Variants of the Panzerkampfwagen III
During the 30's, visionary generals like Guiderian were pushing for independent armored formations capable of rapid and decisive movements on the battlefield when combined with aerial and artillery support. For these armored divisions to succeed, an armored vehicle capable of meeting and destroying the tanks of the opposition was required. The Panzerkampfwagen III was envisioned as the primary tank of the Wehrmacht. It was to have a dual-purpose armament capable of firing both armor piercing and high explosive rounds, as well as several machine guns.
The Panzer III served as the primary battle tank of the Wehrmacht until the introduction of the Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. F2 (with the long-barreled 7.5cm PaK). Although production of turreted vehicles on the Panzer III ceased in late 1943, the Panzer III chassis served as the basis for the Sturmgeschütz until the end of the war.
Sturmgeschütz III mit 8.8cm KwK43