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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Marder III, Marder III Ausf H, Marder III Ausf M
Translation: Martin/Marten (weasel)

Design

On December 22, 1941, the Weapons Department was ordered to produce a self-propelled anti-tank gun to help get an effective antitank gun to the units on the Eastern front.

It used the Czechoslovakian 38(t) chassis. The gun and carriage (without the wheels) was mounted on top of the superstructure using a special mounting plate. It was shaped like a bridge and was bolted to the roof in the front and rear. The gun shield moved with the gun, but the sides were fixed to help protect the crew. The driver and radio operator sat in the front of the hull. Behind them were 3 ammunition boxes that held 24 rounds. There were 2 ammunition boxes mounted on the side walls of the superstructure, and contained 12 rounds.

Engine Compartment

It was found that the Marder II was nose heavy the Marder III had the engine moved towards the center and the gun moved forward.

Main Armament

Initially captured Soviet 76.2 cm Model 1936s were used until enough 7.5 cm Pak 40s became available. The guns were rechambered to use the Pak 40 cartridge.

    Round Weight Velocity Penetration Range
7.62cm PaK36(r)   AP 16.8 lb 2,330'/sec    
with muzzle brake AP   2,430'/sec 83 mm@30° at 500 yards  
PzGr 40   3,249'/sec 118 mm@30° at 500 yards  
  HE       8,300 yards
7.5cm PaK40/3   AP 15 2,461'/sec 76 mm at 2,300 m  
HE       8,421 yards

Production

  • Marder III: 344, 799
    • Manufactured by: Böhmisch-Mährische Maschinenfabrik AG (BMM)
    • Chassis manufactured by: Skoda Works, Pilsen
    • Production: March 24, 1942 - ?, April 1942 - October 1942, May 1943 - 1944
    • Converted in 1943: 19
    • Actual Output: 17 per month, 24 per month
    • Target Output: 30 per month
  • Marder III Ausf H: 242, 418
    • Manufactured by: BMM , C.K.D.
    • Production: November 1942 - April 1943
    • Converted: 175 (in 1943), 175
  • Marder III Ausf M: 381, 799, 975
    • Manufactured by: BMM of Prague, C.K.D.
    • Production: April 1943 - May 1944, ? - May 1944
  • Total: 1,217
    • Production: 1942 - 1944
  • Munitionspanzer 38(t) (Sf) Ausf K (SdKfz 138): 102

Variants

  • Marder III: Used captured 76.2 mm Model 1936, Russian Model 36 76.2 mm L/54.8 gun. Used in North Africa. Originally designated the Panzerselbstfahrlafette 2 für 7.62 cm PaK 36, but on February 27, 1944, Hitler ordered it to be called the Marder III.
    As of May 15, 1942, 120 had been produced. Another 100 were ordered and were produced from June to September 1942. First appeared in early 1942.
    As soon as 75 mm PaK became available, then this model was phased out of production.
    • Also known as:
      • Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.62cm PaK36(r), SdKfz 139, Marder III:
      • Panzerselbstfahrlafette II für 7.62cm Pak 36(r), SdKfz 138, Marder III:
      • Panzerjaeger38(t) für 7.62cm Pak 36(r):
      • 7.62 cm Pak 36(r) L/54 on Gw. 38(t), SdKfz 138:
      • Panzerselbstfahrlafette II für 7.62cm Pak 36(r), SdKfz 139, Marder III:
  • Marder III Ausf H: Installed a larger shield directly on the chassis. Had a traveling mount for the gun.
    Deployed in Russia, Tunisia, and Italy with Panzerjäger units of the Luftwaffe, SS, and Wehrmacht. Had the engine placed at the rear of the vehicle.
    • Also known as:
      • Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.5cm PaK40/3, Ausf H, SdKfz 138, Marder III:
      • 7.5cm Pak 40/3 (L/46) auf PzJaeg 38(t) Ausf H:
      • Panzerjäger 38(t) Marder III:
      • 7.5 cm Pak 40/3 L/46 on Gw. 38(t) (Ausf H), SdKfz 138:
  • Marder III Ausf M: Had fighting compartment placed back further as previous models were found to be nose heavy. Had only single return roller. Engine was placed at the front.
    • Also known as:
      • Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.5cm PaK40/3, Ausf M, SdKfz 138, Marder III:
      • Panzerjäger 38(t) Ausf M SdKfz 138:
      • 7.5cm Pak 40/3 (L/46) Marder III auf GW 38:
      • 7.5 cm Pak 40/3 L/46 on Gw. 38(t) (Ausf M), SdKfz 138:
  • Munitionspanzer 38(t) (Sf) Ausf K (SdKfz 138): Carried 40 sIG patr rounds.

Usage

North Africa

66 / 117 Marder IIIs went to North Africa to serve in the 33rd & 39th Panzerjägerabteilung of the 15th Panzer Division.

Russian Front

The rest of the Marder IIIs saw action in Russia. The first Marder IIIs reach the Eastern Front in April 1942.

Slovakia

Slovakia received 18 Marder III Ausf Hs.

Specifications

  Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.62cm PaK36(r), SdKfz 139, Marder III
Crew 4
Radio FuG Spr d
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 23,520 lb
10.33 tons, 10.67 tons, 10.7 tons, 10.8 tons, 11.6 tons
10,500 kg
Length w/gun 16' 3"
4.95 m, 5.85 m
Length w/o gun 15'
4.65 m
Height 8.1', 8' 1.6", 8' 2", 9' 1"
2.48 m, 2.5 m
Width 7', 7' 0.6"
2.15 m, 2.16 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.8"
Ground contact length 102.75"
Ground pressure 9.8 psi
Armament  
Main 75 mm
76.2 mm PaK 36 (r) L/51.5
7.62 cm M36
76.2 mm Pak 36(r) L/51.1
Secondary  
MG 7.92 mm MG
7.92 MG37(t)
7.92 mm MG37 or MG34
7.9 mm MG37(t)
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 30: Pzgr 39Rot, Pzgr 40, Sprgr 39
30, 36
Secondary  
MG 1,200, 1,500
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 20
Front: 2"
Side: 0.79"
Hull Front, Upper 50@17°
Hull Front, Lower 50@16°
Hull Sides, Upper 16@11-14°
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°
Hull Rear 10@65° & 15@16°
Hull Top 10@90°
Hull Bottom 10+8@90°
Superstructure Front Gun shield: 11@31°
Superstructure Sides Gun shield: 11@12°
Superstructure Rear Gun shield: open
Superstructure Top Gun shield: open
Engine (Make / Model) Praga EPAPraga EPA Model III, AC
Praga EPA & EPA/2
Praga
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders I-6
Net HP 125 (early model)
140 (late model)
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 1:6.2
Transmission (Type) Preselector, Wilson
5 forward, 1 reverse
Praga-Wilson planetary gear type
Steering Clutch brake
Steering ratio  
Starter Hand and electrical
Electrical system 12-volt
Ignition Magneto
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 58 gallons
218 liters
Road consumption 3 mpg
100 km/118 liters
Cross country consumption 2 mpg
Performance  
Traverse 50°, 130°
21° left, 21° right, hand
Speed - Road 26 mph
42 kph
Speed - Cross Country 11 mph
Range - Road 87 miles, 115 miles, 118 miles, 155 miles
185 km, 190 km
Range - Cross Country 100 miles
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -8° to +13.5°
-6° to +16°
Fording depth 31.5", 3'
Trench crossing 4', 4' 3"
Vertical obstacle 31.5", 2' 9"
Climbing ability 37° (75%) slope
Suspension (Type) Bogie
Four road wheels on two bogies with 1/2 elliptic springs
Wheels each side 4
Return rollers each side 2
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length  
Width 11.5"
Diameter  
Number of Links 93
Pitch 4.1"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5.9'
  Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.5cm PaK40/3, SdKfz 138, Marder III Ausf H
Crew 4
Radio FuG5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 23,809 lb
10.8 tons, 11.6 tons
Length w/gun 18' 11"
5.77 m
Length w/o gun 14.9'
Height 8', 8' 2"
2.51 m
Width 6.9', 7' 1"
2.16 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 16"
Ground contact length 102.75"
Ground pressure 9.8 psi
Armament  
Main 7.5 cm Pak 40
75 mm PaK 40/3
75 mm PaK 40/3 L/46
75 mm Pak 40 L/46
Secondary  
MG 7.92 mm MG37(t)
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 40:APC, 38: HEAT
38
Secondary  
MG 600
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 2"
Side: 0.63"
Superstructure: 0.63", 10 - 15
Hull Front, Upper 50@15°
Hull Front, Lower 50@15°
Hull Sides, Upper 15@0°
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°
Hull Rear open & 15@16°
Hull Top 10@65° & 10@90°
Hull Bottom 8@90°
Superstructure Front Gun shield: 15@25°
Superstructure Sides Gun shield: 15@25°
Superstructure Rear Gun shield: open
Superstructure Top Gun shield: 8@90°
Engine (Make / Model) Praga EPA/2
Praga AC
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders I-6
Net HP 150@2,600 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse
EPA, CV/TNHP, preselector
Steering Clutch brake, two speeds
Steering ratio  
Starter Hand and electric
Electrical system 12-volt
Ignition Magneto
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 58 gallon
Road consumption 2.1 mpg
Cross country consumption 1.5 mpg
Performance  
Traverse 30° left, 30° right, hand
Speed - Road 21.7 mph, 29 mph
35 kph
Speed - Cross Country 11 - 12 mph
Range - Road 124 miles, 149 miles
240 km
Range - Cross Country 87 miles
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -5° to +22°
-10° to +20°
Fording depth 35"
Trench crossing 4.3'
Vertical obstacle 33"
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope
Suspension (Type) Four road wheels on two bogies with 1/2 elliptic springs
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length  
Width 12.25" (shoe 11.5")
Diameter  
Number of Links 93
Pitch 4.25"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5.9'
  Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.5cm PaK40/3, SdKfz 138, Marder III Ausf M
Crew 4
Radio FuG Spr d
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 23,149 lb, 24,251 lb
11,000 kg
10.5 tons, 11.6 tons
Length w/gun 15' 3", 15' 3.1", 16' 2", 16.4'
4.65 m, 4.95 m
Length w/o gun  
Height 7' 10", 8' 1", 8' 1.6", 8.25'
2.48 m
Width 7.1', 7' 1", 7' 8.5"
2.15 m, 2.16 m, 2.35 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.8"
40 cm
Ground contact length 102.75"
2.92 m
Ground pressure 9.8 psi
0.61 kg/cm2
Armament  
Main 7.5 cm Pak 40
75 mm PaK 40/3
75 mm PaK 40/3 L/46
75 mm Pak 40, L/46
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 27, 38, 41
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 0.88"
Side: 0.56"
Superstructure: 0.38", 10
Hull Front, Upper 10@30°, 25@78°
Hull Front, Lower 20@15°, 20@80°
Hull Sides, Upper 10@15°, 15@90°
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°
Hull Rear 10@0° & 10@41°, 8@90°
Hull Top 8@90°
Hull Bottom 10@90°
Superstructure Front Gun shield: 6@28°, 25@74°
Superstructure Sides Gun shield: 10@16°, 10@78°
Superstructure Rear Gun shield: 10@17°, open
Superstructure Top Gun shield: open
Engine (Make / Model) Praga AC
Praga EPA TZj
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders 6, I-6
Net HP 125, 150
150@2,600 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) EPA, CV/TNHP, preselector
5 forward, 1 reverse.
Steering Clutch brake, two speeds
Steering ratio  
Starter Hand and electric
Electrical system 12-volt
Ignition Magneto
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 48 gallons, 58 gallons
218 liters
Road consumption 2.1 mpg
Cross country consumption 1.5 mpg
Performance  
Traverse 21° left, 21° right, hand
30° left, 30° right
Speed - Road 26 mph, 29 mph
42 kph
Speed - Cross Country 11 -12 mph, 15 mph
24 kph
Range - Road 87 miles, 115 miles, 118 miles, 124 miles
140 km, 185 km, 190 km
Range - Cross Country 87 miles
140 km
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -5 to +13°, -10° to +20°
Fording depth 35"
0.9 m
Trench crossing 4.3', 4' 3"
1.3 m, 2.08 m
Vertical obstacle 33"
0.84 m
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope
Suspension (Type) Four road wheels on two bogies with 1/2 elliptic springs
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length  
Width 12.25" (shoe 11.5")
29.3 cm
Diameter  
Number of Links  
Pitch 4.25"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 1.77 m

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
  5. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  6. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  7. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  8. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H. L. Doyle, 1973
  9. Profile AFV Weapons #22 Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) & 35(t), John Milsom, 1970
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