Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945

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Panzer III

Panzerkampfwagen III




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Panzer III

History

The Panzer III or Panzerkampfwagen III or abbreviated to Pz.Kpfw. III Sd.Kfz. 141 When Poland was invaded on the 1st September 1939 Panzer III's were only in service in small numbers, at this time the Wehrmacht only had six armoured divisions, and all of which were engaged in the Polish campaign which only lasted 18 days, although the Panzer III only played a minimal role, but the tactics learned by general Heinz Guderian were to play major roles in the coming campaigns.
Development order for a 15 ton vehicle was issued by the ordnance department in 1935 and given to manufacturing firms M.A.N, Rheinmetall-Borsig, Krupp, Daimler-Benz, in 1936 prototype trials took place in which Daimler-Benz won the production order. Much of the early development work consisted of finding suitable suspension, and all through the different models the suspension was continually altered.
The Panzer III was intended to be the main battle tank of the Wehrmacht. However, once the Russian campaign had started and the German Army had encountered the Russian T-34 it soon became apparent that the Panzer III's armament and armour were vastly inferior to the Russian T-34

Gallery:

Panzer III Ausf. A Sd.Kfz. 141 picture 2
Panzer III Ausf. D Sd.Kfz. 141 picture 3
Panzer III Ausf. F Sd.Kfz. 141 picture 4
Panzer III Ausf. G Sd.Kfz. 141 picture 5
Panzer III Ausf. H Sd.Kfz. 141 picture 6
Panzer III Ausf. J Sd.Kfz. 141/1 picture 7

Sources:

German Military Vehicles.
ISBN-10: 087349783X

Armoured Fighting Vehicles of Germany World War II.
ISBN-10: 0214203077

Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World Two.
ISBN-10: 1854095188

For a complete list of sources
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