Marder III – Bothering details in 6 points

I’m kind of new to the game and honestly I love it.
Being a sucker for the German Panzerjäger´s I was thrilled to use it. Yeah one gets killed by about everything but that’s the whole deal isn’t it? Sic.

Playing having fun, or hmm a type of fun, I got this thing in my head that just to practice and learn how to use it (documenting range and type of target etc) that I will take out 100 enemy tanks. So after grinding on to about halfway, knowing the vehicle very well (5-1 death to kill ratio) I actually started to look closer on the vehicle, and with forum acquaintance I become somewhat picky, that did not help.

People have their fav vehicles to point things out on, why can’t I have mine??

So… Picky as hell I will say; 6 points.

  1. Name: Marder III.

The “Marder III” goes by many names in literature but is actual three different models. As the developers has selected to identify vehicle with the nov -44 (?) nick name and not the quasi correct military: Panzerjäger 38 (t) für 7,62cm Pak 36 sd.Kfz. 139 it would be nice to fix this somehow. This Marder III for example would be better off just as Marder III sd.Kfz. 139 (specialized vehicle type 139) to better distinguish between other models then just to refer it to a Marder III.

  1. 76mm PaK 36 (r) Gun?

All references to the gun in the Game is “76mm”, however Germans didn’t use mm but CM. So correct title should say; 7,62cm Pak 36 (r) not missing out the X,X2 either - it is a modified Russian field gun not the German Pak 40 version.

  1. Gun traverse W!!! (-**)?

Now this is a major issue. While playing I got more and more a habit of having problems traversing the gun/ vehicle to target things and in the end I just had fact check it.

Turns out that in the game gun is presented of having a traverse of 11° left and right. That is a total of 22°. The game Wiki say -10+10° ??? whats the -/+ thing is I don’t know but it equals 20°. Now believe me, no German panzerjäger in WWII had this low traverse value.
The correct in accordance to modern sources should be 50° [eg. Jentz/Doyle Panzer Tracts 7-2].
That is 25° left & right. NOW THIS – is a whole of a lot difference in this game! (trust my 300 burning wrecks of Marder III’s)

Ok yes, following the regulations around sources of making bug reports I can produce sources but can the developers do the same around the 20-22° thing. So I started to wonder; -Where did they get the 20-22° from?
Curiously I have not manage to find the odd 22° in my bookshelf of some 20 books on panzerjägers and relatives. Even more bizarre is that in-game the gun-sights traverse is seemingly limited to only 10,5° =21° which actually gives you a 20, 21, 22° range.

Yeah they might have used Spielbergers “Die panzer-kampfwagen 35 (t) und 38 (t) und ihre abarten (…)” p.226 claiming: “Der Seitenrichtbereich betrug 21° nach jeder Seite.” ~The sight traverse was 21° to either side. Could they have mis-read something or missed “either side”??
Or is it Wolfgang Fleischer that in In “Die deutsche Panzerjägertruppe 1935-1945 Bildband: Katalog der Waffen, munition und Fahrzeuge”, p.42 states “Seitenrichtbereich 12°” on the Pak 36 (r) for some 10,5 thing but which would be 24°. Now its not known if this value refers to the Russian gun carriage or the actual gun mount on vehicle 139. Either way its 24° and not 20, 21, 22° as stated in the game… and its still wrong anyway.

  1. Gun elevation?

This is an even more subjective thing. Haven’t been able to check it in game as I don’t know how but game wiki says; Vertical guidance @ -6 / 18 ° which do suggest info coming from “Die deutsche Panzerjägertruppe 1935-1945”. Spielberger in the “Panzer-kampfwagen 35 (t) und 38 (t)” book claim; -8 +13° which is the weirdest number to date. The correct value should most likely be -6/16° [based on Jentz/Doyle Panzer Tracts 7-2] or -8/+16° if a series 2 vehicle. The Sd.Kfz. 139 version was built in two series. The second somewhat upgraded included a +2 ‘negative’ tilt on the gun -6 to -8° for hulldown positions.
Judging by the model in WT the vehicle in the game is a composite. So yeah, well, I can live with a degree here and there in elevation…

  1. Gun crew? Oh my.

Part of the ~300 (+) deaths is definitely the loader getting scratched. Why? Because in the game the gun crew basically sits in transportation mode, understandably on other vehicles in the game that have all around armor, but the ‘Marder 139’ is not only open topped but a generally fully open vehicle!
In combat mode (in reality), that is I guess the game is about… combat… the gun crew are semi lying on the motor deck behind the gun and superstructure side shields, not sitting up-strait (as the loader) – ON CHAIRS! The ‘Marder III 139’ had the chairs folded over the side plates in the combat zone to facilitate proper loading, crew movement and respective protected positions.
Nerd detail? Yes, the chairs were cushioned with thick leather covered pads (even when slung over the sides), though usually not on captured or knocked-out vehicles that normally acts as references. :P

  1. Cammo?

Right, there is a grey vehicle yes, and a desert coloured vehicle… ok, and some actually decent whitewash for snow that is really good. But ‘43 onwards these vehicles as all the rest did have various two and three type camouflage paint jobs which hmmm is needed. I mean rolling around in a 1942 vintage panzergrey scheme in the summer with mod. 1944 tankmates and super camouflaged enemies in a realistic battle is kind of… *makes a frustrated noise.


Okey, so why don’t I kind of send a report to the developers? Well I actually tried. Not that uncomplicated task within the six different comments, figuring out where to post etc. But a few hours (over a week) of scrounging pics, scans, forms and sources - after posted, as I perceive it correctly, it lay waiting for a moderator to re-view report for some 7 months before it…. Well nothing actually happened… so you guys that drives the old ‘139’, I just want to say it… -You know you spend time in a f’ed up vehicle.


(Want pics? Ask me.)


You say that but production Panzerjäger 38t “Hetzer” has only +5/+11 making it 16 degree in total.
Orginal plans saying +20/+20 so plans not always go through.
Also maybe possible traverse is 50° but I can’t see how gunner would be able to work with +25° to right because even with max gun traverse right now he is really close to edge and little more traverse and he would have to fire the gun from outside the tank.


All very valid points.
Reason for not associating Hetzer in the general Panzerjäger family IMO is although Hetzer is a Panzerjäger by the general development family tree, Hetzer was originally slated as Sturmgeschütz 38(t), but as Guderian wanted the Hetzer for the armored troops as a “Panzerjäger” its definition changed. However the definition of Panzerjäger as of 1942 (?) is ~ ‘gun open mounted on tank hull’ something that would later differ from closed hull jägers that was referred to as Jagdpanzers in the bureaucratic world.
All Panzerjägers, StuG´s and Jadgpanzer were however practically in the end employed in dual roles (with various results).

The 25° right is of interest and is recognized as a possible problematic area between construction and practicality but appears to not to have been a problem. As can be seen by attached diagram of Marder III sd.Kfz. 139 taken from Nuts and Bolts vol. 15, 25° is visually not that much of a traverse. What one seldom see due to normal reasons (being covered by a shield), is that the actual gunners position is very close to the actual gun mount and not really parallel to the gun itself.

As can be observed @ 25° there is still room for the gunner to do his job. His upper body is fully behind the shield as seen on attached picture of a “139” in Das Reich, and would fit problem free on the blueprint (I would suggest wearing knee pads though [sic.]) where only his waist would pivot behind the gun sight. Remember these guns were ‘art of desperation’ and not made with crew comfort in mind. Also of course the chairs were folded over the sides but here they prove a point as a relation of scale.


Looks good. Well if you have all the data to prove that 25/25 traverse is correct then time for bug report. Would love to see some buffs to this thing even if I have to admit that I haven’t played that thing probably 1-2 years :D
What I wonder now that in picture there is 3 crew man on top and it make sense that you would have dedicated loader during combat to help gunner and commander. Is this guy radio operator or 5th crew member?
Also I really would love to see Marder II in WT. I think it is easily best looking marder and I just love pzII chassis.

It appears by experience reports that Marder units experimented/recommended (I.e. used), a 5th crew member so that the vehicle commander could spot targets and direct fire. Who this extra member is is not really defined, but as the commander is a gunner by position (this could vary in reality) it’s most likely that they added a second gunner relieving him of this duty.

Being in the gun position it was difficult to both spot hits and the “splashes” of misses to be able to correct fire due to the heavy recoil and debris cloud kicked up from the muzzle blast, and by nature even harder to identify targets (constantly switching from binoculars to gun sight).

IIRC its not uncommon that photos shows at least one vehicle in the platoon having a 5th crew member (assumed the platoon leaders vehicle?) something that might give us a hint of the prevalence of this.

Some Panzerjäger variants also had “Befhelsjägers” with double radio sets where the commander took position as a 2nd radio operator (though there are assumptions of assigning a second teleofficer instead and let the Co./Bn. Commander direct battle via intercomm from gunners position pending on the crew compartment of the specific jäger).

Problem was that there was very little space for a 5th crew member and even lesser for any expanded stowage (many of the Marder III sd.Kfz. 139’s however is seen mounting large containers/crates or even cupboards on their rear engine deck stowage basket to mitigate this).

In the end the (medium) Panzerjäger was basically only a self-propelled ‘cannon’ and not a real combat vehicle (as some PJ commented; ~If a Landser sees a tracked vehicle with a gun; it’s a tank) and apparently ended up facing a similar problem as the french AMX-10 R/C in Ukraine.

A second problem filing a bug report “25/25” is that they need to rearrange the seating’s to “combat mode” to facilitate crews to better fighting positions, both as survivability via protection, and to enable graphics to function properly with a 25/25. And I have no idea how to get Gajin to connect these issues through proper chain report formula/process/channel.

In combat the bottom of the seats were folded over the sides of the superstructure walls and the back rests were re-positioned to special fittings on the rear deck stowage basket that is illustrated here from MBI publications Marder III/Grille p.12.

M3 rear detail

An in-game comparison with a Marder III sd.Kfz.139 from 90 Pj.Abt 10 Pz.Div. during an exercise in France ’42 shows the game problem. The crew in France are in actual combat positions. It appears here that the loader leans forward on one foot (normal squatting “rifle stance”) possibly in position shoving in a new shell into the breach. Note also how he hugs the inside of the Marders minimal shields. Chairs are in stowed positions.
The photo is taken slightly from the rear so we actually see more of the crew then if it was taken from the side.

Crew protection of this vehicle was inadequate something that was constantly evolved on later models until fully encapsuled on the Hetzer, but still it was not a ‘sight seeing’ vehicle as portrayed in the game.

Personally I love both the Marder II (sd.Kfz. 131) and the Marder III M (sd.Kfz. 138) and would love to see them in the game, though I understand that their participation is more of aesthetically and diversity reason than actual difference in game terms (as this whole series are basically almost the same in technical specifications except for layout of equipment), hence low priority for Gaijin. Besides I would hate to see them as a special market green thing (though I can accept Golden eagles).

extra traverse will be welcome, and I’m a fan of not having crew members in “please shoot me” positions. Most vehicles don’t need this kind of soft balance, especially with the prevalence of very well performing HMG’s on many vehicles and aircraft

Ok! Wanna see traverse (Any one)? ;)

Two reasonable independent sources. One got it from its source list, the other from German documents claimed by author (at time unspecified, but we can probably figure that one out by mailing them).

I. Tech sheet in Nuts & Bolts 15 says: Extend of traverse / Seitenrichtbereich (aim point area) 50°. That is the total i.e. 25° left and 25° right.

N&B15 sheet

II. Tech sheet Panzer Tracks 7-2 page 104.: Traverse 50 degrees (25 R & L)

PZt 7-2 sheet

III. How did this vehicle get its gun to point out side the hull if with a traverse of only 10 or 11°??? (See my previous illustrations).

Now I have done my part! I now demand War Thunder to present their source for a 10+10 or something (sic.) or get my tank destroyer playable!

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