German Panzer III Ausf. H Main Battle Tank (Sd.Kfz. 141/1)

German Panzer III Ausf. H Main Battle Tank

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

Technical Specifications

  • 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)

Bibliography

Historical Employment

  • German Army, January 1941 – December 1942

Possible Conversions

  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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German Panzer III