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The German tank destroyer Sd.Kfz. 138 Marder III was developed for use by the German army based upon the chassis of the obsolete, but available, Czechoslovakian production light tank Panzer 38 (t). The modification involved the adoption, in an open structure protected by an inclined plate shield, of the effective PaK 40 75 mm anti-tank gun. The Marder III Ausf. H had the engine fitted in the rear of the vehicle and the weapon system in a central position, in order to ensure greater protection for the crew. In this configuration the Wehrmacht had a tank destroyer that was easy to produce and with firepower that could counteract main battle tanks of the period. It entered production in 1942 to meet the challenge of the eastern front operational theater but was ultimately deployed on all fronts until the end of the war.