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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 11/ZW; Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf N; PzKpfw III Ausf N; SdKpfz 141/2; Sturmpanzer III medium tank

Design

Had 75 mm L/24 installed to be used as a support vehicle for Tiger Is. It was based on the PzKpfw III Ausf L chassis. A triple smoke launcher was mounted on the turret sides. After 1943 some of the vehicles who had returned to the factories for overhauls were given a coating of Zimmerit (antimagnetic mine paste). At the Ruegenwalde factory starting on March 19, 1943, the Ausf Ns had Seitenschürzen (armored side skirts) installed. Some received a single piece hatch instead of the double hatch. Some also had Fliegerbeschussgeraet installed.

Production

The initial order of 450 was filled by converting 3 PzKpfw III Ausf Js and 447 PzKpfw III Ausf Ls. As reports filtered back that the troops liked the PzKpfw III Ausf Ns an additional 213 PzKpfw III Ausf Ms were converted. 37 PzKpfw IIIs returned from the front for overhaul and they were converted to PzKpfw III Ausf Ns.

The PzKpfw III series production figures.

Usage

From September 1942 to May 1943 there were 10 assigned to the heavy tank companies to provide support to Tiger Is.

Specifications

  Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf N, SdKfz 141/2
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator
52,3,6
Radio Used FuG5 radio.3
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 49,163 lb, 50,706 lb
22.3 tons6, 23 tons2,3
Length w/gun 18' 1.3"6, 20' 7"
5.52 m6, 5.65 m2
Length w/o gun 5.52 m
Height 8' 2.5", 8' 2.8"6
2.5 m2,3, 2.51 m6
Width 9' 8.1"6, 9' 8.25"
2.95 m3,6, 2.97 m2
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.41 m, 0.38 m2
Ground contact length 2.86 m
Ground pressure 13.5 psi
1.04 (kg/cm2)2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 75 mm KwK 37 L/244
75 mm L/241,2,5
7.5 cm KwK6
75 mm KwK L/253
Secondary  
MG 2: MGs2
2: 7.92 mm MG6
2: 7.92 mm MG343
MG - coaxial 1: 7.92 mm MG34
MG - hull 1: 7.92 mm MG34
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 642,4,5,6
Secondary  
MG 3,4506
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 50 + 207
Hull Front, Upper 506, 50+202
50+20@9°3
Hull Front, Lower 50@21°3
Hull Sides, Upper 302,14
30@0°3
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°3
Hull Rear 502
50@9°3 & 17°3
Hull Top 162, 186
18@79°-90°3
Hull Bottom 152
16@90°3
Turret Front 576, 50+202
57@15°3
Mantlet: 50@0°-45°3
Turret Sides 302
30@25°3
Turret Rear 302
30@12°3
Turret Top 102
10@83°-90°3
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 120 TRM2,3
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP 3006
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) ZF SSG 77, Synchromesh
6 forward, 1 reverse.2,3
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity 320 liters2
Road consumption 100 km/183 liters
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.3
Speed - Road 24.8 mph6, 24.9 mph
40 kph2,3,6
Speed - Cross Country 11.2 mph
19 kph
Range - Road 108 miles6, 109 miles
97 km, 145 km2, 155 km3, 175 km6
Range - Cross Country 60 miles6
85 km2, 97 km6
Turning radius 5.8 m
Elevation limits -8° to +20°3
Fording depth 2' 8"
1.3 m, 0.8 m2
Trench crossing 8' 6"
2.59 m
Vertical obstacle 2'
60 cm
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar
Wheels each side 6x22
Return rollers each side 3
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 1' 3.75"6
0.4 m2,6
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8' 2.8"6
2.51 m6

Sources:

  1. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  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 - Over 250 of the World's Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, Chris Chant, 2004
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. Airfix Magazine Guide #8 German Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gande and Peter Chamberlain, 1975
  7. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  8. AFV #2: Panzerkampfwagen III, Walter Spielberger
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site