Marder III

german ww2 tanks Germany (1942) - 344 built

Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.62 cm PaK 36(r) Sd.Kfz. 139

Marder III was a series of German tank destroyers used during World War II. They were built on the chassis of the Panzer 38(t) light tank and were designed to provide mobile anti-tank firepower to German infantry units. The first version of the Marder III, known as the Marder III Ausf. H, was introduced in 1942. It was armed with a 75mm PaK 40 anti-tank gun and had a low silhouette, which made it difficult to spot on the battlefield. The Marder III Ausf. H was used extensively on the Eastern Front and proved to be an effective anti-tank weapon.

Later versions of the Marder III were equipped with different guns, including the 7.5cm Pak 40/3 and the 7.62cm Pak 36(r). The Marder III was also used as a base for other vehicles, such as the Panzerjäger Marder III Ausf. M, which was armed with a 75mm Pak 40/3 gun and had improved armor protection. Overall, the Marder III was a successful design that provided German forces with a mobile and effective anti-tank weapon. However, it was not without its flaws, including limited mobility and protection, which made it vulnerable to enemy fire.

(In redaction)

A canvas cover was often installed over the fighting compartment and used to protect the crew from bad weather. It offered no real protection during combat.

Panzer 38 (t)

Marder III, captured by the Allies in North Africa. Source: Pininterest

A Marder III of the 49th Panzerjäger-Abteilung of the 4th Panzer Division on the Eastern Front, 1943.

A Marder III with a three-tone camouflage in Russia, 1943. Note the kill rings.
A Marder III captured by Soviet Troops in 1944. Note the crossed-out Balkenkreuz.

Marder III of the Deutsche Afrika Korps in July 1942. This vehicle belonged to the 15th Panzer Division.

In Action

The Marder’s high profile is evident here. Source:

Getting stuck in the mud was easy thanks to the high ground pressure, as shown by this Marder somewhere on the Eastern Front, 1943. Source:

7.62 cm PaK 36 (r) Pz.Kpfw.38(t) ‘Marder III’ Sd.Kfz.139 specifications

Dimensions5.85 m x 2.16 m x 2.5 m
Total weight, battle ready10.67 tons
Crew4 (driver, commander, gunner, loader)
PropulsionPraga EPA six cylinder
Top Speed42-47 km/h, 20 km/h (cross country)
Max Operational Range185/140 km
Armament7.62 cm PaK (r) L/54.8
one 7.92 mm MG 37 (t)
ArmorFront 30 mm (1.18 in)
Sides 14.5 mm (0.57 in)
Rear 14.5 mm (0.57 in)
ProductionTotal 344

Links, Resources & Further Reading

Panzer 38(t), Steven J. Zaloga, New Vanguard 215.
Marder III Nuts and Bolts 15, Volker Andorfer, Martin Block and Jonh Nelson.
Naoružanje drugog svetsko rata-Germany, Duško Nešić, Beograd 2008.
Waffentechnik im Zeiten Weltrieg, Alexander Ludeke, Parragon books.
Kraftfahrzeuge und Panzer der Reichswehr, Wehrmacht und Bundeswehr ab 1900, Werner Oswald 2004.
German Artillery of World War Two, Ian V.Hogg,
Sturmartillerie and Panzerjager 1939-1945, Bryan Perrett.
German Army S.P Weapons 1939-45 Part 2, Handbook No., P/Chamberlain and H.L. Doyle.
Fighting men of WWII, Axis Forces, David Miller, Chartwell Books 2011.

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