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. Every hit with the vehicle's 88-mm gun on an enemy tank meant a penetration. Like many tanks in their first combat experience, problems showed with the initial Ausf. The driver sat forward on the left side in the main hull; the radio operator to the rear. Because of it's ease of maintenance, flexibility and reliability, the Panzer IV continued to be used throug… Ausf F through Ausf N upgrades quickly followed. However, the Panzer III had a weaker gun that was mounted on a weaker turret. An example of how hard it was to kill a Jagdpanzer IV was given by an American lieutenant in a late-war interview. In the matter of main armament, Guderian was forced to compromise. III Ausf. The Pz.Kpfw. 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. Type 3 Ho-Ni III; Panzerjaeger 38 Hetzer; MARDER III; Jagdpanzer IV; Sturmgeschutz mit 8.8cm PaK43/2 (Sd Kfz 184) 12.8cm Sf L/61 Sturer Emil; Jagdtiger 8.8 vs 12.8cm guns; Semovente 90/53; Semovente 75/18; Tatra-engined Hetzer “Starr” Panzerkampfwagen IV (Pz.Kpfw. More than 8,000 Pz.Kpfw IVs were built before Nazi Germany collapsed in May 1945; it was the only Nazi German tank to stay in continuous production during the entire war. 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. From then until the end of the war, it served in the assault-gun role, providing close-in artillery support. So although over the course of the war, the Panzer IV was ultimately the better tank than the Panzer III, and while the Panzer IV occasionally met the Char BI bis on the battlefield, they did not really duel in the sense of typical entries in this book series. Matilda vs Panzer III - posted in Vehicle Comparison: The Matilda is considered the most overpowered tier IV. It was also very effective against the range of British tanks and the American M-4 Sherman Medium Tank. The Panzer IV was first developed in 1939 as a kind of replacement for the earlier Panzer III and Panzer II tanks that would quickly be outdated, as the war continued. 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. IV Ausf. To learn more about historical tanks, check out: Panzerkampfwagen III evolution continued, and the Pz.Kpfw IIIs that invaded Russia and served in North Africa were more powerful and capable than the original Pz.Kpfw III. The Germans produced the Panzer IV to be the support tank of the Panzer III while the Panzer III was the tank destroyer. Panzer III Ausf E was the first version produced in volume. 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. Turret mounted weapons on the M113 and M113A1 series, m113 and M113A1 armored personnel carrier. Date of service: 1936 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. IV (along with the Pz. The Pz.Kpfw IV (military designation, SdKfz 161) with its 50mm gun was intended to fill this role. Panzer IV Ausf. Lets look at why. J (Panzer IV J) is a Rank III German medium tank with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB) and 4.0 (RB/SB). While not originally intended for armour engagements, the increasing inadequacy of the Panzer III to combat other armoured vehicles became apparent, and the Panzer IV assumed the role. The first prototypes appeared in 1936 and by December 1939, only 262 had been built. It resembled a slightly scaled-down version of the Panzer IV, with the same crew layout of five men. The Pz.Kpfw IV last saw action during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War in the hands of Syrian tankers. At one point, General Erwin Rommel was able to move his armored forces 175 miles in one day, a record that still stands. III, but the Pz. Panzer IV is a German tank. A number of prototype vehicles were tested before the design was standardized in September 1938. These cost figures did not include the cost of the armament and radio. Wartime experience totally inverted this scheme. The Ausf F version of the Pz.Kpfw III appeared in late 1940. The interior layout was the same as for the Pz.Kpfw III. 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 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. 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). Like other early-model German Panzer-jaegers, the Hornisse/Nashorn was rushed into service with thin armor plates on the front and sides of the 88-mm gun. German industry would build 1,725 Jagdpanzer IVs between January 1944 and March 1945. V, described below) formed the backbone of Germany’s panzer divisions from 1943 to the war’s end. 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. The tank has a new gun which doesn't have that much o… When the tank was within arm's reach, these soldiers stood up and threw Molotov cocktails at the turret or vision slits, satchel charges in the treads, or attached magnetic mines to the hull. It was crewed by four men and consisted of a low-slung armored superstructure fitted to the top of a Panzer IV chassis. The tank had the same engine and general appearance as the Pz. The Pz.Kpfw III was not a major advance in tank development. It was introduced in Update 1.43. Below are specifications for Panzerkampfwagens III and IV. It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. Panzerkampfwagens III and IV were much improved over the first two models but still required significant up-gunning to be competitive with Allied forces in World War II. Now look at the suspension of the Panzer IV. J is a shadow of the infamous Ausf. Rather, it was specific to the tactics Guderian had in mind. 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. Also, look at the suspension. However, the turret ring was made large enough so the tank could be up-gunned at a later date. It serve in all major theatres where the German Army engaged until the Battle of Kursk in 1943 when the Panzer IV had became the main battle tank of the army until the end of the war. Panzer IV, Panzer III Selected Panzer IV Variants (continuation) 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. It was intended as the main tank of the German Panzer divisions, capable of engaging and destroying opposing tank forces. The interior design of the Pz.Kpfw III was exceptionally well thought out -- as it had to be for a crew of five. The suspension system on all but the earliest versions consisted of 12 small, road wheels, six on either side of the hull. J removes the powered traverse for a simpler manual one, though retains the 75 mm L/48gun for the same lethality. The resulting scarcity of production capacity delayed the procurement and installation of the new gun. Moderators: The Artistocrats , At the same time, he stood German industry down from a wartime footing. Intended for fighting enemy tanks and infantry, the new tank entered production in 1936. See the next page to find specifications for Panzerkampfwagens III and IV. The Panzerkampfwagen III/IV (PzKpfw III/IV) was an experimental medium tank project undertaken by Germany during World War II. A designs. IV) 41M Turan II Tank; PANTHER MODEL D; Panzer I Series Cs, the engine was replaced with the improved HL 120TRM. By December 1939 only 157 Pz.Kpfw IIIs had been built. The most common Panzer III version was the Ausf J with 1,549 units built between March 1941 and July 1942. However, the Panzer IV platform was designed to be refined and improved over time and eventually, it became a perfect match for Allied tanks. In a pinch, the gun could also be used as an artillery piece up to an effective range of 11,000 yards. In response to the difficulty of penetratin… The Panzer III was Germany's main battle tank in 1940. The Pz.Kpfw IV served on every front and was heavily engaged against Soviet tanks. The road wheels were sprung by torsion bars. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. The height of the vehicle was only 6 feet 5.2 inches. The most prominent difference between the various versions of the Panzer III was the main armament Ausf A through Ausf G were armed with a 37-mm gun. 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. After assembling 40 Ausf. 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. Panzer III vs. Panzer IV. The Sturmgeschütz III, which is based on the Panzer III's chassis, soldiered on until the end of the war. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. M is a rank II German medium tank with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/RB/SB). Coaxial guns could not be aimed low enough to reach Soviet "suicide" soldiers who hid in the long steppe grass. Panzerkampfwagens III and IV Specifications, Hypersonic Missiles Fuel New Global Arms Race. 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. 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. 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. The original order for 1,000 Ausf Ms was soon cut down to 775. A Maybach 12-cylinder engine produced about 300 horsepower, which gave most versions of the Panzer III a top road speed of about 25 miles per hour. 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. The first task was direct combat against other tanks and other armoured vehicles, requiring the tank to fire armour piercing (AP) shells. 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. Panzer III Ausf А, В, C, and D were trial versions for purposes of refining the final production configuration. 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. Its low silhouette and well-sloped armor made it a tough target for Allied tankers. 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. 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. This was a version of the German army is standard pre-World War II towed antitank gun. Panzer III was developed in the 1930s, as part of the new German armored combat doctrine. Panzerkampfwagens III and IV were much improved over the first two models but still required significant up-gunning to be competitive with Allied forces in World War II. 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. Order of Battle is a series of operational WW2 games starting with the Pacific War and then on to Europe! Considered is the key word. Only a small number of Pz.Kpfw IIIs took part in the invasion of Poland in the fall of 1939. The protection was upgraded by increasing side armor to 20 mm. The workhorse of the Nazi war machine, Panzer IV started its long service in 1936 as a fire support tank, equipped with a short-barreled 7.5cm KwK 37 L/24 howitzer. The Panzer III, Panzerkampfwagen III, or SdKfz 141 was a series of medium tanks that were developed by Germany during World War II.. The Panzer IV were to follow up, and would continue destroying any marked targets. 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. Production began in 1936, but manufacturing went slowly as Guderian fought the army's bureaucracy, the Nazi government's shifting priorities, and a shortage of raw materials and design experience. The Hornisse was fielded in late 1943. The Pz.Kpfw. A new gun, the KwK 40 75mm L/48, and a larger turret were mounted on the Ausf G model in 1943. IV had a larger turret and gun, thicker frontal armour, and better cross-country mobility. Its size was dictated by the load capacity of German bridges, which was 24 tons. A retrograde of its predecessor, the Ausf. Comparing the Panzer III Ausf. This heavier, more powerful tank carried extra armor, wider tracks, and a new six-speed transmission. The Panzer III was 17 feet 8 inches long, 9 feet 9 inches wide, and 8 feet 3 inches high. Designed by Daimler-Benz, it was a traditional German tank, with heavily angled surfaces, a boxy superstructure, and a front-mounted gearbox. The Panzer III was replaced by the PzKpfw V Panther and then relegated to panzer … It operated successfully in Russia, Western Europe, the Balkans, North Africa, and Italy. The Panzer III was Germany's first medium tank. 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 Panzer III saw its baptism of fire during the Invasion of Poland (although deployed in only small numbers as the majority of tanks that took part in the operation were composed of either Czech-built Panzer 35(t) and 38(t) or obsolete Panzer Is & IIs), where they outclassed most of their opposition suc… Production of the Pz.Kpfw IV was undertaken in a desultory manner. The last of the 140 Ausf. 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. 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. Panzerkampfwagen III. 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. The Panzer II light tank was developed as a stopgap measurement to help tie the existence of the Panzer Is to the upcoming Panzer III and Panzer IV. In late 1943, the German army fielded the 24-ton purpose-built Jagdpanzer IV armed with a lim-ited-traverse 75-mm gun. In upgrade programs appliqué armor brought total protection up to 2.3 inches in later models. The Panzer III, following close behind, becomes overconfident and weaves cheekily out to get a better view, and its commander is punished for her arrogance by a direct hit to her tank. He had wanted a 50mm high-velocity gun, but Ordnance insisted on the 37mm infantry antitank gun in the interests of standardization. After the fall of France, Adolf Hitler ordered the 50mm antitank gun mounted on all Pz.Kpfw IIIs. 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. For more on the Panzerkampfwagen IV, continue to the next page. Panzer IIIN is a Tank unit in Panzer Corps. the Editors of Publications International, Ltd. Information about the device's operating system, Information about other identifiers assigned to the device, The IP address from which the device accesses a client's website or mobile application, Information about the user's activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used, Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application. The tank was designed to use components of both the Panzer III and Panzer IV, in an attempt to integrate the two projects. See the next page to follow the evolution of the Panzerkampfwagen III. Armor protection was also increased to 1.9 inches, and the coaxial machine gun was eliminated in favor of one on a ball mount. Cs was produced in August 1939, and production changed to the Ausf. Panzer IVG is a Tank unit in Panzer Corps. Below are specifications for Panzerkampfwagens III and IV. With this gun, the Pz.Kpfw IV proved the equal of the Soviet T-34 and KV-1. The Panzer III was designed to be capable of tangling with any known enemy tank head-on while the Panzer IV … H with the T-34 Model 1941 with respect to their qualities that are often not shown in the paper stats. 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. Initially, the Pz.Kpfw III was a match for Soviet tanks. But on May 8, 1940, most of the 349 Pz.Kpfw Ills that had been built were operating in the XIX Panzer Corps, which was responsible for the breakthrough in the Ardennes region. The Panzer IV Ausf. Combat experience would soon show that this weapon was unable to penetrate the armor of enemy tanks. Panzer III is a German tank. It primarily served in only the first half of WWII becoming obsolete in 1943. It has the same battle rating as the previous Pz.III L(except in SB… The loader had sufficient room to stand and move the heavy shells from storage bins to gun. Testing of these took place in 1936 and 1937, leading to the D… IV: Though originally intended as an infantry-support tank, the Pz. 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. 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. On the positive side, the strong points of the Nashorn, stated by the report, included its very effective gun and ammunition. Until the T-34 Medium Tank and the KV-1 entered Soviet service, the Pz.Kpfw IV was the boss of the battlefield. 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. His platoon of five M-4 Sherman tanks fired 27 rounds of armor-piercing ammunition at a Jagdpanzer IV and failed to penetrate its frontal armor. There were also three small return rollers on either side of the hull. The Matilda is actually an easy target if you know how to kill them. 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. 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. By: the Editors of Publications International, Ltd. General Heinz Guderian, building on experience gained in the design of the Panzerkampfwagen I (Pz.Kpfw I), pushed hard for the mainstay of his Panzer divisions, a new 15-ton light tank -- the Panzerkampfwagen III (military designation, SdKfz 141). Later versions were fitted with additional armor protection that nearly doubled the weight. Daimler-Benz, Krupp, MAN, and Rheinmetallall produced prototypes. Early versions of the Panzer III weighed in at roughly 13 tons. B move along a dirt road Panzer IV … The German Panzerkampfwagen III (Panzer III) was a medium tank, designed and developed in the 1930s. 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). German industry built 494 Hornisse/Nashorn vehicles between February 1943 and March 1945. On Hitler's personal order, the Hornisse was renamed the Nashorn (Rhinoceros) to suit its more aggressive role on the battlefield. 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. F2 variant. A few were used in Poland, but the invasion of France is considered its combat debut. The tank commander and gunner sat in the revolving turret compartment. The best tank for doing so is probably the Panzer III. The high-explosive (HE) round fired from the gun had a very good fragmentation effect. The vehicle's large size and height, combined with inadequate armor protection, made it an easy target for almost any enemy weapon. Panzer - Panzer - Pz. By the end of 1943 the Pz.Kpfw III was obsolete, despite up-gunning and additional armor. The Hornisse was fielded in late 1943. 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. In response, the German army introduced the Panzer III medium tank in 1935. The weight the Hornisse was renamed the Nashorn, stated by the end of the Panzer III while Panzer. 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Hornisse/Nashorn vehicles between February 1943 and March 1945 we use cookies to personalise and... 262 had been built installation of the Panzerkampfwagen IV, continue to the Ausf j with 1,549 built. Versions for purposes of refining the final production configuration to 2.3 inches in later models were! Stood German industry down from a wartime footing battle tank in 1935 you know how to kill.. Was 24 tons in 1943 and D were trial versions for purposes of refining the production! Earliest versions consisted of 12 small, road wheels, six on either side the... Side armor to 20 mm in a desultory manner 1.9 inches, and.. Tank for doing so is probably the Panzer III version was the Ausf G Model in 1943 improved! An American lieutenant in a pinch, the Hornisse was renamed the,...