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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 1/ZW; Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf A; SdKfz 141 medium tank

Design

Built by Daimler-Benz.1,5 In May 1937, five of the PzKpfw III Ausf As became available and another ten weren't completed until the end of 1937. Eight of them received the 37 mm gun.6,8

Turret

The turret was built by Rheinmetall-Borsig.

Suspension

The suspension had five large double bogie wheels on coil springs.5,6,7

The drive sprocket was in front and the idler in the rear with two return rollers.6,8

Armament

Gun Ammo Type Weight ° Penetration
500 yards / 457 m 1,000 yards / 914 m
37 mm KwK L/451 AP1   301 2.8"1
70 mm1
1"1
31 mm1

The coaxial machine guns followed the aim of the main armament.1

The radioman operated the hull machine gun.1

Production

  • PzKpfw III Ausf A: 15
    • Production:
      • ? - May 1937: 5
      • June 1937 - December 1937: 10
    • Manufacturer: Daimler-Benz1,5
    • Chassis Numbers: 60101 - 601108

The PzKpfw III series production figures.

Usage

Tested in Poland, but withdrawn in February 1940.5,9

Specifications

  Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf A
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator6
51,2,3,4,5,6,7
Radio FuG53
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 33,069 lb, 33,824 lb, 33,951 lb
14.76 tons7, 15 tons2,4,5, 15.1 tons6, 15.4 tons3,8
Length 18' 6", 18' 8"5,7, 18.9'4
5.69 m3,5, 5.8 m2
Height 7' 7", 7' 8"5,7, 7' 9"4
2.34 m3,5, 2.36 m2
Width 9' 2", 9' 3"7, 9.3'4,5
2.81 m3,5, 2.82 m2
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.35 m2, 0.38 m
Ground contact length 2.86 m
Ground pressure 15.3 psi
0.67 (kg/cm2)2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 37 mm KwK 36 L/45
37 mm L/46.52
37 mm KwK L/46.53
37 mm4
37 mm KwK L/451,5,7
Secondary  
MG 3: MGs2,4
3: 7.92 mm MG343
MG - coaxial 2: MG7
2: 7.92 mm MG345,6
2: 7.92 mm MG1
Mg - hull MG7
7.92 mm MG345,6
7.92 mm MG1
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 150 Pzgr & Sprgr3, 1212, 1505
Secondary  
MG 4,5002,5, 4,500 Patr SmK3
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 5 - 14.56,8, 10 - 14.54, 14.57, 159
Front: 151,5
Side: 151,5
Turret: 151
Hull Front, Upper 14.52, 14.5@815
15@10°3
Hull Front, Lower 14.5@69°5, 15@20°3
Hull Sides, Upper 14.52, 14.5@90°5
15@0°3
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°3
Hull Rear 14.52, 14.5@77-80°5
15@0°3
Hull Top 102
10@70-90°3
Hull Bottom 52
5@90°3
Turret Front 14.5@75°5, 152
15@15°3
Mantlet: 15 round3
Turret Sides 14.5@65°5, 14.52
15@25°3
Turret Rear 14.52, 14.5@78°5
15@0-21°3
Turret Top 102, 10@0-7°5
10@82-90°3
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach7, Maybach HL 108 TR2,3,8
Bore/stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders V-127,8
Capacity  
Net HP 2305,7
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse.2
6 forward, 1 reverse.3
ZF SFG 75, 5 forward, 1 reverse
5 speed6
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical System  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline7,8
Octane  
Quantity 66 gallons5, 79 gallons
300 liters2,5
Use per 100 km of road: 200 liters
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.3
Speed - Road 20 mph4,5,6,7, 21.7 mph
32 kph5, 35 kph2,3
Speed - Cross Country 12 mph5
19 kph5
Range - Road 93 miles5,7, 103 miles5
150 km5, 165 km2,3,5
Range - Cross Country 59 miles5 94 miles, 102.5 miles
95 km2,5
Turning Radius  
Elevation limits -10° to +20°3
Fording depth 2' 8"
0.8 m2
Trench crossing 8' 6", 7' 6"
2.6 m
Vertical obstacle 2'
0.60 m
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Coil springs1,2
Wheels each side 5x2, 51,2,5,6
Return rollers each side 25,8
Tracks (Type)  
Length 11' 1"
Width 14"
0.36 m, 0.38 m2
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 2.49 m

Sources:

  1. Panzers At War, Michael and Gladys Green, 2005
  2. Panzer Truppen The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942, Thomas L. Jentz, 1996
  3. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  4. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  5. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  6. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  7. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  8. AFV #2: Panzerkampfwagen III, Walter Spielberger
  9. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
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