Czech hedgehog: 1930s anti-tank obstacle also seen in today’s Ukraine

Photo: Ferdinand Hauser, Radio Prague International

World War II, Cold War borders and more recently Russia’s full invasion of Ukraine – the “Czech hedgehog” has been common to all of them. The anti-tank obstacle made of metal beams is, as the name suggests, a Czech invention and dates back to the 1930s, when it was intended for border protection.

At the Military Technical Museum in Lešany, Central Bohemia, curator Lieutenant Colonel Jan Fedoseyev is surrounded by “Czech hedgehogs”.

“It’s a steel anti-tank obstacle. It was made to repel the tanks and armoured vehicles of that era. Development on it started in 1935 or 1936, when the Germans already had the Panzer I, II and III, and it was created to repel just such tanks. It was tried and tested – and full production began in 1937 and continued in 1938.”

Up to around 200,000 hedgehogs were made for Czechoslovakia’s border fortifications, intended to protect the young republic from hostile neighbours.

See the rest here.

Authors: Ferdinand Hauser, Ian Willoughby