7.5 cm KwK 37

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Summary

The 7.5 cm KwK 37 is a short-barreled howitzer mounted onto tanks for the purpose of providing close-infantry support. While not exemplary against armored target, it worked very well against infantry targets. The howitzer stayed in use throughout World War II in the Panzer IV and StuG III, and then the Panzer III and other infantry support vehicles in the latter part of World War II. A longer version, named the 7.5 cm KwK 44 is also made from the howitzer to arm the Maus as its coaxial armament.

Users

KwK 37

KwK 44

Ammunition

Historical

  • K.Gr.rot.Pz. - Armour-Piercing Capped round.
  • Kt. Kw. K. - Canister round.
  • Nbgr. Kw. K. - Smoke round.
  • Gr.38 Hl/A - High-Explosive Anti-Tank round.
  • Gr.38 Hl/B - High-Explosive Anti-Tank round.
  • Gr.38 Hl/C - High-Explosive Anti-Tank round.
  • 7.5 cm Sprgr.34 - High-Explosive round.

Game Statistics

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
K.Gr.rot Pz. 56 54 50 46 42 38 APCBC 440 6.8 1.3 15 80 +4° 42° 27° 19°
Hl.Gr. 38B 80 80 80 80 80 80 HEAT 450 4.4 0.0 0.1 872.1 +0° 28° 21° 17°
Hl.Gr. 38C* 100 100 100 100 100 100 HEAT 450 4.8 0.0 0.1 875.5 +0° 28° 21° 17°
Sprgr. 34 10 10 10 10 10 10 HE 570 5.7 0.1 0.1 715 +0° 11° 10°

* - Not available on the Pz. IV C and Neubaufahrzeug.

History of creation and combat usage

When the idea of a infantry support vehicle came about by Heinz Guderian came about in 1934, the request asked for a 75 mm short-barreled howitzer to deal with infantry, anti-tank guns, and fortifications. The result was the Panzer IV and the 7.5 cm KwK 37 cannon. While not as exemplary in armor penetration as the 3.7 cm KwK 36 on the Panzer III, which was developed for anti-tank work, it provided the infantry access to a very good support weapon for use against the enemy. The 7.5 cm howitzer also saw use on the newly devised self-propelled guns StuG III vehicles as the StuK 37 to serve in the same purpose in supporting the infantry.

As the World War II progressed, the Germans are introduced to gradually increasing Allied armor that are able to withstand the rounds fired from most German tank armaments. One of the solution for this problem was the development of the shaped charge rounds, or the HEAT (High-explosive Anti-tank) rounds. Despite their impressive performance on paper, the HEAT rounds were not effective due to faulty fuses and initiation mechanisms, so its performance against armor was not reported to be much better even with the rounds. It was during the invasion of Soviet Union in 1941 that the howitzer is insufficient as a main tank armament in German armored forces. The Panzer IV and StuGs previously mounting the howitzer were replaced by the higher velocity 7.5 cm KwK 40 anti-tank cannons. To keep the infantry support weapon alive, the Panzer III and other infantry support vehicles that were becoming obsolete as a front-line tank unit were mounted with the cannon and relegated to the role of infantry support.

In 1943, however, a program for a new tank began with a request for a coaxial 75 mm gun alongside the main 12.8 cm KwK 44 cannon. The 75 mm howitzer was elongated for better ballistics, but retain the same rounds used in the 7.5 cm KwK 37. This new gun, the 7.5 cm KwK 44 L/36.5, becomes the coaxial armament of the Maus super heavy tank.

Images

Additional information (links)