PAK 40 (Panzerabwehrkanone) 75mm antitankgun
First design dates back to 1939. When the Germans met the heavy T34 and KV tanks developement was given urgency. Full production started at the beginning of 1942 by Krupp and Rheinmetal factories.
The first guns arrrived at the front around november 1941, but in low quantities, early 1942 a few guns (approx. 50) were in action with the Totenkopf and other divisions.
At the end of the war over 20.000 units were made.
In 1943 most Antitank batteries of the panzer and panzergrenadierunits were equiped with this gun.Typically each batallion in a panzergrenadier regiment had 1 company with 9 guns and prime movers, specially in 42 and 43 the regiments kept their 50 mm PAK 38 too.
It fired the same standard APCB, HE, HL and APBC (pzrgr40 Tungsten) round as the Kwk 40 for tanks.
Several vehicles were equiped with this excellent gun like the Marder, the 234/4 armored car and the 251/22 Hanomag halftrack.
There was also a version for the Henschel B-129b-3 fighter/bomber of the Luftwaffe.
The guns pros were a low silhouet, good protection for the crew and a high rate of fire.
Drawback was its weight, it was pretty heavy to manhandle, especially through snow and mud.Without the mover close by crews had apretty hard task to get a gun into position in bad groundconditions.Specifications:
Length: 6.02 meters
Weight shell: 3.18 kg
Rate of fire: (ideal) 14 rds per minute. Under fighting conditions 6 to 8 rds with a good crew.
Elevation -5 to + 22 degrees.
Muzzle velocity: reports differ from 770 to 792 but 776 m/s is the average.
Effective combat range: 1.800 meters
Effective reach: 7.700 meters