7.5 Cm Pak 97/38 - Summary

Summary

The Pak 97/38 was produced using captured barrels and could fire captured French and Polish ammunition. Together with light weight, good mobility and sufficient anti-armor performance with HEAT shell (enough to penetrate T-34 in most situations; side armor of KV could also be pierced), it made the gun a decent anti-tank weapon.

It had shortcomings, particularly low muzzle velocity. Although it didn't affect armor-piercing characteristics of its HEAT ammunition, it meant insufficient performance when firing regular AP shells and - because of difficulties in hitting small mobile targets - low effective range of about 500 m even with HEAT. The gun also had quite violent recoil, especially with AP shells. It must be also noted that in World War II the technology of manufacture of HEAT shells was crude, so many shells had armor penetration characteristics significantly below the nominal ones.

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