The 5 cm KwK 39 L/60 (5 cm Kampfwagenkanone 39 L/60) was a German 50 mm caliber gun used during Second World War, primarily as the main armament of later variants of the German Panzerkampfwagen III tank between 1941-1942. It was developed as a variant of the towed gun 5 cm PaK 38. This gun proved successful in North Africa against British cruiser tanks and light American M3 Stuart tanks. However, it was not sufficient against Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks. Rottman says, that for this reason it was phased out in favour of shorter 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 gun that could fire HEAT rounds. Nevertheless, the first gun considered fully effective against these Soviet tanks was 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/43 mounted on Panzer IV Ausf. F2.
This 50 mm gun was mounted as a defensive armament for reconnaissance vehicles like the Puma.
Ammunition[edit | edit source]
- PzGr (Armour-piercing)
- PzGr. 39 (Armour-piercing, capped, ballistic cap)
- PzGr. 40 (Armour-piercing, composite, rigid)
- PzGr. 40/1 (Armour-piercing, composite, rigid)
- 5 cm Sprgr.Patr.38 (High explosive)
Vehicles mounted on[edit | edit source]
- Panzerkampfwagen III (Sd. Kfz. 141/1) Ausf. J to M (serial production). Several earlier models were re-equipped with this gun.
- Sd. Kfz. 234/2 Schwerer Panzerspähwagen "Puma"
Aerial version[edit | edit source]
BK 5 heavy-caliber autocannon
References[edit | edit source]
- Rottman, Gordon L. (2008). M3 Medium Tank Vs Panzer III: Kasserine Pass 1943. Osprey Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-84603-261-5.
- Rottman, Gordon L. p.4-5
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