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"A Timely Purchase " Topic


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270 hits since 26 Sep 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2018 8:48 p.m. PST

"Soviet trials of the PzIII medium tank, purchased in the summer of 1940, are frequently discussed by military history enthusiasts. The conclusions that various authors make from these trials seem rather mixed. Let us try to figure out the real influence of the study of a PzIII Ausf.G tank purchased at the dawn of war using archive documents.


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The Red Army's Main Auto and Armour Directorate (GABTU) had nearly no information about the PzIII until the start of WWII. The reason for that was simple. Unlike the PzII and the PzI, German medium tanks were not available in large numbers. Various issues led to the first PzIII tanks being shown at a parade in Berlin only on April 20th, 1938. These were PzIII Ausf.A and PzIII Ausf.B tanks. Both variants, as well as the Ausf.C and Ausf.D that followed were built in very limited numbers.


The vehicle that was to be Germany's main tank was pursued by technical issues, chiefly with the suspension. After Porsche K.G. designed a torsion bar suspension, the Z.W.38 came to be. However, this tank did not go far from the initial concept. However, after a six month delay, the Z.W.38, later indexed PzIII Ausf.E, was put into production. Initially, the numbers were not high, and a rate of more than 20 tanks per month was only reached in August of 1939. In total, only 96 tanks of this type were built. Considering that the PzIII Ausf.D was the most numerous PzIII variant before that with only 30 tanks built, this was already an achievement…."
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