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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 9/ZW; Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf L; PzKpfw III Ausf L; SdKfz 141 medium tank

Photos

Admiral Toys
72001:
Admiral Toys 1/72 Diecast Armor 72001, German PzKpfw III Ausf L

Admiral Toys
72004:
Admiral Toys 1/72 Diecast Armor 72004, Germany's PzKpfw III Ausf M

Design

Early in the production, the hull escape hatches, loader's vision port on the gun mantlet, and turret side ports were deleted. Other changes were enlarging the radiator access hatches, making a single piece engine access hatch, and air intakes mounted parallel to vehicle's center line. The guns recoil was changed to torsion bar instead of coil, which caused the number of rounds carried to be reduced. Additional 20 mm spaced plates were welded in place to turret shield and driver's plate. A system to transfer heated engine coolant from one vehicle to another was developed.

There was originally an order for 1,100 was reduced in June 1942 so that 450 75 mm KwK L/24 would be mounted and became the Ausf N.

Production

The PzKpfw III series production figures.

  • Chassis Numbers: 74101 - 76000

Variants

  • Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf L:
  • Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf L (Tp): Air intakes were placed inside engine compartment and special oil filters installed. Larger air inlets were installed with dust filters.

Usage

These were issued as replacements and helped formed Panzer regiments of 1st, 2nd, 3rd SS Panzergrenadier Divisions and the Panzergrenadier Division Grossdeutschland.

Tropical version that was used in North Africa.

Specifications

  Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf L, SdKfz 141/1
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator
5
Radio FuG5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 27,557 lb, 49,163 lb, 49,200 lb
21.95 tons, 22.7 tons, 22.3 tons, 25.4 tons
Length w/gun 20' 7", 21', 21' 1"
6.28 m, 6.41 m, 6.15 m
Length w/o gun 17.75', 17' 8", 18' 1"
5.52 m
Height 8.2', 8' 2.5", 8' 3"
2.5 m, 2.51 m
Width 9.5', 9' 8", 9' 8.25"
2.95 m, 2.97 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 1' 2", 15.4"
0.41 m, 0.38 m
Ground contact length

112.5"

2.86 m

Ground pressure 13.5 psi, 14.4 psi
1.02 (kg/cm2)
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 50 mm KwK 39 L/60
1: 50 mm L/60
Secondary  
MG 2: MGs
2: 7.92 mm MG34
MG - coaxial 1: MG
1: 7.92 mm MG34
MG - bow MG
7.92 mm MG34
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 78, 84, 92 Pzgr & Spgr
Secondary  
MG 2,700, 3,750, 4,950, 4,950 Patr SmK
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 18 - 50+20, 50, 57
Front: 2"+0.8"
Side: 1.2"
Hull Front, Upper 50+20 50+20@9°
Hull Front, Lower 50@21°
Hull Sides, Upper 30
30@0°
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°
Hull Rear 50
50@9° & 17°
Hull Top 16
18@79°-90°
Hull Bottom 15
16@90°
Turret Front 2.24"+0.8"
50+20
57@15°
Mantlet: 50+20@0°-45°
Turret Sides 1.2"
30
30@25°
Turret Rear 30
30@12°
Turret Top 10
10@83°-90°
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach, Maybach HL 120 TRM
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders V-12
Capacity  
Net HP 300, 300@3,000 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.5:1
Transmission (Type) ZF SSG 77, Synchromesh
6 forward, 1 reverse.
Synchromesh
Steering Clutch brake
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric and inertia
Electrical system Starting: 24-Volt
Lighting: 12-Volt
Ignition Magneto
Fuel (Type)  
Octane Gasoline
Quantity 85 gallons
320 liters
Road consumption 1.5 mpg
100 km/183 liters
Cross country consumption 0.62 mpg
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.
Speed - Road 24.9 mph, 25 mph, 28 mph
40 kph
Speed - Cross Country 11 mph, 11.2 mph
19 kph
Range - Road 90 miles, 93 miles, 109 miles, 124 miles
145 km, 155 km, 175 km
Range - Cross Country 53 miles
85 km
Turning radius 5.8 m
Elevation limits -10° to +20°
Fording depth 31.5", 2' 8"
0.8 m
Trench crossing 7.2', 8' 6"
2.59 m
Vertical obstacle 23.6", 2'
0.60 m
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar
Wheels each side 6, 6x2
Return rollers each side 3
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length  
Width 15.75"
0.4 m
Diameter  
Number of links 92
Pitch 4.9"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6.9'
2.51 m

Sources:

  1. Panzer Truppen The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942, Thomas L. Jentz, 1996
  2. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999-
  3. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998-
  4. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  5. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  6. AFV #2: Panzerkampfwagen III, Walter Spielberger
  7. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site