Difference between revisions of "Pz.III J1"

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(Usage in battles: honestly I found the version prior difficult and considerably unclear in the useability of this tank, which I have quite a bit of experience with.)
m (Pros and Cons)
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* Poor damage against modules and crew
* Poor damage against modules and crew
* Gun lacks penetration at range, is likely to bounce from slopes, and isn't very accurate
* Gun lacks penetration at range, is likely to bounce from slopes
* Overall weak armour
* Overall weak armour
* Modules are sensitive to damage
* Modules are sensitive to damage

Revision as of 12:47, 2 June 2019

2.7 2.7 2.7
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GarageImage Pz.III J1.jpg

The Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J1 (Panzer III J1) is a rank II German medium tank with a battle rating of 2.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.43. An improvement over the J version with the longer 50 mm KwK 39 gun: the Panzer III J1 provides a better punch.

This variant, compared to its predecessor - Pz.III J, features only few, but very important upgrades.

Most importantly, the J1 variant is the first Panzer III to have the long barreled KwK 39 L/60 50mm tank gun. This gun offers 96mm of armour penetration at a range of 100 m and 79 mm at 500 m. In a practical sense, it is just enough to deal with most tanks at this BR, although targeting weakspots, or side/rear armour is often necessary, especially against well-armoured heavy tanks like the KV-1 but that is why you have APCR ammunition. APCR comes in two sets, PzGr40 and PzGr40/1. PzGr40 has the highest penetration - 150mm at close range, but loses penetration quite rapidly when shooting far targets and is also a higher tier modification. (->More info can be found below in the "Ammunition" section.)

The second important upgrade is the electric turret drive - greatly improving the turret traverse speed, and removing the long present weakness of all older Panzer III variants.

Optimal combat distance for this vehicle is somewhere between medium to close range. But don't be mistaken, the Panzer III J1 is not an frontline tank. You should be always on the move and harass the enemy without rest as any return fire will be lethal. Don't trust your armour and instead rely on your mobility. Flanking is the best option for J1 as you can use the high RoF for good effect and hopefully avoid the incoming retribution. You don't have the best mobility for a medium tank, but you definitely remain competitive against most enemy tanks you may encounter. Always try to find some good firing positions, with available cover, and if necessary, pull back and relocate. Always avoid direct close range confrontations with main enemy force; never try to fight more than 1 enemy at the time. However - playing purely as support/sniper tank isn't optimal either, because of your lower armour penetration.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Barrel shroud, Cupola)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 50 mm (12°) Front plate
25 mm (86°), 50 mm (53°) Front glacis
50 mm (23-69°) Lower glacis
30 mm 50 mm (15-41°) Top
50 mm (11-66°) Bottom
15 mm
Turret 50 mm (12-25°) Turret front
50 mm (12-46°) Gun mantlet
30 mm (22-25°) 30 mm (13-16°) 10 mm
Cupola 50 mm 10 mm


  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.


Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armor
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
21.8 N/A 59 (AB)
53 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 465 572
Realistic/Simulator 265 300
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 21.33 26.24
Realistic/Simulator 12.16 13.76


Main armament

Main article: KwK 39 (50 mm)
50 mm KwK 39
Capacity Vertical
92 -10°/+20° ±180° N/A
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 13.33 18.45 22.4 24.77 26.35
Realistic 8.33 9.80 11.90 13.16 14.00
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
4.81 4.25 3.92 3.70
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
PzGr 39 APC 95 92 76 61 49 39
PzGr 40/1 APCR 128 126 91 61 40 27
PzGr 40 APCR 150 149 108 72 48 32
Sprgr. 38 HE 5 5 5 5 5 5
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
in m/s
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
0% 50% 100%
PzGr 39 APC 835 2.05 1.2 25 28.9 +4° 48° 63° 71°
PzGr 40/1 APCR 1,140 1.07 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 66° 70° 72°
PzGr 40 APCR 1,180 0.93 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 66° 70° 72°
Sprgr. 38 HE 550 1.81 2.0 0.1 170 +0° 79° 80° 81°

Shell types

  • PzGr 39 - Armour Piercing Capped shell - This is your main ammo type, use it whenever you think it has enough penetration to penetrate your target. It deals the most damage because of its explosive filler.
  • 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.
  • PzGr 40 - Armour Piercing Composite Rigid shell - this variation of APCR is lighter, slightly faster and offers the best penetration (up to 150mm). Use it against heavily armoured beasts like the KV-1 (If you can't flank them). However, don't expect it to cause any real damage upon penetration, it is even worse than that of 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.
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
92 70 (+22) 47 (+45) 24 (+68) (+91) Yes

Turret empty: 70 (+22)

Machine guns

Main article: MG 34 (7.92 mm)
7.92 mm MG 34
Coaxial mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
3,750 (150) 900 N/A N/A

Usage in battles


with this tank, you have essentially a "jack of all trades, somewhat good at all of them" kind of option set. you can stick with friendly tanks, and use your high ROF and excellent stats with APCR to get a mix of assists and kills, OR go for a flanking move, since at practical distances (400-1000m) your gun's pen statistics are far less than the max advertised, but still enough at those ranges to at least immobilize particularly important enemy tanks like a KV-1 or Churchill with a drivetrain shot. you can attempt multiple shots to kill enemies, but by that point you will begin recieving "responsive fire", and your tank's armor is not good enough to withstand more than 1-2 hits before being taken out.

a possible solution is to use "shoot and scoot" manuvers, popping out to fire and then scurrying to a different spot, but this poses issues if the terrain won't allow you to have consistent cover (which may result in a downed tank between cover) or if there simply isn't much of any cover. (the map Kursk's outer capture points are a perfect example of this.)


when on the defense, you have a number of advantages and some severe disadvantages - being able to hunker down and hammer in shots with the long 5cm mean that most tanks that you will face (early shermans, early brits, early russian tanks) will likely be more focused on any Pz.4s in your team, which may cause them to unintentionally show their hull sides (due to being focused on some guy with a Pz.4 F2 or something) and that combined with your excellent rate of fire and pen statistics means you can make quick work of an unsuspecting light or medium tank, assuming you can find cover in a location the enemy will not be looking at.

if detected or ranged by a tank or tank destroyer (assuming they have an angle that negates your cover's protection) your armor (more on par with a cromwell than anything really) will not protect you from very much, as even AP 20mm rounds can pen if close enough. if you simply find yourself stuck behind cover because the enemy has your position, it is advised to pop smoke (as you have multiple use smoke-nade launchers) and use the smoke to full effect, making it as difficult as possible for enemy tanks to get an exact bearing on your position as you try to move to better or other cover in general.

Pros and Cons


  • High rate of fire
  • High shell velocity
  • Mobile and fast
  • Excellent gun depression
  • APCR ammo is great against moving targets


  • Poor damage against modules and crew
  • Gun lacks penetration at range, is likely to bounce from slopes
  • Overall weak armour
  • Modules are sensitive to damage
  • APCR is pathetic at long ranges and deals very little damage upon penetration



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 the 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 to a tank made to destroy anti-tank guns and opposing infantrymen, which the Panzer IV served as.

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 men, 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 combat effectiveness of the tank. The 37 mm (later 50 mm) anti-tank gun was also very effective against contemporary tanks. 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 III tanks constructed in its production life was 5,774 units (excluding the far more produced StuG III variant).


The Panzer III Ausf. J1 features a much better 50 mm gun compared to its predecessors, the 50 mm KwK 39, which is an improvement over the 50 mm KwK 38 by its longer barrel that provided additonal accuracy. Longer cartridges with more propellant charge were used, providing extra velocity and penetration. This new 50 mm gun gives the Panzer III a fighting edge against T-34s and M4 Shermans, which the older 50 mm KwK 38 had trouble fighting against. The Panzer III Ausf. J1 still featured the 50 mm armour thickness on the front and rear originally from the Ausf. J variant, but later models had new offset armour on the front of the hull and turret that provide 20 mm of effective protection These armour 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

The Panzer III J1 was only a stopgap design to integrate the 50 mm KwK 39 into service as fast as possible. The final designs in its later models were later redesignated the Panzer III Ausf. L and Panzer III Ausf. M. It saw service on the eastern front, where it performed poorly against superior T-34 and KV-1 tanks. However, it also saw service in North Africa, where it would easily defeat allied light tanks such as the M3 Stuart and the Crusader, even when outnumbered. However, the introduction of more medium tanks by the allies in the African theater would prove to be problematic for the Panzer III. Those that survived the defeat in Africa would try to defend Sicily from the allied invasion of Italy.

In-game description

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 armor 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 armor 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 armor 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.


Skins and camouflages for the Panzer III Ausf. J1 from live.warthunder.com. There are plenty of category terms flying around. So looking through every one of them will be necessary. Some of these might not work. Look for the Panzer 3 tanks with the very long barrel, or see what the description says.


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;
  • encyclopedia page on the tank;
  • 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  Panther A · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Ersatz M10 · Panther II
Trophies  ▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)
Post-war  KPz-70 · mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C · M48A2 G A2 · M48 Super
Leopard 1  Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 1A5 · C2A1
Leopard 2  Leopard 2K · Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2 PL · Leopard 2A5 · Leopard 2A6