5 cm KwK 39
The 5 cm KwK 39 L/60 (5 cm Kampfwagenkanone 39 L/60) was a German 50 mm caliber gun used during the Second World War, primarily as the main armament of later models of the German Panzerkampfwagen III tank from 1941 onwards. It was introduced to combat the well-armoured T-34 and KV-1 tanks encountered on the Eastern Front, although it was only partially successful in its role, later being superseded by the 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/43.
It was also mounted on the SdKfz 234/2 Puma armoured car.
It was developed as a variant of the 5 cm PaK 38 towed anti-tank gun. However, due to it not being sufficient against Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks, it was phased out in favour of shorter 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 guns that could fire more effective HE and HEAT rounds, while the new, much more capable 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/43 was mounted on the Panzer IV Ausf. F2 to fight the KV and T-34 tanks.
Average penetration performance established against rolled homogenous steel armor plate laid back at 30° from the vertical.
|Ammunition||Type||Projectile weight||Muzzle velocity||at 100 m||500 m||1000 m||1500 m||2000 m|
|PzGr||Armour-piercing||2.06 kg (4 lb 9 oz)||835 m/s (2,740 ft/s)||67 mm||57 mm||44 mm||34 mm||-|
|PzGr. 39||Armour-piercing, capped, ballistic cap||2.06 kg (4 lb 9 oz)||835 m/s (2,740 ft/s)||69 mm||59 mm||48 mm||37 mm||-|
|PzGr. 40||Armour-piercing, composite, rigid||0.9 kg (2 lb 0 oz)||1,180 m/s (3,900 ft/s)||130 mm||72 mm||38 mm||-||-|
|PzGr. 40/1||Armour-piercing, composite, rigid||1.06 kg (2 lb 5 oz)||1,130 m/s (3,700 ft/s)||116 mm||76 mm||-||-||-|
- Weight of projectile: 1.82 kg (4 lb 0 oz)
- Muzzle velocity: 550 m/s (1,800 ft/s)
- Stiel-Granate 42 (High-explosive anti-tank warhead)
- Penetration: 180 mm
Vehicles mounted on
- Panzerkampfwagen III (Sd. Kfz. 141/1) Ausf. J to M (serial production). Several earlier models were re-equipped with this gun.
- Sd. Kfz. 234/2 Schwerer Panzerspähwagen "Puma"
BK 5 heavy-caliber autocannon
Weapons of comparable role, performance and era
- Ordnance QF 6-pounder: British 57 mm tank gun
- 45 mm anti-tank gun M1937 (53-K): Soviet equivalent tank gun
- 37 mm Gun M3: US equivalent tank gun
- Rottman, Gordon L. (2008). M3 Medium Tank Vs Panzer III: Kasserine Pass 1943. Osprey Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-84603-261-5.
- Rottman, Gordon L. p.4-5
- Ankerstjerne, Christian. "Armor Penetration Table". http://www.panzerworld.com/.
- "Germany's 50 mm Guns". http://www.wwiivehicles.com/. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
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