Pz.III E

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RANK 6 BRITAIN
Rooikat 105 PACK
This page is about the German medium tank Pz.III E. For other versions, see Panzer III (Family).
Pz.III E
germ_pzkpfw_iii_ausf_e.png
GarageImage Pz.III E.jpg
ArtImage Pz.III E.png
Pz.III E
AB RB SB
1.0 1.0 1.0
Class:
Research:Free
Purchase:Free
Show in game

Description

The Panzerkampfwagen III Ausführung E (Panzer III E) (Sd.Kfz. Index: Sd.Kfz. 141) is the fifth variant of the Panzerkampfwagen III medium tank family. After the first four Panzer III variants were completed, it was discovered there was still a lot of potential for development and adjustment. The Panzer III E was the next variant in line, and it included a number of improvements, including a necessary increase in armour protection. More notably, it finally addressed the fundamental problems with the previous variants' troublesome suspensions by introducing a basic torsion bar suspension design. The most notable legacy of this vehicle was that it established the production standard for all subsequent Panzer III variants. The Germans concentrated on the French 25 mm fast-firing tank gun when determining the necessary armour thickness for the new Panzer III E. They eventually decided that 30 mm of armour was sufficient. At ranges of over 500 mm at 30°, the frontal armour plate proved powerful enough to withstand the 25 mm armour-piercing rounds.

Introduced in the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41, the Panzer III E variant is a basic medium tank that looks a lot like the Panzer III B variant. It was mounted with the same 37 mm Kampfwagenkanone (KwK) 36 L/46.5 tank gun. However, by increasing the overall armour plate thickness to 20 to 30 mm, this tank's protection is significantly boosted. Despite this, it is nevertheless vulnerable to almost all vehicles in its rank from any angle, with the exception of a few very low-calibre tank guns. Playstyles are comparable to those of the Panzer III B variant.

General info

Survivability and armour

Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull30 / 30 / 20
Turret35 / 30 / 30
Crew5 people
Visibility88 %
The Pz.III E, distinguished from the B by the more traditional cupola, and the square MG mounting.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Cupola)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 30 mm 30 mm 20 mm 15 mm
Turret 35 mm Turret front
30 mm Gun mantlet
30 mm 30 mm 10 mm
Cupola 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm 8 mm

The Panzer III E has improved protection over the Ausf. B. The armour values on the hull sides and front are similar, so the Panzer III E is an excellent tank to use the tactic of angling in. With angling, the hull has a chance to bounce some enemy fire. The turret face protection is rather thin, but in some areas the turret armour overlaps which may help to stop some shells. Overall, the Panzer III E is not very survivable, being reliably protected only against .50 calibre ammunition. Additionally, the thin roof armour means that enemy planes may penetrate the top of the tank if they are using .50 calibre guns or cannons.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB79 / 14 km/h
RB and SB71 / 12 km/h
Number of gears10 forward
4 back
Weight19.5 t
Engine power
AB572 hp
RB and SB300 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB29.3 hp/t
RB and SB15.4 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 79 14 19.5 465 572 23.85 29.33
Realistic 71 12 265 300 13.59 15.38

The Pz.III E does have improved mobility over the B model, the top speed is listed as 71 km/h in RB mode, and 79 km/h in AB mode. However, the Pz.III E can only reach these speeds if travelling down a hill or a decline in the terrain, in RB mode it will struggle to pass 40 km/h off road, and in AB it will rarely pass the early 50 km/h. So the mobility is upgraded, but it's not really enough of an upgrade to be considered a huge advantage. A big positive though is that the Pz.III E can reverse a lot faster, meaning that if it gets into trouble, it can quickly retreat.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
ABfree
RBfree
SBfree
Total cost of modifications4 150 Rp icon.png
190 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost190 Ge icon.png
Crew trainingfree
Experts1 000 Sl icon.png
Aces10 Ge icon.png
Research Aces80 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
10 / 10 / 10 % Sl icon.png
100 / 100 / 100 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
330 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank traks.png
Winterketten
Research:
330 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 Sl icon.png
35 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
720 Rp icon.png
Cost:
35 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Mods tank reinforcement ger.png
Crew Replenishment
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
330 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 Sl icon.png
35 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
37mm_kwk_36_APCR_ammo_pack
Research:
300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 Sl icon.png
35 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
410 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
410 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
720 Rp icon.png
Cost:
35 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Main armament

Ammunition131 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
3.7 → 2.9 s
Vertical guidance-10° / 20°
Main article: KwK36 (37 mm)

The Pz.III E is equipped with the 37 mm KwK36, which is a fairly underwhelming weapon performance-wise. It can penetrate most lower rank vehicles at close range, but at further ranges the gun really does start to struggle. It's also fairly inaccurate, which makes aiming for certain weak spots quite difficult. It comes with two available rounds-

  • APHE- Max 47 mm penetration- Low penetration but higher damage potential.
  • APCR- Max 86 mm penetration- High penetration but lower damage potential.

It's best to consider taking a mix of both types of ammunition, the APHE has the potential to knock out some enemy tanks, but will be completely ineffective against the more heavily armoured vehicle you'll likely meet when uptiered, for these tanks it's best to use APCR and aim for flat surfaces. The APCR does very little damage internally, so try to aim for crew members if possible.

37 mm KwK36 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 131 -10°/+20° ±180° N/A 5.24 7.25 8.80 9.73 10.35 3.77 3.33 3.07 2.90
Realistic 3.27 3.85 4.67 5.17 5.50

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
PzGr APHE 47 44 31 21 14 9
PzGr 40 APCR 86 77 47 26 14 8
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
PzGr APHE 745 0.69 1.2 9 22.1 47° 60° 65°
PzGr 40 APCR 1,020 0.37 - - - 66° 70° 72°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Pz.III E
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
131 114 (+17) 76 (+55) 58 (+73) 20 (+111) (+130) Yes

Notes:

  • Racks disappear after you've fired all shells in the rack.
  • Visual discrepancy concerns rack n°5: it is modeled to contain 8 shells but you have to fire 19 shells in order to empty it.


Machine guns

Ammunition3 600 rounds
Belt capacity150 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate900 shots/min
Main article: MG34 (7.92 mm)

Like its predecessor, the Pz. III E is equipped with two coaxial 7.92 mm MG34 machine guns, as there are two of them these machine guns are quite potent against enemy anti-air trucks, and even against the slower biplane aircraft commonly encountered in lower ranked battles; although their viability against aircraft is questionable due to the slow turret traverse. These guns have no functional viability against armoured vehicles however, and only serve as a last ditch effort to kick up dust, or blind an enemy vehicle by firing at their optics.

7.92 mm MG34
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 1,800 (150) 900 N/A N/A
Coaxial 1,800 (150) 900 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

The Pz.III E, despite its upgrades, functions almost exactly the same as the previous B model, the armour and mobility are improved, but not to the point where these aspects are reliable, or warrant a change in playstyle to take advantage of them. Because of the slow turret traverse and unimpressive firepower, consider playing the E in a more passive role. You can't comfortably rush around the map using your extra mobility as if you push to the point where enemies could get on your sides, you'll likely be knocked out very quickly. The largest drawbacks the E model has are its armour, turret traverse and firepower. The firepower can't be buffed in any way, but the negative effects of the armour and traverse can be somewhat negated by playing hull down and covering a narrow sight line. The turret armour can't be completely relied on, but it is the most consistent. Additionally, if you take fire into the turret, you'll likely only lose a couple of crew members. In order to increase the effectiveness of the hull armour, you can sharply angle the tank at about 45 degrees, since the side armour is equally as thick as the front armour. That means there is no risk of exposing a weaker flank, and a steeply angled hull can even deflect the 37 mm. cannon shells fired by most tanks of its tier (it will not always deflect them, but your odds increase at longer ranges). The E model has a fairly effective reverse rate, so you can easily retreat from combat, repair and reengage. You also have access to five rear drop smoke grenades to aid this purpose. Another advantage of covering a narrow sight line is that you don't really need to traverse your gun much to be able to fire on enemy vehicles.

If possible, try to remain somewhat sedentary, because the Pz.III E lacks a short stop stabiliser, if you run into an enemy allied tank on the move, they will likely be able to level off their gun and fire at you first, and as the armour of the E is very inconsistent, you will likely be knocked out. If you stay somewhat still and wait in ambush, you should be able to avoid this drawback. The E model works best at mid ranges, at long range the armour is effective but the gun isn't, whereas at close range the gun is effective but the armour isn't - at mid range you have the potential to maximise both. Aim to angle or hide your hull and take a decent mix of APHE and APCR depending on the battle rating you're playing at. The E model isn't the most effective Panzer III, but if played in the right spot it can do a decent job.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Very fast reload
  • Access to APCR
  • Decent overall mobility
  • Immune to heavy machine gun fire
  • Tougher than other reserve tanks if angled

Cons:

  • Very slow turret traverse
  • Lacklustre firepower
  • Unimpressive armour protection if not angled
  • No short stabiliser

History


Archive of the in-game description

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, Daimler-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.


Media

Skins

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


Germany medium tanks
Pz.III  Pz.III B · Pz.III E · Pz.III F · Pz.III J · Pz.III J1 · Pz.III J1 TD · Pz.III L · Pz.III M · Pz.III N
Pz.IV  Pz.IV C · Pz.IV E · Pz.IV F1 · Pz.IV F2 · Pz.IV G · Pz.IV H · Pz.IV J · Pz.Bef.Wg.IV J
Pz.V  VK 3002 (M) · Panther A · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Ersatz M10 · Panther II
M48 upgrades  M48A2 G A2 · M48 Super
Leopard 1  Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 1A5 · C2A1 · Turm III
Leopard 2  PT-16/T14 mod. · Leopard 2K · Leopard 2AV
  Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2 (PzBtl 123) · Leopard 2 PL · Leopard 2A5 · Leopard 2 PSO · Leopard 2A6 · Leopard 2A7V
Trophies  ▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)
Other  Nb.Fz. · KPz-70
USA  mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C
USSR  ◊T-72M1