PaK 40 in place, France/Belgium.

7,5 cm PaK 40 – History

History of PaK 40, an anti-tank gun widely used by the German army and its allies during the Second World War.

In this post you will find some info about the history of the 7,5 cm PaK 40 (Panzerabwehrkanone 40 7,5 cm, "75 mm [2.95 in] anti-tank cannon 40"), a German gun used in anti-armor role during the Second World War.


Its development originated from the necessity for an anti-tank gun more effective than the 50 mm (1.97 in) PaK 38, then in use by the German forces. A version with an higher caliber was thus commissioned to the Krupp and Rheinmetall industries.

Apart from the caliber, the differences between the PaK 38 and the PaK 40 were dictated by production factors. The structure was made of steel instead of light alloys, prioritized by the aircraft industry. Moreover, a shield made of three angled plates was easier to make than a single curved one.

Operating history

Initially available in limited quantities, its production was hurried starting with the invasion of the Soviet Union, when the Wehrmacht found itself against the heavily armoured T-34 and KV-1 tanks.

The PaK 40 was the standard anti-tank gun for Germany and several of its allies, and the Soviet Union as well employed it as a war prize. After the end of the hostilities, moreover, it saw service in many countries for several years.

It proved itself effective against most of the enemy armored vehicles until the end of the war. A drawback, however, was the weight of 1425 kg (3142 lb), which hampered or even prevented the infantry from moving it when on foot.


The PaK 40 was also the main armament of several tank destroyers, such as the Marder II, the Marder III and the Hetzer. Moreover, it equipped some versions of the Puma scout cars and of the Sd.Kfz. 251 halftracks.

For many other vehicles, variants of this gun were used, such as the KwK 40 (used on the PzKpfw IV Ausf. F2, G, H and J tanks) and the StuK 40 (mounted on the StuG III and StuG IV assault guns). Moreover, the BK 7,5 was mounted on few of the Henschel Hs 129 ground attack planes.

From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

German PaK 40 75 mm anti-tank gun.

German PaK 40 75 mm anti-tank gun.

Canadian Forces Base Borden Military Museum, Canada.

Image sources: 1, 2

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