Germany – Pak 41

Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:49 pm

The Pak 41 was a Gerlich gun – one of a series of anti-tank guns with tapered bores.  Dr. Gerlich, a ballistics expert at Krupps, developed the tapered design of the Gerlich gun, which was unique for guns of its time.

The barrel of the Pak 41consisted of a 75 mm rifled bore that tapered to a 55mm smooth bore near the muzzle.

Ammunition for the Gerlich gun consisted of tungsten carbide cored shells with skirts that folded back as the shells moved through the smaller bore. The tapered barrel increased the muzzle velocity to 4000ft/s (1220m/s).  Armor penetration was increased to 6.9 inches (177mm) at 1094 yards (1000m).

Pak 41 anti-tank gun, photo by GeniOverall, the Pak 41 was considered superior to the Pak 40. In addition to having a higher muzzle velocity and a greater armor penetration than the Pak 40, the Pak 41 was also significantly lighter than the Pak 40.

Despite is advantages, however, the Pak 41 was never placed in service. The tungsten that was needed for its shells was scarce and was allocated to machine tool production. In addition, the skirted shells wore out the gun barrels, giving a barrel a life of only 1,000 rounds.

150 Pak 41s were built in 1942.