Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. L

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

General info

Panzer III Ausf. L in the garage.

The Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. L (Panzer III L) is a Rank II Germany medium tank with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB) and 3.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced in during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

This tank is very versatile as it can tank frontally, is good at flanking, and features a rapid fire gun. This tank is outclassed when it is forced into long range engagements due to its mediocre penetration. One should use this tank as a flanker whenever possible, using its good speed to reach good positions. When the tank is forced into frontal engagements, it can still hold its own due to its good frontal armour and high penetration APCR at short-medium range. This tank is strong in hull-down locations due to its strong frontal turret armour.

Vehicle characteristics

The Ausf. L modification is intended to improve protection of the J variant by mounting additional 20 mm thick armour plates on the front of the hull and turret. While this certainly improve its resistance against HEAT and HE projectiles(which explode on impact, and damage only the first layer of armour), as well as classic AP, more than a single layer 70 mm would do, there are small "holes" in these armour plates - around the driver's viewport and machinegun port. Turret front armour itself also got increased from 50 to 57 mm.

The 5cm cannon on this tank is best suited to short-mid range combat, while engaging enemies from the sides and/or rear if at all possible. This gun can allow the tank to hold its own in frontal engagements against angled KV's and T34's, but only at short range where the PzGr40's and 40/1's still have impressive penetration. The gun fires very fast and is accurate even at long range. When fighting tanks that can be penetrated easily, one should use the default ammo as it does more damage than the APCR.

There are also attached tracks to lower plate of the vehicle, adding extra protection. All this extra armour adds about 1.5 tons, slightly slowing down the machine. Other properties of the vehicle remain unchanged.

Tactics

Specific enemies worth noting

Usaflag.pngUSA Ussrflag.pngUSSR Germanflag.pngGermany
  • US M4 Shermans have too strong frontal armour for the L/60 gun to be penetrated reliably, especially the HVSS, which is almost invincible to it. They all outgun you as well. Flanking them is advised.
  • All mentioned USSR tanks have almost impenetrable hull armour for the L/60, and can kill you with 1 well aimed shot. Avoiding direct confrontation is needed. Leave them to your better armed allies, try to flank them, or aim for weakspots. Use some range to increase effectiveness of your own armour.
  • Pz. IVs and StuG outgun you at all ranges, you can exchange fire with them or flank them, but they are at advantage. StuG III G can be hard to penetrate without APCR ammo.

Counter-tactics

Panzer III L has pretty good frontal armour, but there are several weakspots - around the driver's viewport and machinegun port, and few small spots on the turret, where armour is only 50 mm thick and completely flat, aim there. Sides and rear are very thin, if you can target these areas (even under quite high angle), they are penetrable very easily. If you have powerful enough gun, you can try to outgun it from afar, where its own 5 cm gun will struggle with penetration.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Strong frontal armour.
  • High hardness 20 mm plates offer more protection than the usual rolled homogeneous armour.
  • Fast for a medium tank.
  • Rapid fire gun, good for the sides and rear.
  • Shells travel fast, making it easier to aim at long distance.
  • Excellent gun depression.
  • Small and well located ammo racks - tank is very rarely destroyed by being ammoracked, unline Pz.IVs.

Cons:

  • Gun is unreliable when facing certain tanks frontally (T-34s, KV-1, M4s) unless one aims for weakspots or uses PzGr40's (APCR).
  • Gun is bad for long range combat.
  • Armour isn't 70 mm thick at the entire front - machine gun port, and driver's viewport are weakspots.
  • Turret ring is prone to get damaged, even by non-penetrating hits.
  • Large and vulnerable commander's cupola.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator


Armaments

1 x 5 cm KwK 39 cannon (92 Rounds)
1 x 7.92 mm MG 34 machine gun (3,750 Rounds)

Main armament

1 x 5 cm KwK 39 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 92 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.3°/s (Stock), 11.5°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 4.8s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 5 cm KwK 39
  • Ammunition Capacity: 92 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.3°/s (Stock), 9.8°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 4.8s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 5 cm KwK 39
  • Ammunition Capacity: 92 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.3°/s (Stock), 9.8°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 4.8s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
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%
PzGr 39 97 96 79 62 49 38 APC 835 2.1 1.2 25 45.9 -1° 42° 27° 19°
Sprgr. 38 4 4 4 4 4 4 HE 550 1.8 2.0 0.1 170 +0° 11° 10°
PzGr 40/1 128 126 91 61 40 27 APCR 1140 1.1 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°
PzGr 40 150 149 108 72 48 32 APCR 1180 0.93 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°
Shell types
  • PzGr 39 - Armour Piercing Capped shell - This is your main ammo type, use it whenever you think it has enough penetration to penetrate your target. It deals most damage, because of its explosive filler. It also offers best penetration at very long range (over 1500 m), combat at this range is however not recommended.
  • PzGr 40/1 - Armour Piercing Composite Rigid shell - This type of ammo should be used if you are having trouble penetrating your opponent, or trying to hit a fast moving tank at some distance. However, its damaging potential is much lower, because it has no explosive filler to further enhance damage after the penetration. It should be used only at close range, at medium range, PzGr 40 is better.
  • PzGr 40 - Armour Piercing Composite Rigid shell - this variation of APCR is lighter, slightly faster and offers best penetration. Use it against heavily armoured tanks like KV-1 (If you can't flank them). However, don't expect it to cause any real damage upon penetration, its even worse than that of PzGr 40/1. It basically only deals damage to modules/crew straight in its path. It is therefore almost useless to fire them at things like turret cupolas, as it will usually just fly right through them.
  • SprGr 38 - High Explosive ammo - You should carry only very few of these. They are completely useless against anything other than unarmoured AA vehicles, to which it is lethal.
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the Panzer III J1 (identical).
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
92 70 (+22) 47 (+45) 24 (+68) (+91) Turret empty:  () no

Secondary armament

1 x 7.92 mm MG 34 machine gun (coaxial)

Crew

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver
  • Assistant Driver

Total: 5 Crew members

Armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Cupola)
  • High hardness rolled armour (Appliqué armour)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 50 + 20 mm (12°) Front plate
25 mm (85°), 50 mm (52°) Front glacis
50 mm (25°) Lower glacis
30 mm 50 mm 15 mm
Turret 57 mm + 20 mm Turret front
50 + 20 mm Gun mantlet
30 mm 30 mm 10 mm
Cupola 50 mm 10 mm

Notes:

  • It has 50 mm of armour at the front of the hull and 57 on the turret front, but there is an additional 20mm plate on the upper hull and at the front of the turret, increasing the effective armour to 70mm and 77mm respectively. When the armour is angled, this tank becomes very strong frontally.
  • The strong turret armour makes this tank powerful when hull-down, as many enemies will only be able to penetrate your cupola, only killing your commander. However, don't allow anyone to freely fire there, as some unlucky shot fired there can still occasionaly cause severe damage.
  • The side and rear armour of the tank are thin, but it is possible to bounce shots from the side armour if it is angled steeply while side-scraping.
  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 22.5 ton

Max Speed: 59 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 465 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 20.67 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 28°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 572 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 25.42 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 36°
Weight: 22.5 ton

Max Speed: 53 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.78 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 31°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 13.33 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 35°
Weight: 22.5 ton

Max Speed: 53 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.78 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 31°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 13.33 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 35°

Modules and improvements

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The Panzerkampfwagen III medium tank, or the Panzer III was developed in the 1930s. Starting in early 1934, Heinz Guderian set down some specifications for a new tank, which Army Weapons Department took up to design the tank to weigh no more than 24,000 kilograms with a top speed of 35 km per hour. This tank's role was to be the main tank of the German army and was expected to destroy opposing tanks, as opposed as a tank made to destroy anti-tank guns and opposing infantrymen, which the Panzer IV took up in.

Damlier-Benz, Krupp, MAN, and Rheinmetall produced prototypes meeting the specifications and the Damlier-Benz model was chosen after testing in 1936-1937. The Panzer III model used a leaf-spring suspension in its early models (Ausf. A - Ausf. D) before utilizing a six-wheeled torsion-bar suspension in the Ausf. E and beyond. The Panzer III had a crew of five people, the commander, gunner, loader, driver, and assistant driver. The best feature of the Panzer III during its introduction that is the most overlooked was the three-man turret, which was not as common at the time. This frees the commander to be able to effectively command the tank while maintaining situational awareness rather than be burdened by the role of a loader or gunner, improving combat effectiveness of the tank. Despite this rather advance design, the turret did not have a turret basket for the crew. It was a proven design and production began in May 1937. The total number of Panzer IIIs tanks constructed in its production life was 5,774 units (excluding StuG III variant).

Specifications

The Panzer III Ausf. L has the improved 50 mm KwK 39 as its main armament, giving it the firepower to go against the better Allied tanks T-34s and M4 Shermans. The Panzer III Ausf. L featured the armour finalized on the Ausf. J1, with 50 mm of hull armour and offset armour on the front of the hull and turret that are 20 mm effective. These armour also apply as spaced armour due to not being attached to the hull or turret mantlet. The spaced armour on the front helped defend the tank against Soviet anti-tank rounds or HEAT rounds fired at it on those plates, as it dissipates the penetration power before striking the hull.

Combat usage

Despite its newer aspects compared to older Panzer IIIs, the prevalence of newer German tanks such as the Tiger I and Panther tanks, plus the establishment upgunned Panzer IVs made these more able to take on Allied tanks than the Panzer III. The Panzer III began slowly to be relegated to secondary roles such as training or anti-partisan activities. Nevertheless, the Panzer IIIs proved a versatile armoured platform in German service, as even though it was obsolete in late 1941, it was constantly upgraded with better guns, better protection, or modified completely to fit a different role more efficiently than its original. Even when phased out of service, its chassis was used as the basis of Germany's most lethal tank destroyer, the StuG III.

The Panzer III at this time was given one more upgrade in its armour into the variant Panzer III Ausf. M, which featured the new Schürzen armour skirts.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the "Panzer III L" from live.warthunder.com.

Sights

Additional information (links)

References


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germ_pzkpfw_iii_ausf_l.png

Icon-country-der.png Panzer III Ausf. L
Nation Germany
Type Medium tank
Rank 2
Battle Rating
3.3
3.3
3.3

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
22,500 kg
49,604 lb
Number of Crew 5
Hull armour thickness
70/30/50/15 mm
2.75/1.18/1.97/0.59 inches
Statistics
Engine power (Stock)
465 hp
265 hp
265 hp
Engine power (Upgraded)
572 hp
300 hp
300 hp
HP/ton ratio (Stock)
20.67
21.00
11.78
11.97
11.78
11.97
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
25.42
25.83
13.33
13.55
13.33
13.55
Max speed
59 km/h
37 mph
53 km/h
33 mph
53 km/h
33 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 50 mm KwK 39 Cannon
Ammo stowage 92 rounds
Vertical guidance -10°/20°
Secondary Weapon
1 x 7.92 mm MG 34 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 3,750 rounds
Mount Coaxial
Economy
Required RP 14,000 RP
Vehicle cost 55,000 SL
Crew training cost 16,000 SL
Max repair cost (Stock)
1,050 SL
1,030 SL
1,020 SL
Max repair cost (Upgraded)
1,361 SL
1,335 SL
1,322 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
5h 01m
8h 18m
8h 18m
Free repair time (Upgraded)
1h 40m
2h 46m
2h 46m
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