Unique Knife for a Unique Unit of the ACR

 06. 11. 2020      category: Army of the Czech Republic

Today, November 6, is not a randomly chosen date. On November 5, 1944, the Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade Group fought at Dunkirk. Between the 4th and 11th November 1943, units of the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Brigade joined the fighting on the Eastern Front after the liberation of Kiev. November 6 therefore symbolically connects two war fronts. A more suitable date for the introduction of the new official knife of the 73rd "Haná" Tank Battalion would therefore be difficult to find.

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Picture: New official knife of the 73rd "Haná" Tank Battalion | archive of the 73rd Tank Battalion with courtesy of the author

"It is a compact younger brother of the M311 SPELTER knife. A knife developed in collaboration with members of advanced Forward Air Controllers, CloseProtection teams and special air operations,” says one of the group of designers, Serg. Petr Stach.

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Picture: New official knife of the 73rd "Haná" Tank Battalion | archive of the 73rd Tank Battalion with courtesy of the author

Upon closer inspection, you will find the elements that make the knife exceptional. It combines the power and elegance of technology used by the tank battalion. The blade, the belly of the edge and the entire front part of the knife is based on the silhouette of the T-72M4 CZ tank. The blade is 125 mm long, which is also the caliber of the cannons in our tanks. The three screws connecting the entire structure symbolize the individual tank companies. Perhaps the toughest element on a knife is its butt. The butt made of the material that connects the individual links of the tracks on the tank. This element of the knife is so powerful that you can hammer a nail with it or break the car glass in an emergency. Every little detail is brought to perfection.

The name Kontos is a reference to the weapon of the equestrian elite of the antiquity and the Middle Ages, the Cataphracts. Predecessor of tank units. The weapon every rider held. A weapon that aroused fear and respect.

With this knife, its creators expressed their respect for the 73rd Tank Battalion, but especially for its soldiers. The tank battalion thanks the Acta Non Verba company – ANV and the organizations of the Czechoslovak Legionnaire Community, the ACR Ground Forces Foundation and Major Roman Hippík for their support and cooperation. We are proud to present KONTOS - the official knife of the 73rd "Haná" Tank Battalion.

Video: Presentation of the official knife of the 73rd "Haná" Tank Battalion / YouTube

The 73rd Tank Battalion is a unit of the Army of the Czech Republic designed to perform tactical tasks independently or as part of a mechanized brigade. It is characterized by high mobility and manoeuvrability, especially in the field, high firepower, high resistance against enemy’s attacks and the ability to conduct operations day and night. This is the information you will find on the official website. We can say that the 73rd Tank Battalion is an iron fist of the Army of the Czech Republic. However, a tank battalion is not just tanks and tank crews. A tank battalion consists of soldiers. From the first crew of the first tank company to those who gather the wounded at the battalion dressing station. This includes the staff of the battalion, which is the nervous system of the battalion. Each battalion unit is necessary for the battalion's operational tasks.

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Picture: New official knife of the 73rd "Haná" Tank Battalion | archive of the 73rd Tank Battalion with courtesy of the author

The 73rd Tank Battalion is armed primarily with two versions of the Soviet T-72 tank, manufactured under a licensing agreement in Czechoslovakia. The battalion has 30 modernized tanks T-72M4 CZ, 27 in basic and 3 in command version. Due to the limited operability of these tanks, only the 1st Tank Company was fully armed with them at the beginning of 2018, while the 2nd and 3rd Companies received reactivated (non-modernized) T-72M1 tanks, which are also in the equipment of the 1st Tank Company of the Active reserves.

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Picture: The 73rd Tank Battalion is a unit of the Army of the Czech Republic designed to perform tactical tasks independently or as part of a mechanized brigade. Pictured is a modernized tank T-72M4 CZ | archive of the 73rd Tank Battalion with courtesy of the author

Other battalion machinery includes rescue tanks VT-72M4 CZ, infantry fighting vehicles BVP-2, passenger off-road vehicles UAZ-469 and trucks Tatra 810 and Tatra 815.

 Author: Martin Šiška