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Panzerkampfwagen V Panther

Sd. Kfz. 171

PzKpfw V Panther Ausf A.


Picture provided by Eric Peytavin.

"Enemy introduced new tank !


Shape roughly similar to
'Tridsatchedverka' (T-34).
Tank is heavily armored, weight is est.
40-50 tons.
Armament is probably 88mm AA gun.
We had losses at combat ranges beyond
2,000m. ..."
Soviet radio message from July 8th of
1943.

The Panzerkampfwagen V Panther, next to the PzKpfw VI Tiger, is the best-known


German tank of World War II. The Panther and the Soviet T-34 are considered to be the
best tanks of World War II. When in June of 1941, Germany invaded Russia, Panzertruppe
encountered KV series and T-34/76 tanks, which were far superior in firepower and armor
protection to any Panzer at the time. It was then decided, because of the constant reports
from the Eastern Front to design a new more powerful medium tank, which could be
quickly put into production. On November 25th of 1941, Adolf Hitler ordered Wa Pruef start

work on the new tank. In December of 1941, Wa Pruef ordered Daimler-Benz and MAN
(Maschinenfabrik Augsburg Nuernberg) to design new 30-ton tank armed with 75mm KwK
L/70 gun as a response to the Soviet T-34/76 tank. Rheinmetall-Borsig was in charge of
the development of the turret for this new tank. In March of 1942, Daimler-Benz was the
first to produce their version of VK3002's design based on previously rejected VK3001
(direct copy of T-34/76) design from January of 1942. Two versions of VK 3001 with
different suspensions were designed by Daimler-Benz - one with spring suspension and
other with torsion bar suspension. Daimler-Benz VK3002 design was largely based on T34/76 and was more like a modified German version of it. MAN finished their design of
VK3002 in early Spring of 1942.

VK3002(DB) with torsion bar suspension.


VK3002(DB)'s turret was mounted in the forward position of the hull just like that of T34/76. Prototype was presented to the Fuhrer, who ordered the production of 200 to start
as soon as possible. On May 11th of 1942, VK3002 project received the designation of
Panther. On May 14th of 1942, when extensive tests of both prototypes were completed,
Hitler decided to put MAN's design into production. Daimler-Benz's design was rejected
since it was assumed that it would cause many problems with identification of the vehicle
and also proved to have poor performance and many modifications would have to be
made in order to improve its faults. The Daimler-Benz protototype was captured by the
Soviets in 1945. Skoda also provided their design similar to Soviet T-34/76, designated
Panzerkampfwagen T-25, but its design was also rejected. In June/July of 1942, MAN's
Panther was finally accepted for full-scale production. Adolf Hitler ordered that the
production of MAN's Panther was to start as early as December of 1942. Adolf Hitler
himself insisted on using 75mm KwK 42 L/100 gun, but since it was not ready for
production, shorter 75mm KwK 42 L/70 gun, which was capable of penetrating almost
150mm thick armor at the range of 1000 meters was used. Panther's 75mm gun had
penetration slightly better than Tiger's 88mm gun. VK3002(MAN)'s design had its turret
mounted in the central part of the hull and had better overall performance.
Panther's technical design incorporated many features of the T-34/76, such as wide tracks
for better traction and improved cross-country performance, a powerful engine, a hardhitting long-barrelled 75mm gun, and sloping armor for extra protection. It is important to
note that the Panther was the first German-made tank with sloping armor. Although its
design was in some ways similar to the T-34/76, the Panther was larger, heavier, and
different in many technical aspects. The Panther had large overlapping road wheels and a
state-of-the-art suspension system that enabled it to traverse rough terrain at high speed.

Panzerkampfwagen V Panther Ausf D1 (Ausf A)


Initial Production Series by MAN.
From July to September 1942, MAN produced two prototypes, only one of which was fitted
with a turret. These were extensively tested and proved prone to many technical problems.
At the same time, a first order for 1,000 tanks was placed, with the first tank expected in
early 1943. In late 1942, a small pre-production series of 20 tanks was ordered. This was
the Null-Serie, or Zero Series. Those 20 tanks were designated Panzerkampfwagen V
Panther Ausfuehrung A and were technically different from later Ausf A production models.
All were lightly armored (with 60mm frontal armor) and armed with the early version of the
75mm KwK 42 L/70 gun. This gun had a single-chamber muzzle brake from the 75mm
KwK 40 L/43 gun and was mounted in a turret that featured a drum cupola that bulged the
turret on the left side. A 650hp Maybach HL 210 P 45 engine of 21 liters (1,280 cubic
inches] displacement powered them. Interesting conversion was Ausf D1 (some sources
state that it was an early model Bergepanther) fitted with bolted on PzKpfw IV Ausf H's
turret (that could not be traversed), which served as a command tank of schwere Heeres
Panzerjager Abteilung 653 on the Eastern Front in early/mid of 1944. The same unit used
other early model Bergepanther that was mounted with 20mm Flakvierling anti-aircraft gun
and Flakpanzer T-34(r).

Panther Ausf D1 with PzKpfw IV Ausf H turret.


In December 1942, a new and improved model, designated Ausf D, was ready. In
February 1943, 20 Ausf A tanks were re-designated Ausf D1. These Ausf D1 models were
exclusively used as test vehicles and later for training. By this time, preparations were
under way for Operation "Zitadelle" (Citadel). For this, the Army ordered 250 Panthers to
be ready by May 12, 1943, while 750 more were to be completed as soon as possible. In

December 1942, Ausf D entered production, and the first D model left the factory on
January 11, 1943. Armor protection was improved (in comparison to Ausf D1) and the
newer version of the 75mm KwK 42 L/70 gun was mounted in a hydraulically-powered
turret. The first 250 Panther Ausf D tanks were powered by a Maybach HL 210 P 30 [with
23 liters (1,400 cubic inches) displacement] and were also referenced as Ausf D1. The
Panther's weak spot was its side armor, which ranged from 40mm to 50mm, depending on
the variant.
Panzerkampfwagen V Panther Ausf D(D1), along with Panzerjger Tiger(P) Ferdinand
(Sd.Kfz.184) and other new armored fighting vehicles, made their debut with Panzer
Abteilungen 51 and 52 (96 tanks each) along with Panzer Regiment Stab 39 (8 tanks
each) as part of Heeresgruppe Sued (Army Group South) in July 1943 during Operation
Citadel in the Kursk salient. Because of technical problems (especially with the gearbox,
transmission and suspension, and engine fires) that were not fully solved until later, many
Panthers broke down before and during the battle.
"...they (Panthers) burnt too easily, the fuel and oil systems were insufficiently protected,
and the crews were lost due to lack of training." - Heinz Guderian.

Panzerkampfwagen V Panther Ausf D in Rome, 1943.


From the original 250 Panthers, only 43 were in service by August 10, 1943. These were
later converted to Panzerbefehlswagen (Sd.Kfz.267). The next 600 Ausf D (also called
Ausf D2) were powered by a more powerful 700hp HL 230 P 30 engine, which became the
standard power plant for all later models of the Panther. They also featured a cast
commander's cupola instead of the early drum-type cupola, and armor skirts, which were
standard on later Ausf D Panthers and all later models. Ausf D also equipped 23rd and
26th Independent Panzer Regiment as well as Panzer Regiment of Das Reich and

Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Panzer Divisions. In general, from December 1942 to


September 1943, some 850 were produced by MAN, Daimler-Benz, MNH and Henschel.

Panzerkampfwagen V Panther Ausf A


from 5th SS Panzer Division "Wiking", Eastern Front.
In August 1943, after repairs and modifications to the gearbox and other systems, a new
variant of Panther was produced-the Ausf A, which soon became a formidable weapon.
Panther Ausf A was the most numerous variant during the Normandy campaign, and some
400 Panthers of all types were lost there. Panther Ausf A featured a redesigned turret, the
new cast commander's cupola, a mounting bracket for an AA MG34 on the cupola, a ballmounted MG34 in the frontal plate and standard armor skirts. Over time, five different
types of exhaust arrangement were used. In general, from August 1943 to May 1944,
some 2,200 were produced by MAN, Daimler-Benz, Demag and Henschel.
As with any weapon in constant use, various modifications and design changes were
made to the Panther to improve its combat capabilities. In March 1944, the first Ausf G
was produced. Panther Ausf G became the most numerous model, and had many new
features. These included a new design for the top hull hatches, removal of the driver's
visor in the glacis (front) plate and upper hull sides closer to the vertical. Later variants had
a rotating periscope for the driver, a new exhaust arrangement, a new mantlet design to
eliminate the shot trap and a new engine deck layout with a raised fan cover. Perhaps the
most distinctive feature of the Ausf G was the tapered one-piece upper hull side plate on
the sponson over the suspension. From March 1944 to April 1945, some 2,950 were
produced by MAN, Daimler-Benz and MNH.
Older models returned for repairs were often fitted with newer parts creating hybrids.
Overall, from 1943 to 1945, only some 6000 Panthers were produced by MaschinenfabrikAugsburg-Nuremberg (MAN) in Kassel and Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen-Hannover
(MNH) in Hannover, along with Daimler-Benz, Henschel and Demag.

In 1943, single early Panther


Ausf D along with PzKpfw VI
Tiger was sold to Japan, but
both were never delivered due
to the war situation and were
loaned by Japan to the German
Army.
Left: Japanese Military
Attache Colonel Ioshida
inspecting purchased Panther
at Henschel plant.
Photo provided by Dmitry
Pyatakhin.
A small number of Panthers, probably five, and probably G models, was sold to Hungary in
1944, while a single Panther was apparently sold to Sweden in 1943, though this is
unconfirmed.
In February of 1943, MAN allowed Italian Fiat-Ansaldo to licence produce Panthers but
production never took place due to the Italian surrender in September of 1943.
Originally, it was planned to manufacture model Ausf G with steel-rimmed road-wheels
(instead of previously used rubber-rimmed road-wheels), but in 1944, only small series of
24 was produced.

Panzerkampfwagen V Panther Ausf G


with steel-rimmed road-wheels.
Also at the same time, Krupp developed two projects to rearm Panther with 88mm KwK 43
L/71 gun but none was adapted.

German Infrared Night-Vision Devices

In order to improve Panther's performance, various powerplants were tested and


experimentally mounted including, aircooled MAN/Argus, modified aircraft BMW and diesel
Daimler-Benz engine. Also hydrostatic and hydrodynamic suspension systems were
tested, along with special wading arrangement (Tauch Einrichtung) and special filter
system allowing the tank to operate in the chemically contaminated area. Also unrealized
project of Panther flame-thrower tank was proposed.
In May 1944, design for the next generation of Panther, designated Ausf F (neuer Art), was
proposed and accepted. Ausf F was to have increased armor protection and a newlydesigned Schmalturm (narrow) turret (designed by Rheinmetall in November of 1944 and
to be produced by Daimler-Benz). Schmalturm was to mount either a 75mm KwK 42/1 or
Skoda's 75mm KwK 44/1 L/70 gun in a "saukopf" mantlet. There was also a project to
mount a longer 75mm KwK L/100 gun. Production models of Ausf F were to be
manufactured exclusively with steel-rimmed road-wheels. In October 1944, it was planned
to start production of Ausf F by Daimler-Benz (in Berlin-Marienfelde) in March 1945. Only
one prototype (an Ausf G hull fitted with the Schmalturm turret) was fully completed in
January 1945. Because of the deteriorating war situation, only a few prototype Schmalturm
turrets (without key components) and eight hulls were completed when the war ended.
Some sources state that Daimler-Benz completed a few Ausf F vehicles between April 20
and 23, 1945. If so, it is possible that they were used in combat, but this has not been
confirmed. On February 20, 1945, a list of planned modifications to the Panther series was
presented, but none of those were ever used.

Panzerkampfwagen V Panther Ausf F.


The introduction of Panther, made its chassis and components available as base for
various conversions. First of those was the Artillerie-Panzer-Beobachtung Panther
proposed by Rheinmetall-Borsig in late 1942. Few proposals were made but all were
rejected and eventually led to the Panzerbeobachtungwagen Panther (Artillery
Observation Vehicle). In the spring of 1942, Krupp and Rheinmetall-Borsig were ordered to
design a new self-propelled mountings based on chassis contructed using Panther's

components. Krupp designed and proposed two series of such vehicles, Grille and
Heuschrecke. In late 1942, two designs were proposed, Grille 12 armed with 128mm K 43
gun and Grille 15 armed with 150mm sFH 43 L/35.5 gun. In 1943/44, both guns were
replaced by never 128mm K 44 L/55 and 150mm sFH 44 Both designs had their
armament dismountable and fully traversable. Heuschrecke 12 and 15 (had the same
armament as Grille 12 and 15) and were designed as weapon carriers - Waffentrager.
Heuschrecke development was cancelled in February of 1943, while in October October of
1943, Grille development was cancelled. In early/mid 1944, Krupp proposed new designs
of Panther based Waffentragers with 150mm sFH 18 and 128mm K 44 L/55 guns. In
October of 1944, the design of Sturmpanther armed with 150mm StuH 43/1 gun (similar to
Jagdpanther) was proposed, delayed and included on the list of planned modifications to
the Panther series (from February 20th of 1945). Rheinmetall-Borsig provided their
proposals for similar vehicles at the same time as Krupp, such as Skorpion armed with
128mm K 43 gun. Both Krupp and Rheinmetall-Borsig designs never went beyond wooden
model stage. From late 1942 to early 1944, Rheinmetall-Borsig also worked on the 88mm
Flakwagen (Versuchsflakswagen / 8.8cm Flak 41 (Sf.) Panther) based on Panther's
chassis and its components but it eventually cancelled. In 1944, Rheinmetall-Borsig
started the development of a new Flakpanzer based on Panther's chassis. It was planned
to arm it with two 37mm Flak 43 guns mounted in a fully traversible armored turret that
allowed near vertical elevation of the guns. Later models were to be armed with two 55mm
Flak guns mounted in newly designed turret. First projects with two 37mm Flak 43 (Flak
431 or Flak 44 L/57) guns was designated as Flakpanzer 341 but was also unofficially
referred to as Flakpanzer V Coelian. Wooden mock-up of the turret was made and
mounted on Panther chassis but entire program never reached the production stage.
Another project was to mount Panther with a newly design turret armed with four 20mm
guns - Flak Vierling MG 151/20. Skoda also designed very modern looking variant of
Panther armed with 105mm Raketenwerfer (rocket launcher) mounted on the fully
traversible platform in a place of the standard turret, but this design never even reached
prototype stage. Many of those interesting designs never went beyond drawing boards due
to the desperate war situation and lack of resources.

Panzerkampfwagen V Panther Ausf G at Aberdeen, USA.


Picture provided by Jon Cuneo, New Hampshire.

Panther Battalion - 1943 Type.

Battalion Command (composed of Communication and Reconnaissance Platoon)


Communication Platoon - 3 x Befehlswagen Panther SdKfz.267/268
Reconnaissance Platoon - 5 x Panther
o 1st Company - 22 x Panther
Company Command - 2 x Panther
1st Platoon - 5 x Panther
2nd Platoon - 5 x Panther
3rd Platoon - 5 x Panther
4th Platoon - 5 x Panther
o 2nd Company - 22 x Panther (composed as 1st Company)
o 3rd Company - 22 x Panther (composed as 1st Company)
o 4th Company - 22 x Panther (composed as 1st Company)
o Service Platoon - 2 x Bergepanther

Note: From 1943 to 1945, many modifications were made to unit organization by reducing
both number of companies and platoons due to the war situation.

The most successful conversion based on Panther's chassis was Jagdpanther, an


excellent tank destroyer armed with 88mm Pak 43 L/71 gun but its production was limited.
Development of larger and more powerful Panther II was started but desperate war
situation ended its development in the prototype stage.

Panzerkampfwagen V Panther II.


Panther turrets (from battle damaged and retired vehicles along with specially
manufactured ones) were also mounted in the permanent (fixed) fortifications. Turrets
(mechanically traverseable) were mounted on the concrete emplacements (Pantherturm III
- Betonsockel - concrete base) or welded steel boxes (Pantherturm I - Stahluntersatz steel sub-base), which housed the ammunition storage and fighting compartment along
with crew quarters. Such emplacements were located in fortifications of Atlantic Wall, West
Wall, Gothic Line (Goten-Linie), Hitler Line (one of those was located at Piedimonte in

Monte Cassino area) and in the East (approx. 12 in Berlin). Total of 268(280) turrets was
installed as of March 26th of 1945.
In preparations for the Ardennes Offensive, around 10 Ausf Gs were converted to
resemble American Gun Motor Carriage M10 tank destroyer. The conversion was done by
welding additional metal sheets to the turret and hull along with application of US Army
camouflage and markings. Designated Ersatz (Substitute) M10, they all equipped Panzer
Brigade 150, commanded by SS-Standartenfuehrer Otto Skorzeny.

PzKpfw V Panther Ausf G as Ersatz M10.


German comparison of German tanks with the new (at the time) Russian T-34/85 and JS-II
(122mm), from March 23rd of 1944, stated that: "The Panther is far superior to the T34-85
for frontal fire (Panther Ausf G could penetrate frontal armor of T-34/85 at 800m, while T34/85 could penetrare frontal armor of Panther Ausf G at 500m), approximately equal for
side and rear fire, superior to the JS for frontal fire and inferior for side and rear fire." In
1943 and 1944, Panther was able to destroy any enemy tank in existence at ranges of
2000m, while in general veteran Panther crews reported 90 percent hit rate at ranges up to
1000m. According to US Army Ground Forces statistics, destruction of a single Panther
was achieved after destruction of 5 M4 Shermans or some 9 T-34s.
"To destroy a Panther, a tank destroyer with a three inch (Gun Motor Carriage M10) or
76mm gun (Gun Motor Carriage M18 Hellcat) would have to aim for the side or rear of the
turret, the opening through which the hull-mounted machine gun projected, or for the
underside of the gun shield (mantlet)." - U.S. Army report prior to September of 1944.

Lieutenant Sotnikov's Panther Ausf A, Poland, 1945.


Photo and information provided by Dmitry Pyatakhin.
Since 1943, Soviets captured some number of various variants of Panther, which equipped
some of their tank units such as Lieutenant Sotnikov's Guard Company. This unit used
captured Panthers as late as spring of 1945, when they had 3 Ausf As, while operating in
Prague (Praga) - district of Warsaw. Soviets held Panthers in high regard and considered
captured Panther to be a prize. Captured Panthers were then given to successful crews as
a kind of reward. In order to keep them running captured German mechanics were
pressed into service and in 1944, Panther's manual was printed in Russian for distribution
among tank crews. Captured vehicles temporarily remained in their original colors but with
markings of their new owners. Later, some were repainted in dark green and were marked
with large tactical markings and white stars for indentification purposes.
"It is suggested to the Red Army to use such German tanks as StuG III and Pz IV due to
their relability and availability of spare parts. The new German Panther and Tiger can be
used until they broken down without trying to repair them. They have bad engines,
transmission and suspension." - Department of Weaponry of the Red Army, late 1944.

Captured Panther being inspected by Soviet soldiers and officers.


Soviet soldiers painted the name TIGER on the front armor plate and first three letters TIG
(in Russian) are visible. In 1943/44, to the ordinary Soviet troops all German Panzers were
known as "Tigers" and all assault guns as "Ferdinands", while all German soldiers as
"Fritz" or "Gans".
Photo and information provided by Dmitry Pyatakhin.
Small number of captured Panthers was also pressed into service by British (e.g. Ausf G
"Cuckoo" from 4th Battalion of 6th Coldstream Guards Tank Brigade, North-West Europe,
1944/45), Canadian, French and American units and three were used by the Polish Home
Army during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, against its former owners. Also small number
was captured and operated by the French resistance in mid 1944. They took part in
fighting in the Rouen area, where two of them were destroyed on August 30th of 1944 by
Tigers from sSSPzAbt 102. This was probably the most interesting combat situation
involving Panthers.

British PzKpfw V Panther Ausf G "Cuckoo"


from 4th Battalion of 6th Coldstream Guards Tank Brigade, North-West Europe,
1944/45.

Panther in Action !
On September 13th of 1943, seven Panthers from 1st Battalion of 2nd SS Panzer
Regiment of 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich", commanded by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer
Holzer (turret number 101) fought with a group of some 70 Soviet T-34 tanks near
Kolomak. During the 20 minutes long engagement Panthers destroyed some 28 T-34
tanks without any losses.
During the battle around Siedlce on 28/29th July of 1944, 2nd Battalion of 5th SS Panzer
Regiment of 5th SS Panzer Division "Wiking", destroyed some 107 Soviet tanks (including
T-34s, Shermans and Valentines), while losing 6 tanks (one PzKpfw IV and five Panthers).

The most notable Panther ace was SS-Oberscharfuehrer Ernst Barkmann from 2nd SS
Panzer Division "Das Reich". His actions in Western Europe, especially in Normandy and
Ardennes earned him the Knight's Cross.

Panther at the Dutch War and Resistance Museum at Overloon in Holland.


On October 13th of 1944, this Panther Ausf G (turret number 222) from 107th Panzer
Brigade was hit and disabled by PIAT fired by 2nd Battalion of East Yorkshire Regiment at
Oveloon in Holland. This was a brand new tank and its unit was operational for only two
and a half months old as it was raised in August of 1944 in Aachen.
Recently, it has been taken apart and it is being currently restored.
Info and photo provided by Anders Bengtsson.
Additional info provided by Rene Daniels.

Panzerkampfwagen V Panther was a very successful design and two could be produced in
the same time as a single Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger tank. Panther revolutionized tank
designs and influenced post-war western tank designs and is considered to be the first
MBT (Main Battle Tank). Overall, Panther proved to be an excellent weapon when
commanded and operated by people like Ernst Barkmann. Panther was liked by its crews,
best summarized in statement by Lieutenant Berger of "Grossdeutschland" - "We were
shot three times - I owed my life to the Panther...".
After the war, many French Army tank units were equipped with Panthers (eg. 503rd Tank
Battalion in Mourmelon had 50 Panthers in 1947 and 501rd Tank Battalion used Panthers
from 1946 to 1950). Other post-war users included Bulgaria (Bulgarian Panthers),
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia.
After the war, modified Panther's 75mm KwK 42 L/70 gun was produced by French as
75mm DEFA and CN75-50 gun. It was used by them in a number of light tanks (eg. AMX
13) and armored cars (eg. EBR 75). Also, Israelis used the gun to upgrade their M50
Super Sherman.
Between 1949 and 1952, French also worked on AMX-50 tank, which was heavily
influenced by the Panther (and powered by Maybach engine), but it didn't enter production
in favour of American M47 Patton Medium Tank.

French AMX-50 Tank.


Note Panther style engine deck.
In 1947, Sweden received single Panzerbefehlswagen Panther Ausf A from France as a
gift, which was then handed over to Germany in 1960/61 and is today on display in the
Panzermuseum Munster. In late 1940s, Israeli high command was considering starting
production of modified Panther but it was never realized. Today, fully restored and
operational PzKpfw V Panther Ausf G can be seen in the Wehrtechnische
Studiensammlung in Koblenz, Germany. In 1984, this vehicle was used as a caisson to
bear the coffin of a Bundeswehr General, who was a World War II veteran. Panthers can
be also seen in numerous museums and displays in Germany, Canada, Holland, England,
France, USA and Russia.

Panzerbeobachtungswagen Panther
Artillery observation vehicle with heavily modified turret mounting wooden dummy gun and
ball-mounted 7.92mm MG34. 41 were converted from Panthers returned for repairs in late
1944/45. Mounted with additional observation devices and other equipment, including
range-finders.

Panzerbefehlswagen Panther Ausf. D/A/G mit 7.5cm KwK42 L/70


Command tank with extra radio equipment produced in two variants:
Befehlswagen Ausf D/A/G (Sd.Kfz.267) - command tank,
Befehlswagen Ausf D/A/G (Sd.Kfz.268) - ground-to-air-liasion tank.
329 were converted from Panthers from May of 1943 to February of 1945.

Panther Gallery I (Ausf A)


Panther Gallery II (Ausf D)
Panther Gallery III (Ausf G)

Specifications
Model:

Ausf D

Ausf G

Weight:

43000kg

45500kg

Crew:

5 men

5 men

Engine:

Maybach HL 230 P 30 / 12-cylinder Maybach HL 230 P 30 / 12/ 700hp


cylinder / 700hp

Speed:

Road: 46km/h / Cross-Country:


24km/h

Road: 46km/h / Cross-Country:


24km/h

Range:

Road: 200km / Cross-Country:


177km

Road: 200km / Cross-Country:


177km

Fuel Capacity:

730 litres

730 litres

Lenght:

6.88m (w/o the gun)


8.86m (with the gun)

6.88m (w/o the gun)


8.86m (with the gun)

Width:

3.40m

3.40m

Height:

2.98m

2.98m

Armament:

75mm KwK 42 L/70 & 2 x MG


(1 x MG34 - hull)
(1 x MG34 - coaxial)

75mm KwK 42 L/70 & 3 x MG


(1 x MG34 - hull)
(1 x MG34 - coaxial)
(1 x MG42 - cupola)

Ammo:

75mm - 79 rounds
7.92mm - 5100 rounds

75mm - 81-85 rounds


7.92mm - 4200-4800 rounds

Armor
(mm/angle):

Front Turret: 100/10


Front Upper Hull: 80/55
Front Lower Hull: 60/55
Side Turret: 45/25
Side Upper Hull: 40/40
Side Lower Hull: 40/0
Rear Turret: 45/25
Rear Lower Hull: 40/30
Turret Top / Bottom: 16/83 / 16/90
Upper Hull Top / Bottom: 16/90
Lower Hull Top / Bottom: 30/90 /
16/90
Gun Mantlet: 100/round

Front Turret: 110/11


Front Upper Hull: 80/55
Front Lower Hull: 60/55
Side Turret: 45/25
Side Upper Hull: 50/30
Side Lower Hull: 40/0
Rear Turret: 45/25
Rear Lower Hull: 40/30
Turret Top / Bottom: 16/84 / 16/90
Upper Hull Top / Bottom: 40/90 /
16/90
Lower Hull Top / Bottom: 30/90 /
16/90
Gun Mantlet: 100/round

Penetration of Armor Plate at 30 degrees from Vertical.


Ammunition:

100m

500m

1000m

1500m

2000m

Panzergranate 39/42

138mm

124mm

111mm

99mm

89mm

Panzergranate 40/42

194mm

174mm

149mm

127mm

106mm

Pzgr.39/42 (APCBC) - Armor Piercing Composite Ballistic Cap

Pzgr.40/42 (APCR) - Armor Piercing Composite Rigid (Tungsten Core)


Conversions

Befehlswagen Ausf D/A/G (Sd.Kfz.267) - command tank,


Befehlswagen Ausf D/A/G (Sd.Kfz.268) - ground-to-air-liasion tank,
Beobachtungspanzer Panther Ausf D - observation tank,
Bergepanther (Sd.Kfz.179) - recovery vehicle,
Munitionspanzer Panther - ammunition carrier,
Panzerjager Jagdpanther (Sd.Kfz.173),
Flakpanzer V Coelian - 2 x 37mm/55mm Flak gun - planned,
Flakpanzer V / Grille 10 - (lengthtened chassis) - prototype,
Grille 10 - 100mm K gun carrier (planned),
Grille 10 - 105mm leFH 43/35 (planned),
Minenraumpanzer Panther- mine clearing tank (prototype stage),
Ramschaufelpanzer Panther - dozer tank,
Munition Schlepper Panther (2 produced),
Munition Schlepper/Waffentrager Panther (shortened chassis - planned),
Grille 12 - 128mm K 43/44 gun carrier by Krupp (planned),
Skorpion - 128mm K 43 gun carrier by Rheinmetall (planned),
Grille 15 - 150mm sFH 43/44 howitzer carrier (planned),
88mm Flakwagen Panther,
Sturmpanther - 150mm StuH 43/1 gun carrier,
Panther with 105mm rocket launcher,
Panther II (prototype stage),

Panzer-Bergewagen Bergepanther - (Sd. Kfz. 179)


On March 29th of 1943, it was decided to produce recovery version of Panther for use in
the Panzer-Abteilungen. In June of 1943, MAN produced original 12 prototype series
Bergepanthers which were turretless and modified Ausf Ds returned for repairs. Production
started in July of 1943 and Panther Ausf A and later Ausf G were used, although
production was slow and various modifications were made during the production. Early
Bergepanther was armed with 20mm KwK 38 L/55 and later on with twin 7.92mm MG34 or
MG42s. Bergepanther was operated by the crew made up of commander, driver and
mechanic. It was fitted with a 1.5 ton lifting crane and other recovery/repair equipment (eg.

large spade, 40 ton winch etc.), some of it especially designed. Overall, only 347 (240 Ausf
A and 107 Ausf G) along with 12 based on Ausf D were produced from June of 1943 to
March of 1945. Bergepanthers were produced by Demag(Benrath), Henschel and MAN.
Bergepanthers equipped Panther-Abteilungens (starting in August of 1943), schwere
Panzer(Tiger)-Abteilungens and schwere Panzer-Jager-Abteilungens (starting in January
of 1944) along with some independent recovery and repair units. Some Bergepanthers
had their recovery equipment removed and were modified to carry ammunition, designated
as Munitionspanzer Panther. Bergepanther was the best recovery vehicle of World War II
and after the war, some captured Bergepanthers were used by the French Army until mid
1950s.

George Parada
Copyright@1996-2007