Dragon Models offers a complete lineup of the Pz.Kpfw. III family tree in 1/35 scale, including several kits released in this past year alone. The subject of this review is the Pz.Bef.Wg. III Ausf J from their Smart Kit series. Pz.Bef.Wg., short for Panzerbefehlswagen, identifies the vehicle as a specialized command tank, containing long range radios.
The Pz.Bef.Wg. III Ausf J
The Panzer III was a medium-class tank that, at the outbreak of WWII, was designed to be the primary platform of the all-conquering panzer divisions. With the advent of more heavily armored and up-gunned enemy tanks, the role of the Panzer III became secondary to that of the Panzer IV, and its production finally ceased in 1943.
A number of specialized command tanks containing long-range radios were created based on standard gun tanks, such as the Panzerbefehlswagen III Ausf J. As its name denotes, it was based on the Ausf J chassis, of which 2,616 were built by German factories from March 1941 to July 1942.