Panzerbefehlswagen III Ausf H

The Panzerbefehlswagen III Ausf H was the third version of command tank based on the Panzer III, and was based on the standard Panzer III Ausf H. Like the earlier Ausf D1 and Ausf E, the Ausf H featured a dummy main gun, had its turret bolted in place and had a distinctive frame antenna on the rear deck. In early production the dummy gun resembled the 3.7cm gun of the early Panzer III, but later in the run a mock 5cm gun was used instead.

The Panzerbefehlswagen III Ausf H was produced in two batches. The first, for 145, was ordered in January 1939, although production did not get under way until November 1940! In October 1941, after the completion of the first batch, another thirty were ordered, delaying the production of the more heavily armed Panzerbefehlswagen III Ausf K.

The different Sd Kfz numbers refer to the radio equipment installed –
Sd Kfz 266: FuG6 (ultra short wave) and FuG2
Sd Kfz 267: FuG6 (ultra short wave) and FuG8 (medium wave)
Sd Kfz 268: FuG6 (ultra short wave) and FuG7 (ultra short wave)

The increased production of Panzerbefehlswagen meant that each Panzer detachment and regiment could be given a second command tank, while they also began to appear with the signals units and in smaller units. A total of 120 Panzerbefehlswagen IIIs were available at the start of Operation Barbarossa in the summer of 1941. The heavy losses suffered by the German tank forces meant that one year later only 75 remained. 

Names
Panzerbefehlswagen III Ausf H
266-268
3 Serie Zugführerwagen/ 3 Serie ZW

Stats
145 produced from November 1940-September 1941
30 produced from December 1941-January 1942
Hull Length: 5.4m/ 17ft 9in
Hull Width: 2.95m/ 9ft 8in
Height: 2.44m/ 8ft
Crew: 5
Weight: 21.8 tons
Engine: Maybach HL120TRM
Max Speed: 40km/hr/ 24mph
Max Range: 165km/ 102 miles
Armament: One 7.92mm MG 34 in turret

Armour


Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Turret

30mm/ 1.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

10mm/ 0.4in

Superstructure

30+30mm/ 2.4in

30mm/ 1.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

17mm/ 0.66in

Hull

30+30mm/ 2.4in

30mm/ 1.2in

30+30mm/ 2.4in

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 (25 April 2008), Panzerbefehlswagen III Ausf H , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_panzerbefehlswagen_III_ausf_H.html.html

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