3,7cm. Panzer Abwehr Kanone (PAK) 1936

Leon and Ralph  Lovett in WW II German Anti Tank Cannoneer uniforms and a 3,7cm. Panzer Abwehr Kanone (PAK) 1936

This is Leon and Ralph Lovett with our PAK “36.  The piece is complete and in excellent condition. 

German WW2 Anti-Tank Gun 3.7cm PAK 36

   The 3,7cm Panzer Abwehr Kanone (PAK) 1935/1936 L/45 was produced by Rheinmetall-Borsig, with work beginning as early as 1928.  The early designation for the piece was TAK (Tankabwehrkanone).  The designation of all Panzer Abwehr Kanone were changed to Panzer Jaeger Kanone in 1940 but the acronym PAK was still widely used.

    The PAK “36 was the first anti-tank gun in service with the German Wehrmacht as they entered WW2.  Its first true test came during the invasion of Poland.  In this campaign, the PAK “36 served very well, being more than a match for the well lead but poorly armored Polish Tanks of the time period.  The PAK “36 also served well in the 1940 invasion of France but against the better armored French Tanks the first real short comings were seen for this model.  The 3,7cm PAK 1936 began to be replaced by the 5 cm PAK 1938 starting in the late months of 1940 but still actively served on until 1945.  It saw heavy service on virtually every battlefield from the Soviet Eastern Front, to North Africa to Italy to the Atlantic Wall.  On the Eastern Front it gained the unflattering nick name “Door Knocker” because its projectiles did little more than knock on the newer Soviet T-34, KV1 and KV2 Tanks.  To keep the PAK 36 competitive a rifle grenade like explosive was produced for the gun.  It was designated the Stielgranate 41.  With this new projectile the PAK 36 could penetrate 180mm (7in) of armor plate.

Below: Example of the Stielgrate 41, which greatly enhanced the capability of the PAK 36.

Stielgranate 41

 Many PAK “36 guns also saw service with German’s allies, including Finland.  A copy of the 3,7cm PAK 1936 was even produced by Japan after 1934 and designated 37mm Anti-Tank Gun Type 97.

The PAK 36 has a split trail.  The elevation and traversing handles are set to the left of the gun for easy use by the gunner.  Like the French 25mm SA.L 1937 the trigger is built into the elevation handle.  In this case, however, it is a simple push button.  The breech is a semi-automatic horizontal sliding wedge.  The shield is made to fold down, likely to give the crew greater visibility but this also lowers the silhouette.  PAK 36s have a spring suspension system incased within drums near each wheel.  These can be locked downward to make the piece more stable when firing and also have the added benefit of lowering the silhouette.       

  A large number of vehicles were used as prime movers for the PAK “36.  The Krupp kfz. 69 (Krupp Protze) truck and the Sd kfz 10 are among the most famous but photos also show horse teams and many types of captured vehicles pressed into service to tow the PAK “36.

The German 3,7cm Panzer Abwehr Kanone (PAK) 1936 in the Lovett Collection is in excellent condition and is complete with optical sights and ammunition.  It is pictured in the typical German “Panzer Grey” paint scheme.  This piece ended the war in Finland was well maintained there until being imported into the US.

Caliber                         37mm (1.46 in)
Length of tube              1665mm (65.5 in)
Traverse                       60 degrees
Elevation                      -8 degrees to +25 degrees
Weight in service          328 kg
Total weight                  432 kg (952 lbs)
Muzzle Velocity            (AP 40) 1030 m/s  3378 ft/sec)
Muzzle Velocity            (AP) 762 m/s (2499 ft/sec)
Muzzle Velocity            (Stiel Gr. 41) 110 m/s (360 ft/sec)
Shot weight                  (AP 40) 0.354 kg (12.5 oz)
Shot weight                  (AP) 0.68 kg (1 lbs 8 oz)
Shot weight                  (Stiel Gr. 41) 8.5 kg (18 lbs 14 oz)
Armor penetration        (AP 40) 49mm at 400 yards (30 degrees)
Armor penetration        (AP) 38mm at 400 yards (30 degrees)
(Data from WW2 Fact Files “Anti-Tank Weapons by Chamberlin & Gander/ Stiel. Gr. 41 Data from German Tank and Anti-Tank by Hoffschmidt & Tantum)

Below: PAK 36 with the Stielgrate 41 fitted to the gun

Below: PAK 36 in a field environment

Below: PAK 36 with the upper shield folded down

Below: Close up of the PAK 36 Breech and Sight

Below: PAK 36 set up in an ambush position

Ralph and Leon Lovett with a 3,7cm. Panzer Abwehr Kanone (PAK) 1936 in a mock ambush Ralph and Leon Lovett with a 3,7cm. Panzer Abwehr Kanone (PAK) 1936 in a mock ambush (closeup)

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All images, research, and text are sole property of Ralph Lovett.