The Pak 36 was an anti tank cannon developed for the German army in 1933, coming into general service in 1936. Over 9000 pieces were available to the German army by 1939 with a further 5000 being manufactured during the course of war.
Seeing service initially in the Spanish civil war it performed well against the lightly armoured Republican tanks. Once again the PAK 36 served admirably against the Polish tanks during the 1939 campaign but its small calibre started to prove ineffective against British and French heavy tanks during the 1940 French campaign. The same weaknesses became even more apparent when faced with Russian T-34 and KV-1's during Operation Barbarossa. However as the Russian army fielded mainly light tanks at this time, the PAK 36 was responsible for knocking out hundreds of these Russian light tanks.
The PAK 36 was eventually replaced by the 50mm PAK 38 mid way through the war. However with various firepower modifications including a Stielgranate 41 rocket shaped charge, it was given an extended lease of life in various theatres including Italy and Normandy. It was favoured by Germany's Fallschirmjager for its light weight and portability. The Fallschirmjager's of course found it very effective against infantry, trucks and armoured cars right up until the end of the war.
The PAK 36 is probably best remembered from a scene in the HBO series 'Band of Brothers' where the US Paratroops come up against the Fallschirmjager in Carentan, armed with a PAK 36 which has been fitted with a Stiegranate 41. The FJ's fire it point blank at the Americans with quite deafening results!
The A variant with Stielgranate 41 rocket, glued & permanently fitted to barrel, 37mm ammunition box and canister for Stielgranate 41. No crew are provided.