13 km/h back70 km/h forward
11 km/h backSpeed
The Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. E is a rank I German medium tank with a battle rating of 1.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. The successor of the Panzer III B and the predecessor of the Panzer III F on the German tree line, the Panzer III Ausf. E has an improved armour layout with 30 mm thick front and side armour while retaining the 37 mm gun.
Survivability and armour
The crew of the Pz. III E is well-spaced out, enabling the survival of a frontal penetration or two by typical low-rank cannons. Compared to the Pz.III B, the frontal armour protection is roughly doubled, with 30-35 mm on the turret face and 30 mm on the upper & lower front plates. The turret has some overlapping plates for up to 65 mm of protection on some areas, sometimes saving you from an otherwise guaranteed knockout. The sides are also 30 mm thick while the rear is 20 mm sloped, making it totally immune to tank-mounted .50 cal machine guns.
Top speed improves significantly over the Pz. III B, at 71 kph forward and 12 kph reverse. Power/weight ratio is similar, 29.3 hp/ton in AB and 15.38 hp/ton for RB/SB. Manoeuvrability is similar to its predecessor.
The Pz. III E has the same main gun as its predecessor, the 37 mm KwK 36. Ammunition is the same - PzGr. APHE with 46 mm penetration and 13 g explosive mass as the stock option, with 91 mm penetrating PzGr.40 APCR as an unlock.
Like its predecessor, the Pz. III E has two coaxial 7.92mm MG34 machine guns that easily shred lightly armoured flak trucks seen commonly at low ranks. Slow turret traverse makes it generally useless vs aircraft, however.
Usage in battles
The Pz. III E still has the "average" flavour of its predecessor but is able to rely on its armour a little more than before. However, the higher BR of 1.7 means it runs into much nastier opposition. The B1 ter at 2.3 is just about unpenetrable from any side even with the APCR shell, the Matilda Mk II at 2.7 is slightly easier to pen but has a gun strong enough to annihilate you at a mere glance. The M5A1 at 2.3 runs circles around you with a better gun than you.
Pros and cons
- Gun is average for the rank
- APHE post-penetration effect helps destroy targets quickly considering its other downsides
- High-pen APCR for rank helps immensely during up-tiers
- Significantly improved mobility over Pz. III B
- Totally immune against .50 cal machine gun fire from other tanks
- Slow turret traverse of only 5.1 degrees/s makes it not well-suited to close-range combat
- Stock shell not suited to destroying many opponents
- APCR post-penetration is generally inadequate yet you are forced to use it more often than not
- Easily crippled or knocked out from above by aircraft-mounted .50 calibre machine guns
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The Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. E was the first large-scale variant of this tank. The machine had a new torsion suspension design, and its wheels had a much larger diameter. This greatly simplified its manufacture and servicing. The construction of the hull was modified, slightly shortening the front and rear sections. Some design improvements were made to facilitate the crew's ability to evacuate when needed and to improve their field of view. The construction of the Kugelblende 30 machine gun's mantlet saw improvements, as well, and a small container of smoke bombs was affixed to the aft of the tank's hull. The more powerful Maibach HL120TR engine, with 300 horsepower, was installed, along with a mechanical Variorex SRG 328-145 transmission with ten forward gears and four reverse gears. These changes increased the tank's maximum speed and cross-country ability.
During the tank's single year of production, beginning in October 1938, the companies MAN, Deimler-Benz, Henschel, MIAG, Alket, Krupp, FAMO, Wegmann, and MNH produced about 100 specimens. The Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. E tank variant participated in every military operation which took place during the first stage of World War II. This variant became the basis for all subsequent ones.
The tank's first combat experience was successful, and from 1940 to 1941 some of the tanks were outfitted with a 5cm KwK L/42 gun in a new cannon mantlet. Afterwards, the remaining Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. E tanks were withdrawn from the front lines and converted into Pz.Beo.Wg. artillery spotters or repair and rescue vehicles.
On the whole, the Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. E tank was reliable and easy to operate and provided a high level of crew comfort. This tank's main disadvantage was that its armament was relatively weak for a medium tank.
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|Germany medium tanks|
|Pz.III||Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. B · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. E · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. F · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J1 · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. L · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. M · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. N|
|Pz.IV||Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. C · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. E · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F1 · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F2 · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J · Panzerbefehlswagen IV|
|Pz.V||Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. A · Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. D · Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. F · Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. G · Ersatz M10 Panther · Pz.Kpfw. Panther II|
|Trophies||▀Pz.Kpfw. M4 748 (a) · ▀T-34-747(r)|
|Post-war||KPz-70 · mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C · M48A2 G A2|
|Leopard||Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard 2K · Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2A5|