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5 cm KwK 39/1 from a Sd. Kfz. 234/2 Schwerer Panzerspähwagen "Puma"

The 5 cm KwK 39 L/60 (5 cm Kampfwagenkanone 39 L/60) was a German 50 mm caliber gun used during Second World War, primarily as the main armament of later variants of the German Panzerkampfwagen III tank between 1941-1942.[1] It was developed as a variant of the towed gun 5 cm PaK 38. This gun proved successful in North Africa against British cruiser tanks and light American M3 Stuart tanks.[2] However, it was not sufficient against Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks. Rottman says, that for this reason it was phased out in favour of shorter 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 gun[1] that could fire HEAT rounds. Nevertheless, the first gun considered fully effective against these Soviet tanks was 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/43 mounted on Panzer IV Ausf. F2.

This 50 mm gun was mounted as a defensive armament for reconnaissance vehicles like the Puma.


Vehicles mounted on

Aerial version

BK 5 heavy-caliber autocannon


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rottman, Gordon L. (2008). M3 Medium Tank Vs Panzer III: Kasserine Pass 1943. Osprey Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-84603-261-5. 
  2. Rottman, Gordon L. p.4-5

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