Monday 19 December 2016

Pak 40 Penetration Tables

The graphics refer to several types of shells:
  • Blue: standard armour piercing shells
  • Red: HEAT shells
  • Green: subcaliber armour piercing shells
  • Yellow: high explosive shells
The areas of the tank are marked as follows:
  • Solid black: critical effect
  • Hatched: destructive or critical effect
  • White: no effect
The other parts of the intro are pretty standard tips for AT gunners: let the tanks get close, camouflage your position, aim carefully, fire from a favourable angle, don't waste subcaliber ammunition (use only when AP and HEAT failed you, and even then at a range of less than 1000 meters).

Against the Matilda, the gunner is instructed to use HEAT only against vertical surfaces, at a short distance. HE can be used against the tracks and suspension. Hitting the engine deck with HE can cause a fire.

Against the Valentine, the advice is the same, except without the extra qualification for HEAT. The penetration values for the Valentine were come from calculations and should be used as preliminary guidelines only.

Against the T-34, the gunner is instructed to fire HEAT at the front part of the turret, aside from the gun mantlet. He should fire AP at the gun mantlet from 1000 meters. From 100-500 meters, he can fire AP at the driver's hatch or the connecting bar between the upper and lower front plates. The same advice as with the British tanks still applies to HE: fire it at the tracks and suspension. Unlike British tanks, shooting at the engine doesn't cause fires.

Against the KV-1, the advice is largely the same. Fire HEAT at the front of the turret or AP at the gun mantlet. HEAT can also be used against the lower front plate and the driver's plate, although the manual warns that it should be fired only when the tank is driving directly at you. The rest of the advice is the same as above, curiously enough down to the engine fire.

The KV-1 with applique armour is a tougher target. Subcaliber AP should be used here, and even then at close ranges. At 100 meters, even AP shells can penetrate the thickened portions of armour. HEAT is indicated to only be able to damage the tank when fired frontally.

Advice for the KV-2 is, understandably, the same as for the KV-1.

CAMD RF 500-12480-138


  1. The numbers in the Panzerbeschußtafel are conservative minimum ranges. It should at least be mentioned when quoting them that

    a) the ranges given are factoring in additionally a 60° (german definition = 30° US/engl) target angle.
    b) the target referred to is the most heavily uparmored one yet encountered

    Usually, the service personal complained that the ranges given in the tables were far too low and believed that the quality of soviet armor has very much degraded since the tables were issued.

  2. To clarify, the "Panzerbeschusstafel" issued by 2.2.1942 are based on calculations or estimations, not field tests or reports. Therefore, all anti-tank leaflets issued by then are voided per 15.12.1942, and revised by 15.3.1943. See CAMD RF 500-12480-138 p.127