The Gotha G.III was a heavy bomber used by the Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Air Service) during World War I. It succeeded the G.II in production and differed primarily in the choice of powerplant. The eight-cylinder Mercedes D.IV, which had proven highly susceptible to crankshaft failure, was replaced by the new six-cylinder 190 kW (260 hp) Mercedes D.IVa engine. The G.III also had a strengthened fuselage with an extra 7.92 mm (.312 in) machine gun firing through a ventral trapdoor. The G.III was also the first bomber to have a tail gun with a potential 360 degree arc of fire.
Most of the 25 G.III aircraft produced were delivered to Kagohl 1, operating in the Balkans out of Hudova. Combat service of the G.III was limited but effective. Its most notable accomplishment came in September 1916, when a formation of G.III aircraft destroyed the railway bridge over the Danube River at Cernavodă, Romania. It also saw use by Kagohl 2 on the Western Front, operating from Freiburg. Following the delivery of the G.IIIs to this unit, its commander complained to Berlin about the performance of the aircraft, not because they were too slow, but because they were outrunning their escort fighters. In September 1917, all surviving aircraft were withdrawn from combat and relegated to training units.