Pz.III E

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RANK 5 FRANCE
Somua SM 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
ArtImage2 Pz.III E.png
ArtImage3 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, with the top speed being listed as 71 km/h in RB mode, and 79 km/h in AB mode. While for RB this vehicle rarely cruises off-road faster than 45 km/h, it has very impressive mobility in AB, able to sustain speeds from 65 up to 80 km/h even on slightly hilly ground, making this tank hard to pin down in the hands of a skilled driver. In AB, this is a substantial upgrade in mobility over the B model, allowing for a more aggressive flanking play style that can be very rewarding with good map knowledge. Another big positive in both AB and RB is that the Pz.III E can reverse a lot faster, meaning that if it gets into trouble it can quickly retreat and reposition.

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° - 11.4 15.8 19.2 21.2 22.6 3.77 3.33 3.07 2.90
Realistic 7.1 8.4 10.2 11.3 12.0

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
131 113 (+18) 75 (+56) 57 (+74) 19 (+112) (+131) Yes

Notes:

  • Racks only disappear after all shells in the rack have been fired.
  • Visual discrepancy concerns rack n°5: it is modeled to contain 8 shells but you have to fire 18 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 is in essence, an upgraded Pz.III B, however the upgrades provided are substantial enough to allow the Pz.III E to have a much more varied role on the battlefield compared to the previous version. It has substantially improved armor, although not enough to consistently deflect enemy shells, and a much more impressive mobility. This improved mobility allows a skilled player to play in a much more aggressive fashion than what is possible in the Pz.III B. That being said, the issues that the Pz.III B has with its armament do carry over to this tank as well, which must be kept in mind. With these considerations, there are two primary play styles that this tank excels in.

Mid range support

While the Pz.III B is mostly locked into this role, the Pz.III E can excel in it, due to its armor improvements being more valuable at longer ranges and its mobility, especially the improved reverse speed, helps it get out of bad situations and reposition much easier. Being at longer ranges helps minimize the downsides of the poor turret traverse and lack of a stabilizer, which can be a hindrance in brawls and close range fighting. Additionally, the dual machine guns mounted on the turret can act as a pseudo SPAA and shoot down low BR planes that get a little too close to the ground. when taking fire, if retreat isn't an option, the tank should be angled at a 45 degree angle as its armor is the same on the front and the sides. Additionally, this take has smoke grenades, which can provide cover for long enough to repair damage or move out of the line of fire.it is reccomended to take several rounds of APCR as the APHE shell loses penetration at longer ranges.

Ambush

Alternatively, provided the driver has enough skill and map knowledge, this tank can be an extremely rewarding ambush predator, relying on well above average mobility to slip through the cracks in the enemy lines and ambush players traveling to the front lines. Because the gun will one shot most vehicles in its BR at close ranges, the Pz.III E will often be able to take out enemies who are not expecting it, and then move to a new location before the next wave of tanks respawn. This playstyle works best on maps with hills and ridges to hide between, as opposed to the more exposed and flat city maps where hiding can be more difficult. Be mindful that when lying in wait, the Pz.III E does still make some engine noise so if there is someone coming around a corner shortly, turning off the engine will increase the chance of an ambush. However, if the ambush goes poorly, the Pz.III E often does not have enough armor to survive. Smoke grenades may help, however the primary goal at all times should be remaining out of the line of fire and not attracting the attention of multiple enemies at once. Enemies that are unable to be easily destroyed in one hit, such as the LVT series of tanks, should be avoided at all costs. Because this play style typically results in the Pz.III E destroying several vehicles quickly and then dying, particularly low ammo counts can be sustainable which reduces the chance of a death due to ammo explosions.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Very fast reload
  • Access to APCR
  • Very good 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

Images
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 2A4M · 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