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German Balkenkreuz

3.7-cm Pak 35/36

Pak is short for Panzerabwehrkanone.

Rheinmetall started to design an anti-tank gun for the army in 1925 and started to produce it in 1928. At the time it was a very advanced design as the German army was still primarily horse drawn.

It had a sloped shield, round split-trail legs, and a long barrel.

Production was accelerated in 1934 after the NSDAP came to power. Starting in 1934 the wheels were solid and had pneumatic tires.

First Action

Some were sent to Spain in 1936 and fought in the Spanish Civil War. It was well liked and could handle most of the armor that saw action.

Showing It's Age

During the invasion of france in 1940, it started to show it's limitations when it went up against the better armored French and British tanks.

By 1941 there were 15,000 produced.

No Match

Once the Pak 35/36 met the T-34/76 in Russia in 1941, it was completely obsolete. Some attempts to use stick bombs, to extend it's life, that went over the muzzle weren't at all useful in combat.

Foreign Use

It was copied by the Japanese and designated the Type 97. Italy received some and designated them the Cannone contracarro da 37/45. The Netherlands called them the 37-mm Rheinmetall. Russia called them the M30.

  3.7-cm Pak 35/36
Caliber 1.46"
37 mm
Length of gun 5' 5.5"
1.665 m
Length of bore  
Rifling  
Length of rifling 4' 3.5"
1.308 m
Weight traveling 952 lb, 970 lb
432kg, 440 kg
Weight in action 723 lb
328 kg
Elevation -8° to +25°
Traverse 59°, 60°
Muzzle Velocity AP: 2,495'/sec, 3,379'/sec
AP: 750 m/sec, 1,030 m/sec
Range of shell 410 yards, 7,655 yards
375 m, 7,000 m
Shell weight AP: 12.5 oz, 0.78 lb
AP: 0354 kg
Armor penetration 1.48" @ 30° at 400 yards
38 mm @ 30° at 365 m
Breech mechanism  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, 1998, Chris Bishop
  2. Artillery of World War II, Chris Chant, 2001
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site