WAW006 – Pz. Kpwf. III Ausf. B
In 1937, 15 pieces of the new version of Panzer III tanks (with factory numbers 60201-60215) were manufactured by Daimler-Benz and marked as Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. B(2/ZW). Only 10 of them were equipped in turrets and weapons. The remaining 5 chassis were used in 1937-1939 to build the first series (5 pieces) of prototype (O-Serie) Szturmgeschutz III (Stug. III) assault guns. In October 1940, the remaining five turrets of Panzer III Ausf. B tanks were used for the construction of Panzer III Ausf. D/B tanks (with Panzer III Ausf. D1 chasis). Due to the problems of Panzer III Ausf. A (1/ZW) with the spring suspension, the suspension of the new, second production batch (2/ZW) of Panzer III Ausf. B was completely redesigned. The track system with five driving wheels and shock-absorbing based on steel
springs was replaced with a track system with eight driving wills blocked in pairs into four bogies sprung by two leaf springs supported with hydraulic shock-absorbers by ZF Sachs AG on each side of the vehicle. The purpose of Panzer III Ausf. B was to destroy armoured vehicles of the enemy. The 3.7 cm Kw.K 36 L/46.5 anti-tank gun with initial projectiles speed of 765 m/s was practically suitable for firing anti-tank shells only. The weight of Panzer III Ausf. B was 15,900 kg and the top speed was 35 km/h. The crew consisted of 5 members: the commander, driver-mechanic, gun-layer, gunner, and machine gunner-radio operator. Panzer III Ausf. B (2/ZW) tanks were manufactured at Daimler-Benz AG Werke in Berlin-Marienfelde. They were also manufactured by Krupp-Gruson Werke in Essen.