Difference between revisions of "Pz.III L"

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{{Specs-Card|code=germ_pzkpfw_III_ausf_L}}
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{{Specs-Card
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|code=germ_pzkpfw_III_ausf_L
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|images={{Specs-Card-Image|GarageImage_{{PAGENAME}}.jpg}}
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}}
  
 
== Description ==
 
== Description ==
<!--''In the description, the first part needs to be about the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle, as well as its key features. In the second part, tell the reader about the ground vehicle in the game. Insert the screenshot of the vehicle. If the novice player does not remember the vehicle by name, they will immediately understand what kind of vehicle it is talking about.''-->
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<!-- ''In the description, the first part should be about the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle, as well as its key features. In the second part, tell the reader about the ground vehicle in the game. Insert a screenshot of the vehicle, so that if the novice player does not remember the vehicle by name, he will immediately understand what kind of vehicle the article is talking about.'' -->
[[File:GarageImage_M4 748(a).jpg|420px|thumb|left]]
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The '''{{Specs|name}}''' ('''Panzer III L''') is a rank {{Specs|rank}} German medium tank {{Battle-rating}}. It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41.
{{break}}
 
The '''Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. L''' ('''Panzer III L''') is a Rank II Germany medium tank with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB) and 3.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced in during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41.
 
  
The Ausf. L modification is intended to improve protection of the [[Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J1| J variant]] by mounting additional 20 mm thick armour plates on the front of the hull and turret. While this certainly improve its resistance against HEAT and HE projectiles(which explode on impact, and damage only the first layer of armour), as well as classic AP, more than a single layer 70 mm would do, there are small "holes" in these armour plates - around the driver's viewport and machinegun port. Turret front armour itself also got increased from 50 to 57 mm.
+
The Ausf. L modification is intended to improve the protection of the [[Pz.III J1| J variant]] by mounting an additional 20 mm thick armour plates on the front of the hull and turret. While this certainly improve its resistance against HEAT and HE projectiles(which explode on impact, and damage only the first layer of armour), as well as classic AP, more than a single layer 70 mm would do, there are small "holes" in these armour plates - around the driver's viewport and machinegun port. Turret front armour itself also got increased from 50 to 57 mm.
  
The 5cm cannon on this tank is best suited to short-mid range combat, while engaging enemies from the sides and/or rear if at all possible. This gun can allow the tank to hold its own in frontal engagements against angled KV's and T34's, but only at short range where the PzGr40's and 40/1's still have impressive penetration. The gun fires very fast and is accurate even at long range. When fighting tanks that can be penetrated easily, one should use the default ammo as it does more damage than the APCR.
+
The 5cm cannon on this tank is best suited to short-mid range combat, while engaging enemies from the sides and/or rear if at all possible. This gun can allow the tank to hold its own in frontal engagements against angled KV's and T34's, but only at short range where the PzGr40's and 40/1 still have impressive penetration. The gun fires very fast and is accurate even at long range. When fighting tanks that can be penetrated easily, one should use the default ammo as it does more damage than the APCR.
  
 
There are also attached tracks to lower plate of the vehicle, adding extra protection. All this extra armour adds about 1.5 tons, slightly slowing down the machine. Other properties of the vehicle remain unchanged.
 
There are also attached tracks to lower plate of the vehicle, adding extra protection. All this extra armour adds about 1.5 tons, slightly slowing down the machine. Other properties of the vehicle remain unchanged.
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== General info ==
 
== General info ==
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
<!--''Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpfull for survival in combat?''
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{{Specs-Tank-Armour}}
 +
<!-- ''Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpful for survival in combat? If necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.'' -->
 +
'''Armour type:'''
  
''If necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.''-->
 
'''Armour type:'''
 
 
*Rolled homogeneous armour
 
*Rolled homogeneous armour
*Cast homogeneous armour (Cupola)  
+
*Cast homogeneous armour (Cupola)
 
*High hardness rolled armour (Appliqué armour)
 
*High hardness rolled armour (Appliqué armour)
 +
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
|-
 
|-
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|}
 
|}
 
'''Notes:'''
 
'''Notes:'''
 +
 
* It has 50 mm of armour at the front of the hull and 57 on the turret front, but there is an additional 20mm plate on the upper hull and at the front of the turret, increasing the effective armour to 70mm and 77mm respectively. When the armour is angled, this tank becomes very strong frontally.
 
* It has 50 mm of armour at the front of the hull and 57 on the turret front, but there is an additional 20mm plate on the upper hull and at the front of the turret, increasing the effective armour to 70mm and 77mm respectively. When the armour is angled, this tank becomes very strong frontally.
* The strong turret armour makes this tank powerful when hull-down, as many enemies will only be able to penetrate your cupola, only killing your commander. However, don't allow anyone to freely fire there, as some unlucky shot fired there can still occasionaly cause severe damage.
+
* The strong turret armour makes this tank powerful when hull-down, as many enemies will only be able to penetrate your cupola, only knocking out the commander. However, don't allow anyone to freely fire there, as some unlucky shot fired there can still occasionally cause severe damage.
 
* The side and rear armour of the tank are thin, but it is possible to bounce shots from the side armour if it is angled steeply while side-scraping.
 
* The side and rear armour of the tank are thin, but it is possible to bounce shots from the side armour if it is angled steeply while side-scraping.
 
* Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.
 
* Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.
  
Panzer III L has pretty good frontal armour, but there are several weakspots - around the driver's viewport and machinegun port, and few small spots on the turret, where armour is only 50 mm thick and completely flat, aim there. Sides and rear are very thin, if you can target these areas (even under quite high angle), they are penetrable very easily. If you have powerful enough gun, you can try to outgun it from afar, where its own 5 cm gun will struggle with penetration.
+
Panzer III L has pretty good frontal armour, but there are several weak spots - around the driver's viewport and machinegun port, and few small spots on the turret, where armour is only 50 mm thick and completely flat, aim there. Sides and rear are very thin, if you can target these areas (even under quite a high angle), they are penetrable very easily. If you have powerful enough gun, you can try to outgun it from afar, where its own 5 cm gun will struggle with penetration.
  
 
=== Mobility ===
 
=== Mobility ===
<!--''Write about the mobility of the ground vehicle. Estimate the specific power and maneuverability as well as the maximum speed forward and backward.''-->
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{{Specs-Tank-Mobility}}
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
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<!-- ''Write about the mobility of the ground vehicle. Estimate the specific power and manoeuvrability, as well as the maximum speed forwards and backwards.'' -->
|-
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!colspan="3" | Mobility characteristic
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{{tankMobility|abMinHp=465|rbMinHp=265}}
|-
+
 
! Weight (tons)
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=== Modifications and economy ===
!colspan="1" | Add-on Armor<br>weight (tons)
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{{Specs-Economy}}
!colspan="1" | Max speed (km/h)
 
|-
 
|rowspan="2" | 22.5 || colspan="1" rowspan="2" | N/A || colspan="1" | 59 (AB)
 
|-
 
|53 (RB/SB)
 
|-
 
!colspan="3" | Engine power (horsepower)
 
|-
 
!colspan="1" | Mode
 
!Stock
 
!Upgraded
 
|-
 
|''Arcade''
 
|465
 
|572
 
|-
 
|''Realistic/Simulator''
 
|265
 
|300
 
|-
 
!colspan="3" | Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
 
|-
 
!colspan="1" | Mode
 
!Stock
 
!Upgraded
 
|-
 
|''Arcade''
 
|20.67
 
|25.42
 
|-
 
|''Realistic/Simulator''
 
|11.78
 
|13.33
 
|-
 
|}
 
  
 
== Armaments ==
 
== Armaments ==
 +
{{Specs-Tank-Armaments}}
 
=== Main armament ===
 
=== Main armament ===
<!--''Give the reader information about the characteristics of the main gun. Assess its effectiveness in a battle based on the reloading speed, ballistics and the power of shells. Do not forget about the flexibilty of the fire, that is how quickly the cannon can be aimed at the target, open fire on it and aim at another enemy. Add a link to the main article on the gun: <code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.''-->
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{{Specs-Tank-Weapon|1}}
{{main|KwK 39 (50 mm)}}
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<!-- ''Give the reader information about the characteristics of the main gun. Assess its effectiveness in a battle based on the reloading speed, ballistics and the power of shells. Do not forget about the flexibility of the fire, that is how quickly the cannon can be aimed at the target, open fire on it and aim at another enemy. Add a link to the main article on the gun: <code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.'' -->
 +
{{main|KwK39 (50 mm)}}
  
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
+
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
|-
 
! colspan="6" | [[KwK 39 (50 mm)|50 mm KwK 39]]
 
|-
 
! colspan="3" rowspan="1" style="width:5em" |Capacity
 
! rowspan="1" | Vertical <br> guidance
 
! rowspan="1" | Horizontal <br> guidance
 
! rowspan="1" | Stabilizer
 
|-
 
| colspan="3" | 92 || -10°/+20° || ±180° || N/A
 
|-
 
! colspan="6" | Turret rotation speed (°/s)
 
|-
 
! style="width:4em" |Mode
 
! style="width:4em" |Stock
 
! style="width:4em" |Upgraded
 
! style="width:4em" |Prior + Full crew
 
! style="width:4em" |Prior + Expert qualif.
 
! style="width:4em" |Prior + Ace qualif.
 
 
|-
 
|-
| ''Arcade'' || 8.30 || 11.50 || _.__ || _.__ || _.__
+
! colspan="5" | [[KwK39 (50 mm)|50 mm KwK39]] || colspan="5" | Turret rotation speed (°/s) || colspan="4" | Reloading rate (seconds)
 
|-
 
|-
| ''Realistic'' || 8.30 || 9.80 || _.__ || _.__ || _.__
+
! Mode !! Capacity !! Vertical !! Horizontal !! Stabilizer
 +
! Stock !! Upgraded !! Full !! Expert !! Aced
 +
! Stock !! Full !! Expert !! Aced
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="4" | Reloading rate (seconds)
+
! ''Arcade''
 +
| rowspan="2" | 84 || rowspan="2" | -10°/+20° || rowspan="2" | ±180° || rowspan="2" | N/A || 13.3 || 18.4 || 22.4 || 24.8 || 26.4 || rowspan="2" | 4.81 || rowspan="2" | 4.25 || rowspan="2" | 3.92 || rowspan="2" | 3.70
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="1" style="width:4em" |Stock
+
! ''Realistic''
! colspan="1" style="width:4em" |Prior + Full crew
+
| 8.3 || 9.8 || 11.9 || 13.2 || 14.0
! colspan="1" style="width:4em" |Prior + Expert qualif.
 
! colspan="1" style="width:4em" |Prior + Ace qualif.
 
|-
 
| 4.80 || _.__ || _.__ || _.__
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
  
===== Ammunition =====
+
==== Ammunition ====
 +
* '''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. It also offers the best penetration at very long range (over 1500 m), combat at this range is however not recommended.
 +
* '''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. It should be used only at close range, at medium range, PzGr 40 is better.
 +
* '''PzGr 40''' - Armour Piercing Composite Rigid shell - this variation of APCR is lighter, slightly faster and offers the best penetration. Use it against heavily armoured tanks like KV-1 (If you can't flank them). However, don't expect it to cause any real damage upon penetration, its 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.
 +
 
 
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
 
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
 
! colspan="8" | Penetration statistics
 
! colspan="8" | Penetration statistics
 
|-
 
|-
 
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
 
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
! rowspan="2" class="unsortable" | Type of <br /> warhead
+
! rowspan="2" | Type of<br>warhead
! colspan="6" | '''Penetration''' '''''in mm''''' '''@ 90°'''
+
! colspan="6" | '''Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)'''
 
|-
 
|-
! 10m
+
! 10 m !! 100 m !! 500 m !! 1,000 m !! 1,500 m !! 2,000 m
! 100m
 
! 500m
 
! 1000m
 
! 1500m
 
! 2000m
 
 
|-
 
|-
| PzGr 39 || APC || 97 || 96 || 79 || 62 || 49 || 38
+
| PzGr 39 || APC || 106 || 102 || 85 || 68 || 54 || 43
 
|-
 
|-
| Sprgr. 38  || HE || 4 || 4 || 4 || 4 || 4 || 4
+
| PzGr 40/1 || APCR || 130 || 121 || 90 || 62 || 43 || 29
 
|-
 
|-
| PzGr 40/1 || APCR || 128 || 126 || 91 || 61 || 40 || 27
+
| PzGr 40 || APCR || 137 || 126 || 88 || 56 || 36 || 23
 
|-
 
|-
| PzGr 40 || APCR || 150 || 149 || 108 || 72 || 48 || 32
+
| Sprgr. 38 || HE || 5 || 5 || 5 || 5 || 5 || 5
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
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|-
 
|-
 
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
 
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
! rowspan="2" class="unsortable" | Type of <br /> warhead
+
! rowspan="2" | Type of<br>warhead
! rowspan="2" |Velocity <br /> in m/s
+
! rowspan="2" | Velocity<br>(m/s)
! rowspan="2" |Projectile<br />Mass in kg
+
! rowspan="2" | Projectile<br>Mass (kg)
! rowspan="2" | ''Fuse delay''
+
! rowspan="2" | Fuse delay<br>(m)
''in m:''
+
! rowspan="2" | Fuse sensitivity<br>(mm)
! rowspan="2" | ''Fuse sensitivity''
+
! rowspan="2" | Explosive Mass<br>(TNT equivalent) (g)
''in mm:''
+
! colspan="3" | Ricochet
! rowspan="2" | ''Explosive Mass in g<br /> (TNT equivalent):''
 
! rowspan="2" | ''Normalization At 30° <br> from horizontal:''
 
! colspan="3" | ''Ricochet:''
 
 
|-
 
|-
! 0%
+
! 0% !! 50% !! 100%
! 50%
 
! 100%
 
 
|-
 
|-
| PzGr 39 || APC || 835 || 2.1 || 1.2 || 25 || 45.9 || -1° || 48° || 63° || 71°
+
| PzGr 39 || APC || 835 || 2.05 || 1.2 || 9 || 28.9 || 48° || 63° || 71°
 
|-
 
|-
| Sprgr. 38  || HE || 550 || 1.8 || 2.0 || 0.1 || 170 || +0° || 79° || 80° || 81°
+
| PzGr 40/1 || APCR || 1,130 || 1.07 || N/A || N/A || N/A || 66° || 70° || 72°
 
|-
 
|-
| PzGr 40/1 || APCR || 1140 || 1.1 || N/A || N/A || N/A || +1.5° || 66° || 70° || 72°
+
| PzGr 40 || APCR || 1,180 || 0.9 || N/A || N/A || N/A || 66° || 70° || 72°
 
|-
 
|-
| PzGr 40 || APCR || 1180 || 0.93 || N/A || N/A || N/A || +1.5° || 66° || 70° || 72°
+
| Sprgr. 38 || HE || 550 || 1.81 || 2 || 0.1 || 170 || 79° || 80° || 81°
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
  
*'''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 most damage, because of its explosive filler. It also offers best penetration at very long range (over 1500 m), combat at this range is however not recommended.
+
==== [[Ammo racks]] ====
*'''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. It should be used only at close range, at medium range, PzGr 40 is better.
+
[[File:Ammoracks_Pz.IIIJ1.png|right|thumbnail|[[Ammo racks|Ammo racks]] of the Panzer III J1 (identical).]]
*'''PzGr 40''' - Armour Piercing Composite Rigid shell - this variation of APCR is lighter, slightly faster and offers best penetration. Use it against heavily armoured tanks like KV-1 (If you can't flank them). However, don't expect it to cause any real damage upon penetration, its 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.
+
<!-- '''Last updated: 1.101.1.14''' -->
* '''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.
+
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
 
===== [[Ammo Racks|Ammo racks]] =====
 
[[File:Ammoracks_Pz3J1.png|right|thumbnail|[[Ammo Racks|Ammo racks]] of the Panzer III J1 (identical).]]
 
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center"
 
 
|-
 
|-
! class="wikitable unsortable" |Full<br /> ammo
+
! Full<br>ammo
! class="wikitable unsortable" |1st<br /> rack empty
+
! 1st<br>rack empty
! class="wikitable unsortable" |2nd<br /> rack empty
+
! 2nd<br>rack empty
! class="wikitable unsortable" |3rd<br /> rack empty
+
! 3rd<br>rack empty
! class="wikitable unsortable" |4th<br /> rack empty
+
! 4th<br>rack empty
! class="wikitable unsortable" |Visual<br /> discrepancy
+
! Visual<br>discrepancy
 
|-
 
|-
||'''92''' || 70&nbsp;''(+22)'' || 47&nbsp;''(+45)'' || 24&nbsp;''(+68)'' || 1&nbsp;''(+91)'' || style="text-align:left" | no
+
| '''84''' || 70&nbsp;''(+14)'' || 62&nbsp;''(+22)'' || 34&nbsp;''(+50)'' || 1&nbsp;''(+83)'' || No
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
 +
 +
Turret empty: 62&nbsp;''(+22)''
  
 
=== Machine guns ===
 
=== Machine guns ===
<!--''Offensive and anti-aircraft machine guns not only allow you to fight some aircraft, but also are effective against lightly armoured vehicles. Evaluate machine guns and give recommendations on its use.''-->
+
{{Specs-Tank-Weapon|2}}
{{main|MG 34 (7.92 mm)}}
+
<!-- ''Offensive and anti-aircraft machine guns not only allow you to fight some aircraft but also are effective against lightly armoured vehicles. Evaluate machine guns and give recommendations on its use.'' -->
 +
{{main|MG34 (7.92 mm)}}
  
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
+
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center" width="50%"
|-
 
! colspan="7" | [[MG 34 (7.92 mm)|7.92 mm MG 34]]
 
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="7" | ''Coaxial mount''
+
! colspan="5" | [[MG34 (7.92 mm)|7.92 mm MG34]]
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="4" rowspan="1" style="width:5em" |Capacity (Belt capacity)
+
! Mount !! Capacity (Belt) !! Fire rate !! Vertical !! Horizontal
! rowspan="1" | Fire rate <br> (shots/minute)
 
! rowspan="1" | Vertical <br> guidance
 
! rowspan="1" | Horizontal <br> guidance
 
 
|-
 
|-
| colspan="4" | 3,750 (150) || 900 || N/A || N/A
+
| Coaxial || 3,750 (150) || 900 || N/A || N/A
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
  
== Usage in the battles ==
+
== Usage in battles ==
<!--''Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).''-->
+
<!-- ''Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but instead give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).'' -->
This tank is very versatile as it can tank frontally, is good at flanking, and features a rapid fire gun. This tank is outclassed when it is forced into long range engagements due to its mediocre penetration. One should use this tank as a flanker whenever possible, using its good speed to reach good positions. When the tank is forced into frontal engagements, it can still hold its own due to its good frontal armour and high penetration APCR at short-medium range. This tank is strong in hull-down locations due to its strong frontal turret armour.
+
This tank is very versatile as it can do head on engagements, it's good at flanking, and features a rapid-firing 50 mm gun with excellent penetration capability compared to the other nations' medium tanks at similar battle rating. When it comes to the tanks survivability it's best preferred to keep a reasonable distance to the enemy target to keep the enemies gun out of a solid penetration range. The additional 20 mm frontal plate on the Panzer III L version makes its survivability much higher at long range combat compared to the older J1 version.
 +
 
 +
The box shaped armour with no angle makes it an easy target to penetrate so be advised to angle the frontal armour or go full throttle and try to flank the enemy. The Pz III L got a decent turret rotation in case it is forced into a close quarters battle with an enemy tank, but keep in mind that distance with the tank is preferable. Though it can take on most tanks in a head on battle and distance battles makes it a very versatile tank to use in most kinds of situations one will happen to get into when playing with it.
 +
 
 +
The Panzer III L's long 50 mm cannon is no laughing matter, with its high rate of fire it can be deadly to enemy opponent if it gets the first shot, with a reliable gun that can corner most enemy tanks at 2.0-4.0 BR range. It will penetrate most enemy tanks, though there are some that require more careful aiming in order to be successful, mostly tanks like [[M4 Sherman (Family)|M4 Shermans]], [[M10 (Family)|M10/Achilles]], [[T-34 (Family)|T-34s]], [[ARL-44 (ACL-1)]], [[KV-1 (Family)|KV-1s]] and [[Churchill (Family)|Churchills]]. Angled armoured tanks like the M4, M10/Achilles, T-34 can possess a certain difficult reliability for the 50 mm gun to penetrate them with ease. Churchill have no angled armour but can still pose a threat to the tank with its heavier armour compared to the medium and light tanks. ARL-44 (ACL-1) and the KV-1 get both heavy and angled armour and will be a tricky opponent to face for the Panzer III's 50 mm gun but they still are not impossible opponents to defeat.
 +
 
 +
With the speed of the Panzer III, it can outmanoeuvre heavier tanks with ease and flank around them for an easier killing shot if it experiences problems with the enemy frontal armour. It might not be as fast as a light tank, but a top speed of 53 km/h (33 mph) makes the second fastest medium tank at its battle rating. With speed as excellent on this fast medium tank, flanking will not be a problem for it to do.
  
* US M4 Shermans have too strong frontal armour for the L/60 gun to be penetrated reliably, especially the HVSS, which is almost invincible to it. They all outgun you as well. Flanking them is advised.
+
* US M4 Shermans have decent strong frontal armour but with angle increasing its survivability against the L/60 gun to be penetrated reliably, especially the HVSS versions are tricky opponents if not knowing how to aim. In close combat the Sherman has the advantage over the Panzer III with its 75 mm gun and angled armour.
* All mentioned USSR tanks have almost impenetrable hull armour for the L/60, and can kill you with 1 well aimed shot. Avoiding direct confrontation is needed. Leave them to your better armed allies, try to flank them, or aim for weakspots. Use some range to increase effectiveness of your own armour.
+
* All mentioned USSR tanks have tricky hull armour and can be impenetrable for the L/60, as well as being able to destroy the Panzer III with one well-aimed shot. Avoiding direct confrontation is logical against this kind of enemy. Leave them to your better-armed allies, try to flank them, or aim for weak spots. Use some range to increase the effectiveness of your own armour.
* Pz. IVs and StuG outgun you at all ranges, you can exchange fire with them or flank them, but they are at advantage. StuG III G can be hard to penetrate without APCR ammo.
+
* Pz.IVs and StuGs outgun you at all ranges, you can exchange fire with them or flank them, but they are at an advantage with their long 75 mm cannons. StuG III G can be harder to penetrate.
  
 
=== Pros and cons ===
 
=== Pros and cons ===
<!--''Summarize and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in a bulleted list. Do not use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - they have a substitution in the form of softer "inadequate", "effective".''-->
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<!-- ''Summarise and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in a bulleted list. Try not to use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - use substitutions with softer forms such as "inadequate" and "effective".'' -->
 +
 
 
'''Pros:'''
 
'''Pros:'''
*Strong frontal armour.
+
 
*High hardness 20 mm plates offer more protection than the usual rolled homogeneous armour.
+
* Strong frontal armour
*Fast for a medium tank.
+
* High hardness 20 mm plates offer more protection than the usual rolled homogeneous armour
*Rapid fire gun, good for the sides and rear.
+
* Fast for a medium tank
*Shells travel fast, making it easier to aim at long distance.
+
* Rapid fire gun, good for the sides and rear
*Excellent gun depression.
+
* Shells travel fast, making it easier to aim at long distance
*Small and well located ammo racks - tank is very rarely destroyed by being ammoracked, unline Pz.IVs.
+
* Excellent gun depression
 +
* Small and well-located ammo racks - the tank is very rarely destroyed by being ammo racked, unlike Pz.IVs
 +
 
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''
*Gun is unreliable when facing certain tanks frontally (T-34s, [[KV-1 L-11|KV-1]], M4s) unless one aims for weakspots or uses PzGr40's (APCR).
+
 
*Gun is bad for long range combat.
+
* Gun is unreliable when facing certain tanks frontally (T-34s, [[KV-1 (L-11)|KV-1]], M4s) unless one aims for weak spots or uses the PzGr 40 (APCR) shell
*Armour isn't 70 mm thick at the entire front - machine gun port, and driver's viewport are weakspots.
+
* Gun is bad for long-range combat
*Turret ring is prone to get damaged, even by non-penetrating hits.
+
* Armour isn't 70 mm thick at the entire front - machine gun port and the driver's viewport are weak spots
*Large and vulnerable commander's cupola.
+
* Turret ring is prone to get damaged, even by non-penetrating hits
 +
* Large and vulnerable commander's cupola
  
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
<!--''Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the ground vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/historical reference" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/Name-vehicles/historical reference) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to include links to sources at the end of the article.''-->
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<!-- ''Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: <nowiki>https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History</nowiki>) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <code><nowiki><ref></ref></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <code><nowiki><references /></nowiki></code>. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under <code><nowiki>=== In-game description ===</nowiki></code>, also if applicable).'' -->
 
===Development===
 
===Development===
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 [[Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. C|Panzer IV]] took up in.  
+
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 [[Pz.IV C|Panzer IV]] took up in.
  
Damlier-Benz, Krupp, MAN, and Rheinmetall produced prototypes meeting the specifications and the Damlier-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 [[Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. E|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 combat effectiveness of the tank. Despite this rather advance 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 [[Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. F|StuG III]] variant).
+
Damlier-Benz, Krupp, MAN, and Rheinmetall produced prototypes meeting the specifications and the Damlier-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 [[Pz.III E|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 F|StuG III]] variant).
  
 
===Specifications===
 
===Specifications===
The '''Panzer III Ausf. L''' has the improved 50 mm KwK 39 as its main armament, giving it the firepower to go against the better Allied tanks [[T-34 1941|T-34]]s and [[Medium Tank M4 Sherman|M4 Shermans]]. The Panzer III Ausf. L featured the armour finalized on the [[Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J1|Ausf. J1]], with 50 mm of hull armour and offset armour on the front of the hull and turret that are 20 mm effective. 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.
+
The '''Panzer III Ausf. L''' has the improved 50 mm KwK 39 as its main armament, giving it the firepower to go against the better Allied tanks [[T-34 (1941)|T-34]]s and [[M4|M4 Shermans]]. The Panzer III Ausf. L featured the armour finalized on the [[Pz.III J1|Ausf. J1]], with 50 mm of hull armour and offset armour on the front of the hull and turret that is 20 mm effective. This armour also is applied 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===
 
===Combat usage===
Despite its newer aspects compared to older Panzer IIIs, the prevalence of newer German tanks such as the [[Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. H1|Tiger I]] and [[Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. D|Panther]] tanks, plus the establishment [[Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G|upgunned Panzer IVs]] made these more able to take on Allied tanks than the Panzer III. The Panzer III began slowly to be relegated to secondary roles such as training or anti-partisan activities. Nevertheless, the Panzer IIIs proved a versatile armoured platform in German service, as even though it was obsolete in late 1941, it was constantly upgraded with better guns, better protection, or modified completely to fit a different role more efficiently than its original. Even when phased out of service, its chassis was used as the basis of Germany's most lethal tank destroyer, the [[Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G|StuG III]].
+
Despite its newer aspects compared to older Panzer IIIs, the prevalence of newer German tanks such as the [[Tiger H1|Tiger I]] and [[Panther D|Panther]] tanks, plus the establishment [[Pz.IV G|upgunned Panzer IVs]] made these more able to take on Allied tanks than the Panzer III. The Panzer III began slowly to be relegated to secondary roles such as training or anti-partisan activities. Nevertheless, the Panzer IIIs proved a versatile armoured platform in German service, as even though it was obsolete in late 1941, it was constantly upgraded with better guns, better protection, or modified completely to fit a different role more efficiently than its original. Even when phased out of service, its chassis was used as the basis of Germany's most lethal tank destroyer, the [[StuG III G|StuG III]].
 +
 
 +
The Panzer III at this time was given one more upgrade in its armour into the variant [[Pz.III M|Panzer III Ausf. M]], which featured the new ''Schürzen'' armour skirts.
 +
 
 +
=== In-game description ===
 +
Production of the Pz.Kpfw. III light tank, Ausf. L variant began in June 1942. For a few months prior to this date, the military had experimented with installing the turret from the Pz.Kpfw. IV on this tank. This allowed the use of the long-barreled 75 mm KwK43 tank gun. However, this test proved unsuccessful, and in the spring of 1942, the armament department ordered the production of a variant equipped with the 5 cm KwK39 L/60, but including all of the changes that had been made during the attempts to install the turret from the Pz.Kpfw. IV. Because of this, the weapon mantlet, which also served as the weapon's counterweight, had to be reinforced.
 +
 
 +
An additional 20 mm front armor plate became standard design. Pz. III Ausf. L tanks received 57 mm of frontal turret armor, along with the installation of a torsion counterbalance for the gun instead of a coil spring. This resulted in a decrease of the ammunition carried for the gun. This variant received a 20 mm spaced armor plate in the forward part of the hull's superstructure. A coolant transfer system was installed which could move warm coolant fluid from one tank to another, making the cold tank easier to start in winter conditions.
 +
 
 +
Later, the track adjusters were upgraded, and the smoke bombs were relocated to a position under the rear of the tank. Additional protection was achieved by removing the observation slits from the sides of the turret. The tank's operational weight was 22,700 kilograms.
 +
 
 +
During the second half of 1942, the companies Alkett, Henschel, MAN, MNH, MIAG and Wengmann built 653 Ausf. L tanks.
  
The Panzer III at this time was given one more upgrade in its armour into the variant [[Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. M|Panzer III Ausf. M]], which featured the new ''Schürzen'' armour skirts.
+
These tanks were used to replace the losses which had been incurred by the army. They were widely used in Africa and on the Eastern Front from 1942 to 1943. In the summer of 1943, before the Battle of Kursk, the tank was equipped with 5 mm Schutzen side skirts around the hull and turret to protect it from anti-tank and hollow-charge projectiles.
  
 
== Media ==
 
== Media ==
<!--''An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.''-->
+
<!-- ''Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.'' -->
[https://live.warthunder.com/feed/camouflages/?q=%23Pz_iii_l '''Skins''' and '''camouflages''' for the "Panzer III L" from live.warthunder.com.]
 
  
===Sights===
+
;Skins
 +
* [https://live.warthunder.com/feed/camouflages/?vehicleCountry=germany&vehicleType=tank&vehicleClass=medium_tank&vehicle=germ_pzkpfw_III_ausf_L Skins and camouflages for the {{PAGENAME}} from live.warthunder.com.]
 +
 
 +
;Sights
 
* [https://live.warthunder.com/post/675135/en/ 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]
 
* [https://live.warthunder.com/post/675135/en/ 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]
  
== Read also ==
+
;Videos
''Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example,''
+
{{Youtube-gallery|ihBm60qRdrg|'''{{PAGENAME}} Tank Review''' - ''NUSensei''}}
 +
 
 +
== 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;''
 
* ''reference to the series of the vehicles;''
 
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''
 
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''
''ETC.''
 
  
== Sources ==
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== External links ==
 
''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
 
''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
 +
* ''encyclopedia page on the tank;''
 
* ''other literature.''
 
* ''other literature.''
  
 
{{Germany medium tanks}}
 
{{Germany medium tanks}}

Latest revision as of 19:44, 29 December 2020

RANK 4 FRANCE
Somua SM PACK
germ_pzkpfw_iii_ausf_l.png
GarageImage Pz.III L.jpg
Pz.III L
AB RB SB
3.0 3.0 3.0
Class:
Research:11 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:38 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. L (Panzer III L) is a rank II German medium tank with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41.

The Ausf. L modification is intended to improve the protection of the J variant by mounting an additional 20 mm thick armour plates on the front of the hull and turret. While this certainly improve its resistance against HEAT and HE projectiles(which explode on impact, and damage only the first layer of armour), as well as classic AP, more than a single layer 70 mm would do, there are small "holes" in these armour plates - around the driver's viewport and machinegun port. Turret front armour itself also got increased from 50 to 57 mm.

The 5cm cannon on this tank is best suited to short-mid range combat, while engaging enemies from the sides and/or rear if at all possible. This gun can allow the tank to hold its own in frontal engagements against angled KV's and T34's, but only at short range where the PzGr40's and 40/1 still have impressive penetration. The gun fires very fast and is accurate even at long range. When fighting tanks that can be penetrated easily, one should use the default ammo as it does more damage than the APCR.

There are also attached tracks to lower plate of the vehicle, adding extra protection. All this extra armour adds about 1.5 tons, slightly slowing down the machine. Other properties of the vehicle remain unchanged.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull50 / 25 / 53
Turret50 / 30 / 30
Crew5 people
Visibility88 %

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Cupola)
  • High hardness rolled armour (Appliqué armour)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 50 + 20 mm (12°) Front plate
25 mm (85°), 50 mm (52°) Front glacis
50 mm (25°) Lower glacis
30 mm 50 mm 15 mm
Turret 57 mm + 20 mm Turret front
50 + 20 mm Gun mantlet
30 mm 30 mm 10 mm
Cupola 50 mm 10 mm

Notes:

  • It has 50 mm of armour at the front of the hull and 57 on the turret front, but there is an additional 20mm plate on the upper hull and at the front of the turret, increasing the effective armour to 70mm and 77mm respectively. When the armour is angled, this tank becomes very strong frontally.
  • The strong turret armour makes this tank powerful when hull-down, as many enemies will only be able to penetrate your cupola, only knocking out the commander. However, don't allow anyone to freely fire there, as some unlucky shot fired there can still occasionally cause severe damage.
  • The side and rear armour of the tank are thin, but it is possible to bounce shots from the side armour if it is angled steeply while side-scraping.
  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.

Panzer III L has pretty good frontal armour, but there are several weak spots - around the driver's viewport and machinegun port, and few small spots on the turret, where armour is only 50 mm thick and completely flat, aim there. Sides and rear are very thin, if you can target these areas (even under quite a high angle), they are penetrable very easily. If you have powerful enough gun, you can try to outgun it from afar, where its own 5 cm gun will struggle with penetration.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB60 / 12 km/h
RB and SB54 / 10 km/h
Number of gears6 forward
1 back
Weight22.5 t
Engine power
AB572 hp
RB and SB300 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB25.4 hp/t
RB and SB13.3 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 60 12 22.5 465 572 20.67 25.42
Realistic 54 10 265 300 11.78 13.33

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB1 100 → 1 422 Sl icon.png
RB1 500 → 1 939 Sl icon.png
SB1 780 → 2 301 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications10 320 Rp icon.png
23 450 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost750 Ge icon.png
Crew training11 000 Sl icon.png
Experts38 000 Sl icon.png
Aces210 Ge icon.png
Research Aces220 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
50 / 100 / 110 % Sl icon.png
124 / 124 / 124 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
420 Rp icon.png
Cost:
950 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank traks.png
Winterketten
Research:
420 Rp icon.png
Cost:
950 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
580 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 300 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
580 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 300 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
650 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
1 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 500 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
1 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 500 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
420 Rp icon.png
Cost:
950 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
580 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 300 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement ger.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
650 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
420 Rp icon.png
Cost:
950 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
50mm_kwk_38_39_APCR1_ammo_pack
Research:
420 Rp icon.png
Cost:
950 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
580 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 300 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
650 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
50mm_kwk_38_39_APCR2_ammo_pack
Research:
650 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
1 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 500 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Main armament

50 mm KwK39 cannon
Ammunition84 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
4.8 → 3.7 s
Vertical guidance-10° / 20°
Main article: KwK39 (50 mm)
50 mm KwK39 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 84 -10°/+20° ±180° N/A 13.3 18.4 22.4 24.8 26.4 4.81 4.25 3.92 3.70
Realistic 8.3 9.8 11.9 13.2 14.0

Ammunition

  • 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. It also offers the best penetration at very long range (over 1500 m), combat at this range is however not recommended.
  • 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. It should be used only at close range, at medium range, PzGr 40 is better.
  • PzGr 40 - Armour Piercing Composite Rigid shell - this variation of APCR is lighter, slightly faster and offers the best penetration. Use it against heavily armoured tanks like KV-1 (If you can't flank them). However, don't expect it to cause any real damage upon penetration, its 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.
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 39 APC 106 102 85 68 54 43
PzGr 40/1 APCR 130 121 90 62 43 29
PzGr 40 APCR 137 126 88 56 36 23
Sprgr. 38 HE 5 5 5 5 5 5
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 39 APC 835 2.05 1.2 9 28.9 48° 63° 71°
PzGr 40/1 APCR 1,130 1.07 N/A N/A N/A 66° 70° 72°
PzGr 40 APCR 1,180 0.9 N/A N/A N/A 66° 70° 72°
Sprgr. 38 HE 550 1.81 2 0.1 170 79° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Panzer III J1 (identical).
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
84 70 (+14) 62 (+22) 34 (+50) (+83) No

Turret empty: 62 (+22)

Machine guns

Ammunition3 750 rounds
Belt capacity150 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate900 shots/min
Main article: MG34 (7.92 mm)
7.92 mm MG34
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 3,750 (150) 900 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

This tank is very versatile as it can do head on engagements, it's good at flanking, and features a rapid-firing 50 mm gun with excellent penetration capability compared to the other nations' medium tanks at similar battle rating. When it comes to the tanks survivability it's best preferred to keep a reasonable distance to the enemy target to keep the enemies gun out of a solid penetration range. The additional 20 mm frontal plate on the Panzer III L version makes its survivability much higher at long range combat compared to the older J1 version.

The box shaped armour with no angle makes it an easy target to penetrate so be advised to angle the frontal armour or go full throttle and try to flank the enemy. The Pz III L got a decent turret rotation in case it is forced into a close quarters battle with an enemy tank, but keep in mind that distance with the tank is preferable. Though it can take on most tanks in a head on battle and distance battles makes it a very versatile tank to use in most kinds of situations one will happen to get into when playing with it.

The Panzer III L's long 50 mm cannon is no laughing matter, with its high rate of fire it can be deadly to enemy opponent if it gets the first shot, with a reliable gun that can corner most enemy tanks at 2.0-4.0 BR range. It will penetrate most enemy tanks, though there are some that require more careful aiming in order to be successful, mostly tanks like M4 Shermans, M10/Achilles, T-34s, ARL-44 (ACL-1), KV-1s and Churchills. Angled armoured tanks like the M4, M10/Achilles, T-34 can possess a certain difficult reliability for the 50 mm gun to penetrate them with ease. Churchill have no angled armour but can still pose a threat to the tank with its heavier armour compared to the medium and light tanks. ARL-44 (ACL-1) and the KV-1 get both heavy and angled armour and will be a tricky opponent to face for the Panzer III's 50 mm gun but they still are not impossible opponents to defeat.

With the speed of the Panzer III, it can outmanoeuvre heavier tanks with ease and flank around them for an easier killing shot if it experiences problems with the enemy frontal armour. It might not be as fast as a light tank, but a top speed of 53 km/h (33 mph) makes the second fastest medium tank at its battle rating. With speed as excellent on this fast medium tank, flanking will not be a problem for it to do.

  • US M4 Shermans have decent strong frontal armour but with angle increasing its survivability against the L/60 gun to be penetrated reliably, especially the HVSS versions are tricky opponents if not knowing how to aim. In close combat the Sherman has the advantage over the Panzer III with its 75 mm gun and angled armour.
  • All mentioned USSR tanks have tricky hull armour and can be impenetrable for the L/60, as well as being able to destroy the Panzer III with one well-aimed shot. Avoiding direct confrontation is logical against this kind of enemy. Leave them to your better-armed allies, try to flank them, or aim for weak spots. Use some range to increase the effectiveness of your own armour.
  • Pz.IVs and StuGs outgun you at all ranges, you can exchange fire with them or flank them, but they are at an advantage with their long 75 mm cannons. StuG III G can be harder to penetrate.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Strong frontal armour
  • High hardness 20 mm plates offer more protection than the usual rolled homogeneous armour
  • Fast for a medium tank
  • Rapid fire gun, good for the sides and rear
  • Shells travel fast, making it easier to aim at long distance
  • Excellent gun depression
  • Small and well-located ammo racks - the tank is very rarely destroyed by being ammo racked, unlike Pz.IVs

Cons:

  • Gun is unreliable when facing certain tanks frontally (T-34s, KV-1, M4s) unless one aims for weak spots or uses the PzGr 40 (APCR) shell
  • Gun is bad for long-range combat
  • Armour isn't 70 mm thick at the entire front - machine gun port and the driver's viewport are weak spots
  • Turret ring is prone to get damaged, even by non-penetrating hits
  • Large and vulnerable commander's cupola

History

Development

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.

Damlier-Benz, Krupp, MAN, and Rheinmetall produced prototypes meeting the specifications and the Damlier-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).

Specifications

The Panzer III Ausf. L has the improved 50 mm KwK 39 as its main armament, giving it the firepower to go against the better Allied tanks T-34s and M4 Shermans. The Panzer III Ausf. L featured the armour finalized on the Ausf. J1, with 50 mm of hull armour and offset armour on the front of the hull and turret that is 20 mm effective. This armour also is applied 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

Despite its newer aspects compared to older Panzer IIIs, the prevalence of newer German tanks such as the Tiger I and Panther tanks, plus the establishment upgunned Panzer IVs made these more able to take on Allied tanks than the Panzer III. The Panzer III began slowly to be relegated to secondary roles such as training or anti-partisan activities. Nevertheless, the Panzer IIIs proved a versatile armoured platform in German service, as even though it was obsolete in late 1941, it was constantly upgraded with better guns, better protection, or modified completely to fit a different role more efficiently than its original. Even when phased out of service, its chassis was used as the basis of Germany's most lethal tank destroyer, the StuG III.

The Panzer III at this time was given one more upgrade in its armour into the variant Panzer III Ausf. M, which featured the new Schürzen armour skirts.

In-game description

Production of the Pz.Kpfw. III light tank, Ausf. L variant began in June 1942. For a few months prior to this date, the military had experimented with installing the turret from the Pz.Kpfw. IV on this tank. This allowed the use of the long-barreled 75 mm KwK43 tank gun. However, this test proved unsuccessful, and in the spring of 1942, the armament department ordered the production of a variant equipped with the 5 cm KwK39 L/60, but including all of the changes that had been made during the attempts to install the turret from the Pz.Kpfw. IV. Because of this, the weapon mantlet, which also served as the weapon's counterweight, had to be reinforced.

An additional 20 mm front armor plate became standard design. Pz. III Ausf. L tanks received 57 mm of frontal turret armor, along with the installation of a torsion counterbalance for the gun instead of a coil spring. This resulted in a decrease of the ammunition carried for the gun. This variant received a 20 mm spaced armor plate in the forward part of the hull's superstructure. A coolant transfer system was installed which could move warm coolant fluid from one tank to another, making the cold tank easier to start in winter conditions.

Later, the track adjusters were upgraded, and the smoke bombs were relocated to a position under the rear of the tank. Additional protection was achieved by removing the observation slits from the sides of the turret. The tank's operational weight was 22,700 kilograms.

During the second half of 1942, the companies Alkett, Henschel, MAN, MNH, MIAG and Wengmann built 653 Ausf. L tanks.

These tanks were used to replace the losses which had been incurred by the army. They were widely used in Africa and on the Eastern Front from 1942 to 1943. In the summer of 1943, before the Battle of Kursk, the tank was equipped with 5 mm Schutzen side skirts around the hull and turret to protect it from anti-tank and hollow-charge projectiles.

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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;
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External links

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Germany medium tanks
  Nb.Fz.
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 2A5 · Leopard 2A6