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"Armor Skirting on German Tanks" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A U.S. report on the German practice of mounting armor skirts (Schürzen) on panzers in WWII, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 40, December 16, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


From both Allied and German sources, reports have come in of additional armored skirting applied to the sides of German tanks and self-moving guns to protect the tracks, bogies and turret. Photographs show such plating on the PzKw 3 and 4, where the plates are hung from a bar resembling a hand-rail running above the upper track guard and from rather light brackets extending outward about 18 inches from the turret. What appeared to be a 75-mm self-moving gun was partially protected by similar side plates over the bogies. This armor is reported to be light -- 4 to 6 millimeters (.16 to .24 in) -- and is said to give protection against hollow-charge shells, 7.92-mm tungsten carbide core AT ammunition, and 20-mm tungsten carbide core ammunition. This armor might cause a high-velocity AP shot or shell to deflect and strike the main armor sideways or at an angle, but covering the bogies or Christie wheels would make the identification of a tank more difficult, except at short ranges.

[WWII German Stug III with Armor Skirting]



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