The Pak 36 was a 3.7 cm calibre German anti-tank gun used during the Second World War. It was the main weapon of Wehrmacht infantry units until mid-1941. It was followed in this role by the 5 cm Pak 38 anti-tank gun, design of a horse-drawn,3.7 cm anti-tank gun by Rheinmetall commenced in 1924 and the first guns were issued in 1928. Re-designated the 3.7 cm Pak 35/36, it began to replace the 3.7 cm Pak L/45 in 1934 and it formed the basis for many other nations anti-tank guns during the first years of World War II. The KwK36 L/45 was the gun, but used as the main armament on several tanks. The Soviets used the Pak 36 carriage design for their 45 mm M1937 AT gun. In June 1941, Soviet tank forces consisted of 10,661 T-26,2,987 T-37/T-38/T-40/T-50s,59 T-35,442 T-28,7,659 BT,957 T-34, and 530 KVs for a combined total of approximately 23,295 tanks. By late 1941, the introduction of the T-34 on the Eastern Front made the Pak 36 obsolete. However, despite its continued impotence against the T-34, it remained the standard weapon for many units until 1942. The advantages of the Pak 36 were its, relative ease of handling and mobility, good quality optics/aiming devices, ease of concealment due to its small size, the Pak 36 began to be replaced by the new 5 cm Pak 38 in mid-1941. As it was replaced, many were removed from their carriages. The guns were passed off to the forces of Germanys allies fighting on the Eastern Front, such as the 3rd. The Pak 36 also served with the armies of Italy, Finland, Hungary, although the Pak 36 quickly became ineffectual in the European and Russian theatres, in China the gun was still viable as an effective anti-tank gun. It could destroy the Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go and Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks, for example, during the Battle of Taierzhuang, Chinese Pak 36s destroyed a good number of Japanese tanks. Pzgr Projectile weight,0.685 kg Muzzle velocity,745 m/s Pzgr 40 This was a type of ammunition, being lighter and with a higher muzzle velocity. Projectile weight,0.368 kg Muzzle velocity,1,020 m/s Penetration figures given for Pzgr 40 and an armoured plate 30 degrees from the horizontal. In 1943, the introduction of the Stielgranate 41 shaped charge meant that the Pak 36 could now penetrate most armour, the Pak 36s, together with the new shaped charges, were issued to Fallschirmjäger units and other lightly equipped troops. The guns low weight meant that it could be moved by hand
3.7 cm Pak 36
German soldiers with the 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun in Belgium, May 1940.
Stahlhelm-wearing Chinese soldiers deploying a Pak 36.