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5 cm PaK 38

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The PaK 38 was an anti-tank gun used by Germany during World War II.

Description

It fired 50 mm rounds and required a crew of five to operate effectively. The maximum range of the PaK 38 was about 2.7 km (HE round) and several types of ammunition could be used.

The main types were the HE round and the AP round. A version of the latter (AP40 shell) being the more potent type of ammunition and this was because of its thick tungsten core that gave good armor penetration. Its rate of fire was about 16 rounds per minute and the elevation varied between -8 degrees to +27 degrees. The gun could also traverse 65 degrees in either direction.[1]

The weight of the entire system was about 1,000 kg and the length was 4.75 meters. The PaK 38 also had a curved shield to protected crew members along with a muzzle brake. This shield consisted of two plates that were 4 mm thick each. The maximum armor penetration possible with the AP40 shell was about 101 mm, but it had to be at a range of 704 meters.[2]

The muzzle velocity of the gun was about 1,200.9 meters per second with the AP 40 shell and 548.6 meters per second with the normal HE shell.[3] There were no other variants of the PaK 38 besides the original production model.

History

The PaK 38 was first developed in 1935 and it entered service in 1940, but did not see service until Operation Barbarossa in 1941. It replaced the earlier PaK 35/36 AT Gun and it was very effecitve. Among the tactics used to knock out enemy tanks was a technic to jam Allied tank turrets by hitting the junction between turret and tank, fusing them together. One of the most useful capabilities of the PaK 38 was that it was able to knock out heavy KV-1 tanks. Many PaK 38s were also placed along the Atlantic Wall and were planned to be mounted in aircraft. In total, over 9,500 PaK 38s were made throughout WWII.

References

  1. Lüdeke, Alexander. Weapons of World War II. Parragon Books Ltd, Page 143.
  2. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/germany/guns/50-mm/50-mm-pak-38.asp
  3. http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/50mm/index.html


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