Vintage Ft

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WW2 Normandy period onwards, What were the most common Panzer Tank's guns faced by Allied Tanks? &?

What thickness of armor could the German guns penetrate at distances such as 500m and 1000m (distances don't have to be 500 or 1000m). Does anyone have links to a German comparative penetration table of different guns such as the Tiger 1 and 2 Tank's L/56 and L/71 guns,Panzer IV Tank's 2 different 7.5cm (not the short 7.5cm), 5cm L/60 and 3.7cm guns. Lastly what thickness (in mm) of armor would thinner skinned vehicles need to survive 2cm auto cannon and rifle caliber weapons such as the MG34 or MG42 machine guns. Cheers John

The Panther made up (officially) one half of a Panzer Divisions tank allocation, equipping one Abteilung while the other had the Panzer IV. In reality, no Panzer Division ever had anything close to its full tables of equipment. While they should have had 200 tanks per division they were in really good shape if they had about 150, and some of those would have substituted Stug's and/or Panzerjager IV's for Panther's. But there was also all kinds of old junk still mucking about in Normandy from WWI-vintage FT-17's to S35's, Hothckiss and Renault light tanks, a few Char B's and some Panzer III's as well. The Panzerjager Abteilung of each Panzer Division was a mixed bag of Marder's, Stug's, Panzerjager IV's and towed PAK40's. Then there were also of course independent Stug Abteilung normally attached to infantry divisions and towed and self-propelled independent Panzerjager Abteilung. Tiger's of course equipped independent heavy Panzer Abteilung's and some SS unites only. These were Army Group, not divisional assets.

Unlike the British Panzers were not encountered by the American's in quantity until they broke out of the Hedgerows in July. The threat in hedgerow country was almost entirely from anti-tank guns and Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck infantry weapons. Here you could find just about anything in use from obsolete 3.7cm PAK 36 and French 4.7cm Hotchkiss to 5.0cm PAK 38, 7.5cm PAK97/38, ex-Soviet 7.62cm PAK36(r) and 7.5cm PAK 40 of which the latter was by far the most lethal if least mobile.

There are lots of comparitive tables all over the internet, few of which seem to agree with each other. Data needs to be taken with a grain of salt too as every nation had a different standard for testing. Different types of armor at different angles, different ways of averaging results and so on.

Using data compiled from Ian Hogg's "German Artillery of WWII", "Jane's Infantry Weapons" and "German Panzerjager Troops of WWII" we get the following:

7.92x57mm AP - probably 6-10mm vertical armor at 100m (I had to make an educated guess here)
2.0cm FLAK30/38 Pzgr.40 APCR - 40mm/0-deg/100m
3.7cm PAK 36 Pzgr.39 APHE - 50mm/30-deg/100m, 36mm/30--deg/500. 1000m? Who cares?
3.7cm PAK 36 Pzgr.40 APCR - 68mm/30-deg/100m, 40mm/30-deg/500m.
3.7cm PAK 36 Stielgranate 41 HEAT - 180mm/0-deg/130m
5.0cm PAK 38 Pzgr.39 APHE - 67mm/30-deg/250m, 61mm/30-deg/500m, 50mm/30-deg/1,000m
5.0cm PAK 38 Pzgr.40 APCR - 109mm/30-deg/250m, 86mm/30-deg-500m, 55mm/30-deg/1,000m
7.5cm PAK 40 Pzgr.39 APHE - 104mm/30-deg/500m, 89mm/30-deg/1,000m
7.5cm PAK 40 Patr H1/B HEAT - 91mm/0-deg
7.5cm PAK 97/38 Pz Patr (p) AP - 58mm/0-deg/500m
7.5cm PAK 97/38 Patr H1/B HEAT - 70mm/0-deg (later 100mm)
7.5cm KwK 42 Pzgr.39/42 APHE - 124mm/30-deg/500m, 111mm/30-deg/1,000m, 88mm/30-deg/2,000m
7.5cm KwK 42 Pzgr.40 APCR - 194mm/30-deg/500m, 174mm/30-deg/1,000m, 106mm/30-deg/2,000m
7.62cm PAK 36/39(r) Pzgr.39 APHE - 98mm/30-deg/500m, 88mm/30-deg/1,000m
8.8cm FLAK 36 Pzgr.39 APHE - 105mm/30-deg/1,000m
8.8cm FLAK 36 Gr Patr 39 HEAT - 165mm/0-deg/1,000m
8.8cm PAK 43 Pzgr.39 APHE - 182mm/30-deg/500m, 167mm/30-deg/1,000m, 139mm/30-deg/2,000m
8.8cm PAK 43 Patr 39 H1 HEAT - 90mm/30-deg/1,000m

On paper the 5.0cm PAK 38 should have been entirely adequate against the Soviet T-34. It wasn't. So don't put too much faith in published penetration tables. Sources can also differ quite a bit. Hogg gives the penetration of the 3.7cm PAK 36 firing Pzgr.39 at 36mm but Fleischer and Eiermann give the figure as 29mm at 500m.

Ballistically the 7.5cm PAK 40 is the same as the 7.5cm L43 and L48 tank and Stug guns (barrel length made almost no difference in penetration) although they fired different ammunition. The 5.0cm PAK 38 matches the 5.0cm L60 gun on the Panzer III, the 8.8cm FLAK 36 matches the gun on the Tiger 1 and the 8.8cm PAK 43 matches the gun used on the Tiger II and various tank destroyers, ammunition being interchangable in each case. APCR was likely only still issued for the PAK 38 by the summer of 1944.

***EDIT***

A German report dated 29 June 1944 claimed 227 allied tanks in Normandy killed by Panzers, 84 by towed AT guns, 21 by FLAK guns (included the dreaded "88's), 61 by Stug and Panzerjager, 36 by artillery and 108 by infantry.

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