The Panzer III was considered Germany’s best tank, or at least its main weapon for armored warfare at the start of World War II.
After the jump I’ll look at an early war tank.
The Panzer III and IV were meant to serve side by side. German doctrine called for the III to be a tank killer, while the IV was optimized for support and indirect fire. That meant the III had an anti-tank gun, while the IV used a howitzer. As always happens in war, the actual fighting forced upgrades and reassessments. In particular, encounters with Soviet T34s led to a more powerful 50 mm gun being mounted on the Panzer III as seen here on an “L” model. But the bigger shock to the Germans was that their main battle tank was really too small to compete. The Panzer IV had a bigger turret ring and could mount a bigger gun, so it didn’t take long for the IV to morph into the main battle tank. But that was just the start of an upward spiral that would lead to the King Tiger.
This is a good accompaniment to the Matilda post I put up a couple weeks ago. Although I can’t swear these two exact tanks ever fought, they are contemporaries on the same battlefield, and both are at the top of their food chains.
This Panzer III is from the Tamiya kit.