7.5 Cm Pak 97/38 - Employment


The Pak 97/38 reached the battlefield in the summer of 1942. Despite moderate effectiveness and violent recoil, it remained in service until the end of the war. The scale of use can be illustrated by the ammunition used: 37,800 HEAT shells in 1942 and 371,600 in 1943. On 1 March 1945 the Wehrmacht possessed 145 Pak 97/38 and FK 231(f) guns though only 14 were employed by frontline units.

Ten barrels with shields were experimentally mounted on the Soviet T-26 light tank chassis, resulting in vehicles designated 7.5 сm Pak 97/38(f) auf Pz.740(r). These self-propelled guns served with the 3rd Company of the 563rd Anti-Tank Battalion before being replaced by Marder III on 1 March 1944.

The gun was also employed by the Finnish Army during the Continuation War. Finns purchased the 75 mm field guns from France in 1940, became disappointed with their performance and in 1943 reached an agreement with Germany about upgrading them to Pak 97/38 standards. 46 pieces were converted in March–June 1943. Seven of the guns were lost in combat, the rest remained in service after the war and only in 1986 were they retired.

Five or six guns each were supplied to the infantry divisions of the Romanian Third and Fourth Armies in October 1942.

Nine divisions of the Italian 8th Army had an anti-tank battery of six guns assigned to its artillery regiment in 1942. The Italian designation was Cannone da 75/39.

By November 1942 the Hungarian 2nd Army fielded 43 Pak 97/38s.

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