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Germany's Marder III, Marder III Ausf H, Marder III Ausf M
Translation: Martin/Marten (weasel)

Photos

Design

On December 22, 1941, the Weapons Department was ordered to produce a self-propelled anti-tank gun to help get an effective antitank gun to the units on the Eastern front.5

It used the Czechoslovakian 38(t) chassis.3,4,5,8 The gun and carriage (without the wheels) was mounted on top of the superstructure using a special mounting plate.5 It was shaped like a bridge and was bolted to the roof in the front and rear.5 The gun shield moved with the gun, but the sides were fixed to help protect the crew. The driver and radio operator sat in the front of the hull. Behind them were 3 ammunition boxes that held 24 rounds. There were 2 ammunition boxes mounted on the side walls of the superstructure, and contained 12 rounds.

Engine Compartment

It was found that the Marder II was nose heavy the Marder III had the engine moved towards the center and the gun moved forward.8

Main Armament

Initially captured Soviet 76.2 cm Model 1936s were used until enough 7.5 cm Pak 40s became available.3 The guns were rechambered to use the Pak 40 cartridge.9

    Round Weight Velocity Penetration Range
7.62cm PaK36(r)   AP6 16.8 lb6 2,330'/sec6    
with muzzle brake AP   2,430'/sec 83 mm@30° at 500 yards  
PzGr 40   3,249'/sec 118 mm@30° at 500 yards  
  HE6       8,300 yards6
7.5cm PaK40/3   AP6 156 2,461'/sec6 76 mm at 2,300 m  
HE6       8,421 yards6

Production

  • Marder III: 3442,3,4,8,9, 799
    • Manufactured by: Böhmisch-Mährische Maschinenfabrik AG (BMM)2,9
    • Chassis manufactured by: Skoda Works, Pilsen3,6
    • Production: March 24, 1942 - ?9, April 1942 - October 19422, May 1943 - 1944
    • Converted in 1943: 192
    • Actual Output: 17 per month5,9, 24 per month4
    • Target Output: 30 per month2,9
  • Marder III Ausf H: 2422,5, 4188,9
    • Manufactured by: BMM2 , C.K.D.6
    • Production: November 1942 - April 1943
    • Converted: 175 (in 1943)2, 1755
  • Marder III Ausf M: 3819, 7993,8, 9752,4,5
    • Manufactured by: BMM2,3,4 of Prague3, C.K.D.6
    • Production: April 1943 - May 19442, ? - May 19443,4,9
  • Total: 1,2177
    • Production: 1942 - 19447
  • Munitionspanzer 38(t) (Sf) Ausf K (SdKfz 138): 1022

Variants

  • Marder III: Used captured 76.2 mm Model 19363, Russian Model 36 76.2 mm L/54.8 gun. Used in North Africa.3 Originally designated the Panzerselbstfahrlafette 2 für 7.62 cm PaK 36, but on February 27, 1944, Hitler ordered it to be called the Marder III.5
    As of May 15, 1942, 120 had been produced. Another 100 were ordered and were produced from June to September 1942. First appeared in early 1942.8
    As soon as 75 mm PaK became available, then this model was phased out of production.3
    • Also known as:
      • Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.62cm PaK36(r), SdKfz 139, Marder III:
      • Panzerselbstfahrlafette II für 7.62cm Pak 36(r), SdKfz 138, Marder III:
      • Panzerjaeger38(t) für 7.62cm Pak 36(r):
      • 7.62 cm Pak 36(r) L/54 on Gw. 38(t), SdKfz 138:
      • Panzerselbstfahrlafette II für 7.62cm Pak 36(r), SdKfz 139, Marder III:
  • Marder III Ausf H: Installed a larger shield directly on the chassis.5,8 Had a traveling mount for the gun.5
    Deployed in Russia5, Tunisia3,5, and Italy5 with Panzerjäger units of the Luftwaffe, SS, and Wehrmacht. Had the engine placed at the rear of the vehicle.7,9
    • Also known as:
      • Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.5cm PaK40/3, Ausf H, SdKfz 138, Marder III:
      • 7.5cm Pak 40/3 (L/46) auf PzJaeg 38(t) Ausf H:
      • Panzerjäger 38(t) Marder III:
      • 7.5 cm Pak 40/3 L/46 on Gw. 38(t) (Ausf H), SdKfz 138:
  • Marder III Ausf M: Had fighting compartment placed back further as previous models were found to be nose heavy.3 Had only single return roller. Engine was placed at the front.3,7,9
    • Also known as:
      • Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.5cm PaK40/3, Ausf M, SdKfz 138, Marder III:
      • Panzerjäger 38(t) Ausf M SdKfz 138:
      • 7.5cm Pak 40/3 (L/46) Marder III auf GW 38:
      • 7.5 cm Pak 40/3 L/46 on Gw. 38(t) (Ausf M), SdKfz 138:
  • Munitionspanzer 38(t) (Sf) Ausf K (SdKfz 138): Carried 40 sIG patr rounds.2

Usage

North Africa

664 / 117 Marder IIIs went to North Africa to serve in the 33rd & 39th Panzerjägerabteilung of the 15th Panzer Division.

Russian Front

The rest of the Marder IIIs saw action in Russia. The first Marder IIIs reach the Eastern Front in April 1942.5

Slovakia

Slovakia received 18 Marder III Ausf Hs.

Specifications

  Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.62cm PaK36(r), SdKfz 139, Marder III
Crew 41,2,6,8
Radio FuG Spr d2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 23,520 lb
10.33 tons1, 10.67 tons2, 10.7 tons5, 10.8 tons8, 11.6 tons6
10,500 kg1
Length w/gun 16' 3"1
4.95 m1, 5.85 m2
Length w/o gun 15'6
4.65 m
Height 8.1'6, 8' 1.6"1, 8' 2"5, 9' 1"
2.48 m1, 2.5 m2,5
Width 7'6, 7' 0.6"1
2.15 m1, 2.16 m2
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.8"6
Ground contact length 102.75"6
Ground pressure 9.8 psi6
Armament  
Main 75 mm1
76.2 mm PaK 36 (r) L/51.52
7.62 cm M365
76.2 mm Pak 36(r) L/51.16
Secondary  
MG 7.92 mm MG1
7.92 MG37(t)2,5
7.92 mm MG37 or MG34
7.9 mm MG37(t)6
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 30: Pzgr 39Rot, Pzgr 40, Sprgr 392
306, 365
Secondary  
MG 1,200, 1,5006
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 201
Front: 2"6
Side: 0.79"6
Hull Front, Upper 50@17°2
Hull Front, Lower 50@16°2
Hull Sides, Upper 16@11-14°2
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°2
Hull Rear 10@65°2 & 15@16°2
Hull Top 10@90°2
Hull Bottom 10+8@90°2
Superstructure Front Gun shield: 11@31°2
Superstructure Sides Gun shield: 11@12°2
Superstructure Rear Gun shield: open2
Superstructure Top Gun shield: open2
Engine (Make / Model) Praga EPA1
Praga EPA Model III, AC
Praga EPA & EPA/22
Praga6
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water6
Cylinders I-66
Net HP 125 (early model)6
140 (late model)6
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 1:6.26
Transmission (Type) Preselector, Wilson
5 forward, 1 reverse2,6
Praga-Wilson planetary gear type6
Steering Clutch brake6
Steering ratio  
Starter Hand and electrical6
Electrical system 12-volt6
Ignition Magneto6
Fuel (Type) Gasoline6
Octane  
Quantity 58 gallons6
218 liters
Road consumption 3 mpg6
100 km/118 liters
Cross country consumption 2 mpg6
Performance  
Traverse 50°6, 130°
21° left2, 21° right2, hand2
Speed - Road 26 mph1,6
42 kph1,2
Speed - Cross Country 11 mph6
Range - Road 87 miles, 115 miles, 118 miles1, 155 miles6
185 km2, 190 km1
Range - Cross Country 100 miles6
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -8° to +13.5°2
-6° to +16°6
Fording depth 31.5"6, 3'
Trench crossing 4'6, 4' 3"
Vertical obstacle 31.5"6, 2' 9"
Climbing ability 37° (75%) slope6
Suspension (Type) Bogie
Four road wheels on two bogies with 1/2 elliptic springs6
Wheels each side 46
Return rollers each side 2
Tracks (Type) Dry pin6
Length  
Width 11.5"6
Diameter  
Number of Links 936
Pitch 4.1"6
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5.9'6
  Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.5cm PaK40/3, SdKfz 138, Marder III Ausf H
Crew 42,6,8
Radio FuG52
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 23,809 lb
10.8 tons2,8, 11.6 tons6
Length w/gun 18' 11"
5.77 m2,
Length w/o gun 14.9'6
Height 8'6, 8' 2"
2.51 m2
Width 6.9'6, 7' 1"
2.16 m2
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 16"6
Ground contact length 102.75"6
Ground pressure 9.8 psi6
Armament  
Main 7.5 cm Pak 408
75 mm PaK 40/33
75 mm PaK 40/3 L/462
75 mm Pak 40 L/466
Secondary  
MG 7.92 mm MG37(t)2
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 40:APC, 38: HEAT
382
Secondary  
MG 6002
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 2"6
Side: 0.63"6
Superstructure: 0.63"6, 10 - 158
Hull Front, Upper 50@15°2
Hull Front, Lower 50@15°2
Hull Sides, Upper 15@0°2
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°2
Hull Rear open2 & 15@16°2
Hull Top 10@65°2 & 10@90°2
Hull Bottom 8@90°2
Superstructure Front Gun shield: 15@25°2
Superstructure Sides Gun shield: 15@25°2
Superstructure Rear Gun shield: open2
Superstructure Top Gun shield: 8@90°2
Engine (Make / Model) Praga EPA/22
Praga AC6
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water6
Cylinders I-66
Net HP 150@2,600 rpm6
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse2,6
EPA, CV/TNHP, preselector6
Steering Clutch brake, two speeds6
Steering ratio  
Starter Hand and electric6
Electrical system 12-volt6
Ignition Magneto6
Fuel (Type) Gasoline6
Octane  
Quantity 58 gallon6
Road consumption 2.1 mpg6
Cross country consumption 1.5 mpg6
Performance  
Traverse 30° left, 30° right2,6, hand2
Speed - Road 21.7 mph, 29 mph6
35 kph2
Speed - Cross Country 11 - 12 mph6
Range - Road 124 miles6, 149 miles
240 km2
Range - Cross Country 87 miles6
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -5° to +22°2
-10° to +20°6
Fording depth 35"6
Trench crossing 4.3'6
Vertical obstacle 33"6
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope6
Suspension (Type) Four road wheels on two bogies with 1/2 elliptic springs6
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type) Dry pin6
Length  
Width 12.25" (shoe 11.5")6
Diameter  
Number of Links 936
Pitch 4.25"6
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5.9'6
  Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.5cm PaK40/3, SdKfz 138, Marder III Ausf M
Crew 42,3,5,6,8
Radio FuG Spr d2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 23,149 lb, 24,251 lb3
11,000 kg3
10.5 tons2,5,8, 11.6 tons6
Length w/gun 15' 3"5, 15' 3.1"3, 16' 2", 16.4'6
4.65 m3,5, 4.95 m2
Length w/o gun  
Height 7' 10"5, 8' 1", 8' 1.6"3, 8.25'6
2.48 m2,3,5
Width 7.1'6, 7' 1"5, 7' 8.5"3
2.15 m2, 2.16 m5, 2.35 m3
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.8"6
40 cm
Ground contact length 102.75"6
2.92 m
Ground pressure 9.8 psi6
0.61 kg/cm2
Armament  
Main 7.5 cm Pak 408
75 mm PaK 40/33
75 mm PaK 40/3 L/462,5
75 mm Pak 40, L/466
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 272, 385, 416
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 0.88"6
Side: 0.56"6
Superstructure: 0.38"6, 108
Hull Front, Upper 10@30°2, 25@78°5
Hull Front, Lower 20@15°2, 20@80°5
Hull Sides, Upper 10@15°2, 15@90°5
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°2
Hull Rear 10@0°2 & 10@41°2, 8@90°5
Hull Top 8@90°2
Hull Bottom 10@90°2
Superstructure Front Gun shield: 6@28°2, 25@74°5
Superstructure Sides Gun shield: 10@16°2, 10@78°5
Superstructure Rear Gun shield: 10@17°2, open5
Superstructure Top Gun shield: open2,5
Engine (Make / Model) Praga AC2,3,6
Praga EPA TZj5
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water6
Cylinders 65, I-66
Net HP 1255, 1503
150@2,600 rpm6
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) EPA, CV/TNHP, preselector6
5 forward, 1 reverse.2,6
Steering Clutch brake, two speeds6
Steering ratio  
Starter Hand and electric6
Electrical system 12-volt6
Ignition Magneto6
Fuel (Type) Gasoline3,5,6
Octane  
Quantity 48 gallons5, 58 gallons6
218 liters5
Road consumption 2.1 mpg6
Cross country consumption 1.5 mpg6
Performance  
Traverse 21° left, 21° right, hand2
30° left, 30° right5,6
Speed - Road 26 mph3,5, 29 mph6
42 kph2,3,5
Speed - Cross Country 11 -12 mph6, 15 mph5
24 kph5
Range - Road 87 miles3, 115 miles5, 118 miles, 124 miles6
140 km3, 185 km5, 190 km2
Range - Cross Country 87 miles5,6
140 km5
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -5 to +13°, -10° to +20°6
Fording depth 35"3,6
0.9 m3
Trench crossing 4.3'6, 4' 3"3
1.3 m3, 2.08 m
Vertical obstacle 33"3,6
0.84 m3
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope6
Suspension (Type) Four road wheels on two bogies with 1/2 elliptic springs6
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type) Dry pin6
Length  
Width 12.25" (shoe 11.5")6
29.3 cm
Diameter  
Number of Links  
Pitch 4.25"6
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 1.77 m

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
  5. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  6. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  7. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  8. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H. L. Doyle, 1973
  9. Profile AFV Weapons #22 Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) & 35(t), John Milsom, 1970
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