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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 2/ZW; Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf B; SdKfz 141 medium tank

Design

Fifteen were produced in 1937.5 New suspension with two leaf springs on two bogie trucks with four wheels each and three return rollers.5,6,7 The exhaust system and driver's vision port were modified. A new commander's cupola was installed (same as on PzKpfw IV). The rear deck and air louvers were changed.

Chassis Become StuGs

Between 1937 and 1938 five chassis were used for the 0-series of the StuG III.

In October 1940, five (which had been used in experimental Sturmgeschütz) were returned to the armored troops for use as training vehicles.

Production

  • PzKpfw III Ausf B: 155,7
    • Production: 19375
    • Chassis Numbers: 60201 - 602157

The PzKpfw III series production figures.

Usage

Used in Poland but withdrawn before the invasion of France.7

Specifications

  Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf B
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator
51,2,3
Radio FuG53
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 35,053 lb, 33,069 lb
15 tons1, 15.9 tons3, 16 tons2, 18 tons4
Length 18' 6", 18' 7", 18' 8"1
5.67 m3, 5.69 m1, 5.66-5.922
Height 7' 10", 8' 4"1, 8.4'4
2.39 m3, 2.39-2.422, 2.54 m1, 2.81 m3
Width 9' 2", 9' 2.6"1
2.81 m1, 2.82 m2
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.38 m2
Ground contact length 2.86 m
Ground pressure 15.3 psi
0.68 (kg/cm2)2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 37 mm KwK 36 L/45
37 mm KwK1
37 mm L/46.52
37 mm KwK L/46.53
Secondary  
MG 3: MGs2
3: 7.92 mm MG343
3: 7.92 mm MG1
MG - coaxial 2: 7.92 mm MG34
MG - hull 1: 7.92 mm MG34
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 1212,3,5, Pzgr & Sprgr3, 1501
Secondary  
MG 4,5001,2, 4,500 Patr SmK3
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 14.56,7
Hull Front, Upper 14.51,2
15@10°3
Hull Front, Lower 15@25°3
Hull Sides, Upper 14.51,2
15@0°3
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°3
Hull Rear 14.52
15@0-21°3 & 15@0°3
Hull Top 102, 181
10@90°3
Hull Bottom 52
5@90°3
Turret Front 14.51, 152
15@15°3
Mantlet: 15 round3
Turret Sides 14.52
15@25°3
Turret Rear 14.52
15@0-21°
Turret Top 102
10@83-90°3
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 108 TR2,3
Bore/stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP 2301
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse.2,3
6 forward, 1 reverse
ZF SFG 75, 5 forward, 1 reverse
5 speed6
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical System  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity 300 liters2
Use per 100 km of road: 200 liters
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.3
Speed - Road 19.8 mph1, 20 mph, 22 mph, 24.9 mph
32 kph1, 35 kph2, 40 kph3
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 93 miles1, 94 miles, 102.5 miles
150 km1, 165 km2,3
Range - Cross Country 59 miles1
95 km1,2
Turning Radius 5.8 m
Elevation limits -10° to +20°3
Fording depth 2' 8"
0.8 m2
Trench crossing 8' 6", 7' 6"
2.3 m
Vertical obstacle 2'
0.60 m
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Leaf spring2, Horizontal leaf spring7
Wheels each side 8x22,7
Return rollers each side 35,7
Tracks (Type)  
Length 10' 4"
Width 1' 2.1"1
0.36 m1, 0.38 m2
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8' 2"1
2.49 m1

Sources:

  1. Airfix Magazine Guide #8 German Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gande and Peter Chamberlain, 1975
  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. AFV #2: Panzerkampfwagen III, Walter Spielberger
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site