Panzer IV ausf G

Panzer IV ausf G


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Panzer IV ausf G

This shot shows a Panzer IV ausf G, identified by the type of gun brake, introduced on the G, and the presence of the side vision ports, removed on the next version of the Panzer IV.


During the early development of the Panzer IV, nobody involved in the program knew that this vehicle, designed to serve as a support Panzer, would become the Wehrmacht’s backbone for a good deal of the war. While today the Tiger and Panther are better known, the Panzer IV was produced in the greatest numbers and served on all fronts in many bloody engagements throughout the war. In October 1939, the demands for an increasing number of support tanks would lead to the introduction of the Panzer IV Ausf. D version, of which over 200 would be built.

The Panzer Ausf. D. Source: https://warspot.net/24-pz-kpfw-iv-ausf-d-through-e


In July 1939, the OKH awarded a contract for producing 223 vehicles to Krupp-Grusonwerke. This contract would be reduced to 206 vehicles in March 1941. Eventually, during a production run that lasted from October 1940 to April 1941, some 200 vehicles were built. The remaining four chassis were to be converted to Bruckenleger IVc bridge carriers and two were tested with a new experimental suspension. According to military historian, K. Hjermstad, some 224 Ausf. E vehicles were built by April 1941.

While the Panzer IV Ausf. E was visually very similar to the previous built Ausf. D version, there were some differences.

The Superstructure

The Panzer IV Ausf. E’s superstructure was identical to that of the previous Ausf. D. One of the few changes made was the introduction of a new driver pivoting visor, which would remain in use up to the end of war. Another change was the replacement of the hinge design of the glacis hatch doors, which increased protection.

The frontal side of the Panzer IV Ausf. E. Source: Warspot. The Panzer IV Ausf. E (upper picture) introduced a new driver driver pivoting port in contrast to the earlier Ausf. D version (lower picture).

The Turret

The turret design on the Ausf. E was mostly unchanged in comparison to the earlier Ausf. D version. The commander’s cupola was redesigned and was better protected. It had five vision slits, each of which was protected by two (upper and lower) sliding armored covers.

In addition, the commander’s cupola was moved forward and was now located directly above the turret roof. Previously, it was slightly to the back, with one part protruding from the turret rear. An additional visual change was the addition of a fume ventilator, removing one and redesigning the second signal port’s protective cap shape. From March 1941 onward, all Ausf. E vehicles would be equipped with the storage bin placed on the turret’s rear.

A good view of the Ausf. E turret top. Note the new better protected commander’s cupola with five observation ports protected by sliding armored covers. Another change was the removal of one signal port cover and adding a ventilation port. Source: /www.worldwarphotos.

Suspension and running gear

This version introduced a new front drive sprocket design. In addition, the eight small road wheels received new cap covers. Beside these changes, nothing else was changed on the Panzer IV Ausf. E suspension and transmission.

While the suspension, in essence, was unchained, there were still some differences. Most notable was the change of the forward mounted drive sprocket wheels. In addition, the eight small road wheels received a new covering cap. Source: Walter J. Spielberger . Panzer IV and its Variants Comparison between early type and Ausf. E type covering caps. Source: K. Hjermstad (2000), Panzer IV Squadron/Signal Publication.

Armor Protection

During the Polish Campaign, the Germans noted that the enemy 37 mm guns could effectively destroy any tank that they had in their inventory, including the Panzer IV, without much trouble. This was mainly due to the weak armor of the German vehicles at that time. Based on this experience, the Panzer IV Ausf. E’s frontal superstructure armor was to be increased to 50 mm. Since this decision was taken too late, as the Panzer IV Ausf. E was under production, it was instead equipped with 30 mm of face-hardened frontal armor. As a temporary solution, additional 30 mm (Zusatplatten) applique armor plates were bolted to the superstructure front. Due to production delays, not all factory built vehicles were equipped with this extra armor, with some receiving it later in the field. Additional 20 mm of armor would also be placed on the turret front and superstructure sides on some of the Ausf. E vehicles. The armor of the commander cupola was increased to 95 mm. The Panzer IV Ausf. E also had a 50 mm thick lower frontal hull plate from the beginning of production. Other than that, the remaining armor thickness values were the same as on the Panzer Ausf. D.

The Panzer IV Ausf. E was also equipped with the smoke grenade rack system (Nebelkerzenabwurfvorrichtung), but it was protected by an armored shield.

The majority of Panzer IV Ausf. E tanks were equipped with an additional 30 mm of armor placed on the superstructure front. Some vehicles were additionally protected by 20 mm side armor, which was usually just bolted to the superstructure. Some vehicles received extra turret armor. Source: www.panzernet.net

The Panzer IV Ausf. E had, like its predecessors, a crew of five, which included a commander, a gunner and a loader, who were positioned in the turret, and a driver and a radio operator in the hull.

Armament

The main armament was unchanged and consisted of the 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 with 80 rounds of ammunition. The secondary armament consisted of two 7.92 mm MG 34 machine guns. The ammunition load for these two machine guns was stored in 21 belt sacks, each with 150 rounds (with 3,150 rounds in total).

Vehicles that were damaged and returned from the front line for repairs were equipped with the longer KwK 40 guns. These vehicles were mostly used for crew training but also as replacement vehicles for active frontline units.


Why This Model Kit?

It is my intention to build up a collection of tanks that will show the development of armoured warfare from the First World War to current times. The Panzer IV was the mainstay of German land forces in WWII and thus I would have to build at least one of these venerable machines sooner or later to make my collection complete.

Dragon released this model in 2007 and it was based on brand new tooling specifically designed for the Smart Kit approach. Reviews of this model indicated that not only was it extremely high quality, but also that it was a very accurate representation of the real thing. This kit therefore seemed an ideal subject.

Research

Normally, I would do some research into the model I am about to make. This is partly to make sure that the model will be accurate and partly because I like to get ‘under the skin’ of the subject and find out about it’s history. It was my intention to build this model ‘out of the box’ exactly following the instructions. I had already read a review of the model in Military Modelling International that confirmed the kit was accurate, so there seemed little need for more research. Nevertheless, I could not resist buying the Osprey book ‘Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. G, H and J’ to find out a little about the performance and history of this tank.

I was interested to discover that two of the seven paint schemes in the Dragon instructions are based on the only two Ausf.G tanks which have colour drawings in the Osprey book. I doubt if this is a coincidence

A Panzer IV Ausf G at Kursk. Despite the introduction of the new Panther and Tiger tanks it was the Panzer IV that was the backbone of German armoured forces at this time.


History

Development

The Pz.Kpfw. IV's creation, like its predecessor the Pz.Kpfw. III, was devised by Heinz Guderian. He envisioned a support tank that could be used to handle anti-tank guns and fortifications. In Panzer Divisions, the Panzer IV was to work alongside the more numerable Panzer III (three company of IIIs and one of IVs). The role of anti-armour was reserved for the Panzer III in these situations. As a support tank, the Panzer IV was to have the short 75 mm howitzer as its main armament and also a weight limit of 24 tons. MAN, Krupp, and Rheinmetall-Borsig worked on the development of the tanks, but the Krupp's model was selected for further testing.

The chosen model from Krupp, once finished, used a leaf-spring double-bogie system for its suspension, doing away the proposed interleaved or torsion bar suspension system earlier devised for the sake of faster production. The vehicle held five crew members - the commander, gunner, loader, radio operator (hull machine gunner), and driver. Though it looked symmetrical, the Panzer IV's turret was actually offset to the left of the chassis centre line while the engine was also offset to the right. This was to allow the torque shaft to turn the turret. The offset also meant that most of the ammo was held on the right side of the tank in storage areas. The Panzer IV was then accepted into service and production began in 1936.

Panzer IV Ausf. G

With the appearance of the Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks, the Panzer IV Ausf. F2 was made as a stopgap solution with a new and more powerful KwK 40 L/43 gun. After three months into production, the Panzer IV was upgraded again to the Panzer IV Ausf. G. The Ausf. G featured a stronger 80 mm thick front glacis armour with 30 mm side armour. Some weight-saving techniques were put into play, but the tank still weighed about 23.6 tons and put strain onto the driving system. Some simplification went into the tank such as the removal of the vision ports on the sides of the turret.

The Panzer IV Ausf. G was also the first variant on the Panzer IV line to feature some new innovative features. In March 1943, the Ausf. G was presented with the first of the Schürzen side armour skirts on the turret and hull sides. On the later models, the KwK 40 L/43 was also upgraded to the L/48 variant, simply a longer version with a better muzzle brake to improve recoil efficiency.

The Panzer IV Ausf. G was well-liked by the armoured crews due to increased armour and lethality against the progressively stronger Allied armour such as the T-34s and the M4 Shermans. While the 50 mm armour before was deemed very vulnerable to the Allied guns, the 80 mm caused some headaches among Allied tankers, though could still come on-par in performances. At this point, the newer Panther tanks in production should have replaced the venerable Panzer IV by now, but production problems and low quantity meant the Panzer IV was staying at the main tank for the German Army for a while.

The Panzer IV Ausf. G was then upgraded again to the Panzer IV Ausf. H, which would become the most numerous variant of all the Panzer IVs.

In-game description

The first changes of this variant, which were carried out in the summer of 1942, included a new two-chamber pear-shaped muzzle brake. The viewports in the front plates of the turret and the view hatch in its forward plate were removed. Smoke grenade launchers were moved from the rear of the hull to the sides of the turret. The tank was given an ignition assistance system for winter conditions.


Organization

Due to the desperate conditions in Germany, the number of armored units was reduced on November 1, 1944. Consequently, each Armored Company (Panzerkompanie) had only 17 (2 tanks for the command company and three platoons of 5) or 14 (2 tanks for the command company and three platoons of 4) Panzer IVs, compared to 22 tanks for each Company in 1943. Many Panzer Divisions returned to 2 companies equipped with Panzer IVs, as in 1939. With the war progressing, the losses increased and, on April 1st, 1945, each company was reduced to only 10 tanks (1 tank for the command company and three platoons of 3).


Panzer IV Ausf. G Sonderkraftfahrzeuge number

Post by deckarudo » 11 Jan 2021, 11:53

According to Panzer Tracts 4 and 4-3, the Panzer IV Ausf. G had its Sonderkraftfahrzeuge set to 161, the same as Panzer IV Ausf. F or earlier, but switched to 161/2 when Panzer IV Ausf. H was introduced (with its L/48 gun).

Is there any document mentioning a Sd.Kfz. 161/1?

Re: Panzer IV Ausf. G Sonderkraftfahrzeuge number

Post by arminfreitag » 11 Jan 2021, 20:48

Hi
I cannot show you a document, but all books I have, except the panzertracts titles you mention,
list the Ausf F and G with L/43 gun as Sdkfz 161/1 and G, H, J with L/48 gun as Sdkfz 161/2.


Panzer IV with KwK 7.5cm L/24

The Panzer IV would remain in production throughout the war. The most numerous and the most versatile tank the Wehrmacht developed, it is also usually considered one of the world’s classic armored vehicles, a strong contender for Top Ten status in any comparative listing. Its origins were unpretentious. The Weapons Office wanted armaments firms to gain experience designing and producing heavy tanks. Lutz and Guderian had from early days seen the need for a support tank. The result was a project for a “battalion commander’s vehicle” of 24 tons—the bridge weight limit—mounting a 75mm gun, which was really a howitzer, only 24 calibers long. Dubbed by its crews as the “cigar butt” and other, cruder names involving length, its high-explosive and smoke shells were intended to provide for close support—not only for tanks but for their accompanying infantry. In the war’s early years, however, a three-inch shell exploding on or near a tank could do significant damage—not least to crew morale. The Panzer IV would acquire from its early days an enduring reputation as a formidable opponent.

The Panzer IV suffered from an embryonic armament industry’s lack of experience producing even moderately large tanks, and from an increasingly overstrained manufacturing capacity. Only about 200 were on inventory by September 1, 1939. That was enough, however, to begin allocating a company to each battalion, and to test the three-to-one combination initially proposed by Lutz and Guderian. The design withstood prototype testing admirably. The Panzer IV’s suspension matched its eventual 20-ton weight, and was so reliable it became standard for all the later versions. Its superstructure was proportioned generously enough to allow for up-gunning. Its turret was electrically powered, improving exponentially the chances of getting off the first shot so often decisive in mobile war. Add standard frontal armor of up to 50mm, with 20mm on the sides and rear, plus a reliable Maybach engine giving a top speed of 20 miles per hour and a 100-mile range, and the Panzer IV was a crew’s delight when it began entering unit service in 1938.

Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf D (Sd Kfz 161)

History: In January 1938, Krupp-Gruson received an order to produce 200 in the 4th Series BW and 48 in the 5th Series. Of this total, only 229 were completed as gun-armed Pz Kpfw. The other 19 chassis were utilized to produce 16 bridge-laying tanks, 2 self-propelled guns and a Munitionsschlepper for Karl. Later in 1941, in an endeavour to seek a more powerful armament, an Ausf D was rebuilt with a 5cm KwK39 L/60.

Specific features: The main improvements incorporated in the Ausf D were the increase in the side and rear armour from 15 to 20mm, and the provision of an external mantlet for the 7.5cm KwK. The superstructure front was stepped so that the plate in front of the radio operator was farther back than that in front of the driver. The driver had a pistol port to the right front, and the hull MG was reintroduced in front of the radio-operator. Ausf D, produced late in the series, had additional 30mm plates bolted and welded to the superstructure and hull front, and 20mm plates bolted to the hull and superstructure sides. Later, in 1943, several Ausf D were refitted with 7.5cm KwK L/48 for use with training and replacement units.

Combat service: By May 1940, Pz Kpfw production had been sufficient for every tank detachment to have a medium tank company of from six to eleven Pz Kpfw IV. On 10 May 1940, at the start of the campaign in France, there were 280 Ausf A, B, C and D in the Panzer divisions. The Ausf D saw service in France, the Balkans, Africa and Russia. The last few were phased out by attrition early in 1944.

Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf E (Sd Kfz 161)

History: In January 1938, the order for 223 6th Series BW was issued to Krupp-Gruson, and this total was completed.

Specific features: The main improvements introduced with the Ausf E were a new cupola design, modifications to the turret, and increased armour protection. The turret now had a single bent plate for the turret rear, and an exhaust fan to extract gun fumes. While all Ausf E had a 50mm hull front and 20mm plate bolted to the hull and superstructure sides, several of the early Ausf E were minus the extra 30mm plate on the superstructure front. Minor modifications included a simplified sprocket design, glacis hatches countersunk level with surface of glacis, new design of driver’s visor (pivoting), single signal post on turret roof and an armoured cover for the smoke-candle rack.

Combat service: With the continued production of the Ausf D, and the completion of the Ausf E, sufficient Pz Kpfw IV became available to furnish each medium tank company with ten Pz Kpfw IV for the campaigns in the Balkans, North Africa and Russia. Forty Ausf D and E were taken to North Africa with the 5th and 8th Panzer Regiments, and 438 Ausf B-F were with the seventeen Panzer divisions which attacked the Russians in June 1941. The last Ausf E were phased out by attrition early in 1944.

Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf F (Sd Kfz 161)

The initial Ausf F order was given to Krupp-Gruson for 500 in the 7th Series BW. This was later increased when Vomag received an order to produce 100 and Nibelungenwerke, 25. Before these series were completed the OKH issued an order to mount the 7.5cm KwK40 L/43 as quickly as possible, resulting in each series being completed as Ausf F2. Twenty-five of the Ausf F1, which had been fitted originally with the short 7.5cm KwK37, were converted to Ausf F2 by mounting the 7.5cm KwK40 L/43, before being issued to the troops.

The major improvement with the Ausf F was the increase of the armour thickness on most surfaces. Minor improvements included 40cm wide tracks with the accompanying dished sprocket and tubular idler, air-intake cowl on the glacis hatches to cool the steering brakes, and new muffler designs for the main and auxiliary engines. The vision ports, pistol ports, driver’s visor, hull machine-gun mount and turret doors were all changed from previous models because of the increased armour thicknesses.

The Ausf F1, which equipped several new units and refitted the 2nd and 5th Panzer Divisions, was mainly issued piecemeal to units at the front, to replace losses. About 208 Ausf B to F1 were available with units in Russia when the summer offensive started in June 1942. This was reduced to 60 available on the entire Eastern front at the time of the offensive at Kursk in July 1943.

Vorpanzer F1, with extra bolted appliqué armour on the sides, gun mantlet and frontal glacis, with the 5th Panzerdivision, Group Center, Russia, winter 1941-1942.

There is a photo of two Pz. IV with Vorpanzers, and the first has the name “Hansi” painted on it. There is no other markings to distinguish which unit it is. But by the overall look of the rest of the vehicles it looks like that it is a Pz Ausb Abt.

Vorpanzer for the Pz.IV Ausf F1

The most complete story of the Vorpanzer for the Pz IV Ausf.F is in the Band 5 (Neu), Begleitwagen, Panzer IV by W. Spielberger.

Conference 7.7.41- The Führer has been informed that in the battles in North Africa that armour-piercing rounds are becoming a problem from English tanks. The Führer asks that new production Panzer be equipped w/ spaced armour in front of the main armour.

Conference 29.11.41- the Fuhrer intends for all unit to be equipped with the new Vorpanzer.

Report from Krupp-Essen, 24.12.41- There is a shortage of material for the Vorpanzer… Due to the situation delivery of the first Vorpanzer is expected on Feb 1, 1942. There is a question, should the turrets be delivered w/ the Vorpanzer or not, that hasn’t been made very clear.

There is more text but is doesn’t mention about shipping of the Vorpanzer to combat units. The idea was dropped with the production of the Ausf.G with the longer 7.5-cm KwK. There is a photo of 2 Pz IV with Vorpanzer, and the first has the name “Hansi” painted on it. There is no other markings to distinguish which unit it is. But by the overall look of the rest of the vehicles it looks like that it is a PzAusbAbt.

Panzer IV in Afrika

The two-year seesaw conflict across North Africa has been so often described in so much detail that it is easy to exaggerate its actual impact on Hitler’s panzers. The campaign involved only three mobile divisions and never more than around 300 tanks at any one time. Technically the Germans maintained a consistent, though not overwhelming, superiority—reflecting as much the flaws in British tank design as the qualities of the German vehicles. The Panzer III, especially the L version with the 50mm/62-caliber gun, was the backbone of Rommel’s armor, admirably complemented by the Panzer IV, whose 75mm shells were highly effective against both unarmored “soft-skinned” vehicles and unsupported infantry, even when dug in.

The Sherman’s mid-velocity 75mm gun, able to fire both armor piercing and high-explosive rounds, made it the best tank in North Africa—except possibly for the later marks of Panzer IV, who brought their even higher velocity 75mm gun on line in numbers too small—never more than three dozen—to make a difference.

Panzer IV D, E, F1, F2 and G models were present. As the campaign went on the later models started arriving like the Pz IV specials with long barrels, version F2 and G’s.

Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. D/E Composite Variant

Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. F1 Early, Middle, and Late ‘Typs’

Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. F2 Early, Middle, and Late ‘Typs’

Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. G Early and Middle ‘Typs’

The German Afrika Korps only started to receive Panzer IV with the L/48 75mm gun, arriving in front line units (in small numbers) for the battle of Alam Halfa 30 August 1942 (although by 1st Alamein their numbers had increased dramatically).

From early 1941, when the embryonic DAK armoured units first arrived in North Africa, they were equipped with the Panzer IV, Ausf C and D and then later, the Ausf E and F1, which were equipped with the 75mm KwK L/24 gun, which fired exactly the same HE projectile as the Panzer IV, Ausf F2, (referred to as the “special” by the British) which was equipped with the 75mm L/43.

Panzerkampfwagen IVs, which were sent to North Africa (1941-43), were equipped with additional tropical filters (Tp) and improved ventilation system.

Actually there weren’t that many Pz IVs with the DAK, short-barrelled or otherwise. The four Panzer Abteilungen with the DAK’s two Panzer Regiments were organized along traditional mid-war lines, with one medium company (usually with L24 equipped Pz IVs) and three light companies with Pz III (either L42 or L60) At theoretical max strength – never attained for the DAK as far as I know – and allowing all DAK Pz IVs as F1s, that would still only account for a max of 88 Pz IVs with the DAK.

Chamberlain and Doyle state in their much-maligned book that the majority of Pz IV F1s were used to re-equip the 2nd and 5th Panzer Divisions, units which were never sent to North Africa.

However, additional L24 equipped Pz IVs formed part of the 10th Panzer Division shipped to Tunis as part of 5th Panzer Army. It’s more probable that these tanks were F1s because the DAK was in North Africa before the first Pz IV F1s rolled off the production lines. All told, theoretical max Pz IV F1 strength of the 5th Panzer Army comes up to 45 tanks with the 10th PD, Pz. Abt. 190 and s. Pz. Abts. 501 and 504, not counting tanks which ended at the bottom of the Mediterranean.

I can trace 45 PzKpfw IV armed with KwK 7.5cm L/24 in North Africa in 1941. Most of these were Ausf D & E.

10 Pz.IV F2 delivered May 1942 actually 9, one broke down in Italy and came later.

18 More arrived in January 1942, these would have been of a higher proportion of Ausf F than in 1941.


PANZER IV Ausf. G

The Panzer IV was the most numerous German tank and the second-most numerous German armored fighting vehicle of the Second World War, with some 8,500 built. The Panzer IV chassis was used as the base for many other fighting vehicles, including the Sturmgeschütz IV assault gun, the Jagdpanzer IV tank destroyer, the Wirbelwind self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, and the Brummbär self-propelled gun.

The Panzer IV saw service in all combat theaters involving Germany and was the only German tank to remain in continuous production throughout the war. The Panzer IV was originally designed for infantry support while the similar Panzer III would fight armoured fighting vehicles. However as the Germans faced the formidable T-34, the Panzer IV had more development potential with a larger turret ring to mount more powerful guns and took over the anti-tank role. The Panzer IV received various upgrades and design modifications, intended to counter new threats, extending its service life. Generally, these involved increasing the Panzer IV's armor protection or upgrading its weapons, although during the last months of the war, with Germany's pressing need for rapid replacement of losses, design changes also included simplifications to speed up the manufacturing process.

About BATISBRICKS PANZER IV G:

The BATISBRICKS 's PANZER IV G has rotatable turret, movable link chain, building by brand new LEGO bricks/ elements, printed Tank Crew & weapon by minifigcat & MinifigCo.


Watch the video: Great Bang For The Buck. Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. J Part 1