7.5 cm Pak 97/38: Antitank Gun (Ex-French)

7.5 cm Pak 97/38: Antitank Gun (Ex-French)

The 7.5 cm Pak 97/38, introduced by Germany in 1942, consists of the 7.5 cm French Model ’97 equipment which was modified in 1940 as an antitank gun, and the German 5 cm Pak 38 carriage. The built-up tube, to which a Solothurn type perforated muzzle brake is fitted, has four hoops sweated on for additional strength.

The breechblock is the Nordenfeld eccentric screw type commonly used in the French 75 mm tube. The high-pressure, hydropneumatic recoil mechanism contains a floating piston with nitrogen gas in the recuperator cylinder which brings the gun back into battery. The recoil cylinder is of smaller diameter and contains the piston rod which recoils with the tube and forces the recoil oil into the recuperator cylinder where throttling checks the rearward movement of the tube.

The elevating and traversing mechanisms are located on the top carriage; the elevating handwheel is slightly in front of and to the left of the traversing handwheel. There is a single hydropneumatic equilibrator at the right trunnion. The protecting armor consists of two sheets of 4 mm steel plate curved to envelop the front of the weapon. Below the spaced armor is an 8 mm hinged apron. There is also a small shield above the apron that moves with the tube in elevation.

The sighting gear, which is the same as that used with the 5 cm Pak 38, is situated on an arm and bracket which move with the left trunnion. An opening in the shield allows vision for sighting instruments.

The low-slung, light-weight carriage has relatively short split trails of tubular steel. The wheels are of small diameter spokes made of compressed steel and entirely covered with buna rubber tires 4 inches wide. They are independently mounted to absorb traveling shock by free wheeling action. When the trails are spread, however, the free wheel movement is locked by a bracket so the gun will not bounce on firing. A third wheel supports the rear of the trails for transportation.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         75 mm (2.95 ins.)
Weight (complete) 2,870 lb.
Length of tube & breech ring 8.8 ft.
Length (overall) 15 ft.
Breech mechanism Eccentric screw
Firing mechanism Percussion hammer
Recoil mechanism Hydropneumatic
Rifling 20 lands and grooves; R.H. twist
Muzzle velocity (reported) 2,100 f/s
Elevation 18°
Depression 10°
Traverse 60°
Ammunition H.E.; A.P.-H.E.; Hollow charge
Also some Polish types of ammunition
Penetration 60 mm @ 900 yds., 30°

German: p. 121

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