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3.7 cm Pak 36
Heeresanklopfgerät
PanzerAnklopfKanone
Pak36
General Historical Information
Place of origin: Germany
Category: Anti-Tank gun
Used by:

Germany

Passengers: 1 or 2
Calibre: 37mm
Elevation: -5° +25°
Traverse: 30°
Rate of Fire: 13 rpm
Mobile: Yes
Used by vehicles / ships: Sd.Kfz. 251/10
Position 1: Driver or gunner
Position 2:

gunner

Historical Picture
3.7 cm Pak 36k


Understanding that the future of warfare was in lightning-fast strikes against the enemy, German planners began to refine existing designs for horse-drawn guns. They imagined a lighter, faster gun that would be able to follow front-line troops into enemy territory. But by the early 1930’s, it was evident that a new design was needed.


Utilizing magnesium-alloy wheels, the re-designated 3.7cm PAK-35/36 began to replace older model infantry guns in 1935. It first saw action the following year during the Spanish Civil War and performed well in a variety of conditions. Despite its success against lightly armored vehicles and tanks, the PAK-36 was outclassed by 1940. It was particularly ineffective heavier British and French tanks, and soon became all but impractical as an anti-tank gun. It fared no better on the Eastern Front, where the fast-moving Soviet T-34 could take countless direct hits from the PAK-36 without effect. German PAK-36 crews soon named their weapon the Heeresanklopfgerät (literally "army door-knocking device") for its ability to give away the weapons location by harmlessly bouncing rounds off a T-34’s armor. Countless Germans learned this nickname the hard way, leading to the gun being replaced by heavier and heavier anti-tank weapons. However, the PAK-36 could still achieve a kill shot against a T-34, but it required a near point-blank shot aimed at the tank’s side or rear armor.


These guns stayed in service until the end of the war and were frequently turned over the Germany’s allies fighting in the East. Although completely obsolete by 1942, the PAK-36 still proved effective against scout cars, reconnaissance vehicles and enemy infantry units.

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