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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 5-cm Pak 38,
5-cm Panzerabwehrkanone 38

50 mm Pak 38 captured in Tunisia:
Germany's 50 mm Pak 38 captured in Tunisia
United States Army in World War II, Pictorial Record, The War Against Germany and Italy: Mediterranean and Adjacent Areas, 1951, pg 63

In 1937 design specifications were sought for a replacement to the 3.7-cm Pak 35/36.1 By 1938 Rheinmetall-Börsig had designed and by 1939 had started production on the 50 mm.1 The army didn't see any until the summer of 1940.1,2

By the time of the invasion of Russia, the AP40 round had been supplied to the troops.1 This was made of a tungsten core.1 The combination of the 50 mm and AP40 round could penetrate the T-34/76.1,2

Design

It had steel wheels, a curved shield, and a tubular split rail carriage.1 There was a small wheel under the trail legs for easier handling by the crew.1

The gun also had a muzzle brake installed.1

Production

  • 50 mm PAK 38:
    • 1940: 3883
    • 1941: 2,0723
    • 1942: 4,4803
    • 1943: 2,6263

Bordkanone 5

Used in aircraft with an auto feed mechanism.2

5-cm FlaK 214

This was a anti-aircraft gun based on the Bordkanone 5.2

  5-cm Pak 38
Caliber 1.97"1,2
50 mm1,2
Length of gun 10' 4.9"2, 10' 5.5"1
3.173 m2, 3.187 m1
Length of bore  
Rifling  
Length of rifling 7' 9.7"1
2.381 m1
Weight traveling 2,174 lb2, 2,341 lb1
986 kg2, 1,062 kg1
Weight in action 2,205 lb1
1,000 kg1
Elevation -8° to +27°1,2
Traverse 65°1,2
Muzzle Velocity AP: 2,903'/sec1
AP: 835 m/sec1
AP40: 3,870'/sec1
AP40: 1,180 m/sec1
HE: 1,805'/sec1
HE: 550 m/sec1
3,930'/sec2
1,198 m/sec2
Range of shell HE: 2,900 yards1
HE: 2,650 m1
490 yards2
450 m2
Shell weight AP: 4.54 lb1
AP: 2.06 kg1
AP40: 2.04 lb1
AP40: 4.1 kg1
HE: 4 lb1
HE: 1.82 kg1
4 lb 15.25 oz2
2.25 kg2
Armor penetration AP40: 3.98" @ 820 yards1
AP40: 101 mm @ 740 m1
Breech mechanism  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, 1998, Chris Bishop
  2. Artillery of World War II, Chris Chant, 2001
  3. Panzer Divisions: The Eastern Front 1941-43, Peir Paolo Battistelli, 2008
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site