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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). 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.

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.

Production

  • PzKpfw III Ausf M: 250
    • Production: 1942 - 1943
  • Chassis Numbers: 76001 - 78000

The PzKpfw III series production figures.

Specifications

  Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf M,  SdKfz 141/1
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator
5
Radio FuG5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 27,557 lb,
49,163 lb, 49,160 lb, 49,200 lb
22,300 kg
22.7 tons, 22.3 tons , 25.5 tons
Length w/gun 17.75', 20' 7", 21', 21' 1"
6.41 m
Length w/o gun 17' 8", 18' 1.5"
5.52 m
Height 8' 2.5", 9.2', 9' 8"
2.5 m, 2.51 m
Width 9.6', 9' 8", 9' 8.25"
2.95 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
0.94 kg/cm2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 50 mm KwK 39 L/60
75 mm L/24
75 mm KwK L/24
Secondary  
MG 1: 7.92 mm MG
2: 7.92 mm MG34
MG - coaxial 7.92 mm MG34
MG - bow 7.92 mm MG34
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 64, 78, 92 Pzgr & Sprgr
Secondary  
MG 3,450
3,750 Patr SmK
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 50 + 20
Front: 2+0.8"
Side: 1.2"
Hull Front, Upper 50+20@9°
Hull Front, Lower 50@21°
Hull Sides, Upper 30@0°
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°
Hull Rear 50@9° & 17°
Hull Top 18@79°-90°
Hull Bottom 16@90°
Turret Front 2.24"+0.8"
57@15°
Mantlet: 50+20@0°-45°
Turret Sides 1.2"
30@25°
Turret Rear 30@12°
Turret Top 10@83°-90°
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 120 TRM
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders V-12, 12
Capacity  
Net HP 300@3,000 rpm
300
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.5:1
Transmission (Type) ZF SSG 77
Synchromesh
6 forward, 1 reverse.
Steering Clutch brake
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric and inertia
Electrical system Starting: 24-volt
Running: 12-volt
Ignition Magneto
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
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, 110 miles
155 km, 175 km
Range - Cross Country 53 miles
97 km
Turning radius 5.8 m
Elevation limits -10° to +20°
Fording depth 31.5", 2' 8", 4' 3"
0.8 m
Trench crossing 8.5', 8' 6"
2.59 m
Vertical obstacle 23.6", 2'
0.6 m
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope
60%
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 8.25'
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