German Armor Panzer IV (Tank Panzer 4 WW2)
Panzer IV A, B, C, D, E, F1, F2, G, H, J, Jagdpanzer IV, Stug IV, Stug III, Wirbelwind, Mobelwagen, Ostwind, Kugelblitz, Brummbar, Nashorn


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Panzer IV

General Characteristics (Ausf H)
Length: 5.89 m
Width: 2.88 m
Height: 2.68 m
Weight: 23 T
Speed: 38 km/h (road)
16 km/h (off-road)
Range: 300 km
Primary armament: 75 mm KwK 40 L/48 gun
Secondary armament: Two 7.92mm machine guns
Power plant: 224 kW (300 hp)
Crew: 5 (Commander, gunner, loader,driver and radio operator)
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The Panzer IV is a German medium tank used in World War II.

Production History

The first prototypes of the Panzer IV were designed in 1934.

Variants

Armor
The Panzer IV A had 15 mm of slightly sloped homogenous steel armor on all sides, with 10 mm of armor on the top and 5 mm on the bottom. This was deemed sufficient, as the Panzer IV was intended for anti-infantry work, while Panzer IIIs were to deal with opposing tanks. In practice, Panzer IVs would frequently face enemy tanks and anti-tank guns unsupported, and the armor was upgraded to 30 mm on the front hull of the Panzer IV B, 50 mm in the IV E, and 80 mm in the IV H, with armor on the sides and rear being increased as well. Panzer IVs frequently had armor skirting or additional layers of armor added in the field.


Armament
As the Panzer IV was intended to fill an anti-infantry combat role, early models were fitted with a low-velocity 75 mm KwK 37 L/24 gun, firing high-explosive shells. After the Germans encountered the Soviet T-34, the Panzer IV F2 and G were armed with the high-velocity 75 mm KwK 40 L/43 anti-tank gun. Later IV G models, and all subsequent Panzer IVs, were armed with the longer 75 mm KwK 40 L/48 anti-tank gun.

All models of the Panzer IV had a 7.92 mm coaxial machine gun mounted in the turret, and all except the IV B and IV C had a second 7.92 mm gun in the hull.

Mobility
The Panzer IV A was powered by a 230 hp (172 kW), 12-cylinder Maybach HL 108 TR engine, giving a top speed of 30 km/h (18 mph) and a range of 150 km (95 mi). All later models were powered by the 320 hp (239 kW), 12-cylinder Maybach HL 120 TRM engine. Top speed varied among models, depending on the transmission (which was made by ZF), armor, and gun, but was around 40 km/h (25 mph). The range was generally around 200 km (125 mi).

Like all of Germany's World War II tanks, the Panzer IV used gasoline (petrol).


HISTORY
The Panzer IV was the workhorse of the German tank corps, being produced and used in all theatres of combat throughout the war. The design was upgraded repeatedly to deal with the changing threats from enemy forces.

On January 11, 1934, following specifications laid down by Heinz Guderian, the Army Weapons Department drew up plans for a medium tank with a maximum weight of 24,000 kg and a top speed of 35 km/h. It was intended in a support and anti-infantry role, using a low-velocity, large-caliber gun firing high-explosive shells. It was not required to deal with enemy tanks on equal terms.

Krupp, Rheinmetall, and MAN all produced prototypes, which were tested in 1935. As a result of the trials, the Krupp design was selected for full-scale production. The first Panzer IV A came off the assembly line in October of 1937, with a total of 35 being produced over the next six months.

Between 1937 and 1940, attempts were made to standardize parts between Krupp's Panzer IV and Daimler-Benz's Panzer III.

The Panzer IV was originally intended principally to deal with infantry and fortifications, while the Panzer III dealt with enemy armoured units. To this end it was equipped with the 75 mm KwK 37 L/24 gun, which was effective against soft targets but lacked much armour penetration. It had poor accuracy, because the barrel was very short (1800 mm), giving a low muzzle velocity. For comparison the L/48 Gun is 3600 mm long.

Combat experience showed that increasingly the 50 mm L/60 gun mounted on late-model Panzer III was unable to deal with enemy tanks at long range. Panzer IIIs struggled against T-34s of the Soviet Union and M4 Shermans of the United States, both of which had guns in the 75 or 76 mm calibre.

The Panzer IV's design already mounted a 75 mm gun and it was the obvious choice for the next medium tank development. As the Wehrmacht needed a tank with good anti-tank capabilities to deal with the T34, the production of the Panzer IV model F was changed to an improved model with a redesigned turret carrying a new, more powerful 75 mm L/43 anti-tank gun. The sprocket and idler wheels were altered to take wider tracks more able to support the increased weight of a larger gun. This required a change in naming conventions: the old 75 L24-equipped Pz-IV F was renamed Pz-IV F1, and the new 75 L/43-equipped was named Pz-IV F2. The Pz-IV F2 was later renamed Pz-IV G and production continued under this name with minor improvements. In late 1942 the Pz-IV G gun was upgraded to the even longer 75 L/48 gun. Early model Panzer IV tanks were often upgraded for increased combat efficiency. From 1943, for example, surviving Panzer IV models E/F were given additional armor and the 75 L48 gun.

The aforementioned upgrades allowed the Panzer IV to keep pace with newer designs such as the Sherman and the T-34. Production continued and was stepped up even while the more effective Panther medium tank was in service, because of the Panzer IV's low cost and greater reliability.

Small numbers of Panzer IV were supplied by Germany to its allies. Bulgaria received 88 vehicles and used them against Germans in late 1944. Finland bought 15 Panzer IV Ausf Js, which arrived too late to fight against the Soviets the Continuation War (1941-44) or against German troops in the following Lapland War (1944-45) and served as training vehicles until 1962. Small numbers were also given to Hungary, Romania, Spain and Yugoslavia (Chetniks). In 1950s/1960s Syria bought several dozens of Panzer IVs from the USSR, France, Czechoslovakia and Spain and employed them in the 1965 conflict over Jordan headwaters (often referred to as Water War) and in the Six Days War (1967)

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