Pz.Bef.Wg.III Ausf.K & Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.K

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces. Hosted by Christian Ankerstjerne
PanzerModeler
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Pz.Bef.Wg.III Ausf.K & Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.K

Post by PanzerModeler » 27 Oct 2022 11:18

Hello all,

I would like to ask a little about both of these Panzer III variations. I'm currently looking into scratch building a 1/72 Pz.Bef.Wg.III Ausf.K using parts from some various kits, and possibly a Pz.Kpfw 3 K as well.

I understand that the original Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.K project was abandoned early on as unfeasible before any prototype production even got underway and that it would have been a Panzer III with a Panzer IV turret to mount the new long barrel 75mm gun. Any blueprints or official drawings that may exist would be of interest to me as well as any other information you can offer.

About the command tank version that was actually built I have a few questions. The location of the main gun seems as if it would be greatly restricting to movement inside the left half of the turret. Is anything known about the actual crew layout? Would it have continued using a full 5 man crew?

I noticed that it also seems to be lacking a coaxial machine gun. My understanding is that typically the command tank versions did not feature the hull mounted MG to make more room for radios and so on. Would the Ausf.K have received a hull MG to make up for the lost coaxial?

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brano
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Re: Pz.Bef.Wg.III Ausf.K & Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.K

Post by brano » 27 Oct 2022 15:30

The commander's Pz.IIIs had MP-Klappe (for MP 38/40 sub-machine) in the hull instead of kugelblende for MGs (including Ausf. K). It did not have a coaxial MG.

arminfreitag
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Re: Pz.Bef.Wg.III Ausf.K & Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.K

Post by arminfreitag » 27 Oct 2022 22:00

Hi PanzerModeler
the PzKpfw III Ausf K was a very short lived project. At a meeting on Dec. 15th 1941
Krupp was ordered to prepare drawings for the mounting of the Pz IV turret on the Pz III.
On Jan 15th 1942 they sent the drawings to the armour supplier, but on March 19th 1942
Krupp recorded that the OKH had decided not to produce the PzKpfw III Ausf K.
Attached you will find Hilary Doyle's drawing of Panzer Tracts 20/1 Paper Panzers.

As for the PzBefWg III Ausf K it had a crew of 5, commander, gunner, 2 radio operators and driver.
Attached some Ebay pictures.

Regards
Armin
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PanzerModeler
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Re: Pz.Bef.Wg.III Ausf.K & Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.K

Post by PanzerModeler » 28 Oct 2022 11:12

Thanks to you both for the information!

Interesting to see how early the Pz.Kpfw. Ausf.K project was scrapped. I'm sure they must have had their reasons, although in my mind the torsion bars on the III have better upgrade potential than the leaf springs on the IV.

About the command version that was produced, the complete and total lack of any mounted MG seems quite strange to me. I was aware the other variations had a pistol port in the hull instead of the usual MG position, but somehow I expected this to be reversed when they removed the turret mounted one.

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