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Manufacturer: Zvezda (Russia)
Paint: Unpainted, Unassembled, Kit do not contain paints and glue.
Condition: New in Box
Panzer III was the common name of a medium tank that was developed in the 1930s by Germany and was used extensively in World War II. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen III Sd Kfz. 141 (abbreviatedPzKpfw III) translating as "armoured fighting vehicle". It was intended to fight other armoured fighting vehicles and serve alongside the infantry-supportingPanzer IV; however, as the Germans faced the formidable T-34, stronger anti-tank guns were needed. Since the Panzer IV had a bigger turret ring, the role was reversed. The Panzer IV mounted the long barreled 7.5 cm KwK 40 gun and engaged in tank-to-tank battles. The Panzer III became obsolete in this role and for most purposes was supplanted by the Panzer IV. From 1942, the last version of Panzer III mounted the 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24, better suited for infantry support. Production of the Panzer III ended in 1943. However, the Panzer III's capable chassis provided hulls for the Sturmgeschütz III until the end of the war.On January 11, 1934, following specifications laid down by Heinz Guderian, the Army Weapons Department drew up plans for a medium tank with a maximum weight of 24,000 kilograms (53,000 lb) and a top speed of 35 kilometres per hour (21.75 mph). It was intended as the main tank of the German Panzer divisions, capable of engaging and destroying opposing tank forces.
Daimler-Benz, Krupp, MAN, and Rheinmetall all produced prototypes. Testing of these took place in 1936 and 1937, leading to the Daimler-Benz design being chosen for production. The first model of the Panzer III, the Ausf. A, came off the assembly line in May 1937, and a total of ten, two of which were unarmed, were produced in that year. Mass production of the Ausf. F version began in 1939.
Between 1937 and 1940, attempts were made to standardize parts betweenKrupp's Panzer IV and Daimler-Benz's Panzer III.
Much of the early development work on the Panzer III was a quest for a suitable suspension. Several varieties of leaf-spring suspensions were tried on Ausf. A through Ausf. D before the torsion-bar suspension of the Ausf. E was standardized. The Panzer III, along with the Soviet KV heavy tank, was one of the first tanks to use this suspension design.
A distinct feature of Panzer III, influenced by British Vickers tanks, was the three-man turret. This meant that commander was not distracted with either loader's or gunner's tasks and could fully concentrate on maintaining situational awareness. Most tanks of the time did not have this capability, providing the Panzer III with a potential combat advantage. For example the French Somua S-35, had only one-man turret crew, and the Soviet T-34 (originally) had two-men. The practical importance of this feature is signified by the fact that not only all the further German tank designs inherited it, but also later into the war, most of the Allied tanks' designs either quickly switched to the three-man turret, or were abandoned as obsolete.
The Panzer III, as opposed to Panzer IV, had no turret basket, merely a foot rest platform for the gunner.
The Panzer III was intended as the primary battle tank of the German forces. However, when it initially met the KV-1 and T-34 tanks it proved to be inferior in both armor and gun power. To meet the growing need to counter these tanks, the Panzer III was up-gunned with a longer, more powerful 50-millimetre (1.97 in) cannon and received more armour although this failed to effectively address the problem caused by the KV tank designs. As a result, production of self-propelled guns, as well as the up-gunning of the Panzer IV was initiated.
In 1942, the final version of the Panzer III, the Ausf. N, was created with a 75-millimetre (2.95 in) KwK 37 L/24 cannon, a low-velocity gun designed for anti-infantry and close-support work. For defensive purposes, the Ausf. N was equipped with rounds of hollow chargeammunition which could penetrate 70 to 100 millimetres (2.76 to 3.94 in) of armour depending on the round's variant but these were strictly used for self-defense.
The Japanese government allegedly bought two Panzer IIIs from their German allies during the war. Purportedly this was for reverse engineering purposes, since Japan put more emphasis on the development of new military aircraft and naval technology and relatively little on the development of new tanks. The vehicles apparently weren't delivered until 1943 however, by which time much of the Panzer III's technology had arguably already become obsolete.
Panzer III Ausf. H (auf Ausf. H Fahrgestell). Musée des Blindés, France (2006)
|Place of origin||Nazi Germany|
|Used by||Nazi Germany
Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Hungary
Independent State of Croatia
|Wars||World War II|
|Number built||5,774 (excluding StuG III)|
|Weight||23.0 tonnes (25.4 short tons)|
|Length||5.56 m (20 ft)|
|Width||2.90 m (9 ft 6 in)|
|Height||2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)|
|Crew||5 (commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator/bow machine-gunner)|
|Armor||5–70 mm (0.20–2.76 in)|
|1 × 3.7 cm KwK 36 Ausf. A-F
1 × 5 cm KwK 38 Ausf. F-J
1 × 5 cm KwK 39 Ausf. J¹-M
1 × 7.5 cm KwK 37 Ausf. N
|2-3 × 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34|
|Engine||12-cylinder Maybach HL 120 TRM
300 PS (296 hp, 220 kW)
|155 km (96 mi)|
|Speed||Road: 40 km/h (25 mph)
Off-road: 20 km/h (12 mph)
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