PANZER III (BEFEHLSPANZER) PROJECT –
The photograph that Dawn’s drawing is based on was taken in Poland, in September 1939. A3 sized prints of the drawing – as well as the original – will soon be available, signed by a veteran of 4. Panzer-Division. For more details see Dawn’s webpage or send your questions to me.
The Panzer III Medium Tank was the main German battle tank for the first two and a half years of the Second World War, only beginning to lose that status after the appearance of the Panzer IV Ausf F2 in March 1942. Until then the Panzer III had been the only German designed tank armed with a gun designed to penetrate enemy armour.
Serious work on the Panzer III began in 1936, when a number of German tank manufacturers produced prototypes for a tank in the 15 ton category. This tank would be the main anti-tank weapon, firing armour piercing shot from its 3.7cm gun, while the Panzer IV would be the close support tank, firing high explosive shells at soft-shelled vehicles or anti-tank guns.
The development and production of the Panzer III progressed very slowly. On 1 September 1939 only 98 had been completed (compared to 211 Panzer IVs, 1,223 Panzer IIs and nearly 1,500 Panzer Is). The situation had somewhat changed by the start of the campaign in the west in May 1940, by which time there were over 300 Panzer IIIs on the front line, but it would only be available in really large numbers for the start of the invasion of Russian in the summer of 1941.
The Panzer III was laid out in the same way as the earlier Panzer I and II, with the engine at the rear and the gearbox at the front. The turret was an enlarged version of the one used on the Panzer II, now carrying three of the crew of five (commander, gunner and loader), an arrangement that dramatically improved the fighting power of the tank by increasing the rate of fire and allowing each member of the crew to concentrate on one job.
Only 98 Panzer IIIs were available for the invasion of Poland. This compares to 1,445 Panzer Is, 1,223 Panzer IIs and 211 Panzer IVs. As a result little can be said about the impact of the Panzer III. In theory there were meant to be eight Panzer IIIs in each light tank company, but some divisions had none.
Dawn has a number of other pieces of original military art, as well as prints, available on her website. She is always happy to discuss bespoke commissions, if there is a particular type of tank or other military vehicle that you would like her to draw for you.
If you have an old photograph of a relative who served in WW1 or WW2 – or any other era, for that matter – Dawn can use the photo to create a pen & ink portrait. Drawings can give so much more depth and feeling than a photograph; a very fitting and poignant way to commemorate the face of someone who bravely made the ultimate sacrifice. You can find out more about Dawn’s portrait service here.
Battle of Bellewaarde Commemorative Picture
Dawn is currently working on a picture to commemorate the fallen of the Battle of Bellewaarde that took place on 16th June 1915. Her intention is that the picture will represent equally the fallen of both armies in a sort of gentle remembering. She is working on preliminary sketches at the moment for each of the different components of the picture – and there are lots of them. You can see just a few of them in the image above.
The Bellewaarde 1915 picture is for charity and will help to raise funds towards the erecting of a memorial at the site of the battle. You can find out more about the picture here.
In a previous life (before children), Dawn drew clock movements. She has since been reincarnated as a military pen & ink illustrator – some would say, a natural progression: from escape wheels, pulleys and pivots to track spuds, sponsons and rivets. You can find out more about Dawn and her background here.
Dawn’s always happy to chat about art projects. If there’s something that you think you’d like her to draw – even if it’s only a vague idea – you can contact her here. She’s happy to tackle pretty much anything you’d care to throw at her as a bespoke commission: military vehicles, boats, ships, planes, vintage vehicles, as well as buildings or pets – the more detail, the better!