PzKpfw III Ausf.M

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

General info

Panzer III Ausf. M in the garage.

The Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. M (Panzer III M) is a Rank II German medium tank with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB), 3.3 (RB), and 3.7 (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

The Panzer III M is a tank worth mastering. Try to play it like a standard battle tank, but only in a support role. Never fight on the front lines, as other tanks will be able to take advantage of your weaknesses. The tank's armour is far too weak for close counters engagements. With its surprisingly good gun penetration and good BR it does fairly well with the tanks it is put up against. Feel free to carry plenty of shells; this Panzer has its ammunition stored in such a way where you will not get ammo racked too easily. After a while, you will probably realise that after a few games you use a lot of shells with the fast firing 50mm gun.

Always remember that your tank doesn't have the best gun around, but it has good rate of fire to compensate and is still powerful enough against most threats (especially deadly at close/medium ranges). You may not always knock out your opponent in one blow, so try prioritizing on what to aim first. Here is a list of priority targets when attacking a (superior) enemy:

  • Turret - The turret contains some vital crew members and modules. If you score a successful penetration, you are most likely going to kill the loader, gunner, and commander. A solid penetration on an enemy's turret will most likely knock out/damage the following modules: cannon breech, ammo rack, and the horizontal and vertical turret drives. By knocking out any of these crew members and modules with your first fired shot, you greatly decrease the time it will take you to destroy the enemy tank while minimizing damage to your own.
  • If the enemy hasn't died yet, you may want to focus on shooting at the enemy's weak spots and known areas of vital/fragile modules (e.g. ammo rack, fuel tank, engine). The rear part of every tank is the most lightly armoured one, so you may want to focus fire there and maybe score a penetration to the engine block/transmission. Enemies without the "FPG" module installed will succumb to the flames.
  • If your opponent is still alive after repeated attacks, the best thing you can do to destroy his/her tank is to get up close and personal. Try to analyze what damage has been done and alter your attack based on the modules/crew destroyed. However, never underestimate your enemy and always approach your enemy with caution, no matter how much damage you have inflicted. Get up close and personal and land shots wherever they can penetrate to do the most damage.

Vehicle characteristics

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). It has the same battle rating as the previous Pz.III L (except in SB) and offers some additional protection enhancements.

The most notable differences are the added Schürzen, or side skirts (both on hull and the turret). Although they are very thin, they can effectively protect the tank from glancing HEAT and HE rounds along with nearby artillery strikes and bombs. also, the dreaded Panzer cuploa has been upgraded so it is no longer a fatal weak spot, which is a very useful improvement. Russian T-34s/KV-1s and most weaker tanks can no longer exploit this which adds to the Panzer III M's survivability potential.

The Panzer III M is armed with a 5 cm high velocity anti-tank gun. At close range it can become dangerous to attack the Russian T-34, however with the exception of lucky shots. The KV-series of tanks is usually immune to normal APCBC shells. The high muzzle velocity makes long range shots rather easy, although you noticeably lose penetration. The smaller caliber also offers a higher rate of fire than 75mm and 76mm guns.

Surprisingly, these upgrades did not add any notable extra weight, so the mobility of the tank has not been altered.

With the tank's good armour and free path to the Tiger, Pz.III M is sometimes called the "Mini Tiger".

Tactics

While the armour is something to take note of, this tank will perform best in flanking attacks. It has good penetration and fires fast enough to kill an enemy tank quickly and efficiently. Stay close to the battlefield as this tank does not fair well in long range combat. The Panzer III M is best utilized as a support or front line tank that can move quickly across the battlefield.

  • Use your tank's mobility - You have a good gun, but don't let that encourage you to camp on one spot on the map and wait for enemies to come to you. Be proactive and move actively around the map; your tank is perfectly suited to perform this role. As mentioned above, applying flanking tactics is the most effective way to use this tank.
  • Spaced armour and Schürzen - You may fool yourself into believing that those 5mm plates on the sides of your tank's hull and turret are useless and that they just add dead weight to your tank. This is simply untrue. Their main purpose is to absorb HEAT/HE shells and prematurely activate the fuse on some AP rounds. They are definitely a useful component to any tank.
  • Angling your armour - Despite the fact that this vehicle has a sufficient armour thickness and spaced armour to protect itself from HEAT shells, you can always find yourself in the situation when you are just too close to the enemy and armour thickness isn't your advantage anymore. Do not let your enemies place well aimed shots into you; the weak spots around the machine gun ports and driver's view port are tempting targets. In this case it's best to angle your armour at around a 45-60 degree angle, and start moving to maximize your effective armour thickness and increase chances of the enemy shell ricocheting. Try not to over-angle the hull; once the side armour loses the high angle advantage, anything can punch through.
  • Cover your lower glacis - The Panzer III M has a very exposed lower glacis. Although mostly covered by attached spare tracks, if you take a hit there you are most likely going to have a knocked out transmission, a fire burning, and a dead driver. Thus, whenever possible, try to use natural cover like rocks and obstacles to protect your lower glacis from enemy attack.
  • You can carry as much ammo as you want! - That's right, if you are unsure of your shooting skills, or just like to shoot at everything that moves, you can bring all the ammo you can carry in the Panzer III Ausf. M. The ammo is stored in a relatively safe location in the lower part of the tank, so ammo rack hits are uncommon.

Specific enemies worth noting

Always try to get the first shot off. When you have a clear shot, make sure you are hitting a vital point. For heavier tanks, aim for the gunner or turret ring, as they are fairly easy targets for this tank. When you have done so, start hitting "sweet spots" like the rest of the crew members. The 50mm gun reloads quickly so this feat is easily achieved.

  • The KV-1s, especially the unarmoured KV-1(ZiS-5) will be a problem! Their gun mantlets and certain areas on the hull can be penetrated, but you must take your time with the shot; if not, you can expect to be spotted and die quickly! APCR shells are a viable option, but several shots are often required to kill the enemy tank. It, on the other hand, usually only needs 1 or 2 shots to send your tank back to your garage.
  • T-34 is another problematic opponent to deal with, especially the later modifications. Their hull is basically invulnerable to your gun, and weak spots on it and the turret are difficult to hit, especially when the vehicle is moving. Their gun is also lethal to most tanks.
  • US M10 tank destroyer and M4 Shermans are other tanks that should be avoided and flanked, rather than engaged directly. They often deploy "hulldown" tactics, covering their hulls behind terrain. Plus, their turret armour is very good.
  • Lastly, from the German Side, always look out for their Tank Destroyers and Pz.IVs equiped with long 7.5cm guns (like Pz.IV F2 or Pz.IV G ). Their guns can easily punch through your armour at any distance.

Counter-tactics

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Strong spaced armour on the frontal hull armour and whole turret
  • Good armour overall
  • Decent speed and maneuverability
  • Highly accurate and reliable cannon, with great gun depression
  • High rate of fire
  • Shells travel fast, making it easier to aim at long distance
  • Side skirts help prevent damage from HEAT and HE shells
  • Small size makes it difficult to hit when on the move
  • Strong armour on commander's cupola (100 mm)
  • Access to smoke launchers

Cons:

  • Gun is unreliable when facing certain tanks frontally, unless one aims for weak spots or uses PzGr40 shells (APCR)
  • Gun is bad for long range combat
  • Armour weak spots: lower plate, machine gun, and driver's view-port
  • Weak side and rear armour
  • Some higher rank vehicles can easily knock you out even through all that spaced armour
  • Armour is flat on most places
  • Sometimes runs out of ammunition due to high rate of fire

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Armaments

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

Main armament

1 x 5 cm KwK 39
  • 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 you can penetrate your target. It deals the 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 and medium ranges. PzGr 40 is better.
    • PzGr 40 - Armour Piercing Composite Rigid shell - this variation of APCR is lighter, slightly faster and offers the 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. It's even worse than that of the 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)
    6 x 66 mm smoke grenade launcher (turret mounted)

    Crew

    • Commander
    • Gunner
    • Loader
    • Driver
    • Assistant Driver

    Total: 5 Crew members

    Armour

    Armour type:

    • Rolled homogeneous armour
    • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun barrel shroud, Cupola)
    • High hardness rolled armour (Front spaced armour)
    Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
    Hull 50 + 20 mm (12°) Front plate
    25 mm (85°), 50 mm (52°) Front glacis
    50 mm (25°) Lower glacis
    30 + 5 mm 50 mm 15 mm
    Turret 57 mm + 20 mm Turret front
    50 + 20 mm Gun mantlet
    30 + 5 mm 30 mm 10 mm
    Cupola 100 mm 10 mm

    Notes:

    • The tank 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.
    • Side armour of the hull and turret are 30 mm and are protected by an extra 5 mm plate that protects from HEAT and HE rounds.
    • 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.
    • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.

    Engine & mobility

    Weight: 23 ton

    Max Speed: 59 km/h
    Stock

    • Engine Power: 465 hp @ 3000 rpm
    • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 20.17 hp/ton
    • Maximum Inclination: 27°

    Upgraded

    • Engine Power: 572 hp @ 3000 rpm
    • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 24.87 hp/ton
    • Maximum Inclination: 35°
    Weight: 23 ton

    Max Speed: 53 km/h
    Stock

    • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
    • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.52 hp/ton
    • Maximum Inclination: 30°

    Upgraded

    • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
    • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 13.04 hp/ton
    • Maximum Inclination: 35°
    Weight: 23 ton

    Max Speed: 53 km/h
    Stock

    • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
    • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.52 hp/ton
    • Maximum Inclination: 30°

    Upgraded

    • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
    • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 13.04 hp/ton
    • Maximum Inclination: 35°

    Modules and improvements

    It is recommended to grind for parts, then the fire control system.

    Also get all the ammo types and gun upgrades, as they greatly improve the accuracy of the gun (especially at long range).

    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 was created for.

    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 freed 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 advanced design, the turret did not have a basket for the crew. It was a proven design and production began in May 1937. The total number of Panzer IIIs constructed in its production life was 5,774 units (excluding StuG III variant).

    Specifications

    The Panzer III Ausf. M has the 50 mm KwK 39 as its main armament, giving it the firepower to go against the Allied tanks T-34s and M4 Shermans. The Panzer III Ausf. M still featured the armour from the Ausf. L, with 50 mm of hull armour and offset armour on the front of the hull and turret that are 20 mm effective. Aside from that, there was also the installment of the Schürzen side armour skirts also being applied onto the Panzer IVs. These offset armour and Schürzen 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, after being relegated as secondary roles, was made into an infantry support tank with the Panzer III Ausf. N variant, which featured the 75 mm KwK 37 howitzer originally equipped in the first few Panzer IV models.

    Ingame description

    @var:description

    Screenshots and fan art

    Skins and camouflages for the Panzer 3 Ausf.M from live.warthunder.com. There are plenty of category terms flying around. So looking through every one of them will be necessary.

    Sights

    Additional information (links)

    References


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    germ_pzkpfw_iii_ausf_m.png

    Icon-country-der.png Panzer III Ausf. M
    Nation Germany
    Type Medium tank
    Rank 2
    Battle Rating
    3.0
    3.3
    3.7

       Metric✓       Imperial   

       Metric       Imperial✓   

    Characteristics
    Weight
    23,000 kg
    50,706 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)
    20.17
    20.54
    11.52
    11.71
    11.52
    11.71
    HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
    24.87
    25.27
    13.04
    13.25
    13.04
    13.25
    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 MG 34 Machine gun
    Ammo stowage 3,750 rounds
    Mount Coaxial
    Economy
    Required RP 18,000 RP
    Vehicle cost 77,000 SL
    Crew training cost 22,000 SL
    Max repair cost*
    1,160 SL
    1,200 SL
    1,130 SL
    Free repair time (Stock)
    9h 06m
    15h 11m
    14h 06m
    Free repair time (Upgraded)
    3h 02m
    5h 03m
    4h 42m
    Warning: this sidebar is a WIP, and can be incorrect. Last updated 1.77.2.97.