Dragon Models offers a complete lineup of the Pz.Kpfw. III family tree in 1/35 scale, including several new kits in this last year alone. The subject of this review is the Pz.Kpfw.III (F) Ausf. M (w/Schürtzen), from their “’39 to ‘45” Smart Kit series. The [F] stands for FlammenPanzer, or ‘flame tank’.
A flame tank is a type of tank equipped with a flamethrower, most commonly used to supplement combined arms attacks against fortifications, confined spaces, or other obstacles. The type only reached significant use in the Second World War, during which the United States, Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom (including members of the British Commonwealth) all produced flamethrower-equipped tanks.
A number of production methods were used. The flamethrowers used were either modified versions of existing infantry flame weapons, or specially designed weapons mounted externally, or replacing the tank's main armament as in the subject of this review. Unlike some of the Allied flame tanks, fuel for the flame weapon in the Pz.Kpfw.III (F) was carried inside the tank itself.