Hobby Master 1-72 Ground Power
HG4108 German Tank Destroyer Marder III near the village of Karmanowo,
Summer 1942

In 1941 while invading the USSR the German generals realized that their tanks were no match for the new Soviet T34 and KV-1. While new German tanks were being developed and existing tanks upgraded there was a need for a stopgap vehicle. This would be the Marder III Tank Destroyer (English – Marder means Marten) based on the chassis of the Czechoslovak Panzer 38(t) and produced in 3 variants, Sd.Kfz.139, Ausf.H, Sd.Kfz.138 and Ausf.M, Sd.Kfz.138. These Tank Destroyers saw action on all battlefronts.

After some German units reported being close enough to Moscow they could see the Kremlin, the winter of 1941 – 1942 halted the German advance and the great Soviet winter offensive was able to push German forces back to the west where the Germans set up a defensive front in the area of Karmanowo. The 2nd Panzer Division fought many battles including at Klin, Karmanowo, Bjeloje and the Rzhev Salient where they suffered severe losses. The German forces managed to remain in the area throughout 1942 but they paid a heavy price.

Specifications - Sd.Kfz.139 Marder III Tank Destroyer
Country of origin – Germany
Number built - 363
Crew – 4, Driver, Radio Operator, Gunner, Commander
Performance
Engine - Praga EPA 6-cylinder producing 125 hp or Praga EPA/2 6-cylinder producing 140 hp Fuel - 218 litres
Range On road -185 km Cross-Country – 140 km Speed – 42 km/h
Dimensions
Length – 5.85 m Width – 2.16 m Height – 2.50 m
Weight – 10,670 kg
Armor – 10 to 50 mm
Armament
(1) 76.2 mm Pak 36(r) L/51 main gun with 30 rounds (1) 7.92 mm MG37(t) with 1,200 rounds