Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40, ausf M (SdKfz 138, Marder III)

The Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40, ausf M (SdKfz 138) was the final and best version of the Marder III anti-tank vehicle to enter production. Like the Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40, ausf H it was armed with the German 7.5cm PaK 40 anti-tank gun, but this time used the Panzer 38(t) ausf M chassis, which had been designed for use with the Grille self-propelled 15cm artillery gun.  

Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40, ausf M (Marder III) from the Front
Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40,
ausf M (Marder III) from the Front

The ausf M differed from earlier versions of the Panzer 38(t) chassis in two main ways. First the engine was moved from the rear to the middle of the vehicle, allowing the gun platform to be at the back. Second the front of the hull was given a new single-piece glacis plate with 10mm armour sloped at 67 degrees.

The Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40, ausf M had a much improved gun compartment. This time the crew were protected on all four sides, but the shield armour was still only 10mm thick, so the vehicle was very vulnerable to enemy tanks or anti-tank guns.

The SdKfz 138 ausf M was the most numerous version of the Marder III family. A total of 975 were built between April 1943 and May 1944 (two thirds of them in 1943). The Marder III was then replaced with the far superior Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer, which carried its 7.5cm gun low in a redesigned superstructure and resembled a lighter version of the StuG.

The SdKfz 138 ausf M was produced in large enough numbers to serve on all fronts, so was found in Italy, on the Eastern Front and in France in 1944. 350 were still on the inventory on 1 February 1945, well after production had ended.

Alternative Names
7.5cm PaK 40/3 auf Pz.Kpfw.38(t) Marder III Ausf.M (Sd.Kfz.138)

Camouflaged Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40, ausf M (Marder III)
Camouflaged Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40, ausf M (Marder III)

Names

Stats
Production: 975
Hull Length: 4.95m/ 16.2ft
Hull Width: 2.15m /7.1ft
Height: 2.48m/ 8.14ft
Crew: 4
Weight: 10.5 tons
Engine: Praga AC
Max Speed: 42 km/hr/ 26 miles
Max Range: 190km/ 118 miles
Armament: One 7.5cm PaK 40/3, one 7.92mm MG 34

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Superstructure

10mm

10mm

10mm

8mm

Hull

15mm

15mm

10mm

10mm

German Weapons of World War II, Stephen Hart . Covers a wide range of the weapons used by the Third Reich during the Second World War, from the pistol up to the battleship Tirpitz, and including a wide range of tanks, armoured vehicles, aircraft, artillery etc. All supported by a mix of full colour illustrations and contemporary photographs, giving an idea of vast range of weapons produced by the Germans during the war (Read Full Review)
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 August 2013), Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40, ausf M (SdKfz 138, Marder III) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_panzerjager_38_sdkfz_138_ausf_M.html

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