Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf F

The Panzerhampfwagen III Ausf F was the second mass-production version of the Panzer III and the first to be built in significant numbers. It was very similar to the Ausf E, and it was almost impossible to tell the two versions apart visually.

Panzer III ausf E or Ausf F in Norway
Panzer III ausf E
or Ausf F in Norway

Of the 435 Ausf Fs produced, just over 300 were armed with the same 3.7cm gun as earlier versions of the Panzer III, while 100 were built with the 5cm KwK L/42 and an external mantlet. Between August 1940 and 1942 many of the tanks originally built with the 3.7cm gun were rearmed with the 5cm gun, just as with the Ausf E.

The Ausf F began to reach the Panzer units late in 1939, and by the start of the campaign in the west a total of 348 Panzer IIIs were in service, most of them the Ausf F. The Panzer III Ausf F went on to serve in the Balkans, North Africa and in Russia. One is known to have been in action as late as June 1944.

Names
Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf F
Sd Kfz 141
5 Serie Zugführerwagen/ 5 Serie ZW

Stats
Number produced: 435
Produced: September 1939-July 1940
Hull Length: 5.38m/ 17ft 8in
Hull Width: 2.91m/ 9ft 7in
Height: 2.44m/ 8ft
Crew: 5 (Commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator)
Weight: 19.8 tons
Engine: Maybach HL120TR
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

30mm/ 1.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

12mm/ 0.5in

Superstructure

30mm/ 1.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

21mm/ 0.8in

17mm/ 0.66in

Hull

30mm/ 1.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

21mm/ 0.8in

16mm/ 0.62in

Gun mantlet

30mm/ 1.2in

 

 

 

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 F , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_panzer_III_ausf_F.html

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