Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Panzer IV

PzKpfw IV Medium Tank
C L I C K     T O     E N L A R G E

Krupp began design work on the Panzer IV in 1934 with the understanding that future needs could not accurately be predicted so the vehicle must be capable of modification and upgrades. This resulted in a versatile tank that was continuously produced throughout World War II and served on every German battlefield.
Picture:  1024 x 683 at 96 dpi - RC Universe

PzKpfw IV Ausf F2 

Entered Service:                    1939

Crew:                                       5

Armament:                               1 x 75 mm / 2.95 in L/43 or L/48 KwK 40
                                                        87 rounds
                                                  2 x 7.92 mm / 0.31 in MG34 machine-gun
                                                        3150 rounds

Armor - 
Front:                                       60 mm / 2.36 in
Sides:                                      30 mm / 1.18 in
Rear:                                        20 mm / 0.78 in
Top, Bottom:                           10 mm / 0.34 in
Turret, Front:                            50 mm / 1.97 in
Turret, Sides, Rear:                30 mm / 1.18 in
Turret, Top:                              15 - 25 mm / 0.59 - 0.98 in

Dimensions -
Length:                                    7.02 m / 23 ft gun forward
Height:                                     2.68 m / 8.8 ft
Width:                                     2.88 m / 9.45 ft

Weight:                                   22,091 kg / 48,600 lb          

Engine -
Powerplant:                          Maybach HL120 12-cylinder in-line, water-cooled petrol
                                              220 kW / 296 hp @ 3000 rpm
Displacement:                     11.9 L / 2.6 gallons
Transmission:                     6 forward, 1 reverse speed
Fuel Capacity:                    470 L / 103.5 gallons

Performance -
Road Speed:                     42 km/h / 26 mph
Cross-country Speed:      20 km/h / 12.5 mph
Range, road:                     240 km / 150 miles
Range, cross-country:      120 km / 75 miles
Power / Weight ratio:       10.6 bhp / tonne
Ground Pressure:             0.89 kg / sq cm
Fording Capacity:             0.8 m / 2.6 ft
Gradient:                            29 degrees
Trench:                               2.3 m / 7.55 ft
Vertical Obstacle:             0.6 m / 2.0 ft

Nearly 9,000 Panzer IVs were produced by war's end in 1945, ranging from the shorter barreled, more lightly armored Ausf D tank shown above to the heavier Ausf G with its high velocity, armor penetrating gun.  
Picture:  500 x 246 - Flames of War

The Panzer IV turret was larger than other contemporary tanks making room for three crew members.  The commander was no longer the gunner, freeing him to do his job of assessing the situation and directing actions to be taken.  The tank came with an intercom system with each crewman wearing headphones and a throat microphone for communication.
Picture:  700 x 525 - Missing Lynx

Originally intended as an infantry support tank the Panzer IV quickly adopted the role of full battle tank once war began and it was fitted with heavier armor and a more powerful, high velocity gun.  It was given wider tread to better distribute the heavier weight and to improve its handling over difficult terrain.  
Picture:  800 x 533 at 50 dpi - WW 2 DB

Nine thousand Panzer IVs didn't come close to the number of T-34s the Russians produced or the volume of Shermans the Americans constructed.  German tanks were too complicated for real mass production.  The thought of compromising their engineering was simply too abhorrent.
Picture:  1560 x 1221 at 96 dpi - Reddit

Thick armor wasn't enough.  The experience of war led to additional metal panels for the sides and the turret.  An anti-magnetic compound call Zimmerit was applied to the tank and made rough with a combing tool to prevent Soviet infantry from attaching magnetic mines to metal surfaces.  In warfare the hunter is also the hunted.
Picture:  800 x 464 at 300 dpi - WW 2 Total  

General Heinz Guderian was instrumental in developing the ideas of Blitzkrieg and the German Panzer Corps.  His priorities in tank design were first - mobility,  second - firepower, third - armor and fourth communications.  Equal in importance in tank design, if not actually more so, was the training of the crew.  Guderian felt an elite, highly motivated crew could overcome whatever deficiencies there may be in the quality of the tank.  His tank divisions' success in France and Russia bore him out.
Picture:  600 x 357 - Cybermodeler   

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