5-cm Pak 38

Designed in 1938 and manufactured by Rheinmetall-Borsig, the 5-cm Pak 38 was a standard anti-tank gun, massively used by the German infantry on every front of World War II. It entered service in 1940 and first saw combat action in late June 1941, during Operation Barbarossa. Light and versatile, the 5-cm Pak 38 was much liked by the German troops as it was capable of knocking out a T-34 tank from 1,600 m. Among the Pak anti-tank guns in service with the Wehrmacht, It was surpassed in range and piercing power only by the 7.5-cm Pak 40.


It was a 50mm caliber weapon that fired tungsten-cored ammunition and HE shells, up to a maximum range of 2.65 km. Mounted on a two-wheeled, tubular, split-trail carriage, it was fitted with a 3-m(10′)-long rifled barrel and a 4mm-thick steel shield, weighing 830 kg. The Pak 38 replaced the 3.7 cm Pak 36 from 1940 and would be massively used on the Eastern Front against the Soviet T-34 tank, by both Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS units. The German designation for this gun was “5-cm-Panzerabwehrkanone 38”.


Type: anti-tank gun
Calibre: 50 mm (1.97 in)
Length of piece: 3.187 m (10 ft 5.5 in)
Length of rifling: 2.381 m (7 ft 9,7 in)
Weight: travelling 1062 kg (2,341 lb)
and in action 1000 kg (2,205 lb)
Traverse: 65°
Elevation:-8° to +27°
Muzzle velocity: 1,180 m/s (when firing the AP40)
Maximum range: 2,650 m


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Thor is Carlos Benito Camacho, the manager and writer of this blog.