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Panzerbefehlswagen mit 5cm KwK L/42 (Sd.kfz 141)

History:  Ever since the campaign in Poland, the troops had been asking for a command vehicle with more effective armament than a few machine-pistols and the single machine-gun.  They finally got their wish three years later when Daimler-Benz was given an order to convert Panzer III to Pz Bef Wg by the addition of a long-range radio.  In January 1943, the WaA issued an order that there would be no further production of specially-designed Pz Bef Wg.  All Command vehicles would be produced by conversion of standard production Panzer.  From March to September 1943, an additional 104 Panzer III (5cm KwK L/42) were converted to Pz Bef Wg by removing an ammunition rack and adding the long-range radio.
Specific features:  Virtually the same vehicle as the Panzer III Ausf J.  The only differences were the elimination of the hull machine-gun, and reduction in the number of rounds carried in order to make room for the additional radio sets.  A TSF1 periscope was mounted in the turret roof of these command vehicles.
Combat service:  Issued to the newly-formed SS Panzer Divisions, "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler", "Das Reich", "Tötenkopf" and "Wiking", and as replacements in many other units.  In addition to their normal role with Panzer regiments and Panzer Nachtrichten Abteilung, from 1943 the Pz Bef Wg L/42 were to be issued as command vehicles for Sturmpanzer detachments, assault gun detachments and armoured radio-control detachments.

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