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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 10/ZW; Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf M; PzKpfw III Ausf M; SdKfz 141; SdKfz 141/1 medium tank

Design

Water tight covers were put around access doors, air inlets in the engine, gun mantlet, and all vents had new seals for wading. Bosch lights were fitted to fenders. Smoke candles were replaced by 90 mm NBK smoke mortars on each side of turret. Many were fitted with side skirts on hull and turret (Schürzen).7,8,10 Late models had a deflector ring around the commander's cupola. Some had Fliegerbeschussgeraet (machine gun mount) installed on the cupola for antiaircraft defense.

The hull escape door was eliminated.1

In July 1942 the order for 1,000 was reduced to 775 as the OKH had plans for replacing the PzKpfw IIIs with Panthers. It was decided to use 165 PzKpfw III chassis to build StuG III. 100 were converted to flame-thrower versions.

The 75 mm gun's AP round weighed 15 lbs, and had a muzzle velocity of 1,263'/sec.2

Production

  • PzKpfw III Ausf M: 2504
    • Production: 1942 - 19434
  • Chassis Numbers: 76001 - 780008

The PzKpfw III series production figures.

Specifications

  Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf M,  SdKfz 141/1
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator
52,3,5,6
Radio FuG53
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 27,557 lb,
49,163 lb, 49,160 lb5,6, 49,200 lb
22,300 kg5,6
22.7 tons3, 22.3 tons , 25.5 tons2
Length w/gun 17.75'2, 20' 7", 21'5,6, 21' 1"
6.41 m3,5,6
Length w/o gun 17' 8", 18' 1.5"5,6
5.52 m5,6
Height 8' 2.5"5,6, 9.2'2, 9' 8"
2.5 m3,5,6, 2.51 m
Width 9.6'2, 9' 8"5,6, 9' 8.25"
2.95 m3,5,6
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 1' 2", 15.4"2
0.41 m, 0.38 m
Ground contact length 112.5"2
2.86 m
Ground pressure 13.5 psi, 14.4 psi2
0.94 kg/cm2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 50 mm KwK 39 L/603
75 mm L/245,9
75 mm KwK L/242,6
Secondary  
MG 1: 7.92 mm MG9
2: 7.92 mm MG343
MG - coaxial 7.92 mm MG342
MG - bow 7.92 mm MG342
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 642,6, 78, 92 Pzgr & Sprgr3
Secondary  
MG 3,4502
3,750 Patr SmK3
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 50 + 207
Front: 2+0.8"2
Side: 1.2"2
Hull Front, Upper 50+20@9°3
Hull Front, Lower 50@21°3
Hull Sides, Upper 30@0°3
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°3
Hull Rear 50@9°3 & 17°3
Hull Top 18@79°-90°3
Hull Bottom 16@90°3
Turret Front 2.24"+0.8"2
57@15°3
Mantlet: 50+20@0°-45°3
Turret Sides 1.2"2
30@25°3
Turret Rear 30@12°3
Turret Top 10@83°-90°3
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 120 TRM2,3,5,6
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water2
Cylinders V-122, 126
Capacity  
Net HP 300@3,000 rpm2
3006
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.5:12
Transmission (Type) ZF SSG 77
Synchromesh2
6 forward, 1 reverse.2,3
Steering Clutch brake2
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric and inertia2
Electrical system Starting: 24-volt2
Running: 12-volt2
Ignition Magneto2
Fuel (Type) Gasoline2,6
Octane  
Quantity 85 gallons2
320 liters2
Road consumption 1.5 mpg2
100 km/183 liters
Cross country consumption 0.62 mpg2
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.2,3
Speed - Road 24.9 mph, 25 mph5,6, 28 mph2
40 kph3,5,6
Speed - Cross Country 11 mph2, 11.2 mph
19 kph
Range - Road 90 miles2, 93 miles, 109 miles, 110 miles5,6
155 km3, 175 km5,6
Range - Cross Country 53 miles2
97 km
Turning radius 5.8 m
Elevation limits -10° to +20°3
Fording depth 31.5"2, 2' 8"5,6, 4' 3"
0.8 m5,6
Trench crossing 8.5'2, 8' 6"5,6
2.59 m5,6
Vertical obstacle 23.6"2, 2'5,6
0.6 m5,6
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope2
60%6
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar2
Wheels each side 62, 6x2
Return rollers each side 32
Tracks (Type) Dry pin2
Length  
Width 15.75"2
0.4 m
Diameter  
Number of links 922
Pitch 4.9"2
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8.25'2
2.51 m

Sources:

  1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  2. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  3. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  4. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  5. Panzers At War, Michael and Gladys Green, 2005
  6. Tanks - Over 250 of the World's Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, Chris Chant, 2004
  7. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  8. AFV #2: Panzerkampfwagen III, Walter Spielberger
  9. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
  10. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site