Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40 ausf H (SdKfz 138)

The Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40 ausf H (SdKfz 138) was the second version of the Marder III tank hunter and the first to be armed with a German gun. The first Marder III, the Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.62cm PAK 36(t), mounted a captured Soviet gun on the chassis of the Panzer 38(t) tank, and a total of 344 were built between April and October 1942.

Front view of 7.5cm PaK40/3 auf Panzerkampfwagen 38(t)
Front view of
7.5cm PaK40/3
auf
Panzerkampfwagen 38(t)
(Marder III)

In May 1942 the German 7.5cm PAK 40 anti-tank gun became available. Work began on mounting this new gun on the Pz.38(t) ausf H chassis. As with the earlier version this was done by removing the turret and the top plate of the superstructure and welding the cross-shaped gun mount to the sides, front and back of the superstructure.

As with the earlier version the new gun position was in the centre of the tank, with the engine at the rear. The two man gun-crew were protected by a sloped gun shield which was rather better designed than that on the SdKfz 139 and that gave the new vehicle a lower profile. The SdKfz 138 ausf H carried a crew of four - driver and radio operator/ hull gunner in the chassis and commander/ gunner and loader in the open gun compartment.

Side view of 7.5cm PaK40/3 auf Panzerkampfwagen 38(t)
Side view of 7.5cm PaK40/3 auf Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) (Marder III)

The first 33 Marder III SdKfz 138 ausf Hs were produced in November 1942. A total of 242 were produced between November 1942 and September 1943 (275 in some sources). A further 116 or 175 were produced by converting existing tanks during 1943, for a total of between 358 and 417 vehicles.

The ausf H was followed by the final and most numerous version of the Marder III, the Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40 ausf M.

The SdKfz 138 ausf H served in Tunisia and Italy in 1943, and on the Eastern Front where it was used by the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler and the 1st SS Panzer Division, as well as Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht units.

Names

Stats

Front-left view of 7.5cm PaK40/3 auf Panzerkampfwagen 38(t)
Front-left view of 7.5cm PaK40/3 auf Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) (Marder III)

Production: 242 as new, 116 or 175 conversions
Hull Length: 5.77m/ 18.9ft
Hull Width: 2.16m/ 7.08ft
Height: 2.51m/ 8.23
Crew: 4
Weight: 10.8 tons
Engine: Praga EPA/2
Max Speed: 35km/hr/ 21.7mph
Max Range: 240km/ 149 miles
Armament: One 7.5cm PaK 40/3 L/46 and one 7.92mm MG37(t)
Armour:

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Superstructure

50mm

15mm

Open

10mm

Hull

50mm

15mm

15mm

8mm

Gun shield

15mm

15mm

open

8mm

German Weapons of World War II, Stephen Hart . Covers a wide range of the weapons used by the Third Reich during the Second World War, from the pistol up to the battleship Tirpitz, and including a wide range of tanks, armoured vehicles, aircraft, artillery etc. All supported by a mix of full colour illustrations and contemporary photographs, giving an idea of vast range of weapons produced by the Germans during the war (Read Full Review)
cover cover cover

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 July 2013), Panzerjager 38(t) fur 7.5cm PAK 40 ausf H (SdKfz 138), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_panzerjager_38_sdkfz_138_ausf_H.html

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