World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

5 cm Pak 38

Article Id: WHEBN0002558500
Reproduction Date:

Title: 5 cm Pak 38  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 3.7 cm Pak 36, 5 cm KwK 39, 7.5 cm Pak 40, Panzerabwehrkanone, World War II anti-tank guns of Germany
Collection: 50 Mm Artillery, World War II Anti-Tank Guns of Germany
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

5 cm Pak 38

5 cm Panzerabwehrkanone 38 (L/60)
Pak 38
Type Anti-Tank Gun
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
In service 1940–1945
Used by  Nazi Germany
Wars Second World War
Continuation War
Production history
Designed 1938
Manufacturer Rheinmetall-Borsig
Produced 1940–1943
Number built 9,566[1]
Weight 830 kg (1,800 lb)
Length 4.75 m (15.6 ft)
Barrel length 3 m (10 ft) L/60
Width 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Height 1.05 m (3 ft 5 in)
Crew 5


50×419 mm. R
5 cm Pzgr.
5 cm Pzgr. 39
5 cm Pzgr. 40
5 cm Pzgr. 40/1

5 cm Sprgr. 38
Caliber 50 mm (1.97 in)
Action Semi-automatic
Breech Horizontal sliding wedge
Carriage Split-trail
Elevation -8°–±27°
Traverse 65°
Rate of fire 13 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 550-1,130 m/s (1,804-3,707 ft/s)
Maximum firing range 3,000 yards
Feed system Manual
Sights Z.F. 3x8°

The 5 cm Pak 38 (L/60) (5 cm Panzerabwehrkanone 38 (L/60)) was a German anti-tank gun of 50 mm calibre. It was developed in 1938 by Rheinmetall-Borsig AG as a successor to the 37 mm Pak 36, and was in turn followed by the 75 mm Pak 40.


  • A successor to the 37 mm Pak 36 1
  • Service 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

A successor to the 37 mm Pak 36

After the Spanish Civil War, the German authorities started to think that a new anti-tank gun would be needed, even though the 3.7 cm Pak 36 had proven to be very successful. They asked Rheinmetall-Borsig to produce a new and more capable AT-gun. They first designed the Pak 37 in 1935, but the German authorities didn't approve it because of its low capabilities. Rheinmetall-Borsig were forced to create a new gun under the designation Pak 38, which fitted a new and longer L/60 barrel and was approved for mass production in 1939.


The Pak 38 was first used by the German forces during the Second World War in April 1941. When the Germans faced Soviet tanks in 1941 during Operation Barbarossa, the Pak 38 was one of the few early guns capable of penetrating the 45 mm (1.8 in) armor of the T-34. The gun was also equipped with Panzergranate 40 APCR shots with a hard tungsten core, in an attempt to penetrate the armor of the heavier KV-1 tank. The Pak 38 was also used in the Atlantic Wall because of its range and anti-tank capabilities, which would have been very useful in destroying allied tanks on the shore.

Although it was replaced by more powerful weapons, it remained a potent and useful weapon and remained in service with the Wehrmacht until the end of the war.

The Pak 38 carriage was also used for the 7.5 cm Pak 97/38 and the 7.5 cm Pak 50(f) guns.

Romania imported 110 Pak 38s in March 1943. The guns remained in service with the Romanian Armed Forces until 1954, when the 57 mm anti-tank gun M1943 (ZiS-2) replaced them.[2]

Pak 38


  1. ^ Panzer Divisions: The Eastern Front 1941-43, Peir Paolo Battistelli, 2008
  2. ^ Stroea, Adrian; Băjenaru, Gheorghe (2010). ]Romanian artillery in data and images [Artileria româna în date si imagini (PDF) (in Romanian). Editura Centrului Tehnic-Editorial al Armatei. p. 84.  
  • Gander, Terry; Chamberlain, Peter (1979). Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939–1945. New York: Doubleday.  
  • Hogg, Ian V. (1997). German Artillery of World War Two (2nd corrected ed.).  

External links

  • Intelligence report on Pak 38 at
  • Armor penetration table at Panzerworld

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.