Western Desert PzIII Armament question

Started by Heedless Horseman, 07 November 2021, 07:52:04 AM

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Heedless Horseman

07 November 2021, 07:52:04 AM Last Edit: 07 November 2021, 08:24:19 AM by Heedless Horseman
Were there any 37mm armed PzIIIs with DAK in the Western Desert?
On another forum, The 'New Millennium' 1/144 PzIII model (Desert camo) came op. It appears to be an early mark... initially with 37mm... although I believe some were up-gunned to short 50mm... think they would have the later mantlet?

Basically, I am sure that I have read from reliable sources, that NO 37mm armed PzIII were shipped to N Africa... but cannot find source. Some up-gunned vehicles, maybe?
This discussion as close as I can get:

Tanks Encyclopedia says 37mm were there but 'unclear'.
Wiki says 'small numbers'... but this may be going on Ausf designation, rather than actual gun.

Arty Obs or Command ,  with dummy gun may be possible?

Any clues, chaps?
(40 Yrs ago. I should have been an Angry Young Man... but wasn't.
Now... I am an Old B******! )  ;)

Lord Kermit of Birkenhead

The answer is not many and not for very long, they were refitted quickly. Exact numbers arn't known.
Lord Kermit of Birkenhead
Muppet of the year 2019, 2020 and 2021


The tanks often mistaken for 37mm armed variants were BefehlsPanzer III with dummy gun. Jentz PanzerTruppen vol.1 pg.158 clearly states they were all 5cm armed, mostly Ausf G with a few Ausf H.


From " Tank Battles in miniature"  Western Desert Campaign by Donald Featherstone (Blessed be his name) who was actually there includes the 37mm Pzlll in his equipment lists, but maked the following comments.

Hitler personally ordered that from August 1942 ,all Mark ll tanks being repaired in factories must be fitted with the 50mm
He also states that Some of the early 37mm Pz111 carried two machine  guns in the gun mantlet and were used exclusively by staff officers and observation purposes.
The cynics are right nine times out of ten. -Mencken, H. L.

Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well. - Robert Louis Stevenson


Jentz used German records to identify the tanks despatched to North Africa.  His 'Tank Combat in North Africa' p.34-38 identifies the 71 Pzkw III planned to ship to Africa of Pz-Rgt.5 (10 were lost in a ship fire) as being produced from July to October 1940 all with 5cm Kako L42 guns and being mainly Ausf G and some Ausf F and H. The regiment had 4 PzBefWg with dummy 3.7cm guns. The 71 Pzkw III of Pz-Rgt.8 were 51 Ausf H and 10 Ausf F or G. The regiment had 6 PzBefWg with dummy 3.7cm guns.


Heedless Horseman

So... no 37mm, then. Thanks for assistance!  :)
(40 Yrs ago. I should have been an Angry Young Man... but wasn't.
Now... I am an Old B******! )  ;)