A German PaK 40 Anti Tank Gun in front of the Municipal Hall in the town of Valkenburg. It is a remembrance to the liberation of the town during World War Two on the early morning of 17 September 1944 by the 119th regiment of the US 30th Infantry Division named ‘Old Hickory’. This same regiment took out this Anti Tank gun in September 1944 and it was left behind in a garden were it stayed until 1989. In 1989 the German gun was moved to its current location were a plaque to the 119th regiment, the ‘Old Hickory’, was added in honour of the men who fought for their freedom.
The PaK 40 is a German 75mm Anti Tank Gun. A modified version of the gun was used in various German Panzers like the Panzer IV, Sturmgeschuts and Marder and Hetzer Self propelled Anti Tank Guns. The name ‘PaK’ is in German short for PanzerabwehrKanone – Anti Tank Gun, when used in a Panzer they named the modified version 7,5 KwK 40 or KampfwagenKanone – Tank Gun. It was produced by Rheinmetal and was the backbone of the German Anti Tank Gun weapons during the war. The PaK 40 served from 1942 until 1945 in the German army and was designed from 1939 until 1942. A staggering 23.500 of these Anti Tank Guns were build over the cause of the war.
A trained crew could fire 14 rounds a minute and aim true over 1800 meters. The shells could penetrate 97mm of armoured steel from 1000 meters, it could rip through the hull of almost any enemy tank. The penetration capability increases when the distance is shortend, it could penetrate 115mm of armoured steel over 500 meters. About 6000 of these KwK guns for tanks were made besides the 23.500 Anti Tank Guns, these 6000 were installed into various self propelled Tank Hunters.
Find the PAK 40 in the Dersaborg park at the Geneindestraat 4 Valkenburg.
All photo’s are provided by Rogier de Jong.