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Germany
PzKpfw III Ausf E (Panzer III)
Ordnance classification - SdKfz 141

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The PzKpfw III Ausf E was designed in 1938, manufactured by Daimler-Benz, Henschel, MAN based on the existing fully tracked PzKpfw III and was in use from 1939 to 1945.

Photo of PzKpfw III Ausf E (Panzer III)
PzKpfw III Ausf E(Panzer III) scale illustration

General Details
Specifications
Operational Date(s)1939 - 1945
Ordnance classificationSdKfz 141
Quantity Produced96
Weight19.5 tonne
Crew5
M.G's small3
M.G's large(>10mm)n/a
Length5.38 mtr
Width2.91 mtr
Height2.44 mtr
Engine Details/Performance
Max Road Speed25 mph
Max Cross Country Speed13 mph
Range Road103 miles
Range Cross Country41 miles
Fuel TypePetrol
Fuel Capacityunknown
Horse Power300 hp
Power/Weight15 hp/tonne
General Information
The PzKpfw III Ausf E was designed in 1938, manufactured by Daimler-Benz, Henschel, MAN based on the existing fully tracked PzKpfw III and was in use from 1939 to 1945.

The vehicle was powered by Maybach 'HL120 TRM' petrol powerplant producing 300 HP which could drive the vehicle on roads at up to 25 mph with a range of about 103 miles before refuelling. Its cross country performance was good providing a max speed of about 13 mph and a range of about 41 miles.

It was armed with 3 light machine guns which were 7.92mm MG 34s. Its main armament consisted of a 3.7cm KwK 35/36 L/45 which could penetrate 38 mm of flat plate at 400 metres

The initial specification for the PzKpfw III was created by Heinz Guderian in January 1934. This was to be a first tank to have a 3-man turret which meant that the commander did not have to double up as a loader or a gunner and could concentrate on commanding the tank.

Armour Details
Turret
Front30mm@15°(31mm)
Side30mm@25°(33mm)
Rear30mm@12°(31mm)
Top12mm@87°(12mm)
Superstructure
Front30mm@(30mm)
Side30mm@(30mm)
Rear21mm@29°(24mm)
Top17mm@83°(17mm)
Hull
Front30mm@21°(32mm)
Side30mm@(30mm)
Rear21mm@10°(21mm)
Top16mm@90°(16mm)
Armour (x)mm @ (y)° (Effective mm @ 0°)
Effective Armour - Maximum 33 mm - Minimum 16 mm



Weapon Details
Flag
7.92mm MG 34
7.92mm Maschinengewehr 34
(translates as Machine Gun)
Blank
History
Derived from the Solothern Maschinengewehr Modell 30, it became the main machine gun for the German army. It could be fitted with a bipod for infantry use, an Anti Aircraft mount, or a heavy tripod to turn the gun into a heavy machine gun.
ManufacturerMauser-Werke
Manufactured1936 - 1943
Calibre7.92mm
LengthL/79
Rate of Fire800 rpm
Number of Rounds 4500
 
 
Ammunition Details
Name/Id Calibre Weight MVelocity Explosive Content
S.m.K(AP)
7.92mm 0.012Kg 785M/Sec
Quoted Penetration 8mm@100m/30°
Range(Mtr)1002004008001200160020002400
Flight Time(Secs) 0.2
Penetration(mm@30°) 5
Penetration(mm@0°) 6
Hit Probability(%) 98


 
S.m.K.H tungsten cored(AP)
7.92mm 0.013Kg 910M/Sec
Quoted Penetration 13mm@100m/30°
Range(Mtr)1002004008001200160020002400
Flight Time(Secs) 0.13
Penetration(mm@30°) 3
Penetration(mm@0°) 4
Hit Probability(%) 98


Weapon Details
Flag
3.7cm KwK 35/36 L/45
3.7cm Kampfwagenkanone 35/36 L/45
(translates as Tank Gun)
Blank
Manufactured1935 - 1940
Calibre37mm
LengthL/45
 
Ammunition Details
Name/Id Calibre Weight MVelocity Explosive Content
3.7cm PaK Pzgr(AP)
37mm 0.68Kg 762M/Sec
Range(Mtr)1002004008001200160020002400
Flight Time(Secs) 0.13 0.28 0.59 1.34 2.33 3.7 5.71 8.97
Penetration(mm@30°) 41 38 32 25 20 15 11 6
Penetration(mm@0°) 48 44 38 30 24 18 13 8
Hit Probability(%) 98 98 98 90 54 22 3 1


 
3.7cm Pzgr 40(AP40)
37mm 0.35Kg 1030M/Sec
Quoted Penetration 68mm @ 100mtr/30° ( ≈ 78mm/0°)
Range(Mtr)1002004008001200160020002400
Flight Time(Secs) 0.1 0.21 0.46 1.14 2.25 4.34 9.72
Penetration(mm@30°) 68 60 51 38 26 16 7
Penetration(mm@0°) 79 70 59 44 31 19 9
Hit Probability(%) 98 98 98 96 57 15 1



3.7cm Sprgr Patr(HE)
37mm 0.61Kg 700M/Sec 0.025Kg explosive
Range(Mtr)10002000300040005000600070008000
Flight Time(Secs) 1.96
Burst radius Infantry in open 99% kill0 mtr Burst radius Infantry in open 66% kill0 mtr
Burst radius Infantry in open 33% kill1 mtr  Armour Penetration inc roof at 1 mtr0 mm
An explosion within 0 mtr of infantry in the open will cause > 66% casualties and could damage some AFV's.
An explosion within 1 mtr of infantry in the open will cause 33% casualties.
The blast effect of this shell exploding within 1 mtr of an armoured vehicle will not cause any significant armour damage.

Hit probability is based on a static 2 x 2.4 metre panel at 0 degrees(vertical) at the range specified.

The data that has been used to create these records has come from Wikipedia, The Lone Sentry, The Bundes Archive and numerous books and websites that have provided the detailed information that has not been available anywhere else. The information we use to calculate the penetration tables, flight times and the hit probability comes from the Gun Calibre, the Shell Mass(Kg) and the muzzle velocity, plus range reductions to allow for gravity and wind resistance. This calculation originally came from a pre-war Krupp calculation which has been modified, and seems to fit the actual test results.

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