|This page is about the German medium tank Pz.III J. For other versions, see Panzer III (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Barrel shroud, Cupola)
|Hull|| 50 mm (12°) Front plate
25 mm (86°), 50 mm (52°) Front glacis
50 mm (23-69°) Lower glacis
|30 mm|| 50 mm (14-46°) Top
50 mm (10-66°) Bottom
|Turret|| 50 mm (10-25°) Turret front
50 mm (12-62°) Gun mantlet
|30 mm (20-25°)||30 mm (12-15°)||10 mm|
|Cupola||50 mm (spherical)||10 mm|
- Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
|50 mm KwK L/42||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|99||74 (+25)||48 (+51)||33 (+66)||1 (+98)||No|
- Racks disappear when all shells in the rack have been loaded/shot.
- Racks 1 to 3 emptied: 33 (+66) shells.
|7.92 mm MG 34|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
The small calibre of the MG34 machine gun makes it largely ineffective against all armoured vehicles but the ones with an open compartment. It still can be used to ping targets as a rangefinding help or to mow down minor obstacles blocking your line of sight.
Usage in battles
Use of this tank is similar to the Pz.III F, and while it does have significantly better armour on the front than its predecessor, the higher BR means it faces nastier opposition. T-34 (1940)s are almost impenetrable from any side except flat-on below the tracks. M4A1s are similar in speed to you, have thinner sides, are spacious, have powerful guns, and stabilizers. Cromwells are much faster than you with stronger guns. You can only hope for them to get overconfident, overextend, and shoot them in the side or rear. APCR post-penetration damage is not reliable enough to be counted upon when you need it the most, and often can't frontally penetrate a Sherman or T-34 anyway.
Furthermore, even in the best circumstances, the high fuse sensitivity makes many lightly-armoured things with strong guns your worst nightmare, since you'll over-penetrate repeatedly in most cases, allowing easy return fire from the person you failed to knock out, which more often than not cripples you. Enemy SPAAGs, in particular, are frustrating to knock out because of your 15 mm turret ring weak spot enabling them to spray all over you to incapacitate your gunner and loader.
Pros and cons
- Accurate and decently powerful gun
- Great gun depression
- Good mobility
- APCR ammo has very high speed and good penetration, making shooting at long range easier
- Armour is fairly decent, can protect reliably against lower-ranked tanks
- Penetration is a bit lacking, as is post-penetration against things in up-tiers
- Awful turret traverse speed
- Flat armour with little slope, weak side armour
- Large commander's cupola, often sticking out above the terrain, drawing enemy attention
- Rather high fuse sensitivity for such a lacklustre cannon
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.
Daimler-Benz, Krupp, MAN, and Rheinmetall produced prototypes meeting the specifications and the Daimler-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 the combat effectiveness of the tank. Despite this rather advanced 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).
The Panzer III started with only 15 mm of armour on all sides, this was quickly upgraded to 30 mm on the front, side, and rear on the Ausf. D, E, F, and G models. Then the Ausf. H placed an additional 30 mm of armour onto the front hull as an interim solution before the Panzer III Ausf. J gave the Panzer III a 50 mm armour thickness on the front and rear. The Panzer III Ausf. J still retained the 50 mm KwK 38 cannon from the Ausf. F, which provided much-needed firepower over the 37 mm KwK 36. The Panzer Ausf. J had a 300 PS Maybach HL 120 TRM engine that gave it a top speed of about 40 km/h (25 mph) with an operational range of 155 km (96 mi.).
The Panzer III Ausf. J gave the German army better armour for their Panzer III and with a better gun. However, it was still considered under-gunned to the Soviet contemporary T-34 and KV-1 tanks as the 50 mm KwK 38 was not powerful enough to penetrate these tanks frontally with normal ammo. This requires the use of APCR, which was in low supply. The Soviet T-26 and BT series light tanks were still easily taken care of and there were still in larger quantities than the T-34s and KVs, but T-34 production was kicking off and it won't be long before the T-34 becomes the main tank of the Red Army.
The Panzer III still needed improvements if it ever was to go up against the more modern tanks and Germany needed it to stay in service as long as possible as their new tanks are being developed. The next variant featured additional armour and a better 50 mm cannon, the 50 mm KwK 39, on the Panzer III Ausf. J1. The armour had an additional 20 mm offset armour in the front hull and turret, plus the 50 mm KwK 39 featured a longer barrel than the 50 mm KwK 38, increasing its penetration values.
One of the serial modification to the Pz.Kpfw.III light tank, 1,549 of these tanks were produced from March to October, 1941.
The armour plating installed on tanks of the Ausf.H modification was a temporary measure. Tanks of the Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.J modification began to be released in March, 1941. The thickness of the single-layer, homogeneous armour of the front and rear plates was 50 mm. The design of the spherical machine gun installation had to be modified due to the increase in the thickness of the armour plates. A large number of less significant changes were also made. The first vehicles released were added to the arsenal of the African Corps, but the overwhelming majority entered divisions that were performing combat operations in the incipient war with the Soviet Union.
- RideR2's Realistic gunsight (TZF4a, TZF 5a/b/d/e/f/f2, TZF 9b/b1/c/d, TZF 12/a) for Pzkpfw II, Pzkpfw III, Pzkpfw IV, Pzkpfw V, Pzkpfw VI
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.
|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 2A6|
|Trophies||▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)|
|Other||Nb.Fz. · KPz-70|
|USA||mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C|