Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pz.Bef.Wg. III Ausf. K mit 5 cm Kwk 39 L/60

The Panzerbefehlswagen Ausf. K mit 5 cm Kwk 39 L/60 or Panzerbefehlswagen Ausfuhrüng Ausf. K mit 5 cm Kwk 39 L/60 or abbreviated to Pz.Bef.Wg. III Ausf. K mit 5 cm Kwk 39 L/60

Maj Franz Bake in front of his Pz. Bef. Wg. III Ausf. K command tank (whose markings are unknown, though by regulation it should have been numbered 'R01' or 'R00'). He displays the Oak-Leaves awarded on 1 August 1943 as regimental commander of Pz Regt 11. Of special interest are the three badges for single-handed destruction of an enemy tank worn on his right sleeve. On 11 July, during the Kursk offensive, 6.Pz Div was serving with Army Detachment Kempf as part of the northwards drive towards Prokhorovka. Bake was leading a tank column (headed by a captured T-34, for deception) in an attempt to seize a vital bridge over the Donets River. Surrounded after dark by a number of Soviet tanks, Bake left his command tank (which had no main gun) and led a successful attack on foot using Haft-HI 3 'Panzerknacker' magnetic anti-tank charges, personally destroying three T-34s.


The Pz III K was a factory built version, it used the Pz IV turret on an M chassis, although at least one hull still had the escape hatches in the sides along with the M exhaust (this vehicle was issued to GD).  

Panzerbefehlswagen III Ausf.K (8a/ZW, Sd.Kfz. 266 was equipped with the Fu 6 and the Fu 2, Sd.Kfz. 267 with a Fu 6 and Fu 8, Sd.Kfz. 268 with a Fu 6 and Fu 7). So far as I know, 50 of them were produced by Daimler-Benz, Berlin Marienfelde. They were indeed based on a Panzer III chassis (chassis-number 70201-70400) and equipped with a Panzer IV turret. The 5cm L/60, KWK 38 was shifted to the left, thus creating space for some extra radio equipment and a map table.

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