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Panzerjäger 38t mit 7,5cm PaK40/3 ausf M
"Marder III"

History: In July 1942, Hitler ordered that the total production capacity of the Pz Kpfw 38t be utilized for self-propelled gun chassis.  It had been realised that in the existing make-shift self-propelled gun, many of the features of the tank chassis were wasteful.  A new design was proposed in which the motor was moved to the middle, and this enabled the gun to be mounted more suitably at the rear of this vehicle.  Frontal armour and, therefore, weight, was also reduced.  On 6 February 1943, Hitler was informed that after test firing, the new self-propelled gun would be available in the shortest possible time, and BMM would be capable of producing 150 per month compared to their present output of 60 units.  This level was not reached until October/November 1943, but not all were 7,5cm PaK40/3 Sf, although maximum monthly delivery of 141 was reached in October.  In May 1944, production was terminated in favour of the Jagdpanzer "Hetzer" (Tank-Hunter "Baiter").
Specific features: Vehicles built during 1943 can be identified by the rounded, cast cover for the driving compartment at the front righthand side of the vehicle.  At the end of 1943, a simpler welded cover was introduced, and the front towing lugs were now formed from extensions of the side armour plate.
Combat service: Panzerjäger Detachements (SP) of both Panzer and infantry divisions were issued with these guns from May 1943.  Because of the large number produced, they served on all fronts, with 350 still listed as available for action in the Wäffenamt inventory for 1 February 1945.

Marder III ausf M

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