Produced throughout the war, was the backbone of the German armored divisions, with about 8,000 built between all the versions by the end of the war, as Germany was unable to build a successor in sufficient quantity to replace it.
DescriptionEditAlthough it was the heaviest battle tank German until 1941, the series ' Ausf.D 'of the Panzer IV, which represents the various initial series armed with short 75mm gun, had no role to fight against other enemy tanks, but the support function .
It's a common mistake when making comparisons in the initial phase of the war and comparing this armored vehicle, with armored vehicles from other countries belingerantes because the Panzer IV series A -D series had as its main task the attack against other armored formations. As proof of this, is the organization of German armored units, who possessed only one company equipped with this tank in each battalion Panzer, while they had two or three companies equipped with the Panzer III, this one devoted to function and anti- tank designed to attack armored enemies. Only 35 units of Panzer IV model A (18 tonnes ) were produced by Krupp, who won the tender for the provision of car combat. New versions followed with innovations and upgrades primarily related to increased screening, since the vehicle was not changed in essence . The Panzer IV or Armoured IV, as the Germans called it was being changed, even before the war, emerging versions B, C, which were development releases. Versions D, E and F were produced in larger.
The initial series of the Panzer IV with short cannon, were produced in the following numbers:
- Version A: 35 units (from Out/1937 )
- Version B: 42 units (from Abr/1938 )
- Version C: 134 units (from Set/1938 )
- Version D: 231 units (from Out/1939 )
- Version E: 200 units (from Set/1940 )
- Version F1: 470 units (from Abr/1941 )
- Version F2: 175 units ( L/43 gun ) ( from Mar/1942 )
Note that the F version 2 is already a version of transition, although it retains the characteristics of other vehicles, is the first car to receive the new long 75mm cannon
Total initial versions : 1287 vehicles Though not a car designed to confront armored, when Germany invaded the USSR on June 22, 1941, the Panzer IV with his short-barreled cannon, the car continued to be heavier than the Germans were on the ground. The Germans soon noticed that the Panzer III, which had been modernized, receiving new 50mm cannon while top models armed with 37mm cannon, were still of little use against the Soviet tanks T-34 and KV-1 especially . This evidence implies that emergency solutions are adopted, and even with its short 75mm gun, the Panzer IV D could be used as main tank. The emergency solution was to distribute a new ammunition that could be used in short-barrel gun, with some effectiveness against tanks. The solution was expensive, but it was the first phase of the war the only viable solution, since only the later versions with the Panzer IV actually receive weapons suitable for fighting against other tanks (F2 is the first Panzer IV to receive a cannon suited for combat against armored vehicles) and only begin to be delivered to Panzer units from March 1942, nine months after the start of the invasion of the Soviet Union.
- Model: Ausf H
- Weight: 25 ton.
- Garrison: 5 men
- Engine: Maybach HL 120 TRM / 12 cylinders (300 hp)
- Speed: 38 km / h (road) and 20 km / h (off road)
- Range: 200 km (highway)
- Length: 7.02 m (with pipe)
- Width: 3.29 m
- Height: 2.68 m
- Main Armament: 1 KwK 40 L/48 gun of 75 mm
- Secondary armament: MG34 coaxial machine gun of 7.92 mm / MG34 anti-aircraft gun at the top (optional)
- Ammunition: 87 rounds of 75mm and 3192 of 7.92 mm
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