I am researching "phase out" of PzKwIII/37mm KwK

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Champagne Tiger
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I am researching "phase out" of PzKwIII/37mm KwK

Post by Champagne Tiger » 28 Mar 2021 15:55

I'm currently reading the unit history of 10th Pz Div, and, once again, this question came to mind: How many of the PzKw IIIs on the Russian Front in 1941 were still equipped with the 37mm main gun, instead of the 50mm short main gun? I'm aware of the effort to phase the 37mm main gun out, but, I've always wondered about just how many of the PzKw IIIs appeared on the Russian Front in 1941?

The unit history that I'm reading includes tank numbers but not whether the Pz IIIs are equipped with the 37mm or 50mm main gun.

Thanks!!

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Re: I am researching "phase out" of PzKwIII/37mm KwK

Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 28 Mar 2021 16:53

All of 10. Panzer-Division's Pz Kpfw IIIs on 22 June 1941 were armed with the 5 cm Kw K. You can see a full overview here: https://panzerworld.com/barbarossa-1941

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Champagne Tiger
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Re: I am researching "phase out" of PzKwIII/37mm KwK

Post by Champagne Tiger » 30 Mar 2021 15:27

Thanks. That is a very useful resource!

Sid Guttridge
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Re: I am researching "phase out" of PzKwIII/37mm KwK

Post by Sid Guttridge » 30 Mar 2021 16:38

Hi Guys,

As a matter of interest, were they phased out through natural attrition or by up-gunning?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: I am researching "phase out" of PzKwIII/37mm KwK

Post by Yoozername » 30 Mar 2021 17:37

Sid Guttridge wrote:
30 Mar 2021 16:38
Hi Guys,

As a matter of interest, were they phased out through natural attrition or by up-gunning?

Cheers,

Sid.
They did take higher losses, see bottom of page.

https://panzerworld.com/barbarossa-1941

Also, they would have the earlier 10 speed transmissions, in addition to the 37mm. The Germans dropped that tranny for good reasons. I can't see the repair troops prioritizing these Panzer III over others.

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Re: I am researching "phase out" of PzKwIII/37mm KwK

Post by yantaylor » 02 Apr 2021 20:38

Chamberlain and Doyle [German tanks of ww2], says that the German army still had 54 Mk III 3.7mm as late as September 1944.

Ian

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Re: I am researching "phase out" of PzKwIII/37mm KwK

Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 02 Apr 2021 23:57

yantaylor wrote:
02 Apr 2021 20:38
Chamberlain and Doyle [German tanks of ww2], says that the German army still had 54 Mk III 3.7mm as late as September 1944.

Ian
That was what was reported up until 1 October 1944, which was the last month where the 37 mm gun version was included in the production reports. This number was a calculated number, however, and hadn't been confirmed since October 1943. Between 1 October 1943 and 1 October 1944 there had not been any reported losses of the 37 mm gun version.

The production reports for 1 November included revised, confirmed stocks for 1 September 1944. It does not include the 37 mm gun version, but we can compare with the other variants:

1 September stock in 1 October report (calculated)
  • 3,7: 54
  • 5 kz: 381
  • 5 lg: 173
  • 7,5: 193
  • Total: 801
1 September stock in 1 November report (confirmed)
  • 3,7: ?
  • 5 kz: ?
  • 5 lg: ?
  • 7,5: ?
  • Total: 530
1 November stock in 1 November report (calculated)
  • 5 kz: 212
  • 5 lg: 123
  • 7,5: 199
  • Total: 534
We of course can't say how much the 37 mm gun version would have been adjusted by had it still been included in the report. If we compared with the numbers for the second-most obsolete version, with the short 50 mm gun, very few losses were reported between 1 October 1943 and 1 October 1944 (51 in total). These were frontline losses only, with no reported decrease due to re-built vehicles, etc. Nevertheless, the short 50 mm gun version number is the one that decreased the most when the number was revised.

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Re: I am researching "phase out" of PzKwIII/37mm KwK

Post by Yoozername » 03 Apr 2021 03:40

I think there were seven PD that were predominantly armed with 37 mm AFV. Not just Panzer III 37 mm. Not to derail the thread, but it would alos be interesting to see what was still on the books regarding these AFV.

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