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WW2 German Panzer IV

Panzer IV Ausf.G and H

Nazi Germany (1937)
Medium tank – 8,544 built

The warhorse of the German army

When the Krupp factory’s Versuchs-Kraftfahrzeug 622 (Trial Vehicle 622) went into production as the Panzerkampfwagen-IV Ausf. A in November 1937, probably nobody realized that they had developed a vehicle what would become the mainstay of the German Panzerwaffe (Armoured Corps) well into the Second World War. It replaced the Panzer III as the most numerous German battle tank and fought alongside the later Panther, Tiger and Königstiger tanks until the end of the war.
The overall design of this tank dated back to November 1934 when the Wa.Prw.6, a section of the Heeres-Waffenamt (Army Procurement Agency), demanded a support tank, later to become the Pz.Kpfw. IV, and a battle tank, later to become the Pz.Kpfw. III.

Overall Layout

Although in production for 8 years and modified during every production run, the overall layout and appearance of the Pzkpfw. IV never changed. The engine was located in the rear of the vehicle, connected to a drive shaft which itself was attached to the transmission in the front.
One unique feature of the Pzkpfw. IV was the asymmetrical hull to connect the turret raze to the transmission to allow the turret to be traversed faster. To accomplish this, the turret was offset 6.50 cm (2.62 in) to the left and the engine 15 cm (6 in) to the right. The drive shaft itself was mounted on the chassis floor below the turret basket. The driver (Fahrer) sat on the front left of the tank with a large square hatch above its head and driver’s visor in front of him. The driver’s visor was protected by 50 mm thick bullet-proof glass and could be closed with an armoured cover during combat. When under small arms fire the driver used a binocular periscope with two small openings just above the driver’s visor supported by another visor to his left in the side of the upper structure.
He steered the vehicle with 2 steering brakes which worked on a conventional Krupp clutch-steering. On his left sat the radio-operator (Funker) below a identical square hatch in charge of an AM-radio with an effective range of up to 2 km. He had a forward mounted close-defence weapon (either a MG or a submachine gun depending on the variant) with a limited pivoting range mounted either in a armored ball mount or just stuck through a armored opening.
The radio operator had a very limited field of view. He could look through the aiming device of the ball mount (or just through the opening if no ball mount was installed) or a visor to his right in the side of the upper structure.
Behind the driver and radio-operator was the fully traversable turret with the 75 mm main gun and co-axial 7.92mm machine gun mounted in the turret front. The gunner (Richtschuetze) was located on the left of the gun, resting on a seat and aiming through a telescopic sight in front of him. To find any targets more easily, a small visor with a armored flap was attached next to the small opening for the gunsight.
The vehicle was equipped with an electrical turret traverse powered by a 2-cylinder DKW PZW-600 petrol engine, providing quick target acquisition and supporting the traverse of the turret in an oblique position. In case of a breakdown of the electrical turret traverse the gunner could operate a lever to switch over to traverse the turret manually. To traverse the turret full 360 degrees, the gunner had to turn the hand wheel 188 times.
The loader (Ladeschuetze) on the right of the turret was responsible for loading and maintaining the main gun and co-axial MG. The ammunition for the maingun and machine gun was dispersed in special containers all over the vehicle interior. For observation purposes he had a visor on his side of the turret front identical to that of the gunner.
The commander (Kommandant) was located right behind the gun breech, observing the battlefield through 5 armoured visors mounted around a tube-shaped commander’s cupola. While the gunner and commander sat on seats to offer them at least a minimum of comfort in the cramped turret, the loader could fold his seat up to stand besides the gun during the reloading procedure in combat situations.
A hatch was mounted in each side of the turret for easy access of the gunner and loader. A additional armored visor was installed in front of each hatch, offering additional but limited observation capacity. Two armored close defence openings were located in the rear of the turret to fend of enemy soldiers with pistols or submachine guns supplied to each tank crew.
The armor of the tank consisted of homogenous, nickel-free armor-steel PP694 of ever increasing thickness through production. The gasoline/petrol engine in the back of the chassis was supplied via 3 different fuel tanks (I, II, III). Fuel tank I and III were filled externally via fillers while fuel tank II was filled at the same time as III through a connecting hose which also vented the tank during filling. Fuel tank I contained approx. 140 litres of gasoline/petrol, fuel tank II approx. 110 litres and fuel tank III approx. 220 litres for a total of approx. 470 litres. The Pzkpfw. IVs had non-lubricated tracks consisting of 101 track links per side connected via bolts giving the tank a specific ground-pressure of 0.68kg/cm².

Armament and Ammunition

The secondary armament of the PzKpfw. IV consisted of a MG-34 mounted on the right hand side of the main gun and, depending on the version, a bow mounted MG-34 Panzerlauf (armoured barrel) operated by the radio operator. Not every versions of the early Pzkpfw. IV featured a ball mount for the bow mounted MG-34, some had just an armored flap through which the radio operator fired either with a MG-34 or a submachine gun. The MG-34 Panzerlauf featured an armored barrel cover with a lot fewer of the distinctive ventilation holes of the standard MG-34.
To make it easier to us the machine gun inside the cramped space of the tank, the weapon was used without the wooden butt-stock, but could equipped with one if necessary and a forward mounted bipod and a sight for use outside of the tank. The MG-34 machine gun had a calibre of 7.92 mm chambered for the 7.92 x 57 mm round and had a theoretical rate of fire of 800-900 rounds per minute and a muzzle velocity of 765 m/sec.

Paint and camouflage

On July 31st 1940, another Heeresmitteilung, Nr. 854, ordered all vehicles to be repainted in just RAL-7021 Dunkelgrau (dark grey) and ordered this pattern as the standard base color for the Wehrmacht.
How long the 2-tone camouflage pattern of grey an brown, from 1938 was used is unclear, especially due to the fact that most pictures from this time are just black and white, but it seems it was more widely distributed than is wrongly assumed.
Over the course of the war, especially at the eastern front, German Panzer crews started to use not only additional paints but also mud and dirt to try and disrupt the visual silhouette of their vehicles. During Winter, the vehicles had to be white washed with either in water dissolved chalk or with a petrol-soluble paste delivered to the front lines. White bedsheets or other white cloth were used when the chalk or white paste was not available.
Vehicles sent to hot climates like Northern Africa in 1941 received a basecoat of RAL-8020 Sandgelb (sand yellow) over the original dark grey paint. Another specification from 1942 ordered the vehicles sent to Northern Africa coated in 2/3 of RAL-8020 Sandgelb and 1/3 of RAL-7027 Sandgrau (sand grey). The Deutsches Afrikakorps fighting in North Africa suffered almost from the beginning of the fighting their from overstretched supply lines and allied attacks on the shipping lines in the Mediterranean and was forced to use even stocks of british paint captured during the initial successes.
When the base color of German vehicles was changed to RAL-7028 Dunkelgelb in February 1943 vehicles in the old Dunkelgrau livery had to be repainted in the new colour by the units themselves, during larger repairs behind the frontlines or in factories when sent back for factory refit.
To increase the effect of the camouflage, additional petrol-soluble pastes of RAL-6003 Olivgruen (dark olive green) and RAL-8017 Rotbraun (dark chocolate brown) were delivered to the frontline units. The emerging multi-tone camouflage patterns varied from unit to unit and depended on the availability of the pastes, the time to apply them on the vehicles and orders given by commanders of certain units. These factors effected the camouflage patterns that much, that they could even vary from platoon to platoon or company to company. The paste was thinned with petrol and could be applied by paint spray guns, brushes or even brooms.

The Ausf.F (Ausf.F1), the last “short version”

The Ausf.F was a landmark in the Panzer IV evolution and development. The early model, “F”, called “F1” when the next model appeared, was the last of the “short” versions. The front bow plate appliqué was now replaced by a full 50 mm (1.97 in) thick armored plate. Side armor and turret thickness were raised to 30 mm (1.18 in). Total weight rose to more than 22 tons, which triggered other modifications, like larger track links (from 380 to 400 mm) to reduce ground pressure, and both the idler wheel and front drive sprockets were modified in turn. The F1 was produced to an extent of 464 units, until its replacement in March 1942. The last 42 were modified to the new F2 standard.

The Ausf.G (Ausf.F2), the first “long”

Even equipped with the AP Panzergranate, the low-velocity gun of the Panzer IV was inadequate against well-armored tanks. In the context of the upcoming campaign in Russia, some decision had to be made, which also concerned the long-awaited major upgrade of the Panzer III. The now largely available Pak 38 L/60, which had been already proved lethal, was supposed to be mounted in the turret of the Panzer IV by Krupp. In November 1941, the prototype was ready, and production was scheduled to start on the F2 standard. But, with the first encounters of Russian KV-1s and T-34s, the 50 mm (1.97 in) gun, also produced for the Panzer III, was dropped in favor to a new, more powerful model, built by Rheinmetall, based on the 7.5 cm Pak 40 L/46 (2.95 in). This led to the KwK 40 L/43, a relatively long caliber gun, fitted with a muzzle-brake, which reduced its recoil. Muzzle velocity, with the Panzergranade 39, topped at 990 m/sec (3250 ft/sec). It could penetrate 77 mm (3.03 in) of armor up to 1850 m (6000 ft). After the first prototype was produced by Krupp, in February 1942, production of the F2 started. By July 1942, 175 had been delivered. However, in June 1942, the F2 was renamed Ausf.G, and further modifications were applied on the production line, but both types were known to the Waffenamt as the Sd.Kfz.161/1. Some nomenclatures and reports also speak of it as the F2/G version.

Panzer IV Ausf.G specifications

Dimensions L-W-H 6.63 m x 2.88 m x 2.68 m
(21ft 9in x 9ft 5in x 8ft 5in)
Total weight 23.6 tonnes
Crew 5
Armament 7.5 cm Kw.K 40 L/43 gun
Secondary Armament 7.92 mm MG34 machine-gun
Armor From 10 mm to 50 mm (30+50 mm on hull front)
Propulsion Maybach HL 120 TRM V12 265hp gasoline engine
Top road speed 42 km/h (26 mph)
Max. road range 210 km (130 miles)
Total production 1687 May 1942 – June 1943

Scaled-up production

Production figures for the Panzer IV had been relatively small in size until 1942. From the Ausf.A to F2, only 1209 Panzer IVs (of the “short type”) had been delivered to the Wehrmacht. Subsequently, they served primarily in the infantry support role. However, the bulk of the production (around 7500) was spread in only three variants, The Ausf.G, H and J. These remained relatively unchanged until 1945, despite simplifications of the design. As the Panzer III‘s 50 mm (1.97 in) gun was not up to the task against the best Russian mediums and heavies, the main model, carrying the bulk of any Panzerdivision, became the Panzer IV. The former was progressively phased out, and replaced on the production line by cheaper SPGs, like the StuG III.

Panzer IV Ausf.G: The transitional model

The G was an improved F2, with armor modifications, including a weight saving solution, consisting of a progressive glacis side armor, thicker at the base. The frontal glacis received a new 30 mm (1.18 in) appliqué plate, giving a total of 80 mm (3.15 in). This was largely sufficient against the Russian medium-velocity 76 mm (3 in) gun and the fearful 76.2 mm anti-tank gun. At first, it was decided to bring only half production to this standard, but Adolf Hitler personally ordered, in January 1943, that the full production would be upgraded, a decision well-received by the crews. However, the weight rose to 23.6 tons, further stressing the limited capacity of the chassis and transmission. Both unit reports and mass-production requirements commanded further modifications. The turret vision port slits were eliminated, the engine ventilation and ignition at low temperatures were improved, and additional racks were fitted for spare road wheels and brackets for track links on the glacis. These acted as makeshift protection as well. A new headlight was installed and the commander cupola was up-armored and modified. The late production versions, in March-April 1943, saw the introduction of side skirt armor (Schürzen) to the sides and turret, the latter equipped with smoke grenade launchers. Most importantly, they received the new KwK 40 L/48, with greater penetration power. After 1275 had been delivered by Krupp-Gruson, Vomag and Nibelungenwerke, plus 412 of the upgunned type, the production shifted towards the Ausf.H.

Panzer IV Ausf.H: The main version

The Ausf.H was equipped with the new long caliber KwK 40 L/48, and was subsequently registered as the Sd.Kfz. 161/2 by the ordnance department. Other modifications included simplifications to ease production, like the removal of the hull side vision ports, and, later, part sharing with the Panzer III. This was by far the biggest production of the type, with a total of 3774 machines, until its replacement by the Ausf.J, in June 1944. Krupp had received a request, in December 1942, for a new version featuring all-sloped armor, which would have also required a new chassis, transmission and probably engine as well, due to the added weight. However, production started with an upgraded version of the Ausf.G instead. A new headlight was set, a new Zahnradfabrik ZF SSG-76 transmission, new set of radios (FU2 and 5, and intercom). This was necessary in order to cope with the full glacis protection raised to 80 mm (3.15 in), with no appliqué parts. The H now stood at 25 tons in battle order, and maximum speed fell to 38 km/h (24 mph), but only 25 km/h (16 mph) in real combat conditions, and far less on rough terrain. By the end of 1943, Zimmerit paste was factory-applied, new air filters were fitted, along with a turret anti-aircraft mount for an extra MG 34 (Fliegerbeschussgerat), as well as modifications to the commander cupola. Side and turret spaced armor was also factory-mounted.

Panzer IV Ausf.H specifications

Dimensions L-W-H 7.02 m x 2.88 m x 2.68 m
(23ft x 9ft 5in x 8ft 5in)
Total weight 25 tonnes
Crew 5
Armament 7.5 cm Kw.K 40 L/48 gun
Secondary Armament 7.92 mm MG34 machine-gun
Armor From 10 mm to 80 mm (80 mm on hull front)
Propulsion Maybach HL 120 TRM V12 265hp gasoline engine
Top road speed 35 km/h (23.6 mph)
Max. road range 210 km (130 miles)
Total production 3774 April 1943 – July 1944

Panzer IV Ausf.F2/G
Panzer IV Ausf.F2/G of the 1st Infantry Division (motorized) “Grossdeutschland”, Voronezh, Russia, June 1942. Improvised pattern of sprayed brownish sand over standard factory dunkelgrau.
Panzer IV Ausf.F2, LSSAH, France 1942
Ausf.F2, 1st SS Panzer battalion, SS Division LSSAH in France, which took part to “Case Anton” (invasion and occupation of Vichy French zone), November 1942.
Panzer IV Ausf.F2, Egypt, 1942
Ausf.F2, 4th Kompanie, 1st Abteilung, VIIIth Panzer-Regiment, XVth Panzerdivision, DAK, El Alamein (Egypt), October 1942.
Panzer IV Ausf.F2, Russia, 1942
Ausf.F2, 36th Panzer Regiment, XIVth Panzerdivision, Army Group South, Russia, summer 1942.
Bulgarian Panzer IV Ausf.F2/G
Bulgarian Maybach T4G (Ausf.F2/G), 13th unit, Russian border, winter 1942. Early production transitional model.
Panzer IV Ausf.G, Tunisia, 1943
Ausf.G, XVth Panzerdivision, Tunisia, spring 1943. This is a late production vehicle, up-gunned with the new KwK 40 L/48 gun.
Panzer IV Ausf.G
Panzer IV Ausf.G of the IVth Panzerdivision, battle of Orel, Russia, early 1943.
Panzer IV Ausf.G, winter 1942
Panzer IV Ausf.G late production vehicle, XIVth Panzerdivision, Stalingrad, winter 1942/43.
Panzer IV Ausf.G, summer 1943, Kursk
Panzer IV Ausf.G, XXth Panzer Division, Kursk, Russia, summer 1943.

Italeri Panzer IV Ausf.F1/F2/G kit No.6514 construction and review by the Tank Encyclopedia team
Panzer IV Ausf.F/G, Stalingrad, 1942
Ausf.F/G upgraded to the H standard, with full Schurzen armor – XVIth Panzerdivision, Russia, southern sector, summer 1943.
Panzer IV Ausf.H, Kursk, 1943
Ausf.H – XVIth Panzerdivision, Kursk, July 1943. The H were equipped with the new 7.5 cm Kampfwagenkanone 40 L48 (3.61 m/11.8 ft barrel) high velocity gun, along with the Pzgr.Patr.40 APCR, with a 990 m/sec muzzle velocity, capable of piercing 80 mm (3.15 in) of armor at 2000 m.
Bulgarian Panzer IV Ausf.H
Panzer IV Ausf.H, 1st Armored Division, Bulgarian army, Hungary, winter 1944.
Panzer IV Ausf.H, IInd Panzerdivision
Ausf.H of the IInd Panzerdivision, France, June 1944.
Panzer IV Ausf.H, 35th Panzer Regiment, 4th Panzerdivision
Ausf.H of the 35th Panzer Regiment of the IVrd Panzerdivision, Bobruysk, December 1943.
Panzer IV Ausf.H, 4th Panzerdivision
Ausf.H of the 35th Panzer Regiment of the IVth Panzerdivision, Kowel, Poland, early 1944. The 35th Regiment inflicted heavy losses on the Soviet 3rd Tank Corps at the Battle of Wołomin (part of operation Bagration). Its symbol was the “Grizlibär”, a menacing brown bear.
Panzer IV Ausf.H, IXth Panzerdivision
Panzer IV Ausf.H, IXth SS Panzer Division, France, summer 1944.
Panzer IV Ausf.H, PanzerLehr
Panzer IV Ausf.H, 3rd Company, 130th Regiment of the 1st Panzerdivision, PanzerLehr, France, summer 1944.
Panzer IV Ausf.H, 9th Panzerdivision
Ausf.H, 9th Panzerdivision, Central Germany, April 1945. Notice the “ambush” type spotted camouflage and turret Schurzen armor open panels.
Panzer IV Ausf.H, 1st SS Panzerdivision Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler
Panzer IV Ausf.H, 1st SS Panzerdivision Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, France, summer 1944.

Panzer IV variants

Jagdpanzer IV

Probably the best and most feared of these versions, this low and very efficient tank hunter was particularly at ease in Italy and Normandy. No less than 1980 were built in all, starting in 1943.

Sturmgeschütz IV

1140 of these excellent support assault tanks were quickly built, sporting the already proven Sturmgeschütz III superstructure and main armament.

Panzerbefehlswagen IV

The command version, equipped with a powerful set of radios, complete electrical equipment and corresponding wiring. These tanks were used to coordinate artillery support, infantry, as well as air support with Panzerdivisions. Roomy and dependable, it was probably the best German command tank of the war.

Panzerbeobachtungswagen IV

A well equipped artillery observation vehicle, working alongside with and coordinating Wespe and Hummel SPGs.

Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär

One of the most impressive German SPGs, the Brümmbar boasted a 150 mm (5.9 in) gun, and led to the Heuschrecke and Dicker Max prototypes.

Flakpanzer IV Möbelwagen

240 were built for AA support, with a single 37 mm (1.46 in) gun, produced in 1944-45, to compensate for the loss of air superiority, notably in Europe.

Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind

Perhaps more famous, this AA support variant was equipped with the very effective quad 20 mm (0.79 in) Flakvierling. 100+ delivered. Using the same chassis and turret, 66 more were equipped with a single 37 mm gun (1.46 in), known as the Ostwind.

Geschützwagen III/IV Hummel

An artillery SPG built on a Panzer IV chassis and with Panzer III parts. Over 666 were built during the course of the war, and was one of the most successful German SPGs ever.

Panzerjäger III/IV Nashorn

A highly successful tank hunter, equipped with the legendary 88 mm (3.46 in) gun. It was less expensive than the Tiger. 473 were delivered overall.

Geschützwagen III/IV Schlepper

Using the same arrangement, 150 ammunition carriers were built.

Bergepanzer IV

A German ARV (Armored Recovery Vehicle), more powerful than previous versions based on the Panzer III. Mostly used on the Eastern Front. Perhaps 21 or 22 were converted using repaired tanks, without a turret and with a 2-ton crane supported with rigid towing bars. Modified amphibious Panzerfahre (2 prototypes) and Landwasserschlepper were also produced in limited quantities.

Bruckenleger IV

One of the earliest Panzer IV based variants, this was a bridgelayer vehicle. The unfolded bridge was 56 m (183 ft) long. 24 vehicles were produced prior to the campaign of France. 4 modified versions served in Russia with the 3rd Panzer Division, and 20 more with the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 10th Panzer Divisions in May 1940.
With increasing losses, makeshift repairs, upgrades to new standards, and cannibalization of all kind of versions, it was difficult by late 1944 to distinguish the J from the H or even G types. Almost any tank was a sub-version in itself. When turretless variants were produced, many surplus turrets were used in armored trains, anti-tank rail cars or fixed concrete antitank positions.

Panzer IV conceptual variants

PzKpfw IV mit Schmalturm

This was intended to be the “final form” of the Panzer IV. It was an attempt to mount the Schmalturm “narrow-turret”, already under development for the Panther II project, on the chassis of a late model Panzer IV H. With the turret came a better gun. Specifically the 75 mm (2.95 in) L/70 tank gun from Rheinmetall. The project, having never left the drawing board, was cancelled as it was soon found that the Panzer IV chassis had hit it’s weight and modifiable limits.

Panzer IV mit Hydrostatischem Antrieb

In 1944 an attempt was made to install a Hydrostatic Drive into the Panzer IV. It gave hydraulic power to both the turret rotation mechanism and steering. The Drive was added into the rear of the tank, under a large sloping engine cover, culminating in 2 smaller drive wheels. Just one prototype was produced and was sent back to the United States after the war for assessment. The vehicle now sits in the US Army Museum, Maryland.

Flakpanzer IV Kugelblitz

The “Lightning Ball” was a late war prototype for a SPAA, intended to be a replacement for the Wirblewind and Ostwind models. It was one of the first tanks to feature a type of oscillating-turret, which was fully enclosed unlike most SPAAs of the era. This ball like turret was mounted with Zwillingsflak “twin-flak” 30mm MK 103 twin anti-aircraft cannons. These cannons fired at an impressive 450 rounds per-minute. A pilot run of 5 hulls and turrets to match is all that was produced by the time the war came to an end, but these were never mated.

Operational Use in World War II

The Pzkpfw. IV participated in the Second World War in ever increasing numbers right from the beginning. On June 22nd 1941, the day the Wehrmacht started Operation Barbarossa, the attack on the Soviet Union, German Divisions reported a strength of 441 Pzkpfw. IV among a total of aprox. 3,500 tanks participating in the attack.
The number of Pzkpfw. IV tanks used by the Deutsches Afrika Korps (German Africa Corps) in Northern Africa against Commonwealth Forces between 1941 and 1943 was never that high as the number of Pzkpfw. III tanks although the later, long barreled versions were feared by their counterparts despite their limited numbers.
When more modern tank designs like the Tiger and upgraded versions of the Pzkpfw. IV with the high velocity long barreled 75 mm gun reached the frontlines starting in summer 1942, an ever dwindling number of early short barreled Pzkpfw. IVs soldiered on through the remaining war, either heavily modified, uparmed and armored or unaltered due to various reasons.
When Allied forces landed in Italy in September 1943, they faced the German 26. Panzerdivision, fielding a mix of Pzkpw. III, long barreled Pzkpfw. IV and at least 17 older short barreld Pzkpfw. IV tanks. The 21. Panzerdivision, newly established in France after it was destroyed during the final battles in Northern Africa, had to rely initially on a mix of very old and captured equipment.
Although reinforced with a wide array of custom built vehicles based on obsolete French tanks and modern long barreled Pzkpfw. IVs when the allies landed in the Normandy in July 1944, the Division still employed 6 unmodified early short barreled Pzkpfw. IV of unknown versions. Photographs taken prior to D-Day and afterwards show at least two Panzer IV Ausf. B or C tanks being deployed.
The 116. Panzerdivision, dispatched to the Normandy late in July 1944, fielded a total of 86 Pzkpfw. IV including 3 early short barreled versions. The II./Pz.Rgt.29 of 12. Panzerdivision fighting Soviet forces in the Kurland-Pocket in early March 1945 reported one Pzkpfw. IV L/24 operational besides 61 Pzkpfw. IV L/48 and some Pzkpfw. III on March 1 1945. The l./PzArt.Rgt.2 of the same Division had another Pzkpfw. IV L/24 in use at the same time.
Official German loss-reports from December 1st 1943 to October 31st 1944 accounted for a total of 30 lost Pzkpfw. IV L/24 at the eastern front, plus 12 more lost in the west between September 1 1944 and November 30 1944. Its well accepted that the earlier, short barreled Pzkpfw. IV tanks were sent to the tank driving schools or secondline-units to guard the hinterland when larger numbers of the more effective long barreled Pzkpfw. IVs became available.
These figures also show that a smaller number were retained in service well over their time due to a lack of more modern tanks or other reasons. The 13. verstärkte Polizei-Panzer-Kompanie (13th reinforced Police Tank Company) of the regular German police force was such a unit and deployed a platoon of four Pzkpfw. IV Ausf. F(1) to fight partisans after its formation in February 1943.

Panzer IVs into the Cold War

It must be said that the large provision of surviving Panzer IV tanks were not lost or scrapped, but saw service, like under Bulgarian colors in Europe, until 1989, or under Syrian colors in the Middle East. There, provisions of ex-French and ex-Spanish models were purchased, some equipped with a new Soviet 12.7 mm (0.5 in) heavy machine gun. They took part in the fight for the Golan Heights during the War of 1965, and the Six-Days War of 1967. Their opponents were much more recent Israeli Centurions and rearmed, upgraded Shermans. Some of them are part of the numerous machines still in existence in many museums and private collections around the globe, with perhaps a dozen in running condition.

Panzerkampfwagen IV production numbers and dates

The following figures were obtained from Waffenamt production statistics enhanced and verified by assembly plant reports and Fgst.Nr (chassis number) analysis by Thomas L.Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle.

Ausf F = 462 April 1941 – March 1942 (7.5cm Kpfwg.K. 37 L/24 gun)
Ausf F = 175+25 March 1942 – July 1942 (7.5cm Kpfwg.K. 40 L/43 gun)
Ausf G = 1687 May 1942 – June 1943
Ausf H = 3774 April 1943 – July 1944

Source

Panzer Tracts No.4 Panzerkampfwagen IV by Thomas L.Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle.
Panzer Tracts No.23 Panzer Production from 1933 to 1945 by Thomas L.Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle.
Panzer IV und seine Abarten by Walter J.Spielberger, Thomas L.Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle.
Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf.G, H and J 1942-45 (New Vanguard)
Germans Tanks of ww2
Germans Tanks of ww2
Poster Panzer IV C French campaign 1940
Poster Panzer IV Ausf C, French campaign June 1940


German Panzer IV Tank – Tank Encyclopedia Support Shirt

German Panzer IV Tank – Tank Encyclopedia Support Shirt

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44 replies on “Panzer IV Ausf.G and H”

Thanks TinkerTanker,
We appreciate that you like our pics, but these are taking a heck of time as you can imagine.
All 3+ years old posts are to be revisited and expanded in the long run. So when this happens new illustrations including protos and variants, are likely to be included as well.
Just follow us on FB so you don’t miss the update !

Hi and congratulations to your website!
I have a question about the illustration of the PanzerIV you add to the XVIth Panzerdivision, Kursk 1943 (despite the picture says 6th Panzerdivision …). Anyways, the 16th was annihilated in Stalingrad in February 1943, eventually reinstalled in France and combined with remainings from the destroyed 16th Division and the Grenadier-Regiment (motorisiert) 890 sent to Italy.
The pattern and Marking is more likely from the 3rd Panzerregiment of the 2nd Panzerdivision, which was indeed involved in the Battle of Kursk.
Regards, Mike

Hi, I want to use the colour scheme of the Panzer IV Ausf.B of the 21st Panzerdivision – Normandy, June 1944 on a model. On the internet I’ve seen that many tanks with this sort of camo have a sand colour instead of the light grey – is this the case with this one, and the picture is wrong, or is this one different from the other Ausf. Bs and Cs used in Normandy in 1944? Also, any links to pictures of this tank from other angles would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

THIS is the tank of tanks. The Germans should have built it like we built Sherman tanks. End of story.

I agree that the four on the totality of combat properties was in fact a universal tank. As for the universality of M4, one can argue without begging for certain advantages. At least Sherman could fight him.

Hey. Thanks for the response. Sherman COULD fight him, true, but NOT with that anemic 75mm M3 gun. And, uh, I really only said that ’cause it’s my favorite tank of the war.

There is a bit of miss information here. The stug three was the infantry support tank and the panzer four was an anti infantry tank for panzers. Its main function was to protect the panzer three from infantry that got too close to them

at the top of the page it shows a picture of a panzer iv ausf b from the 21st panzer division. it says was in Normandy in 1944, is this correct because if so i never knew they had panzer iv ausf b’s that late in the war. thanks

Hello Dear people:
I congratulate you, I am Fernando Leroy from Argentina and I would like to be part of the team, with my small collaborations. Excuse my imperfect English.
I would also like to contact me on Facebook.
Thank you for this Beautiful and Incredible Work!

Hello,
I’m failry sure the second Pz.IV illustration (gray/brown, white 26 with yellow line) belonged to 2.Kompanie 15.Panzer-Regiment, 5. Panzer Division.
The same unit had a Pz.IV B named ‘Prag’ with turret number 24 and otherwise identical markings including the yellow line etc. Tank no 26 from that unit was also a Panzer IV B, considering how few of this variant were built I believe it is safe to assume they belonged to the same unit.

ON the PZ iv AUSF H caption top road speed says 3 kph and i’m sure it should be much higher i think 35-40 kph

On pz lv ausf A it doesn’t say what model KwK for the main armament i’m pretty sure it has a KwK 36 thank you great article

One question , could the Panzer IV(and III?) Commander’s cupola rotate at all? or was it fixed?

There was a rocket launcher variant (Racketenwerfer).
There is also an AA Missile model kit circulating around, can’t verify if it was real or is just fantasy.

Hi TE crew! Beyond the amazing info about the PZ IV, in this page also have tons about camouflage information and some stuff about the HEAT rounds in the german army! Wouldn’t be better if we also have this informations in separate articles, using the already written information?I mean would it be lot easier if we have the extra information in a easy to find place for this especific information.

Hello Adriel,
We are actually considering this one but, unfortunately, it will be a while until we get to it.
All the best

dear Sir, thsnks for your site. Very interesting. I am in the process to assemble a panzer IV ausf. H from ACADEMY. I am puzzled by the two cylinders that instructions show on the right track cover. Those two cylinders are connected to the engine compartment through two curved pipes. I wonder if you can tell me what those cylinders are.
Hoping in your kind answer

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