Panzerkampfwagen III (3,7 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 141)
Ausführung A, B, C, D, E, F & G






The development of a Panzerkampfwagen - battle tank - of the 10 ton class, which should be armed with a 3.7 cm gun, was started in 1934 under the cover designation Zugführerwagen - platoon leader vehicle - (Z.W.). Daimler-Benz delievered the first testing chassis in in August 1935. Further two chassis followed a little time later. Serial production of this tank was started in late 1936.  The ten vehicles of the Ausführung A - version A - (1. Serie Z.W.) with a track drive assembly with five road wheels were manufactured between May and September 1937. The vehicle now designated Panzerkampfwagen III (3,7 cm) - battle tank III (3.7 cm) - (Sd. Kfz. 141) was officially introduced with A.H.M. 1939, Blatt 20 from 7th October 1939, No. 684.









Until late 1937, 15 vehicles of the Ausführung B (2. Serie Z.W.) with a track drive assembly with eight road wheels followed (5 of these vehicles were later converted to the 0-Serie Sturmgeschütz). 15 exemplars of the Ausführung C (3a. Serie Z.W.) and 25 of the Ausführung D (3b. Serie Z.W.) were made from December 1937 to September 1938. These vehicles also had a track drive assembly with eight road wheels. In October 1940, the last five vehicles with this eight road wheel chassis were made (3c. Serie Z.W. chassis with 2. Serie Z.W. superstructures and turrets which were left over from the conversion of the Stu. Gesch. 0-Serie). (Photo: German federal archive via Wikimedia Commons; License: Creative Commons BY-SA-3.0-gb)









At least with the 4. Serie Z.W. (or Z.W.38), the Panzerkampfwagen III received the final design of the track drive assembly with torsion bar suspension and six road wheels. Of the ordered 96 vehicles of the Ausführung E (4. Serie Z.W.), 435 vehicles of the Ausführung F (5. Serie Z.W.) and 600 vehicles of the Ausführung G (6. Serie Z.W.), 598 vehicles were finished with the 3,7 cm Kw.K.  from December 1938 to September 1940. The other ordered vehicles were ex factory armed with the more powerful 5 cm Kw.K. L/42. An exact differentiation between the series is not possible because different Ausführungen were made by different companies at the same time.






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