The PaK 40 could fire 75 mm shells at a distance of up to about 7.6 kilometers maximum. In order to function properly, the PaK 40 required a crew of five men and a small gun shield was added for protection for the crew. The PaK 40 also had a rate of fire of fourteen rounds per minute. Its traverse had a range of sixty-five degrees and the gun could elevate from negative five to twenty-two degrees.
The total weight of the PaK 40 was around 1,400 kilograms while the total length of the system was about 6.2 meters. The design itself resembled its predecessor PaK 38, however it was largely up gunned. The gun itself was taken from the German KwK 40 tank gun used in late Panzer IV models and several self-propelled guns.
The problem with any large weapon was that mobility was highly limited and the PaK 40 was no different. In fact, it tended to be abandoned after combat if not taken by an artillery tractor first because crews felt it was just not worth the effort to carry it. The weapon was capable of firing Armor Piercing, High Explosive, and APCR rounds. No variants were ever made to the base PaK 40 system in the whole of its combat service.
The PaK 40 was first developed in 1939 as a low priority project to deal with anticipated heavy armor that was to come as the war progressed. However by 1941, it was clear that the need was urgent and priority was placed onto the project to speed up results. It entered service with the German Wehrmacht in 1940 and was initially well liked by troops because it was an excellent anti-tank weapon. However, as mentioned above, mobility was quite low so it was not quite a war winning design. Even so, the weapon was used until the end of the war and still maintained the ability to knock out Allied tanks by 1945. In total, about 23,500 units were constructed by the end of the war. They were mainly produced by Rheinmetall-Borsig.
- ↑ http://www.dday-overlord.com/eng/pak40_gun.htm
- ↑ http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/75mm/index.html
- ↑ http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=350