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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 7.5-cm Pak 40

75 mm Pak 40 captured in Tunisia:
Germany's 75 mm Pak 40 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 1939 the Germans decided that they were going to need a more powerful gun than the 5-cm Pak 38 to go against newer Soviet tanks. Rheinmetall-Borsig were asked to develop the new design. Basically Rheinmetall upscaled the 5-cm Pak 38.

It was adopted in 1940, but production didn't reach the troops until late 1941.

Design

In anticipation of shortages of light alloys, the Pak 40 was designed primarily out of steel. The shield was made from flat plates.

Production

  • 7.5 cm PAK 40:
    • 1942: 2,114
    • 1943: 8,740

7.5-cm FK 40

The 7.5 cm gun was placed on a 10.5 cm howitzer carriage to be used as a light artillery piece. Some formations were using this weapon in 1945.

FK stood for Feldkanone or field gun.

  7.5-cm Pak 40
Caliber 2.95"
75 mm
Length of gun 12' 1.7"
3.7 m
Length of bore  
Rifling  
Length of rifling 8'
2.461 m
Weight traveling 3,307 lb
1,500 kg
Weight in action 3,141.5 lb
1,425 kg
Elevation -5° to +22°
Traverse 45°
Muzzle Velocity AP: 2,460'/sec
AP: 750 m/sec
AP40: 3,050'/sec
AP40: 930 m/sec
HE: 1,805'/sec
HE: 550 m/sec
Range of shell HE: 8,400 yards
HE: 7,680 m
Shell weight AP: 15 lb
AP: 6.8 kg
AP40: 9.04 lb
AP40: 4.1 kg
HE: 12.65 lb
HE: 5.74 kg
Armor penetration 3.86" @ 2,190 yards
98 mm @ 2,000 m
Breech mechanism  

Sources:

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