Brief history of the Swiss Army tanks

Shortly before World War 2, the Swiss Army was able to procure 24 Czech tanks, which were used mainly for infantery anti-tank training. In 1947, 150 G-13 tank destroyers were procured in Czechoslovakia to reinforce the anti-tank defense. Since neither the British nor the Americans could supply tanks in the early 1950s, the Army procured 200 French light AMX 13s. After overcoming several “teething troubles,” the innovative vehicle remained in reliable service until 1980.

In the mid-1950s, Great Britain was able to procure what was probably the best tank of its time, the Centurion, weighing over 50 tons, with which the newly formed tank units could be equipped.

In order to reduce the dependency on foreign supplies, Swiss industry developed the Swiss Pz 61/68 tank, of which nearly 500 vehicles of all variants were built. Although technically advanced in many respects, the Pz 68 was also the focus of the “Panzer 68 Affair” due to its many shortcomings, which led to a parliamentary investigative commission PUK in 1979. The result was the costly upgrade of the vehicles to the 68/88 tank, which remained in service until 2003.

The winner of an in-depth evaluation, the German Leopard 2, was produced under license in Switzerland in 380 units starting in 1987. 140 modernized examples are still in service today with the armoured brigades.