5 cm KwK 39

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5 cm KwK 39/1 from a Sd. Kfz. 234/2 Schwerer Panzerspähwagen "Puma"

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.[1] 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and KV-1 tanks encountered on the Eastern Front, although it was only partially successful in its role, later being superseded by the 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/43.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.

History[edit]

It was developed as a variant of the 5 cm PaK 38 towed anti-tank gun.[2] 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[1] 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.

Ammunition[edit]

Average penetration performance established against rolled homogenous steel armor plate laid back at 30° from the vertical.[3]

Ammunition and penetration
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 - - -
5 cm Sprgr.Patr.38 (High explosive) [4]
  • 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[edit]

Aerial version[edit]

BK 5 heavy-caliber autocannon

See also[edit]

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rottman, Gordon L. (2008). M3 Medium Tank Vs Panzer III: Kasserine Pass 1943. Osprey Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-84603-261-5. 
  2. ^ Rottman, Gordon L. p.4-5
  3. ^ Ankerstjerne, Christian. "Armor Penetration Table". http://www.panzerworld.com/. 
  4. ^ "Germany's 50 mm Guns". http://www.wwiivehicles.com/. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 

External links[edit]