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"DAK Panzer III F?" Topic

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844 hits since 26 Apr 2008
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Comments or corrections?

Jerboa26 Apr 2008 7:15 a.m. PST

DAK Panzer III F – any info?

I'm quite sure they should have been shipped to Egypt / Libya by 1941, yet most pic captions mention the G and H.
Is there any data on the number of Panzer III L 50mm sent to what was to become the DAK?


aka Mikefoster26 Apr 2008 8:05 a.m. PST

I can not find any reference of them being sent to the North Africa Theater. All the references that I have of them after they were upgunned to the 50mm guns was that they were sent East for the invasion of the Soviet Union.

mandt226 Apr 2008 9:36 a.m. PST

My old Profile Pub, AFV #2 shows several pics of Gs in North Africa, and one photo described as a "F or G." According to Mitchum (Rommel's Desert War, Stein & Day) Pzkw IIIs at Crusader were equipped with the 50mm L42 gun, most likely F/Gs.

Mitchum indicates that Rommel had some of the newer H models in his arsenal just prior to his second offensive in January 42. He states that Rommel had 19 Pzkw III "Specials" at Gazala. According to AF #2 the Germans refit some of the H models with the 50mm L60 gun. So I would say that it's a good guess that the 19 Specials were the H model.

He also had four Pzkw IVs at Gazala, but the ammo for these had not arrived yet.

Hope this helps.

Jovian126 Apr 2008 10:00 a.m. PST

Ditto what Mandt said – they were mainly L's, but there were a few F/G models there as well. There are even pictures I've seen of the burned out F/G models.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP26 Apr 2008 12:36 p.m. PST

According to Jentz all IIIs initially shipped to North Africa mounted the 50L/42s. The first unit, Panzer Regiment 5 of 5th Leichte (Light) Division deployed for Operation Sonneblume with 61 Pz IIIs of which only a few were mentioned as Hs. His book does have a picture of an F from 6th Company of this regiment so at least some Fs. The majority of the IIIs were Gs. Panzer Regiment 8 of 15th Panzer followed and deployed with 71 IIIs of which the majority, according to Jentz, were Hs.

Jentz also references 76 III Ausf Ls shipped to North Africa in July and August of 42 and shows a picture of at least one of these. Also pictured are Ausf Js with the 50L60 so dont believe all the "specials" were upgunned Hs.

BEF Miniatures26 Apr 2008 2:19 p.m. PST

The Panzer III "specials" were the Ausf J with the 5cm KwK L/60, as it was one of these that the British captured, shipped home and examined. it was the extra length of the L/60 that earned the "Special" designation.

The Ausf E onwards were taken to North Africa.
The Ausf F was sporadically upgunned from the early 3.7 and 5cm Kwk L/42 to the 5cm KwK L/60, but only 435 were produced in total and most went to Russia. You could certainly use a few in the North African theatre, but they would not be "Specials", having the shorter 5cm gun.
The Ausf G was the first type to be altered to a tropical version, followed by the H, and J.
The L was the one designed with the tropical equipment as standard.

So anything from Ausf E onwards wouldbe found in North Africa, although Es, Fs and Gs would probably have reduced in numbers due to losses from action or the environment by El Alamein.

Jerboa27 Apr 2008 4:41 a.m. PST

Sorry for the mess, L50 meant in fact 50mm L42 gun, not the Panzer III L produced latter.

After Marc's suggestion I've checked Jentz. Though no Panzer III E / F are mentioned, there is a good picture of an F showing the underneath original 'panzer grey'.
So Panzer Regiment 5 had mostly Panzer III Gs, by 10 March 41, but at least a few Fs were there.
Latter Panzer Regiment 8 received mostly Pz III H, by April-May.
So we have Pz Reg 5 with mostly III G and Pz Reg 8 mostly III H, with a few scattered F (and maybe the odd E).
It seems all were fitted with the 5cm Kw.K L/42.


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