308 tanks of this type were produced from October 1940 until April 1941. The vehicle mounted the medium velocity 5 cm L.42 KwK 38 tank gun in a newly designed turret. The gun mantlet now had 30 mm of armour. Additional 30 mm armour plates were bolted to the superstructure front, hull front and rear. The British 2 pdr. anti-tank gun had great difficulty penetrating the frontal armour of the Panzer III H. Increased armour protection raised the weight of the Panzer III Ausf. H to 21.8 tons, and the extra weight required an improved suspension system.
In preparation for Operation Sea Lion, the Invasion of Britain, some Panzer III tanks received deep wading equipment; they were designed Tauchpanzer III. In 1942 and 1943 surviving Panzer III Ausf. H and earlier variants were fitted with the more powerful 5 cm L.60 KwK 39 of the Panzer III Ausf. J, known as Mark III Special to the British.
Available Scale Model Kits
- Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. H (Eastern Front), 1:72 Admiral Toys AD72002
- Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. G/H, 15 mm Forged in Battle P-32
- Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. H
- Type: Main Battle Tank
- Fahrgestell-Nr.: 66001 – 66650
- Motor: 12-cylinder Maybach HL 120 TRM, with 197,4 kw (300 hp)
- Speed: 40 km/h on roads, 20 km/h cross-country
- Fuel Capacity: 320 l
- Cruising Range: 175 km on roads, 95 km cross-country
- Length: 5520 mm
- Width: 2950 mm
- Height: 2500 mm
- Weight: 21.800 kg
- Track: 2510 mm
- Track Width: 400 mm
- Armament: 5 cm L.42 KwK 38, Hull MG 34, Turret MG 34
- Armour Penetration at 0-100 m:
- 69 mm, using (A.P.) Panzergranate 39
- 115 mm, using (A.P.C.R.) Panzergranate 40
- Crew: Commander, Driver, Gunner, Loader, Radio Operator
- Production: October 1940 – April 1941 (308 units)
- Kühling, Axel; Krupp Grusonwerk. Panzer aus Magdeburg 1933–1945.
- Perrett, Bryan: Panzerkampfwagen III Medium Tank 1936–1944.
- Scutts, Jerry: Modelling the Panzer III.
- Spielberger, Walter J.: Panzer III & Its Variants
- German Army, January 1941 – December 1942
- Panzer III Ausf. H with 5 cm L.60 KwK 39
Panzer III Ausführung H served as a main battle tank in Europe and North Africa. Together with its earlier variants, Panzer III Ausf. H formed the backbone of the 1941–1942 armoured formations.