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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Flammpanzer III Ausf M (F1) SdKfz 141/3; PzKpfw III Flammpanzer III (SdKfz 141/3)

Design

100 PzKpfw III Ausf M were converted from February to April 1943 by Wegmann Waggonfabrik in Kassel. The main gun was replaced by an oil projector 1,500 mm long and 140 mm in diameter.5 Two oil tanks (225 gallons/1,000 liters4) with an auxiliary engine were installed in the hull.5 The flamethrower could be used about 70 to 80 times with 2 - 3 second burts.5 The range was about 65 yards.5

A MG 34 was installed in the hull and one coaxially in turret. 30 mm of additional armor plate was added. The crew consisted of the driver, radio operator, and commander. The commander was alone in the turret.

The flamethrower was installed by Wegmann, Kassel.1

Usage

In July 1943, 41 were available at the battle of Kursk in the 6th, 11th, and Grossdeutschland Panzer Divisions.

Specifications

  Flammpanzer SdKfz 141/3
Crew 33,5, 51
Radio FuG53
Radio - commander FuG23
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 23 tons3,5, 25.5 tons1
Length 17.75'1
6.41 m3
Height 8.2'1
2.5 m3
Width 9.6'1
2.95 m3
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.4"1
Ground contact length 112.5"1
Ground pressure 14.4 psi1
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 14 mm Flammenwerfer3
Flamethrower1,2
Secondary  
MG 2: MG2
2: 7.92 mm MG341,3
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 1,000 liters3
Secondary  
MG 3,750 Patr SmK3
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 2+0.8"1
Side: 1.2"1
Hull Front, Upper 50+20@9°3
Hull Front, Lower 50+30@21°3
Hull Sides, Upper 30@0°3
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°3
Hull Rear 50@17°3 & 50@9°3
Hull Top 18@17-90°3
Hull Bottom 16@90°3
Turret Front 2.24"+0.8"1
57@15°3
Mantlet: 50+20@0-45°3
Turret Sides 1.2"1
30@25°3
Turret Rear 30@12°3
Turret Top 10@83-90°3
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 120 TRM1,3
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water1
Cylinders V-121
Capacity  
Net HP 300@3,000 rpm1
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.5:11
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh1
6 forward, 1 reverse.1,3
Steering Clutch brake1
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric and inertia1
Electrical system Starting: 24-volt1
Running: 12-volt1
Ignition Magnito1
Fuel (Type) Gasoline1
Octane  
Quantity 85 gallons1
Road consumption 1.5 mpg1
Cross country consumption 0.62 mpg1
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.1,3
Speed - Road 40 kph3
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 90 miles1
155 km3
Range - Cross Country 53 miles1
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -8° to +20°3
Fording depth 31.5"1
Trench crossing 7.6'1
Vertical obstacle 23.6"1
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope1
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar1
Wheels each side 61
Return rollers each side 31
Tracks (Type) Dry pin1
Length  
Width 15.75"1
Diameter  
Number of links 921
Pitch 4.9"1
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8.25'1

Sources:

  1. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  2. Airfix Magazine Guide #8 German Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gande and Peter Chamberlain, 1975
  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. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H.L. Doyle, 1973
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site