German anti-tank gun 7.5 cm Pak 40 (7.5 cm Panzerabwehrkanone 40) from the Second World War. Work on this cannon was carried out in 1939-1941 by Krupp and Rheinmetall. A significant acceleration of research work took place after the start of Operation Barbarossa and the encounter by German armored units of the KW-1 and T-34 tanks. The Pak 40 cannon was introduced into line units from the end of 1941. Thanks to its high parameters, it became the main German anti-tank gun until the end of the war. It was able to engage in firefight with any Soviet and Allied tanks, until the appearance of such vehicles as the IS-2, M26 Pershing and Centurion. In the period 1941-1945, over 29,000 of these weapons were produced (including cannons installed on tank destroyers). Its main drawback was its relatively high weight, which required the use of an artillery tractor for its transport. Due to the wide range of ammunition it could fire, it was often used as a field cannon. Projectile weights ranged from 4.1 kg to 6.8 kg. Technical data: caliber: 75 mm, weight: 1425 kg, initial velocity: 930 m / s (sub-caliber shell), rate of fire: 14 rounds / min. After the war, the Pak 40 gun was used in the armies of, among others, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Romania and Hungary.
The German experience of World War I clearly showed the great role of artillery on the battlefield and often the decisive influence that artillery had on infantry. At the same time, however, the limitations of the Versailles Treaty of 1919 hindered the development of this type of weapon in Germany in the 1920s, and in particular - the introduction of heavy artillery into line units. This state of affairs changed after the Nazis took power in 1933, when the process of virtually unrestrained armaments began. Many of the gun models developed earlier went into wide production. At that time (after 1933), several new types of guns were put into service on a really large scale, including: 10.5 cm leFH 18 or 15 cm SIG 33, i.e. the basic light and heavy howitzer of the German infantry during World War II. It is worth adding that the German army attached great importance to the role of artillery (especially heavy artillery) on the battlefield. For example, at the outbreak of World War II, the German infantry division had 20 75mm light infantry guns, 6 150mm heavy guns, 36 105mm light howitzers and 12 150mm heavy howitzers in stock. It is worth noting that the German tactic of using artillery put emphasis primarily on the accuracy of firing, which in turn had a negative impact on the speed of entering the action.