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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. By 1938 Rheinmetall-Börsig had designed and by 1939 had started production on the 50 mm. The army didn't see any until the summer of 1940.

By the time of the invasion of Russia, the AP40 round had been supplied to the troops. This was made of a tungsten core. The combination of the 50 mm and AP40 round could penetrate the T-34/76.

Design

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

The gun also had a muzzle brake installed.

Production

  • 50 mm PAK 38:
    • 1940: 388
    • 1941: 2,072
    • 1942: 4,480
    • 1943: 2,626

Bordkanone 5

Used in aircraft with an auto feed mechanism.

5-cm FlaK 214

This was a anti-aircraft gun based on the Bordkanone 5.

  5-cm Pak 38
Caliber 1.97"
50 mm
Length of gun 10' 4.9", 10' 5.5"
3.173 m, 3.187 m
Length of bore  
Rifling  
Length of rifling 7' 9.7"
2.381 m
Weight traveling 2,174 lb, 2,341 lb
986 kg, 1,062 kg
Weight in action 2,205 lb
1,000 kg
Elevation -8° to +27°
Traverse 65°
Muzzle Velocity AP: 2,903'/sec
AP: 835 m/sec
AP40: 3,870'/sec
AP40: 1,180 m/sec
HE: 1,805'/sec
HE: 550 m/sec
3,930'/sec
1,198 m/sec
Range of shell HE: 2,900 yards
HE: 2,650 m
490 yards
450 m
Shell weight AP: 4.54 lb
AP: 2.06 kg
AP40: 2.04 lb
AP40: 4.1 kg
HE: 4 lb
HE: 1.82 kg
4 lb 15.25 oz
2.25 kg
Armor penetration AP40: 3.98" @ 820 yards
AP40: 101 mm @ 740 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
  3. Panzer Divisions: The Eastern Front 1941-43, Peir Paolo Battistelli, 2008
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site