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Finnish Panzer III early
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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clausb
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 8:25 pm
Post subject: Finnish Panzer III early

Anyone knows what the story is behind this early Panzer III from the Finnish Army photo archive? Did the Fins get any or is it from a German unit?

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ajmac
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 8:35 pm
Post subject: Re: Finnish Panzer III early

Only that it is a Pz IV, odd main gun though.

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Rick_Eshleman
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 9:37 pm
Post subject: Re: Finnish Panzer III early

The Finn's seem to have modified the early Pzkpfw IV with a 37mm gun. This could have been due to more 37mm ammo being available. If you type in search on this site, use the Finn word Tankki to get right to the tanks. There are over 8000 photos (that's where I stopped and searched!) and probably thousands more. Rick
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Costas_TT
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 10:20 pm
Post subject: Re: Finnish Panzer III early

Nope, it's a III. The Ausf. B, C and D all had the small 8-wheel suspension. The A had 5 large wheels per side, the standard 6-wheel type being introduced by the Ausf. E. Since the leaf springs supporting the first and last pairs of roadwheels appear to be inclined, I'd say it's a D. The B and C had these springs parallel to the ground. Info from Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two by P. Chamberlain and H. L. Doyle.
The book also mentions the presence of Ausf. D tanks issued to Pz. Abt. z. b. V40 (Special Purpose Armored Detachment 40) and used operationally in Norway in April 1940. No mention is made of transfer to Finland. They could have been retained on occupation and other second line duties in Norway, however.

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Rick_Eshleman
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 10:44 pm
Post subject: Re: Finnish Panzer III early

Costas nailed it. My reference is page 32 "Standard Catalog of German Military Vehicles" by David Doyle. Prior to the torsion bar suspension in the Pzkpfw III Ausf. E except the Ausf. A, they had 8 road wheels per side. That is the 3.7cm gun mounted too.
Another source, "Achtung Panzer", mentions that in Feb. 1940 Pzkpfw III early models were handed over to NSKK for training purposes. Afterwards a few Ausf D saw service with Pz Abt zbV 40 fighting in Norway in Apr/May 1940, followed by service with same German unit in Finland 1941/42. Rick
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ajmac
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 8:04 pm
Post subject: Re: Finnish Panzer III early

It beat me! So much for recognition areas....

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JohnPrigent
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 8:15 pm
Post subject: Re: Finnish Panzer III early

And just to nail it down, that is definitely an Ausf.D to tally with the issue of that Ausf. to Pz.Abt.z.b.V. 40. Note the positions of the shock absorbers - Ausf.C had them arranged differently and Ausf.B had a pair of 4-wheel bogies each side, not the 2-4-2 arrangement seen in the photo.

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John

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clausb
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 7:27 pm
Post subject: Re: Finnish Panzer III early

Makes sense as Pz.Abt.z.b.V. 40 later went to Finland.
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