Panzer III was the common name of a medium tank that was developed in the 1930s by Germany and was used extensively in World War II. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen III Sd Kfz. 141 (abbreviated PzKpfw III) translating as “armoured fighting vehicle”. It was intended to fight other armoured fighting vehicles and serve alongside the infantry-supporting Panzer IV. However, as the Germans faced the formidable T-34, stronger anti-tank guns were needed. Since the Panzer IV had a bigger turret ring, the role was reversed. The Panzer IV mounted the long barreled 7.5 cm KwK 40 gun and engaged in tank-to-tank battles. The Panzer III became obsolete in this role and for most purposes was supplanted by the Panzer IV. From 1942, the last version of Panzer III mounted the 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24, better suited for infantry support. Production of the Panzer III ended in 1943. However, the Panzer III’s capable chassis provided hulls for the Sturmgeschütz III until the end of the war.

The Ausf J was the first model of the series to have the armour protection increased to a basic 50mm. An initial order for 900 was later increased to 2700 and assigned a second chassis number series.

The increase to 50mm of the main front and rear surface armour, necessitated newly-designed fittings. An improved for the driver was fitted, together with a new ball-shaped hull machinegun mount. Single-piece access hatches in the glacis, hinged at the front, were fitted in place of the double-hatch. Newly-designed air intakes for brake and final-drive cooling were mounted on the upper hull front. The smoke-cradle rack was re-positioned and mounted inside the redesigned upper tail plate, for additional armour protection. From April 1942, 20mm spaced armour was added to the gun mantlet and/or superstructure front.

The Ausf J with the 5 cm KwK L/42 were used to equip the 2nd and 5th Panzer Division, and an independent Panzer regiment, which were sent as reinforcements to Russia in September 1941. The remainders were used to replace the loss of approximately 1400 Pz Kpfw III during the first year of fighting Russia and North Africa. At the start of the summer campaign on the Eastern front in June 1942, approximately 500 Pz Kpfw III (5cm KwK L/42) were with the Panzer divisions at the front. A year later, at the start of the offensive at Kursk, there were still 141 with Army Groups Centre and South.

Dragon Kit No. 9054,came with the Borgward IV Ausf.B.It was officially designated Schwerer Ladungsträger Borgward B IV (heavy explosive carrier Borgward B IV), and was a German remote-controlled demolition vehicle used in World War II.

As far as the kit goes, I remember it went together very nicely. Cyber Hobby/Dragon now has an updated version of this kit Cyber Hobbyies Kit No. CHC6510. And of course it has been retooled. And that should be a joy to build.

Advertisements