Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf C

The Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf C was the third development version of the Panzer III, and featured another attempt to improve the suspension, the main weak point in the earlier designs. The Ausf B had carried its eight small road wheels in four pairs, suspended from two long leaf springs, with a pair of wheels at each end.

On the Ausf C the first and last pairs of wheels were carried on short lead springs, mounted parallel to the ground, while the second and third pairs of wheels were carried on one long leaf spring. While this did improve the suspension somewhat, the result was still not satisfactory, and the production version of the tank would feature a completely different system.

The Ausf C was also give a servo-operated clutch, improved steering and modified drive and idler wheels. The Ausf C joined the Panzer regiments during 1938, but like the earlier models was withdrawn from the front line in February 1940 because of its thin armour and unsatisfactory suspension. 

Names
Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf C
Sd Kfz 141
3a Serie Zugführerwagen/ 3a Serie ZW

Stats
Number produced: 15
Produced: 1937-January 1938
Hull Length: 5.85m/ 19ft 2in
Hull Width: 2.82m/ 9ft 3in
Height: 2.42m/ 7ft 11in
Crew: 5 (Commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator)
Weight: 16 tons
Engine: Maybach HL108TR V-12
Max Speed: 40km/hr/ 24mph
Max Range: 165km/ 102 miles
Armament: One 3.7cm KwK L/46.5, plus two 7.92mm MG 34 in turret and one in front of superstructure

Armour


Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Turret

15mm/ .6in

15mm/ .6in

15mm/ .6in

10mm/ .4in

Superstructure

15mm/ .6in

15mm/ .6in

15mm/ .6in

10mm/ .4in

Hull

15mm/ .6in

15mm/ .6in

15mm/ .6in

5mm/ .2in

Gun mantlet

15mm/ .6in

 

 

 

Panzerkampfwagen III Medium Tank 1936-44, Bryan Perrett. A good introduction for anyone interesting in the Panzer III, this book covers the development of the tank, the structure of the German panzer forces, and its military career, which saw the Panzer III go from being the Third Reich's main battle tank to being under-gunned and under-armoured [see more]
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 April 2008), Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf C, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_panzer_III_ausf_C.html

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