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The Pak 40 Anti-Tank Gun PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Boyd   
Sunday, 04 January 2009 14:50

The Pak 40 Anti-Tank Gun

Before the advent of the Second World War the Wehrmacht had issued contracts Krupp and Rheinmetall-Borsig to develop a 75mm anti-tank gun. Development of the weapon was slow as it was initially felt there was little need for a heavy, slow anti-tank gun. Experience in Russia however had shown that the current anti-tank weapons, namely the Pak 36 and Pak 38 did not have sufficient power to deal with the latest Russian tanks and so a more powerful weapon was required.

The 75mm project was therefore given higher priority and the result was the Pak 40. Production of the Pak 40 began at the beginning of 1942 and the first weapons were issued in the spring. Production of the Pak 40 was initially slow with only 1,360 being completed in 1942 but by 1943 and 1944 the numbers being built increased massively with over 7,000 in 1943 and just under 11,000 in 1944. This substantial increase in weapons being produced in 1944 did not however mean a large increase in the number of weapons in the hands of the army however, due to the massive losses in equipment experienced in 1944. For example, between January 1st and September 30th 1944 7,954 Pak40s were produced of which 7,060 were assigned, in the same period 6,640 guns were lost - in the final three months of the year a further 2,000 were lost.  

The Pak 40 was essentially an enlarged version of the Pak 38, this lead to an increase in firepower but the mobility seen in earlier German anti-tank weapons was lost, the losses posted above are a testament to the difficultly of moving the pak40, particularly in retreat. The Pak40 did however add much needed firepower to the German army and was capable of dealing with the majority of targets it faced. 

As with previous anti-tank guns armour piercing composite rigid ammunition was produced but due to tungsten supplies only around 50k of these were completed.

Pak 40  Anti-Tank Gun Statistics

 Total Length 

 cm

 Length of Gun

 370.2 cm

 Calibre

 7.5cm

 Elevation

 -6°, +22°

 Transverse

 65°

 Rate of fire  12-15
 Rifling   32grooves
 Telescope magnification  3x

 Weight in Action

 1425kg

Performance of the Pak 40 Anti-Tank Gun Ammunition

Ammunition

Weight of shot/shell

Complete Weight

Bursting Charge

Propellant Charge

Muzzle Velocity

Angle

Plate

100m

500 m

1000m 1500m

 2000m

Sprgr Patr 34

5.8kg

9.15kg

640gm

780gm

-

-

-

-

-

- -

-

Pzgr 39

6.8kg

12kg

16gm

2.75kg

792m/s

30

MQ

106

96

85 74

64

Pzgr 40

3.2kg

9.55kg

-

3.8kg

990m/s

30

MQ

143

120

97 77

-

Sprgr 38 H1/B 4.65kg 8kg kg 900gm 450m/s 30 MQ 70 70 - - -
Production of Pak 40 Anti-Tank Guns and Ammunition by year (Ammunition in thousands)
 19411942194319441945(Jan/Feb
Pak 40013607,33010,950372
AP Types0819.62,8201,75243
HE0475.21,3443,144220

Sources - Germany Artillery of World War Two, German Anti-Tank Guns

 

 

 

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