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No Panzer III in WW2

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  • #31
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    Ammunition, towing the weapon, having sufficient numbers per division / unit to be effectively where needed, etc.
    The 37mm in 1938 was more than enough gun to take on about 95% of the world's tanks. The small number of larger weapons available could deal with the rest when they appeared.
    Having your towed AT weapon and tank gun one in the same is a big advantage.
    Oh I agree. Which is why the initial decision to equip with the 37mm on the III was so sensible. It's a crap shoot that the Allied Heavies caused just the right amount of havoc to cause some critical mistakes in the French Campaign, namely stopping the Panzers when they were on the cusp of a more absolute victory. But I don't fault that on the 37mm gun.

    More what I was suggesting was that if the Germans went for a single chassis for their 'all purpose tank' that there might be a push to have an 'all-purpose gun'. 37mm, really even 47mm is too small for HE. Since the Germans don't have anything in the 60mm range in production, it would kind of fall to a 50mm round to be 'intermediate', giving penetration capability that a short 75mm gun would lack, without the weight of a long 75mm gun; while also having some HE capacity. Did some digging, and the Germans didn't even have anything in the naval field that could be adapted. A 52mm gun is it, but it's really not appreciably better than the 50mm for HE use.

    The argument would then be not that they need standardization with the Infantry, but an argument between having 3 platoons of tanks that are useless against infantry, and one platoon with what was considered at the time to be an optimal gun for the purpose....or having 4 platoons with an excellent anti-tank gun that has marginal HE performance. I'd never argue for the infantry to upgrade to the 50mm until it's absolutely necessary.

    If they went for a 'universal gun' on a 'universal tank', and that tank being the IV hull, I could forsee the 50mm gun being mounted from the get-go, and the 75mm gun either being mounted on a superstructured II chassis (doable), or as a limited production run of turrets for the IV. In the events of the actual war, I think it would have been interesting, and probably worked out well for the Germans, if they had gone with the IV only, and it mounting the 50mm gun only. Would have had more tanks, they'd have been interchangeable in roles, which is good in a casualty-laden environment, and the role of taking on dug-in infantry in the fire support role could have been taken over by an assault gun mounting a 75mm gun on a 38t or PzII chassis (both chassis are similar in size, and the PzII managed to make a functional SPA with a 105mm gun, so using the 75mm infantry gun in a superstructure is perfectly doable).
    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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    • #32
      I remember that the L/24 could still penetrate 30+mm of armor (at least theoretically) The bulk of tanks 1939-1941 had less than that in every place except for the front.

      So literally, a full battalion of L/24s would be much more useful than a 3 companies of 50mm/37 mm + 1 company L/24.

      The 37 was known to be inadequate against soft targets.
      Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
      Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
      Barbarossa Derailed I & II
      Battle of Kalinin October 1941

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      • #33
        Well, was thinking of the 50mmL42, which did have superior AP performance to the 75mmL24.....
        Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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        • #34
          Also had access to the Skoda L/43 47mm.

          had a good HE round, and did [email protected] yards (homogeneous,30 degrees) and was lighter than the 50mm Pak 38

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          • #35
            Citadel, Gallop, and others with Panzer IV long instead of Panzer III Long would be a little more interesting.

            The final design of the Panzer V may have even been altered.
            Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
            Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
            Barbarossa Derailed I & II
            Battle of Kalinin October 1941

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            • #36
              I read a table that put the HE filler of the Panzer III's 50mm rounds at 0.5 pounds.

              Various German Panzer IV 75mm were 1.0 pounds to 1.9 pounds.
              Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
              Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
              Barbarossa Derailed I & II
              Battle of Kalinin October 1941

              Comment


              • #37
                No chance of a larger gun on the Pz.IV, if made main tank and without the turret size excuse, the Germans would have used the 5cm/L60 for AT work and its original gun in a different variant as a conpromise.

                Re the 75mm gun, the Germans did have such guns:

                achtungpanzer

                75cm-selbstfahrlafette-l408

                Why didnt they use it? When they saw the need for one the newer PaK40 was already there, so...

                In any case they would have been far better off come Barbarossa and they would have been able to field a 75mm tank force far faster.
                Last edited by JAG; 12 Apr 14, 19:20.
                "'Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

                - Steven Weinberg

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