The Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) was a light tank of the early war, originally produced by Czechoslovakia as the LT vz. 38. After Germany occupied the country, it was adopted by the Wehrmacht, where it saw action in Poland, France and the Soviet Union. Production ended in 1942 with 1,400 vehicles manufactured, although the chassis of the Panzer 38 continued to be produced for derivative designs such as the Marder III and Jadgpanzer 38 "Hetzer" tank destroyers.
Manned by a crew of four and protected by either 30 or 50mm of frontal armor depending on version, and with a 37mm cannon, the Panzer 38(t) outperformed both the Panzer I and Panzer II. However, it struggled to penetrate the small numbers of British and French medium and heavy tanks, as well as Soviet types such as the T-34 encountered during the Invasion of the USSR, leading to the eventual retirement of the vehicle.
— In-game description
The Panzer 38T is a vehicle featured in Battlefield V. It first appeared in Battlefield Dev Talks: Open Beta. The Panzer 38T is the light tank of Germany, unlocked at rank 6, and is the equivalent of the United Kingdom's Staghound T17E1. On maps featuring the USA the Panzer 38T is replaced by the SdKfz 234 Puma.
The vehicle is small, lightly armed and armored, but is one of the most manoeuvrable tanks in the game. While marginally slower than the British Staghound, the 38T has much better off-road performance due to its tracked drive, which also allows it to turn on the spot. Its default 37mm main gun deals low damage to enemy armor and has a small splash radius, however the tank has enhanced anti-infantry potential due to its three-passenger machine guns, covering the front and sides while leaving the gunners safe from small arms inside the vehicle. The Panzer 38t is therefore unique as the only non-reinforcement tank capable of transporting a full four-man squad. Despite a unique appearance the passenger weapons, as well as the driver's secondary coaxial MG, is statistically identical to the faction-standard MG 34. In terms of protection, the tank has health comparable to a halftrack and with little chance of ricochets, so standoff engagements against tanks and AT infantry are not advised. Drivers can instead utilize the small silhouette and high mobility of the tank to escape such situations and attack enemies from their flank or rear.
Specializations for the tank are geared towards reinforcing its role as an anti-infantry scout vehicle, or improving its admittedly lacking anti-vehicle capabilities. The left side path adds Zimmerit and replaces driver armament with a 20mm Autocannon, while also providing close-in deterrence in the form of Flare and S-Mine Launchers. The right side improves regeneration with Pineapple Wrench and Field Repair, and heightens main gun lethality with Improved Loading Mechanism and toggleable APCR Rounds. Middle path upgrades include the Spotting Scope, granting Recon-like intelligence gathering abilities, and area denial functions in the form of Deploy AT Mines.
Primary differences from multiplayer include the separation of driver and turret gunner seats, and the deletion of the left and right gunner seats, leaving space in the vehicle for only three players. The main armament is the standard 37mm gun of the default variant, contrasting the 20mm Autocannon-armed Staghound T17E1(S) found in the mode. As with all vehicles in Firestorm, the tank drains fuel when moving and has limited ammunition for all passenger weapons.