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7.5 cm Pak 40

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7.5 cm Panzerabwehrkanone 40
A Pak 40 75 mm anti-tank gun, displayed in the Museum of Military History, Vienna.
TypeAnti-tank gun
Place of originNazi Germany
Service history
In service1942–1945
Used byNazi Germany
Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Hungary[1]
Kingdom of Bulgaria
Norway (postwar)
Portugal (postwar)
WarsWorld War II
Vietnam War
Indonesian invasion of East Timor
Production history
DesignerRheinmetall-Borsig AG
ManufacturerRheinmetall-Borsig AG
Unit cost12,000 RM
No. built23,303[2]
Mass1,425 kg (3,142 lb)
in action[2]
Length6.2 m (20 ft 4 in)
Barrel length46 calibres: 3.45 m (11 ft 4 in)
Width2.08 m (6 ft 10 in)[3]
Height1.2 m (3 ft 11 in)[3]

ShellFixed QF 75×714mm R[3]
Caliber75 mm (2.95 inch)
Breechsemi-automatic horizontal sliding-block
CarriageSplit trail
Elevation−5° to +22°
Rate of fire14 rounds per minute
Effective firing range1,800 m (1,969 yd) direct fire
Maximum firing range7,678 m (8,397 yd) indirect HE shell

The 7.5 cm Pak 40 (7,5 cm Panzerabwehrkanone 40) was a German 75 millimetre anti-tank gun of the Second World War.

The gun was developed in 1939–1941 and entered service in 1942. With 23,303 examples produced, the Pak 40 formed the backbone of German anti-tank guns for the later part of World War II, mostly in towed form, but also on a number of self propelled artillery such as the Marder series of Panzerjäger.

A modified version of the gun designed specifically for vehicle-mounting was the 7.5 cm KwK 40, which differed primarily in using more compact ammunition, thereby allowing more rounds to be carried inside the vehicles. The KwK 40 armed many of the German mid-war tank and tank destroyer designs such as the Panzer IV, replacing the Pak 40 in the latter role.

The Pak 40 may be referred to as the 7.5/L46, referring to its calibre and the barrel's length in calibres. There were two versions of the KwK 40, which would be referred to as the 7.5/L43 or 7.5/L48.


Development of the Pak 40 began after reports of new Soviet tank designs began to reach Berlin in 1939. The German army was equipped with the 3.7cm Pak 36 at the time. A replacement 5 cm Pak 38 was still in testing at this point, but it appeared it would not be powerful enough to deal with these newer designs. Contracts were placed with Krupp and Rheinmetall to develop what was essentially a 7.5 cm version of the Pak 38. However, while the Pak 38 made extensive use of light alloys to reduce overall gun weight, these were now earmarked for aircraft production to supply the Luftwaffe. As a result, the Pak 40 used steel throughout its construction and was proportionally heavier than the 5 cm model. To simplify production, the Pak 38's curved gun shield was replaced by one using three flat plates.[4] A version called the 7.5 cm FK 7M59 was proposed towards the end of the war to fill a dual-purpose role of field gun and anti-tank gun. The carriage was modified to provide +35° of elevation which increased maximum range to 13,300 m (14,500 yd).[5] Another dual purpose variant was the 7.5 cm FK 7M85 which used the gun and recoil system of the Pak 40 on the carriage of the 10 cm le FH 18/40.[5]

The project was initially given low priority, but following the invasion of the USSR in 1941 and the appearance of heavily armoured Soviet tanks such as the T-34 and KV-1, it was given an increased priority. The first production guns were delivered in February 1942.[6] In April 1942, the Wehrmacht had 44 guns in service; by 1943, the Pak 40 formed the bulk of German anti-tank artillery.[citation needed]

Operational use[edit]

The Pak 40 was the standard German anti-tank gun until the end of the war, and was supplied by Germany to its allies. Some captured guns were used by the Soviet Red Army.

A Finnish army Pak 40 in firing position during the Continuation War

23,303 Pak 40s were produced, and about 3,500 more were used to arm tank destroyers. The unit manufacturing cost amounted to 2,200 man-hours at 12,000 RM.

A lighter version of the Pak 40 was used as the BK 7,5 automatic "weapon system" in the Henschel Hs 129B-3 and the Junkers Ju 88P-1 ground attack aircraft. This version of the Pak 40 was the heaviest of the Bordkanone series of heavy calibre aircraft guns, incorporating a twelve-round magazine. This version of the gun was also intended as a production fitment for a possible He 177A-3/R5 heavy bomber adaptation late in 1942, originally prototyped in the field with BK 5 cannons, themselves adapted from the 5 cm KwK 39 tank gun from the Panzer III.

During the second half of World War II, some Romanian anti-tank platoons each had three Pak 40 guns. These were used interchangeably with Romania's own 75 mm Reșița Model 1943 anti-tank gun.[7]


7,5 cm Pak 40 in Albania in 1943

The weapon was effective against almost every Allied tank until the end of the war, only struggling to penetrate heavier vehicles like the Russian IS tanks, the American M4A3E2 Sherman 'Jumbo' assault tank and M26 Pershing[a], and later variants of the British Churchill tank. The Pak 40 was much heavier than the Pak 38; its decreased mobility meant that it was difficult or even impossible to move without an artillery tractor on boggy ground.

The Pak 40 was first used in the USSR where it was needed to combat the newest Soviet tanks. It was designed to fire the same low-capacity APCBC, HE and HL projectiles that had been standardized for use in the long barrelled Kampfwagenkanone KwK 40 tank-mounted guns of the mid-war and later marks of the Panzer IV medium tank. In addition, there was an APCR shot (Panzergranate 40) for the Pak 40, a munition which - reliant on supplies of tungsten - eventually became very scarce.[b] According to the German Panzertruppen news journal, 5,000 APCR rounds were expected in Dec. 1942 as replenishment for the Winter offensive.[8]

The main differences amongst the rounds fired by 75 mm German guns were in the length and shape of the cartridge cases as well as the primers used. The 7.5 cm KwK 40 (75x495mm) used in tanks had a fixed cartridge case twice the length of that used by the 7.5 cm KwK 37, the short barrelled 75 mm used on earlier tanks, and the 7.5 cm Pak 40 cartridge was a third longer than that used by the KwK 40. The Pak 40 used a percussion primer, while the vehicle mounted 75 mm guns used electrical primers. Other than minor differences with the projectiles' driving bands, all German 75 mm guns used the same 75mm projectiles.

German Panzerjäger use a Pak 40 against Yugoslav partisans in Bosnia on 12 January 1944.

The longer cartridge case of the Pak 40 allowed a larger charge to be used and a higher velocity for the PzGr 39 armour-piercing capped ballistic cap round to be achieved. The muzzle velocity was about 790 m/s (2,600 ft/s) as opposed to 740 m/s (2,400 ft/s) for the KwK 40 L/43 and 750 m/s (2,500 ft/s) for the L/48. The only 75mm fighting vehicle gun in general use by Germany that possessed a longer barrel than the Pak 40, the 7.5 cm KwK 42 on the Panther tank, could achieve a higher muzzle velocity of 935 m/s (3,070 ft/s) using more propellant in a larger cartridge fixed to it for the KwK 42's use.

For unknown reasons, some 75 mm APCBC cartridges appear to have been produced with a charge that gave a muzzle velocity of about 770 m/s (2,500 ft/s). The first documented firing by the US of a Pak 40 recorded an average muzzle velocity of 776 m/s for its nine most instrumented firings.[9] Probably[citation needed] because of these results, period intelligence publications ("Handbook on German Military Forces") gave about 770 m/s as the Pak 40 APCBC muzzle velocity.[citation needed] Post-war publications corrected this.[10]

German sources differ; the Official Firing Table document for the 75 mm KwK 40, StuK 40 and the Pak 40 dated October, 1943, gives 770 m/s on one of the APCBC tables.[11]

General characteristics[edit]

Detailed view of the cannon breech.
German Pak 40 75 mm
Pak 40 seen from the rear
  • Caliber: 75 mm
  • Barrel length: L/46
  • Rifling: 32 grooves, right-hand increasing twist, 1/24 to 1/18.
  • Length with the carriage: 6.2 metres (20 ft 4 in)
  • Length: 3.70 metres (12 ft 1.7 in)
  • Width: 2.0 metres (6 ft 7 in)
  • Height: 1.25 metres (4 ft 1 in)
  • Weight (combat ready): 1,425 kilograms (3,142 lb)
  • Traverse: 65°
  • Elevation: -5° to + 22°
  • Rate of fire: 14 rounds per minute
  • Engagement range: 1,800 metres (5,906 ft)
  • Indirect range: 7,678 metres (25,190 ft) (HE shell)
  • Projectile weight: 3.18 to 6.8 kg (7 lb 0.2 oz to 14 lb 15.9 oz)


Panzergranate 39 (PzGr. 39)

An armour-piercing, capped, ballistic cap (APCBC) projectile with explosive filler and tracer.

  • Weight of projectile: 6.80 kg (15 lb 0 oz)
  • Muzzle velocity: 790 m/s
Panzergranate 40 (PzGr. 40)

An armour-piercing, composite rigid (APCR) projectile with a sub-calibre tungsten core.

  • Weight of projectile: 4.05 kg (8 lb 15 oz)
  • Muzzle velocity: 990 m/s
Panzergranate 38 HL/B (PzGr. 38 HL/B)

A high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) projectile with a shaped charge.

  • Weight of projectile: 4.57 kg
  • Muzzle velocity: 450 m/s
Penetration at 30 degrees from vertical[12]
Round 100 m 500 m 1000 m 1500 m
PzGr. 39 108 mm 96 mm 80 mm 64 mm
PzGr. 40 143 mm 120 mm 97 mm 77 mm
PzGr. 38 HL/B 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm
Penetration of armour 90 degrees incidence at 500 m[citation needed]
Round Muzzle velocity Penetration
Armour-piercing (PzGr. 39) 792 m/s 132 mm
APCR (PzGr. 40) 933 m/s 154 mm
HE 550 m/s n/a

Post-war use[edit]

After the war, the Pak 40 remained in service in several European armies, including Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Norway, Hungary and Romania. In 1955, the USSR supplied 33 captured guns to Austria. They were kept in service into the 1960s.[13] North Vietnam also received some during the Vietnam War.[14] Six ex-Portuguese Army Pak 40s divided into two artillery detachments were stationed in Dili during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975.[15]


Pak 40s are or have been held in several military museums, outside museums or free entrance open-air fields:

Country Place Location
 Australia Australian Armour & Artillery Museum, Cairns, Australia
 Belgium Atlantic Wall Open Air Museum, Raversijde Ostend
 Brazil Museu do Exp Curitiba, Brazil

Museu Conde de linhares || Rio de janeiro, Brazil

 Bulgaria National Museum of Military History Sofia, Bulgaria
 Bulgaria Monument to those who fell in the wars 2 pieces Byala, Bulgaria
 Canada Base Borden Military Museum Borden, Ontario
 Canada The Central Museum of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery Shilo, Manitoba
 Denmark Danish War Museum Copenhagen
 Finland Salpa Line Museum Miehikkälä, South Karelia
 Finland Bunker Museum Virolahti, South Karelia
 Finland Parola Tank Museum Parola, Kanta-Häme
 Finland Infantry Museum Mikkeli, Southern Savonia
 Finland Northern Brigade (Pohjan prikaati) memorial area, 2 pieces Oulu, Northern Ostrobothnia
 Finland Cannons at Torp, museum Ingå, Uusimaa
 Finland The Artillery Museum of Finland Hämeenlinna, Tavastia Proper
 Finland Hanko Front Line Museum[16] Hanko, Uusimaa
 Finland Military Museum of Finland, Suomenlinna filial Helsinki
 France Musée Mémorial Bataille de Normandie Bayeux
 France Musée des Blindés or Association des Amis du Musée des Blindés[17][failed verification] Saumur
 France Centre village Le Dézert
 Germany Deutsches Panzermuseum Munster
 Netherlands Atlantikwall-Museum Hook of Holland
 Netherlands Centre village green Zandoerle
 Netherlands In front of town hall Valkenburg aan de Geul
 Romania Oarba de Mureș heroes monument, 2 pieces in open air between Sfântu Gheorghe and Oarba de Mureș villages, on road 120, Mureș County
 Romania National Military Museum, Romania, 1 piece Bucharest
 Romania Military Museum, 1 piece Dej
 Serbia Belgrade Military Museum Belgrade
 Spain Museo de Unidades Acorazadas, and others El Goloso, Madrid
 Spain Museo Histórico Militar de Canarias Centro de Historia y Cultura Militar de Canarias, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
 Spain Museo Histórico Militar de Cartagena Cartagena, Murcia
 Syria Military Museum, 2 pieces[18] Damascus
 USA American Armoured Foundation Tank Museum Danville, Virginia
 USA VFW Lodge Claremont, NH
 USA Academy Square Park Seneca Falls, NY
 USA Privately owned collection Tooele, Utah
 USA American Heritage Museum Stow, Massachusetts
 USA VFW[19] Collingswood, New Jersey
 USA American Legion 2179 Whiteford Rd Whiteford, Maryland
 USA Privately Owned Collection[20] Uvalde, TX
 USA US Army National Guard armory Memorial Parkway Utica, NY
 UK Imperial War Museum Duxford[21] Duxford
 Ukraine National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Kyiv
 Vietnam Artillery Museum Hanoi

See also[edit]

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era[edit]


  1. ^ The M26 did not reach the European theatre until January 1945 and only 200 were issued to units.
  2. ^ One document, "Terminal Ballistics" stipulates production of Panzergranate 40 ceased entirely in 1943.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Rada, Tibor (2001). A Magyar Királyi Honvéd Ludovika Akadémia és a Testvérintézetek Összefoglalt Története (1830-1945) (in Hungarian). Vol. II. Budapest: Gálos Nyomdász Kft. p. 1114. ISBN 963-85764-3-X.
  2. ^ a b "7,5 cm Pak 40". Panzerworld. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Foss, Christopher (1977). Jane's Pocket Book of Towed Artillery. New York: Collier. p. 27. ISBN 0020806000. OCLC 911907988.
  4. ^ Bishop, Chris (2002). The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Sterling Publishing. pp. 183–185.
  5. ^ a b Hogg, Ian (1997). German Artillery of World War Two. London: Greenhill Books. pp. 43–44. ISBN 1853672610. OCLC 36705743.
  6. ^ Hahn, Fritz (1998). Waffen und Geheimwaffen des deutschen Heeres 1933 - 1945 [Weapons and Secret Weapons of the German Army 1933–1945] (in German) (3. Aufl., Sonderausg. in einem Bd ed.). Bonn: Bernard und Graefe. p. 102. ISBN 3-7637-5915-8.
  7. ^ Ronald L. Tarnstrom, Trogen Books, 1998, Balkan Battles, p. 407
  8. ^ Nachrichtenblatt zur Panzerbeschusstafel 7,5 cm Pak 40 L/46 dated Nov. 1942
  9. ^ "First Report of Test of a German 75 mm Pak 40 Antitank Gun and Seventeenth Report on Ordnance Program No. 5772
  10. ^ Department of the Army Pamphlet No. 30-4-4, "Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment (U) Vol. 1 Artillery (U) dated August of1955
  11. ^ "Schusstafel für die 7,5cm Kampfwagenkanone 40"
  12. ^ Nachrichtenblatt zur Panzerbeschusstafel 7,5 cm Pak 40 L/46 dated Nov. 1942
  13. ^ "Rearming Austria: WWII weapons". wwiiafterwwii.wordpress.com. 14 June 2015.
  14. ^ Grandolini, Albert (1998). Armor of the Vietnam War (2) Asian Forces. Armor at War 7017. Concord Publications. p. 17. ISBN 9789623616225.
  15. ^ Haryadi, Yosafat Robert (2019). Sejarah Kavaleri Korps Marinir (in Indonesian). Surabaya: Penerbit Karunia. p. 330. ISBN 9789799039972.
  16. ^ "Museot.fi - Hanko Front Line Museum". www.museot.fi.
  17. ^ "Le char Hotchkiss H 39 - le musée des blindés". Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  18. ^ "Damascus Military Museum (2): The Artillery". wordpress.com. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  19. ^ "German 7.5 CM PAK 40 Anti Tank Gun - Collingswood, NJ - Military Ground Equipment Displays on Waymarking.com". www.waymarking.com.
  20. ^ "Big Guns".
  21. ^ "75cm Pak 40 L60 (ORD 151)". Imperial War Museums.


  • Engelmann, Joachim and Scheibert, Horst. Deutsche Artillerie 1934-1945: Eine Dokumentation in Text, Skizzen und Bildern: Ausrüstung, Gliederung, Ausbildung, Führung, Einsatz. Limburg/Lahn, Germany: C. A. Starke, 1974
  • Wolfgang Fleischer. Die 7,5-cm Panzerjägerkanone 40 // Waffen-Arsenal Sonderband S-54. — PODZUN-PALLAS-VERLAG, 1999. — 52 p. — ISBN 3-7909-0665-4.
  • Werner Haupt. Panzerabwehrgeschütze 3,7-cm 5,0-cm 7,5-cm 8,8-cm-Pak 1934-1945 (ohne Selbstfahrlafetten) // Waffen-Arsenal Band 117, PODZUN-PALLAS-VERLAG. — 1989. — ISBN 3-7909-0360-4.
  • Gander, Terry and Chamberlain, Peter. Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939-1945. New York: Doubleday, 1979 ISBN 0-385-15090-3
  • Hogg, Ian V. German Artillery of World War Two. 2nd corrected edition. Mechanicsville, PA: Stackpole Books, 1997 ISBN 1-85367-480-X
  • H.Dv. 481/77 Merkblatt fur die Munition der 7,5 cm Panzerjägerkanone 40 (7,5 cm Pak. 40), OKH Berlin 1942.
  • D 393/1 7,5cm Panzerjägerkanone 40.- Heft 1: Beschreibung, Bedienung und Behandlung. — OKH / Heereswaffenamt, Berlin 1.Apr.1942.
  • H.Dv. 119/324 – Schußtafel für die 7,5 cm Kampfwagenkanone 40 (7,5 cm Kw.K. 40), 7,5 cm Sturmkanone 40 (7,5 cm Stu.k. 40) und 7,5 cm Panzerjägerkanone 40 (7,5 cm Pak 40) mit Deckblättern 1-17, Oktober 1943.

External links[edit]