Panzerabwehrkanone 40 Pak 40 7.5 cm

In Detail

This iconic and instantly recognisable anti-tank gun of Germany in the Second World War was a mainstay of Panzer Aufklärungsabteilung (Reconnaissance units ). In the classic Typ 44 Panzer-Division Gliederung of 1944 these anti-tank guns were located in the 5th Heavy (support) Company (5./AufkAbt.), which was generally made up of Sd.Kfz. 251 Schützenpanzerwagen.

These weapons were relatively easy to locate as Pak 40s remained in service of some countries years after the Second World War ended. A good example was much more difficult to find. Many are still available in pieces recovered from the various battlefields of Normandy and Eastern Europe.

These would require a great deal of work to assemble and would result in a very dubious end result given the numbers and variations produced during the Second World War. Accuracy would be difficult to achieve. Another point to consider is that the condition of these components or ‘dug ups’ varies significantly depending on the damage sustained during conflict to the soil and climatic conditions which have ‘protected’ them over 70 years since the war. A complete Pak 40 recently released from a national arsenal would be infinitely better for our purposes.

We were offered a very good example which had been recently acquired from Finland. This had sustained no damage in conflict, and had not suffered any corrosion over the years but had worn wheels. The tread of the rubber tyres had been worn over the long service history of the gun. Chips out of the outer and inner edge of the rubber tyres could be repaired relatively easily but a worn inner face could not. The Pak 40 had been towed for some years along cambered roads causing the two inner faces of the rubber wheels to wear on the inner face first. The two options here are to find new tyres and replace the old or ignore the problem. Pragmatism ruled.

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