Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf H

The Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf H had been intended to be the first version of the Panzer III to use the 5cm KwK gun when 759 were ordered in January 1939, but the use of that gun on the majority of Ausf Gs and the imminent arrival of the improved Ausf J meant that only 308 would be produced.

The biggest change made to the Ausf H was the addition of extra 30mm armour plates on the hull front and rear and on the superstructure front. This gave the Ausf H 60mm armour that was effectively immune to fire from the main anti-tank guns in use in 1941, but did increase the weight of the tank. To compensate for the extra weight the Ausf H used the 40cm wide tracks first used late in the production of the Ausf G. These wider tracks also required a redesign of the wheels. Stronger torsion bars were added at the same time, as was a new transmission. The Ausf H was used in the Balkans, Russia and North Africa.

Panzer III Ausf H or J, Libya 1942

Panzer III Ausf H or J,
Libya 1942

Names
Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf H
Sd Kfz 141
7 Serie Zugführerwagen/ 7 Serie ZW

Stats
Number produced: 308
Produced: October 1940-April 1941
Hull Length: 5.41m/ 17ft 9in
Hull Width: 2.95m/ 9ft 8in
Height: 2.44m/ 8ft
Crew: 5 (Commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator)
Weight: 21.8 tons
Engine: Maybach HL120TRM
Max Speed: 40km/hr/ 24mph
Max Range: 165km/ 102 miles
Armament: One 5cm KwK L/42, plus one 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

10mm/ 0.4in

Superstructure

60mm/ 2.4in

30mm/ 1.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

17mm/ 0.66in

Hull

60mm/ 2.4in

30mm/ 1.2in

60mm/ 2.4in

16mm/ 0.62in

Gun mantlet

37mm/ 1.45in

 

 

 

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 H , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_panzer_III_ausf_H.html

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