3,7cm PaK effectiveness against French tanks, 1940

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Hiryu-
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3,7cm PaK effectiveness against French tanks, 1940

Post by Hiryu- » 14 Mar 2021 17:40

Hello, how effective were the German 3,7cm AT guns against the French tanks, in particular the H35 and R35?
It's widely known that the S35 and B1bis resisted well to 3,7cm ammunition, but what about the lighter types that were the mainstay of the French tank forces?

Peasant
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Re: 3,7cm PaK effectiveness against French tanks, 1940

Post by Peasant » 21 Mar 2021 01:43

Hiryu- wrote:
14 Mar 2021 17:40
Hello, how effective were the German 3,7cm AT guns against the French tanks, in particular the H35 and R35?
It's widely known that the S35 and B1bis resisted well to 3,7cm ammunition, but what about the lighter types that were the mainstay of the French tank forces?
From what I know these tanks were mostly protected by cast armour 34-45mm thick. Assuming that cast armour is worth 90% thickness of RHA, the thinner parts can be defeated by the german 3.7cm ATG firing AP shell at ranges up to 500m, with a good hit on a part angled 30° or less. Considering the overall well sloped shape of their hull and turret, they might prove to be a difficult target for this gun, even at point blanc range.

Yoozername
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Re: 3,7cm PaK effectiveness against French tanks, 1940

Post by Yoozername » 21 Mar 2021 02:18

Generalkommando XI. Armeekorps
Ia Nr. 517/39 geh.

Subject : Shooting against the French R 35 tank

Aimed at (up to company level): 19. Pz.Div., 20. Div. (Mot), 1. Pz.Div., I./Flak 14, NA 51 , Ia, Ic


Shooting tests against a captured French R 35 tank have confirmed that this, despite its strong 40mm armor, can be easily pierced by our anti-tank weapons. This result is mainly due to the fact that its upper area and turret are armored with molded steel and only the sides of its bathtub with laminated steel.

The front of the R 35 at a distance of 600 meters and with an impact angle of 60 ° is pierced by the 3.7 cm ( 3.7 cm Pz.Gr. ) drilling grenade ; its turret at 350 meters; its sides at 100 meters. With advantageous impact angles the vehicle is also pierced at great distances (700 meters) by the 38 anti-tank rifle ( Panzerbuchse 38 ) and its front at a distance of 100 meters by the 2 cm ( 2 cm Pz.Gr.).

Especially effective is it to shoot the weapons with all the weapons against the turret doors as the impacts destroy the screws with which they are fixed and these are torn off.

The floor of the front and the chassis is very weakly armored (10 - 13 mm) which is why it is especially sensitive to the effects of mines.

It should be noted that the data included in section 1) as well as those included in the "French Army" manual delivered to the troops are based on impact angles of 60 °.

Shots against the tank with sS, SmK and SmK (H) ammunition see annex. (It has already been delivered to the troops by the 19.Pz.Div. up to company level).



On behalf of the General Command
The Chief of the General Staff

Hiryu-
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Location: France

Re: 3,7cm PaK effectiveness against French tanks, 1940

Post by Hiryu- » 11 Apr 2021 16:15

Any more information? I'm trying to reconcile the fact that on the one hand with 40mm of armor the R35/H35 were resistant to the German AT guns, but on the other hand the French lost 1,669 tanks to gunfire in may-june 1940.

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