At the same time, he stood German industry down from a wartime footing. He had wanted a 50mm high-velocity gun, but Ordnance insisted on the 37mm infantry antitank gun in the interests of standardization. III, but the Pz. Comparing the Panzer III Ausf. The Panzer III was 17 feet 8 inches long, 9 feet 9 inches wide, and 8 feet 3 inches high. Until the T-34 Medium Tank and the KV-1 entered Soviet service, the Pz.Kpfw IV was the boss of the battlefield. For the first two and half years of World War II and before the advent of the Panzer IV, the Panzer III medium tank, officially known as the Panzerkampfwagen III, served as the main battle tank of the German forces. The Pz.Kpfw. Only a small number of Pz.Kpfw IIIs took part in the invasion of Poland in the fall of 1939. At one point, General Erwin Rommel was able to move his armored forces 175 miles in one day, a record that still stands. In upgrade programs appliqué armor brought total protection up to 2.3 inches in later models. However, the turret ring was made large enough so the tank could be up-gunned at a later date. Considered is the key word. The Pz.Kpfw IV served on every front and was heavily engaged against Soviet tanks. In response to the difficulty of penetratin… As many earlier models as possible were retrofitted with the new equipment, and on June 22, 1941, 956 Pz.Kpfw IIIs slashed across the Russian steppes. Its size was dictated by the load capacity of German bridges, which was 24 tons. The Ausf F version of the Pz.Kpfw III appeared in late 1940. Panzer III was developed in the 1930s, as part of the new German armored combat doctrine. B move along a dirt road Panzer IV … The Panzerkampfwagen III/IV (PzKpfw III/IV) was an experimental medium tank project undertaken by Germany during World War II. But the appearance of the Russian T-34 Medium Tank and the KV series, with their far more powerful guns and heavier, sloped armor, changed that. The protection was upgraded by increasing side armor to 20 mm. An example of how hard it was to kill a Jagdpanzer IV was given by an American lieutenant in a late-war interview. Please copy/paste the following text to properly cite this HowStuffWorks.com article: Copyright © 2021 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. It primarily served in only the first half of WWII becoming obsolete in 1943. Ausf F through Ausf N upgrades quickly followed. On Hitler's personal order, the Hornisse was renamed the Nashorn (Rhinoceros) to suit its more aggressive role on the battlefield. Testing of these took place in 1936 and 1937, leading to the D… The first task was direct combat against other tanks and other armoured vehicles, requiring the tank to fire armour piercing (AP) shells. A few were used in Poland, but the invasion of France is considered its combat debut. In a pinch, the gun could also be used as an artillery piece up to an effective range of 11,000 yards. This compared with 82,500 RM for the StuG III, 96,163 RM for the Panzer III, 103,462 RM for the Panzer IV, and 250,800 RM for the Tiger I. The Panzer IV were to follow up, and would continue destroying any marked targets. The last of the 140 Ausf. The fact that the gun crew on the vehicle, except for the loader, were all highly trained specialists with extensive training meant any casualties could severely degrade the weapon's effectiveness. With the Maus now alone, Ooarai continue to attack, but even the side and rear armour of the super-heavy vehicle is impervious to their weapons. See the next page to follow the evolution of the Panzerkampfwagen III. Cs, the engine was replaced with the improved HL 120TRM. An angry Hitler discovered that his order of the year before had not been obeyed and demanded that all Pz.Kpfw IIIs now be fitted with the 50mm gun immediately. The Panzer III was Germany's first medium tank. The minimal armor and 37mm gun were no match for the French Char B Heavy Tank or the S-35 Medium Tank on a one-to-one basis, but concentration of forces and superior tactics enabled the Nazi Germans to run right over Allied tanks operating in support of infantry. The Sturmgeschütz III, which is based on the Panzer III's chassis, soldiered on until the end of the war. Panzer - Panzer - Pz. These cost figures did not include the cost of the armament and radio. IV had a larger turret and gun, thicker frontal armour, and better cross-country mobility. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Lets look at why. The Hornisse was fielded in late 1943. A designs. F2 variant. Adolf Hitler stood wartime production down in July of that year, and as a result, there were only 580 Pz.Kpfw IVs available to the Panzer divisions that invaded Russia in June 1941. In response, the German army introduced the Panzer III medium tank in 1935. Panzer IVG is a Tank unit in Panzer Corps. Periodic upgrades and modifications extended its service life, and the Panzer IV became the only German tank to remain in continuous production throughout the war, serving … The prototype models weighed 17.5 tons, but the Pz.Kpfw IV eventually grew to 22 tons in the Ausf F model because of a change to a 75mm gun and the use of appliqué armor. Combat experience would soon show that this weapon was unable to penetrate the armor of enemy tanks. Intended for fighting enemy tanks and infantry, the new tank entered production in 1936. By December 1939 only 157 Pz.Kpfw IIIs had been built. The M-modification is the latest version of Panzer III able to be purchased for Silver Lions (the last modification available is the Pz.III N, which can be purchased with Golden Eagles). The Panzer III was designed to be capable of tangling with any known enemy tank head-on while the Panzer IV … When it became apparent that the Pz.Kpfw IV was the only Nazi German tank that could be up-gunned to meet the Soviet KV-Is and T-34s as equals, Hitler ordered priority production. A September 1939 Panzer III and IV Ausf G Panzer IV Ausf F tanks loaded onto a rail cars for transport Panzer IV code 801 Uparmoured Panzer IV Ausf E 3 Panzer IV camouflaged in white, Eastern Front 1943 Panzer IV Ausf G tanks in Rome 1944 Panzer IV Ausf. There were also three small return rollers on either side of the hull. Early versions of the Panzer III weighed in at roughly 13 tons. Dimensions: Length, 5.41 m (17.75 ft); width, 2.92 m (9.6 ft); height, 2.51 m (8.2 ft), Armament: One KwK 50mm gun; two 7.92mm Model 1934 machine guns, Dimensions: Length, 5.91 m (19.4 ft); width, 2.92 m (9.6 ft); height, 2.59 m (8.5 ft), Armament: One KwK 75mm gun; two 7.92mm Model 1934 coaxial machine guns. The German Panzerkampfwagen III (Panzer III) was a medium tank, designed and developed in the 1930s. The height of the vehicle was only 6 feet 5.2 inches. Now look at the suspension of the Panzer IV. Armor plate on the Pz.Kpfw IV was very thin -- varying from .75 inch to a little more than 1 inch on the turret and hull front. After laying the groundwork for the design of the Panzer IV medium tank in 1934, German tanks designers discovered that French heavy tank armor was able to defeat both the 20-mm gun in the Panzer II light tank and the 75-mm howitzer mounted in the Panzer IV medium support tank. On the positive side, the strong points of the Nashorn, stated by the report, included its very effective gun and ammunition. Panzer IV is a German tank. The Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf F, or F model, was armed with a short-barrel 75mm gun (combat experience in France highlighted the shortcomings of the original 50mm), was driven by a 250-horsepower Maybach engine (later up-rated to 300 horsepower), and had a top speed of 26 miles per hour. Matilda vs Panzer III - posted in Vehicle Comparison: The Matilda is considered the most overpowered tier IV. A new gun, the KwK 40 75mm L/48, and a larger turret were mounted on the Ausf G model in 1943. Initially, the Pz.Kpfw III was a match for Soviet tanks. The original order for 1,000 Ausf Ms was soon cut down to 775. German industry built 494 Hornisse/Nashorn vehicles between February 1943 and March 1945. Besides using the Panzer IV as a chassis for self-propelled artillery, the German army also used it as the basic for a Panzerjaeger called the Hor-nisse (Hornet) that carried their famous 88-mm gun in a limited-traverse mount. J (Panzer IV J) is a Rank III German medium tank with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB) and 4.0 (RB/SB). Coaxial guns could not be aimed low enough to reach Soviet "suicide" soldiers who hid in the long steppe grass. The driver sat forward on the left side in the main hull; the radio operator to the rear. On January 11, 1934, following specifications laid down by Heinz Guderian, the Army Weapons Department drew up plans for a medium tank with a maximum weight of 24,000 kilograms (53,000 lb) and a top speed of 35 kilometres per hour (21.75 mph). Panzer IIIN is a Tank unit in Panzer Corps. The tip of this attack would be formed by the Panzer III and Panzer 35 and 38 (t), while the Panzer I and II would advance on the flanks. Among the vehicle's weak points, stated by a British army report issued in October 1944, were frequent breakdowns because the vehicle's chassis was both underpowered and unreliable, with a limited endurance of only 950 miles before a major overhaul was needed. The high-explosive (HE) round fired from the gun had a very good fragmentation effect. III Ausf. It was also very effective against the range of British tanks and the American M-4 Sherman Medium Tank. This heavier, more powerful tank carried extra armor, wider tracks, and a new six-speed transmission. It was crewed by four men and consisted of a low-slung armored superstructure fitted to the top of a Panzer IV chassis. By the end of 1943 the Pz.Kpfw III was obsolete, despite up-gunning and additional armor. Although it was not as successful in service as the more numerous Mark IVs, the Panzer III tank proved very effective against the poorly designed British army early-war tanks during the fighting in North Africa between 1941 and 1942. Nearly 280 Pz.Kpfw IVs were distributed throughout the ten Panzer divisions that took part in the invasion of France in May and June of 1940. However, the Panzer III had a weaker gun that was mounted on a weaker turret. Later versions were fitted with additional armor protection that nearly doubled the weight. D. This version, of which 248 vehicles were produced, reintroduced the hull machine gun and changed the turret's internal gun mantlet to an external one. Panzerkampfwagen III. Designed by Daimler-Benz, it was a traditional German tank, with heavily angled surfaces, a boxy superstructure, and a front-mounted gearbox. In June 1942 the short 7.5cm KwK L/24 previously used in the Panzer IV was fitted in a Panzer III, producing the Ausf N. The success of this version meant that the order for the Ausf M was modified. It had a high-velocity gun (the 45-caliber 37mm antitank gun used by the infantry), a crew of five so that each member would not be overwhelmed by a multitude of tasks when under fire, a radio and intercom system, a ten-speed transmission, and a vastly improved suspension and road wheel system. General Guderian had envisioned a medium tank armed with a large caliber, low-velocity gun firing a high-explosive shell to support his lightweight battle tanks. Although originally intended to combat other vehicles, the tank's anti-tank capability became increasingly inadequate against newer tanks despite upgrades, and it was eventually withdrawn from the front line. Primarily because the chassis could not handle the extra weight, the Panzer III was a design dead end and remained in production for only 6 years. So with the Panzer III being replaced in the anti-tank role by newer tanks such as the Panzer IV and the Panther, it was decided to find a new role for this reliable tank. To keep weight within reasonable bounds, armor was kept at the same thickness as that used in the early models of the Pz.Kpfw II. The Panzer III (Panzerkampfwagen III) was originally intended to serve in a companion role with Panzer IV, it dealing with enemy armour while the Panzer IV served as an infantry support tank. IV) 41M Turan II Tank; PANTHER MODEL D; Panzer I Series After the fall of France, Adolf Hitler ordered the 50mm antitank gun mounted on all Pz.Kpfw IIIs. Wartime experience totally inverted this scheme. Panzerkampfwagens III and IV Specifications, Hypersonic Missiles Fuel New Global Arms Race. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. From then until the end of the war, it served in the assault-gun role, providing close-in artillery support. The Pz.Kpfw IV (military designation, SdKfz 161) with its 50mm gun was intended to fill this role. Below are specifications for Panzerkampfwagens III and IV. The vehicle's large size and height, combined with inadequate armor protection, made it an easy target for almost any enemy weapon. The Panzer III Ausf.N was increasingly used in the infantry support role once the 75 mm long barrelled Panzer IV, Panther and 88mm armed Tiger tank entered service. Panzer III vs. Panzer IV. The interior design of the Pz.Kpfw III was exceptionally well thought out -- as it had to be for a crew of five. However, the Panzer IV platform was designed to be refined and improved over time and eventually, it became a perfect match for Allied tanks. Its low silhouette and well-sloped armor made it a tough target for Allied tankers. It has the same battle rating as the previous Pz.III L(except in SB… Daimler-Benz, Krupp, MAN, and Rheinmetallall produced prototypes. Armor protection was also increased to 1.9 inches, and the coaxial machine gun was eliminated in favor of one on a ball mount. Every hit with the vehicle's 88-mm gun on an enemy tank meant a penetration. The Germans produced the Panzer IV to be the support tank of the Panzer III while the Panzer III was the tank destroyer. Turret mounted weapons on the M113 and M113A1 series, m113 and M113A1 armored personnel carrier. The best tank for doing so is probably the Panzer III. At the time, German (non-light) tanks were expected to carry out one of two primary tasks when assisting infantry in breakthroughs, exploiting gaps in the enemy lines where opposition had been removed, moving through and attacking the enemy's unprotected lines of communication and the rear areas. Adolf Hitler ordered the 50mm antitank gun mounted on a weaker turret proved. Of battle is a series of operational WW2 games starting with the initial Ausf refining the production. Stood German industry would build 1,725 Jagdpanzer IVs between January 1944 and March 1945 the support of. 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