# Panzer III turret rotation speed

I would say it was roughly 45° in 10s. So 4.5°/s. So around the time it used to be for the early Pz IIIs in the game. I also meassured that with the Chieftain’s “Inside the Pz III” Episode, traversing the handwheel twice in a second, with each rotation meaning 2.2° traverse.

You could probably speed it up to 6°/s, which was the ace traverse speed in the game, if I’m not mistaken.

Current in game speeds are here. Basically now it’s 12 and the debate is whether it should be 24.

I mean we don’t all have a Pz 3 to play with but a lot of us do have access to things like lathes. Or pencil sharpeners. How fast can a human turn a hand crank assuming they have to apply a minimum of continuous force?

Two rotations per second is pretty plausible. That’s what old film cameras could be turned at, and also what many modern hand crank electronics are rated for.

Currently, given a 7 degree turn per crank for the Daimler, and a 4 degree turn per crank for the Pz 3, and the in-game turn speeds of 16 and 14 degrees per second respectively, that translates to 2.2 crank revs per second for the British tanker “going ham” and 3.5 revs per second for the German tanker doing the same thing. So it seems the “loader assist” may have already been fully factored in. Or all German tankers in WW2 are assumed to have servo-mechanical arms I suppose.

Personally I’d reverse the early-and late-model Pz 3s, because they do seem to be switched, fix the obvious typos in the Daimler and Pz IIIB AB speeds, and call it a day.

No, its not.
The only mention for 24°/Sec originally was that the Pz III Ausf. A-D hav 4°/turn,
Currently B has 20°/sec (that doesnt really matter)
The E-J have 12°/sec and J1-N have 14°/sec.
But all of E-J have the same gearing so they should have the same traverse of 14°/Sec, the later turrets only get heavyer.

(But this whole topic gets heated, so i wont bother with it anymore.)

Lol… My only question was if the increase in turret rotation (in RB ofc) was somewhat historically accurate or if it was just a stupid “balance” thing, but you guys do you.

Yeah guys the loader is completely blind and cannot help the gunner traverse the turret /s… Sure the view ports were not a gunner sight but a block of bullet-proof glass (currently un-modeled in the damage model) but he could help assist the gunner get pointed in the right direction. As for the claims of the loader throwing off the gunner and putting the target out of view… yeah no…

Pz III ausf. E
1.9x @ 40deg FOV
3.5x @ 21deg FOV

Pz III ausf. B (same as above)
Pz III ausf. F (same as above)
Pz III ausf. J (same as above)

the loader would have to crank for a total of
4.7 seconds @ 8.4 deg/sec
2.8 seconds @ 14deg/sec
continuously to blow past the entire 40 deg FOV

this is also ignoring the internal com system that allowed the crews to communicate with each other or going cave-man and the gunner yelling at the loader to stop…

1 Like

The claim was that a hypothetical combined rate of 24 degrees per second would throw the gunner out of their sight picture in under a second. As you said the narrow field of view is 22.5. 24 is bigger than 22.5… So what’s your point again?

People are reading way too much into the presence of a crank. But just to recap, we’ve established:

1. there is zero documentary evidence that the Pz 3 gunner/loader ever worked as a traverse team in combat engagements, or even on the firing range;

2. the Pz 3 already has a rate of traverse in game far greater in terms of gear rotations per second than any other comparable manual turret (such as the Daimler) so the loader crank thing is apparently already accounted for in game.

3. the rates already approach ludicrousness with the Pz 3B gunner turning his crank through 5 rotations a second, not something a human wrist can do

4. that no other comparable weapon has ever tried to have two people control traverse together who have very different sight pictures

And yet people are still saying they’re too slow.

I also find it somewhat ridiculous to argue with the loader assist, since he is the loader afterall.

He has loading duties so he can’t traverse the turret at the same time.
Also, if he dies, the tank still maintains the same traverse in-game because the game just never considered this.

It could still be considered to boost the traverse by some amount but not like to the same degree as the gunner can.

So with your infinite wisdom of being an armchair general can you explain why they’ve wasted time and installed the crank system for the loader without goal post moving? Mind you they’ve installed the same system in multiple iterations of the tank and could have forgone it if it was as useless as you’re implying,

loaders duties according to the crank nerfers in bold
1. stand around and wait for the gun to fire
common sense of what the loader can/should be doing to assist/keep the crew/tank alive instead of doing nothing the majority of the time.
3. look through vision ports for target acquisition (3 dedicated view-ports for the loader alone on both the III and IV series tanks till you get to the III Ausf. L and the IV Ausf. G)
4. assist the gunner by pointing the turret at targets he’s spotted utilizing the front/side view-port blocks because he doesn’t have amnesia and the gunner cant see targets on that side of the vehicle…

1 Like

Did I say it’s useless? I said it shouldn’t boost the regular traverse of what the gunner is capable off by much.
The reason is obvious. Not only does it take coordination with the gunner and/or commander, gunner and loader won’t do anything unless the commander tells them what to do, it’s obvious that the loader can’t traverse while he is reloading the gun.
So in reality you wouldn’t be able to sustain a constant increase in traverse speed.

Also you’re jumping to conclusions here. Just because a system is used, doesn’t mean it works as well as designed for.

I could list you a hundred things that were done in WW2 even though it didn’t have the desired result and weren’t done this way after WW2.

Also the system only benefits from an increase in traverse speed, if the traverse of each handwheel was additive, meaning that turning both gunner and loader handwheel actually increased the traverse above what one rotation could provide, which is very unlikely.

We already saw how the system on the Pz III is connected to the gunners traverse system while on the Pz IV the loader handwheel simply has his own connection to the turret ring.

So on the Pz IV it would be outright impossible for the loader to increase the traverse to more than what he can turn the handwheel times 2.6°, while on the Pz III there could have been a system that increase the traverse speed, even though there’s no information on that.

However, considering it’s German, it’s very likely that it actually does function this way.
Which means at most you get 2.2°/turn + 2.6°/turn, which with ~2.2 turns a sec would give 10-11°/s.
But that speed can only be achived while the loader assists, which he can’t all the time, since he is also loading the gun.

I agree but how about 2 classified documents? The Secret Handbook to the Panzer III E.docx Panzer III E modification document.docx

The Pz. III E loader has a 7.92mm gun for protecting the tank. That’s why

It wasn’t useless though. The Pz III was unique in that the coax MGs could be disconnected from being coaxially trained and individually elevated by the loader. This was seen as having potential AA uses mostly. That’s why when you look at pictures of them, they often have their buttstocks on.

Spoiler

The loader crank was there to allow the loader some measure of traverse on the machine gun(s) when they were controlling it and the target wasn’t also worth a main gun shell. In terms of the actual function, it had nothing to do with loader-assist on traverse when the gunner was in charge. Otherwise (just like if they were traversing to help the gunner in reverse) they’d be relying on a gunner to traverse for them when the gunner had a different sight picture.

Loader-assist-on-traverse is just some people here at WT forums invented, it has zero basis in any actual historical documentation or reality.

1 Like

1 Like

See the thing with sources is, you need to actually say what document it’s from when you use them. Sort of the point of sources, really.

I know that one off the top of my head. Panzer Tracks 3-1.

1 Like

So… we’re back to the Jentz/Doyle pamphlet from 2006 again. Who should know, I agree, but never that I’m aware suggest in any of their books that that would increase the traverse speed, or by how much. Assistance just means, that, assistance. They certainly don’t suggest an accelerated speed in combat conditions in the quote above.

The claims for increasing speed tend to come from other secondary sources, specifically Michael Green’s books, who quotes an October 1944 Allied booklet for the troops. The original quote there, “an auxiliary turret-traversing handle on the loader’s side allows dual control for quick traversing, as no power traverse is provided on this tank.”

Again, the “dual control” was to allow independent training of the coax assembly when decoupled by the loader, otherwise he could have only moved it up and down without the gunner’s help. This pre-war concept, not really picked up by later tanks or used much, was likely not well understood by someone writing for Allied troops in late 1944.

But yes, what I should have said was “loader-assisted-acceleration-on-traverse” was the WT forum’s unique spin on this, not any form of loader assistance of any kind. This thread has talked about several situations outside of combat conditions where having a second wheel elsewhere in the turret wouldn’t hurt. The question was whether two crew regularly turned the cranks together to get a faster traverse in combat conditions and there’s still zero evidence for that, and lots of mechanical evidence against.

But the current turret speeds in game do reflect a faster speed in terms of hand cranks per second than, say the Daimler, so this possibility seems already factored into the game, if a little unevenly between models, and I’m not going to say that’s wrong. My only objection is to people (you, Ghostmaxi specifically) saying here traverse speeds should be increased by a factor of 50% or more yet AGAIN, to an aced base traverse in RB of 24 degrees per second for the IIIB and slightly slower for the others, based on nothing in primary sources (no German training manual, no battle account of Panzer III members turning their wheels together, no tests involving extant Panzer IIIs today, nothing).

Again, these are mechanically impossible speeds for pure handcranking, as anyone with a mechanical pencil sharpener, emergency power generator, clamp or any other axled rotational device can test for themselves. Anyone can try to torque any handwheel around at six rotations per second even if there’s not a multi-ton turret on ball bearings behind it, which is the claim you’re making, and see how that goes. But we are all repeating ourselves now.

No im not saying that. Just that the B should be faster than the rest. Which is reflected in game as well.
The 24°/sec only came up once, when going by your 3 turns a 2nd and the debatable double speed.

The mid-war and late-war Pz III traverse speeds should probably be flipped, given that the turret would have only gotten progressively heavier with the longer 50mm. The current 14 degrees for late-war, or 3.5 crank turns per second, is at the limit of the capabilities of a human arm and wrist, or even two arms and wrists turning essentially the same crank (since they aren’t geared differentially to each other to allow additive force, as we saw above). And people who like Daimlers and Tetrarchs are right to be miffed that Allied arms in game can only get up to 2.2 crank turns per second in exactly the same conditions. But that’s my point, there’s already a factor being dialled in there for the Panzer IIIs now.

20 degrees, or 5 hand crank turns per second, on the Pz III B IS completely ludicrous and biomechanically impossible, but no one uses a Pz III B after their first week playing the game so no one really cares. If it were me I’d knock all the older IIIs down to the current E-J speed of 12, and let the B have the 14. But that’s just me, and my hangups on the real-world limitations of human arms, and I don’t think the in-game difference that would result from changing a 12 to a 14 or vice versa would be significant enough to care about, or even notice, really.

And you did say it should be “24 for A-D”, or six hand cranks per second, here.

Yeah, as i sayed, the 24°/sec only came up with your 3 turns a sec and the debatable double speed. But thats still not what i stand for.
And even there is didnt say it should be that in game, i wrote (with going by your above mentioned 3 turs sec) WOULD be 24°/sec.