7.5 cm PaK 40 Anti-Tank Gun
|Country of Origin||Germany|
|Ammunition Weight||3.18 kg|
|Rate of Fire||14 rounds/min|
|Muzzle Velocity||792 m/s|
Contributor: Alan Chanterww2dbaseIn 1939 the German army issued a specification for a 75mm Anti-tank gun (Panzerabwehrkanone) to Krupp and Rheinmetal, but development was given a low priority until after the invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941 when the German Panzers began to encounter the superior T.34 and KV.1 tanks of the Red Army.
Hurriedly raced into production the first PaK-40s began to reach the front in November 1941 and soon proved to be an accurate and efficient tank killer. By 1943 it had become the principle antitank gun in service with the German army and most of its allies.
With an effective range of 1,000-1,500 yards, the PaK-40 could fire a 15-lb armour-piercing round at 2,598 feet per second, enabling it to penetrate up to 106 mm of steel at 500 yards. Later a 7-lb tungsten-cored round (AP40) was developed with a muzzle velocity of 3,060 feet metres which could punch through 115 mm of steel at 500 yards allowing it to take on virtually every Allied tank in production, with the exception of the Soviet IS-2 and American M.26 Pershing. With an experienced crew of eight the gun could fire up to 10 rounds per minute. In addition High Explosive and Hollow Charge (in small quantities) rounds were also available for the PaK-40.
If the PaK-40 did have one drawback it was that of weight. At 3,350-lbs it was too heavy to be moved easily through mud, snow or rough terrain without the aid of an artillery tractor. Nevertheless, at the inspiration of Heinz Guderian, the gun (designated KwK-40) was successfully mounted on a number of Self-Propelled chassis such as the Panzerjager Marder III Tank Destroyer, SdKfz 234/4 Armoured Car and SdKfz 251 Halftrack, thus permitting more Anti-Tank guns to be made available counter the overwhelming numbers of Allied tanks making their appearance in the latter stages of the war.
After the war a number of other countries (including Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania) continued to utilise war surplus PaK-40s within their armed forces for some years, until the advent of the modern antitank missile made such weapons virtually obsolete. ww2dbase
Last Major Revision: Jul 2009
Did you enjoy this article? Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.
Share this article with your friends:
Stay updated with WW2DB:
Visitor Submitted Comments
All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.
- » WW2-era bomb defused in Frankfurt (9 Jul 2019)
- » Birthday Celebration for WAAF Teleprinter Operator (7 Jul 2019)
- » Passing of Richard Cole, Doolittle Raider (10 Apr 2019)
- » Wreck of Wasp Found (13 Mar 2019)
- » Wreck of Hornet Found (12 Feb 2019)
- » Wreck of Hiei Found (11 Feb 2019)
- » See all news
- » 1,062 biographies
- » 331 events
- » 36,857 timeline entries
- » 1,041 ships
- » 333 aircraft models
- » 185 vehicle models
- » 345 weapon models
- » 104 historical documents
- » 192 facilities
- » 463 book reviews
- » 25,743 photos
- » 299 maps
Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943