5 cm KwK 38

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The 5 cm KwK 38 L/42 (5 cm Kampfwagenkanone 38 L/42) was a German 50 mm calibre cannon used as the main armament of variants of the German SdKfz.141 Panzerkampfwagen III medium tank during the Second World War. There was no towed anti-tank gun equivalent.[1]

Ammunition[edit]

Average penetration performance established against rolled homogenous steel armour plate laid back at 30° from the vertical.[2]

PzGr (Armour Piercing)[edit]

  • Weight of projectile: 2.06 kg
  • Muzzle velocity: 685 m/s
100 m 500 m 1000 m 1500 m
55 mm 46 mm 36 mm 28 mm

PzGr. 39 (Armour-piercing, capped, ballistic cap)[edit]

  • Weight of projectile: 2.06 kg
  • Muzzle velocity: 685 m/s
100 m 500 m 1000 m 1500 m
60 mm 50 mm 42 mm 32 mm

PzGr. 40 (Armour-piercing, composite, rigid)[edit]

  • Weight of projectile: 0.925 kg
  • Muzzle velocity: 1050 m/s
100 m 500 m
94 mm 55 mm
Penetration figures (90 degrees) uses American and British 50% success criteria,
and allowing direct comparison to foreign gun performance.[3]
Gun type Ammunition type Muzzle velocity
(m/s)
Penetration (mm)
100 m 500 m 1000 m 1500 m 2000 m
5.0 cm KwK 38 L/42 Pzgr. 39 APCBC 685 m/s (2,250 ft/s) 73 59 45 34 26
5.0 cm KwK 38 L/42 Pzgr. 40 APCR 1,050 m/s (3,400 ft/s) 130 94 63 42 28

Vehicles mounted on[edit]

  • Panzerkampfwagen III (Sd. Kfz. 141) - Ausf. F to J (serial production), several earlier models were re-equipped with this gun.[1]
  • VK 20 series proposed replacement of the Panzer III and IV[4]

See also[edit]

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rottman, Gordon L. (2008). M3 Medium Tank Vs Panzer III: Kasserine Pass 1943. Osprey Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-84603-261-5. 
  2. ^ Ankerstjerne, Christian. "Armor Penetration Table". Panzerworld. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Bird, Lorrin Rexford; Livingston, Robert D. (2001). WWII Ballistics: Armor and Gunnery. Overmatch Press. p. 61. 
  4. ^ Jentz, Thomas; Doyle, Hilary. Germany's Panther Tank. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. p. 11. ISBN 0887408125.