[Lone Sentry: New Armament of German Pz.Kw. 3 and 4, WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
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"New Armament of German Pz.Kw. 3 and 4" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following report on armament of the German Pz.Kw. 3 and 4 originally appeared in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 20, March 11, 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.]


As previously reported in Tactical and Technical Trends (No. 4, p. 15) recent models of two German tanks, the Pz.Kw. 3 and 4, have been fitted with more powerful armament, as shown in the accompanying sketches. These sketches are based on photographs of German tanks captured by the British in North Africa.

a. Pz.Kw. 3

The principal armament of this tank is a long-barrelled 50-mm gun. It is reported that this gun bears considerable similarity to the 5-cm Pak 38 (50-mm antitank gun), except that there is no muzzle brake and that the mounting is, of course, different. The over-all length from the breech opening to the muzzle is 9 feet, 4 inches. The barrel overhangs the front of the tank by about 3 feet. The ammunition used is that of the 50-mm antitank gun with no adaptation or alteration apart from the fitting of an electric primer, the tank gun being electrically fired. The muzzle velocity of this tank gun has been estimated as a little over 3,000 feet per second. It has been reported that the performance of the tank gun should not be very different from that of the antitank gun, the estimated penetration figures for which are as follows:

79-mm (3.1 in) homogeneous armor at 300 yds at 30°
71-mm (2.8 in) homogeneous armor at 600 yds at 30°
63-mm (2.5 in) homogeneous armor at 850 yds at 30°

[German Panzer III]

b. Pz.Kw. 4

The principal armament of this tank is a long-barrelled 75-mm gun, the 7.5-cm Kraftwagenkanone 40 (7.5-cm Kw.K. 40). It is reported that the muzzle velocity is 2,400 feet per second (also reported at 2,620 feet per second), and that 2.44 inches of armor plate can be penetrated at 2,000 yards at an angle of impact of 30 degrees. The long barrel, terminating in a muzzle brake, extends beyond the nose of the tank, and an equilibrator was provided, in the particular tank examined, to balance the consequent muzzle preponderance. The equilibrator is fixed to the floor of the turret and extends vertically to an attachment near the rear of the piece; it is 6 inches in diameter and 21 1/2 inches long. The gun is also provided with a traveling lock inside the turret. The traveling lock consisted of two steel bars about 1/2 inch by 2 inches and 15 inches in length. There were hardened semihemispherical surfaces about 1 1/2 inches in diameter projecting from each end of the steel bars, and these fitted into corresponding indentations on either side of lugs attached to the gun and to the turret roof. The steel bars were connected by two bolts; tightening the bolts provided a very positive lock.

Three types of ammunition were found with this tank: nose-fuzed HE; hollow-charge HE; and armor-piercing HE, this being an armor-piercing shell with a ballistic nose and an HE charge.

[German Panzer IV]


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