Romanian Anti-Tank Weapons

Shell Types and Armour Penetration Capabilities

Romanian Anti-Tank Gunnery Data, Shell Types and Armour Penetration Capabilities.

Romania used a variety of Austrian, Czech, French, German, Italian, and captured Soviet equipment during the war. Small arms and certain guns were produced in Romania, under license, but most of the vehicles were imported from Czechoslovakia and Germany. The tank destroyer shown here is a T-60 Tacam, mounting a captured Soviet 76.2 mm L.54 ZIS-3 on the chassis of a Soviet T-60 light tank. The Romanian crew figures are old Airfix Afrikakorps soldiers. Tarps and netting stowed on the vehicle were made from tissue paper and gauze bandage. Similar versions of the Tacam were based on the Czech Lt. Vz. 35 light tank which was designated R-2 light tank in Romanian service. The vehicle was sprayed with a mixture of Tamiya acrylic paint, using 80 % XF-49 Khaki and 20 % XF-2 Flat White. We used the Jim Gordon technique on Weathering Small Scale AFVs.

The table lists armour penetration values for Romanian guns at 0 to 100 meters range and 0 degrees inclination of armour. Dates indicate the year when a particular shell type entered production, not necessarily the year of availability to combat units. New shell types would take several months to reach the troops at the front, some favoured units receiving the new shells more quickly than others. Andrew Mark Reid is the author of Panzergranate, a set of miniature wargame rules using carefully researched gunnery data to simulate armour penetration results.

Weapon Projectile Penetration
2 cm L.55 KwK 30/38 A.P.H.E. (Pz.Gr.) 24 mm
2 cm L.55 KwK 30/38 A.P. (Pz.Gr. 39) 31 mm
2 cm L.55 KwK 30/38 A.P.C.R. (Pz.Gr. 40) 54 mm
Mounted in Sd.Kfz. 222 Panzerspähwagen supplied by the Wehrmacht in 1944.
37 mm L.32.3 Skoda 70/37 BA Infantry Gun A.P. (Manganese Steel) 47 mm
The Skoda 70/37 infantry gun had a 70 mm L.11.4 gun barrel mounted on the carriage, and a spare 37 mm L.32.3 barrel which could be inserted into the larger barrel if anti-tank rounds had to be fired. The BA version of the gun had a central spike which was hammered into the ground to give the gun 360 degrees traverse.
37.2 mm L.40 Skoda A.3 A.P.H.E. (Pz.Gr. 34 (t)) 45 mm
37.2 mm L.40 Skoda A.3 A.P. (Pz.Gr. 39) 58 mm
37.2 mm L.40 Skoda A.3 A.P.C.R. (Pz.Gr. 40) 70 mm
Main armament of the LT vz. 35 light tank, designated R-2 light tank in Romanian service.
3.72 cm L.47 Skoda A.7 KwK (t) A.P.H.E. (Pz.Gr. 34 (t)) 50 mm
3.72 cm L.47 Skoda A.7 KwK (t) A.P. (Pz.Gr. 39) 69 mm
3.72 cm L.47 Skoda A.7 KwK (t) A.P.C.R. (Pz.Gr. 40) 84 mm
Mounted in 50 obsolete Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) supplied by the Wehrmacht in 1943.
47 mm L.35.8 Breda 47/32 M35 AT Gun (Italian) A.P. 64 mm
47 mm L.39.4 Böhler Anti-Tank Gun (Austrian) A.P. 71 mm
47 mm L.53 Puteaux Anti-Tank Gun (French) A.P. 95 mm
Romanian infantry divisions had only one anti-tank battery of six 47 mm anti-tank guns, which proved inadequate against Soviet T-34, and KV tanks.
7.5 cm L.24 StuK 37 & KwK 37 A.P.H.E. (K. Gr.rot. Pz.) 50 mm
7.5 cm L.24 StuK 37 & KwK 37 A.P. (Pz.Gr. 39) 57 mm
7.5 cm L.24 StuK 37 & KwK 37 A.P.C.R. (Pz.Gr. 40) 76 mm
7.5 cm L.24 StuK 37 & KwK 37 H.C. (Igr. 38 Hl/A) 90 mm
7.5 cm L.24 StuK 37 & KwK 37 H.C. (Igr. 38 Hl/B) 96 mm
7.5 cm L.24 StuK 37 & KwK 37 H.C. (Igr. 38 Hl/C) 128 mm
Mounted in Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. N, and Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. D support vehicles. Ten each of these were supplied by the Wehrmacht to strengthen the Romanian 1st Armoured Division, most of them were lost at Stalingrad in 1943.
7.5 cm L.36.3 PaK 97/38 (f) A.P. (Pz.Gr.) 90 mm
7.5 cm L.36.3 PaK 97/38 (f) A.P.C.R. (Pz.Gr. 40) 128 mm
Romanian anti-tank companies received six 7.5 cm L.36.3 PaK 97/38 (f) in October of 1942, in addition to their obsolete 47 mm anti-tank guns. The French army upgraded many of its old 75 mm Puteaux guns by adding pneumatic tires in the course of the 1938 and 1940 mobilization effort. These guns were designated M.1897/1938 and M.1897/1940 in French service. Captured weapons were fitted with a PaK 38 carriage and a T.R. breech by the Wehrmacht. If German A.P.C.R. rounds were later fired from this weapon, the recoil springing system had to have been strengthened to accept the increased recoil. Like its predecessor, the 7.5 cm PaK 50 (f), this upgraded version had no muzzle brake, although it may have been fitted with proper sights and other minor design improvement. The weapon was issued to Axis allies deployed on the eastern front. After 1942, the 7.5 cm L.36.3 PaK could not have been much use in combat.
75 mm L.36.6 Schneider M.1914 Field Gun A.P. 93 mm
7.5 cm L.46 PaK 40 A.P. (Pz.Gr. 39) 149 mm
7.5 cm L.46 PaK 40 A.P.C.R. (Pz.Gr. 40) 176 mm
Very few of these effective weapons were made available by the Wehrmacht, to counter Soviet T-34, and KV heavy tanks. Infantry and mountain divisions received a second anti-tank battery of six 7.5 cm PaK 40 in 1944. Equipment losses were replaced by Romanian 75 mm Resita anti-tank guns in 1945.
7.5 cm L.48 KwK 39 & PaK 39 A.P. (Pz.Gr. 39) 144 mm
7.5 cm L.48 KwK 39 & PaK 39 A.P.C.R. (Pz.Gr. 40) 172 mm
Mounted in the StuG III Ausf. G, and Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H.
75 mm L.48? Resita A.P. (Pz.Gr. 39) 144 mm
75 mm L.48? Resita A.P.C.R. (Pz.Gr. 40) 172 mm
Possibly a copy of the German 7.5 cm L.48 PaK 39 for reasons of logistics. German 7.5 cm A.P and A.P.C.R. shells were readily available in the theater of operation. These shells were used by all German 7.5 cm L.18, L.24, L.43, and L.48 guns, including those mounted in the StuG III.G, Pz.Kpfw. III.N, Pz.Kpfw. IV.D and Pz.Kpfw. IV.H which the Romanian army received from Germany in 1943 and 1944. Penetration values for the 75 mm Resita would be similar to the 7.5 cm PaK 39.
7.62 cm L.54 PaK 54 (r) A.P. (Pz.Gr.) 133 mm
7.62 cm L.54 PaK 54 (r) A.P.C.R. (Pz.Gr. 40) 193 mm
Russian guns, and large stocks of ammunition were captured during the campaign, and subsequently employed by Axis forces. The Romanian Army used the weapon to convert Czech R-2 Light Tanks, and captured Soviet T-60 Light Tanks to R-2 Tacam and T-60 Tacam (Tank Destroyers).

Romanian forces were not equipped well enough to withstand the onslaught of Soviet armoured formations deploying increasing numbers of sophisticated T-34 tanks against them. Some efforts were made to produce anti-tank weapons like the 75 mm Resita anti-tank gun locally, and to make use of captured Soviet equipment. After Stalingrad, advancing Soviet forces vigorously contested the possession of the battlefield, practically eliminating any opportunity for capture. In addition, mechanical breakdowns and battle damage would result in irretrievable equipment losses among Romanian forces. Faced with its own supply problems, the German Wehrmacht could spare only limited numbers of anti-tank guns, and some obsolete vehicles with which to rebuild Romanian division.

Andy Reid

Romanian Miniatures of World-War Two, 1939–1945