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7.62 cm Feldkanone 36(russisch) and Panzerabwehrkanone 36(russisch)
PaK 36r cfb borden 1
FK 36(r) anti-tank gun, displayed on the grounds of CFB Borden.
Type Anti-tank gun
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
Used by Nazi Germany
Wars World War II
Production history
Number built 560 ?
Specifications
Weight 1,710 kg (3,770 lbs)
Barrel length Bore: 3.68 m (12 ft 1 in) L/48.4
Overall: 3.895 m (12 ft 9 in) L/51.2 (without muzzle brake)
Crew 6

Caliber 76.2 mm (3 in)
Breech vertical block
Recoil hydropneumatic
Carriage split trail
Elevation 60°
Traverse -6° to 18°
Rate of fire 10-12 rounds per minute

The 7.62 cm FK 36(r) and Pak 36(r) (7.62 cm Feldkanone (Field gun)/36 (russisch) and Panzerabwehrkanone (Anti-tank gun) 36(russisch)) were German anti-tank guns used by the Wehrmacht in World War II. The gun was a conversion of the Soviet 76-mm divisional gun M1936 (F-22) and the later 76 mm divisional gun M1939 (USV) and 76 mm divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3).

DescriptionEdit

The FK36(r) and Pak 36(r) had split-trail carriage with transverse leaf spring axle suspension and steel wheels with foam rubber filled tires. The gun was equipped with semi-automatic vertical breech block; recoil mechanism consisted of hydraulic recoil buffer and hydropneumatic recuperator. There was no limber; the gun therefore could not be towed by a horse team.

Development historyEdit

Soon after the German invasion of the USSR in 1941, Wehrmacht units encountered new Soviet tanks: the medium T-34 and the heavy KV. The thick sloped armor of these vehicles gave them a good degree of protection against German anti-tank weapons. The situation eventually led to requests for more powerful guns that would be able to destroy the aforementioned tanks from long range. Germany already had a suitable design, the 7.5 cm Pak 40, entering production in late 1941, but the first pieces were not delivered until 1942. Until enough of those would be manufactured, expedient solutions were required.

In the early stages of Operation Barbarossa, Germans captured a large number (approximately 1,300) of Soviet 76-mm divisional guns model 1936 (F-22). Developed with anti-aircraft abilities in mind, the Soviet gun had powerful ballistics; it was also originally intended to use more powerful cartridge than the one eventually adopted. However the design had some shortcomings in the anti-tank role. The shield was too high, the two man laying was inconvenient and the sighting system was more suitable for the F-22 original divisional field gun role. Using considerable thrift, the German engineers were able to quickly modify the F-22, which by that time had been adopted in original form as the FK296(r) by the Wehrmacht. In late 1941 German engineers developed a modernization program. The initial modifications that brought the guns to FK36(r) standard included:

PaK 36r cfb borden 4

FK 36(r), CFB Borden.

  • removing the top section of the shield and using the armour off-cuts to superimpose over the lower section of the shield. These were held in place using the standard Pak38 shield pintles.
  • re-orienting the traverse gear box and handwheel shaft linkages so as to mount the traverse handwheel on the left side of the gun next to the sight. As the new transverse rod linkage went through a gap in the recoil cradle's elevation arc, the maximum elevation angle was limited to 18 degrees.
  • replacement of the Russian sight with a Pak 38 style anti-tank sighting block that could mount the standard ZF3x8 sighting telescope or an emergency fold out iron sight. Like the Pak 40 and Pak 97/38, the sight mount had provision for attaching an indirect sighting device - the Aushilfsrichtmittel 38 (ARM38).

The first of these converted F-22s retained the original Russian ammunition (confirmed by measuring the chamber length of 15.2 inches or 385 mm, and were still designated FK296(r) on the sight's range drum. These early anti-tank conversions are discernable as they have not been fitted with a muzzle brake. These intermediate guns had various designations, but appear to have been referred to mainly as "FK36(r)",[citation needed] despite their dedicated anti-tank role seeming to warrant the designation "Pak" rather than "FK". The conversion work was performed by HANOMAG with sight blocks made by Kerner & Co in 1942 (ggn42).

Later up-grades were designated as the Pak36(r), and had:

  • Rechambering for the more powerful Pak40 cartridge. The German cartridge was nearly twice as long as the Soviet one (715 mm vs 385.3 mm) and wider (100 mm vs 90 mm), resulting in 2.4 times larger propellant load.
  • Recoil mechanism adjustments to accommodate the new recoil characteristics.

ProductionEdit

PaK 36r cfb borden 6

FK 36(r), CFB Borden.

First guns were delivered in February 1942, and by the end of the year Germans converted 358 pieces, 169 in 1943 and 33 in 1944. Additionally, 894 barrels were prepared for use in self-propelled guns. It is likely that these numbers include Pak 39(r), a similarly upgraded 76-mm M1939 (up to 300 pieces).

Production of the ammunition for PaK 36(r) and PaK 39(r)[1]
Shell type 1942 1943 1944 Total
HE-Frag 769,400 1,071,300 857,700 2,698,400
AP, all types 359,400 597,300 437,300 1,394,000

EmploymentEdit

The FK36(r) and PaK 36(r) saw combat on the Eastern Front and in North Africa. The first employment of the FK36(r) was noted as early as March 1942 at Bir Hacheim in Libya, and by May 1942, 117 are recorded as being in use by the Afrika Korps. The gun was well proven in combat, as demonstrated by Gunner Günter Halm (Knights Cross), who destroyed 9 Valentine Tanks in a single action. The Pak 36(r) was used in North Africa later in the campaign. The gun was actively used in both anti-tank and field artillery roles until the end of the war. As late as March 1945 Wehrmacht still possessed 165 Pak 36(r) and Pak 39(r). The scale of use can be illustrated by the amount of ammunition consumed: 49,000 AP and 8,170 subcaliber AP shells in 1942, and 151,390 in 1943. For the sake of comparison, in 1942 the aforementioned Pak 40 fired 42,430 AP and 13,380 HEAT shells; in 1943 the numbers grew significantly to 401,100 AP and 374,000 HEAT.

The modernized barrels were also mounted in the below types of self-propelled guns:

A number of Pak 36(r) guns were captured by the Red Army (e.g. in the Battle of Stalingrad) and were adopted by anti-tank battalions.

SummaryEdit

When the FK36(r) and Pak 36(r) reached the battlefield, it was able to destroy any contemporary tank at normal combat ranges. Although the gun was heavier and had somewhat smaller penetration figures than the purpose-built Pak 40, there is no doubt that the modernization of F-22 provided Wehrmacht with very effective anti-tank gun at only fraction of the cost of producing one from scratch.

AmmunitionEdit

Available ammunition[1]
Type Model Weight, kg HE weight, g Muzzle velocity, m/s Range, m
Armor-piercing shells
APCBC/HE 7.62 cm Pzgr.39 7.6 24, phlegmatized RDX 740 4,000
APCR 7.62 cm Pzgr.40 4.065 - 990 700
HEAT shells
HEAT 7.62 cm Gr.38 Hl/B 4.62 510 450 1,000
HEAT 7.62 cm Gr.38 Hl/С 5.05 510 450 1,000
High explosive and fragmentation shells
HE-Frag 7.62 cm Gr.34 6.25 550, amatol 40/60 550 10,000
 
Armor penetration table[1]
7.62 cm Pzgr.39
Range, m Meet angle 60°, mm Meet angle 90°, mm
0 108 133
457 98 120
915 88 108
1,372 79 97
1,829 71 87
7.62 cm Pzgr.40
Range, m Meet angle 60°, mm Meet angle 90°, mm
0 152 190
457 118 158
915 92 130
1,372 71 106
1,829 55 84
This data was obtained by German methodics of armor penetration measurement. Exact figures depend on production batch of projectiles and technology of armour manufacturing.

The HEAT projectiles penetrated about 100–115 mm at meet angle 90°.

NotesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Shirokorad A. B. - The God of War of the Third Reich.

ReferencesEdit

  • Gander, Terry and Chamberlain, Peter. Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939-1945. New York: Doubleday, 1979 ISBN 0-385-15090-3
  • Hogg, Ian V. German Artillery of World War Two. 2nd corrected edition. Mechanicsville, PA: Stackpole Books, 1997 ISBN 1-85367-480-X

Hogg, Ian V. The Guns 1939-451st UK edition, Macdonald & Co. 1970.

  • Shirokorad A. B. - The God of War of the Third Reich - M. AST, 2002 (Широкорад А. Б. - Бог войны Третьего рейха. — М.,ООО Издательство АСТ, 2002., ISBN 5-17-015302-3)
  • Ivanov A. - Artillery of Germany in Second World War - SPb Neva, 2003 (Иванов А. - Артиллерия Германии во Второй Мировой войне. — СПб., Издательский дом «Нева», 2003., ISBN 5-7654-2634-4)
  • Klyuev A. etc. - German Artillery Ammunition Reference Book - M., 1943 (А.Клюев и др - Справочник по комплектации боеприпасов германской артиллерии. — М., 1943)
 


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