the roadwheel before pulling the torsionbar out. To make it easier to replace torsionbars and roadwheels a hole was often dug in the ground and the tank driven over the hole so that the roadwheel that had to be removed hanged loose.

The tanks had a Volvo A8B V8 engine of 380hp. There also was a version with 2 Scania-Vabis engines designated Strv m/42TH (these where later rebuilt and got a new turret and the designation Strv 74). The tank could reach 50 km/hour. The lubricatingsystem maybe wasnīt the best since the tanks engines seized up occasionally. Another weekness was the attatchment of the 2 generators that often broke.The generators thus falling to the floor of the enginecompartment. The transmission on the EH-version (electro-hydraulical transmission) consisted of clutch and hidrolic gear to the engine and a terraingearbox to the right of the driver. The first gear was used to start in the terrain and the third on road. There was no clutchpedal but the clutch was engaged when the gearlever was moved between its positions. When the tanks started to roll the second or forth gears where engaged. Only in difficult situations the hydraulic first and third gears where used. When driving steeply downhill both stearinglevers could be pulled back at the same time reducing speed by 50 % of course the tank was impossibel to stear while doing so. If the tank was driven on hydraulic gear for an extended period of time the hydralic oil could boil. The hydraulicsystem  radiator sometimes started to leak and a thin blueish smoke would come from the reardeck. When the tank was warmed up the driver had to be at his station since the gearlever could be "sucked" into a hydraulicgearposition at high idling pace causing the tank to leap forward potentially killing anyone standing infront of the tank.

The tank was easy to drive, even if the stearing was jerky,  due to the clutchless transmission. The suspension worked well and the tank rolled rather softly both on road and in the terrain with the exception of the rather violent stearing. Negotiation of obsticles was easy and the tank had good mobility. The thin tracks did cause some problems in boggy terrain.

The gun was a Boforsconstruction and its designation was 7,5 cm stridsvagnskanon m/41. It was a highqualitygun with all parts showing perfrct fit and it was easy to dismantle. Its performance against other tanks was insufficient however. Due to the relative barrellength of  L/31. The tank also had 4 machineguns Ksp m/39 which is a swedish version of the american M1919 Browning. To train the gunners it was possible to fire a 6.5 mm round or a 20 mm round by mounting either of 2 training devices in the gun. To of the machineguns where mounted coaxially next to the maingun, one in the rearturrot and one att the hull front to the right of the driver. This machinegun was never used.

For communication the tank was equipped with a radio (Ra 400) of good design.

225 Strv m/42 TH where rebuilt to Strv 74 in 1957-1958 while the 57 Strv m/42 EH where slightly modified and redesignated Ikv 73 and used as infantrysupport until 1965 when they where scrapped.