flammpanzer iii

7

Being a very reliable chassis with a versatile suspension, the Panzer 38(t) served the German Army faithfully well until the final days of WWII. It ran the gamut of everything ranging from reconnaissance flak panzers, to open top tank destroyers, recovery vehicles, self propelled artillery pieces, infantry support guns, self propelled flame throwers, and everyone’s favourite little casemate Jagdpanzer, the Jagdpanzer 38(t) “Hetzer” tank destroyer. 


Captions on each photo.

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The Germans made a number of attempts at building a flame tank during World War II. Various existing chassis were converted for the purpose. Some captured French Char B1s saw their 75mm hull gun replaced with the flamethrower mechanism, while about one hundred Panzer IIs were equipped with double flamethrowers - one in the main turret and the second in a small turret at the front of the hull. Neither was particularly good.

Neither was the conversion of the Panzer III into the Flammpanzer III. After disappointing performance evaluations, most of the tanks were converted back to standard Panzer III configuration. Not to be deterred though, Hitler ordered more constructed in 1944, resulting in the discarded flamethrowers of the Plammpanzer IIIs being installed in StuG IIIs and Jagdpanzer 38(t)s.

(Bundesarchiv)