- "T...That 7TP last season's Tankathlon Champion...Bonple High School led by Grandmaster Jajka!!"
- ―Random spectators after Jajka interrupted the match between Anzio and Centipede Team
The 7TP (Polish siedmiotonowy polski 7-tonne Polish) was a Polish light tank developed during the Interbellum from the British Vickers 6-ton.
The 7TP was the Polish development of the British Vickers 6-ton Mark E tank licence. Comparing to Vickers, the main new features of 7TP were: a better, more reliable and powerful diesel engine, a 37 mm anti-tank gun, thicker armour (17 mm instead of 13 mm on the front), modified ventilation, the Gundlach tank periscope, and a radio. About 132 tanks were produced between 1935 and the outbreak of the war, plus four iron prototypes. The designation 7TP meant "7 Tonne, Polish" (in fact its weight increased to 9 tonnes after the initial prototype).
Like its British predecessor, the 7TP was initially produced in two variants: twin turret version armed with 2 Ckm wz.30 machine guns, and a single turret version, armed with 37 mm Bofors wz. 37 gun. After initial tests, it became clear that the twin-turret variant was obsolete and lacked firepower, so it was abandoned in favour of the more modern single turret design.
Prior to the outbreak of World War II most of the twin turret tanks were converted to single turret versions and only 24 twin-turret types remained in Polish service (as opposed to roughly 108 of the other type). It is to be noted that twin and single turret variants had no specific designations. In some modern books they are unofficially designated "7TPdw." and "7TPjw." (Polish abbreviations for dwuwieżowy – dual turreted; jednowieżowy – single turreted).
All 7TP tanks took part in combat in the defence of Poland during the German Invasion of Poland in 1939. Most of them were attached to two light tank battalions (the 1st and the 2nd). The remaining tanks, that is the ones used for training as well as tanks that were finished after the outbreak of the war, were used in an improvised tank unit fighting in the defence of Warsaw. Although technically superior and better armed than it's opponents, the Panzer I and Panzer II, the 7TP was too scarce to change the outcome of the war as its production never exceed 150 vehicles.
The combat experience proved that the Bofors wz. 37 anti-tank gun used in the 7TP was able to penetrate the armour of any of the German tanks of the time, including the newest, the Panzer IV. On the other hand, the 7TP was too lightly armoured, especially against aerial bombardment.
Twenty 7TPjw were captured by Germany and used under designation Panzerkampfwagen 7TP 731(p). Soviet Union also captured one 7TPjw.
In Girls Und Panzer
The 7TPdw made a little appearance in Episode 6 showing the aftermath of the match Bonple vs Pravda. According to Gekkan Senshado Magazine they fielded during the match three dual-turret 7TPdw and four single turret 7TPjw. With the 7TP's only appearance we can guess that Bonple suffer a humiliating defeat against Pravda due to T-34/85 superior firepower opposed to 7TPjw (we're not counting the 7TPdw as it's only armed with MG).
The 7TP made it's first appearance in Chapter 1 where one 7TPjw commanded by Jajka interrupted a Tankathlon match betweet Anzio & Centipede Team by shooting Anchovy's CV.33 that she considered as a "weak fight". In Chapter 7 Pepperoni's attempt to attack Jajka's 7TP is foiled when three ambushed 7TP (one 7TPdw & two 7TPjw) shot her down. In Chapter 8 Bonple's 7TPjw are seen beating to the ground the beginner team of Tategoto High School in a Tankathlon match. They made their last appearance on Chapters 11 & 12 during a Tankathlon match against Katyusha Volunteer's Army, during this match some 7TP manage to take down two T-70 but three 7TP are taken down by the T-70 first wave. After sixteen more T-70 were fielded by KVA Jajka's ask Uszka to act as a bait for luring T-70s away from the flag tank, Jajka's and three others 7TP cloaked in snow to remain undetected while the T-70 main force passes to shot down Uszka's 7TP and then charge to KVA flag tank. During the charge one 7TP is shot down taking a hit destined to Jajka that permits her to make the final hit.
- Along with the CV.33, the 7TPdw is probably amongst the least effective vehicles used in Sensha-do as it's only armed with machine-guns.