Pzkpfw V Panther its variants.

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by CharlesBronson, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    My purpose with this topic is quite simple, I want to talk about this legendary german tank design, its development, variants and combat experiences.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. JugBR

    JugBR Active Member

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    good post charly. to start talk about this legend, we must come back to the beginning of barbarossa operation and talk about another legend:

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    the "battlehorse" t-34
     
  3. JugBR

    JugBR Active Member

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    a nice portuguese site to research:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    You are right, that is why the first chapter in this story is:

    Surprize in the East:

    When one considers oneself to be an elite force operating with the best available equipment, the sudden discovery of that a earlier despised enemy actually possesses a weapon system that is technically superior is naturally a sharp blow to one s pride and morale.

    Such was the situation confronting the German panzerwaffe in July 1941 following the appearance of the soviet T-34, a tank of wich the Field Marshal Von Kleist described as the better of the world and General Von Mellenthin later wrote: " we had nothing comparable"

    [​IMG]

    In november 1941 a team of designers, manufacturers and Officers of the HeeresWaffenAmt ( technical departament of the Army Arsenals) the so called "Panzerkomission Ost" visits Guderian`s Second panzer Army to evaluate the T-34 and decide what technical measure could be taken in order to restore the german superiority.
     
  5. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Oh..you got the story too, well, we will see wich one is better...:lol:
     
  6. JugBR

    JugBR Active Member

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    mine is worst translated !
     
  7. JugBR

    JugBR Active Member

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    btw i erased my post. i didnt realized what you gonna do, sorry. that way to tell, with chapters, is better !
     
  8. machine shop tom

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    One of the first designs of the Panther looked an awful lot like the T-34. When the T-34 was first encountered one of the first thoughts was to copy it. But it was decided to use a German design. This was the Daimler Benz design of the Panther that was not adopted.
     

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  9. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    There is no need to erase any post, all post are welcomed.

    The proposals.

    Officers at the front were of the opinion that the T-34 should be copied in the lowest amount of time possible. But designers could not agree on this not only for reasons of natural pride for its own design but also strategical, tactical and material shortcomings.

    The Panzerkomission came out with a requeriment for a new Panzer with and sloped armour no less than 60 mm at the front, Its main gun should be capable to defeat 150 mm of rolled homogeneous armor at 1000 meters in range. The weight was calculated in 30-35 tons.

    The firms MAN ( Maschinenfabrik Ausburg Nüremberg) Daimler Benz and Reinhmetall Borsig were contracted for this new design, both MAN and DB would submit new design for the tank and RB would deal with the main gun.

    Both design were scheduled to be ready for test in March 1942.

    Daimler Benz prototype:

    The DB proposal VK3001 (DB) ( experimetal tracked vehicle 30 tons nº1) was in fact a direct copy of the T-34, it have a similar shape and some internal componets like a completely new aluminium alloy 12 cilinders liquid colled diesel engine.

    The suspension of V1 have external leaf springs with 2 bogies and 4 roadwhells. V2 was more conmplicated with internal leaf springs and interleaved roadwheels.

    V1

    [​IMG]

    V2

    [​IMG]

    The long barrel overhang wich had the bad tendency to "dug in" over bad terrain and its obvios similarities with the T-34 were tactical factors wich disliked the HWA, also the provition for aluminium alloy was almost entirely dedicated to the Luftwaffe, putting in danger the future of new land engines using this metal.
     
  10. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    MAN prototypes:

    The MAN design was more conventional, although it copied the sloped frontal, was a design typically German, with a more wider turret located in the center hull.
    A gasoline Maybach engine of cast steel and suspension of torsion bars with internal torsion bars and interleaved roadwheels.


    MAN proto with simulated turret.

    [​IMG]


    MAN proto with armament installed.

    [​IMG]

    The MAN design was accepted in May of 1942, in spite of the preference of Hitler by the DB design.
     
  11. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Panzerkamfpwagen Skoda T-25.

    Even not directly involved with the Panther development the czech ( protectorate of Bohemia und Moravia for the germans) factory of Skoda submitted a design for the new panzer V.

    The weight was 34 tons, it had a Tatra engine V8 with 420 hp, and is said that the projeckt incorporated an automatic loader for its main gun. Nothing more is now since the design did not progress further.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Pre-series. The Versuchs and ausf D1.

    The first 20 tanks of preliminary series of the Panther ( V2 to V21) were denominated " D1" those had an glacis 60mm thick and the muzzle brake with a round single chamber in the style Pz IV ausf F2.

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    [​IMG]

    Also it was powered by a Maybach V-12 engine with 650 HP instead of the 700 HP standardized in later models. The vehicle already excedeed the 35 tons determined at the requeriment of 1941, it had 40100 kg in combat order.

    Squematic showing the small differences between the D1 and later D variant.

    [​IMG]

    This D1 were not used in combat, remained as conversion and training tanks.
     
  13. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    This is probably skipping (way) ahead, but my favorite PzKpfw V/SdKfz 171 variant is the Ausfuhrung G with the infra-red ('Puma'/'Sperba') sighting system; way ahead of it's time (as so much of the German hardware was back then).
     
  14. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Why not, here you got more info:

    Nightfighting Panthers

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    Some few Panthers were equipped with special infrared devices for night combat. The "Heereswaffenamt" WaPrüf 8, in cooperation with the AEG was dealing with this kind of optical equipment since 1936, but devolopment was discontinued and the decision to further investigate in this area wasn´t made until the Allies gained total airsuperiority in 1943. From now on much energy was invested in the project.

    The results of these investigations, which were lead by Ministerialrat Dr.-Ing. H.Gaertner Heereswaffenamt/WaPrüf 8, were, that in 1943 the Wehrmacht equipped some few Panthers with 200-mm infra-red searchlights FG 1250 and a BIWA (Bildwandler - image converter), which converted the infra-red image into a visible reproduction. In the first tests at the armoured forces school at FALLINGBOSTEL (North Germany) near HANNOVER the crews trained to drive and to aim at night. Admittedly the searchlight range wasn´t more than 600 metres, limiting the long range advantage of the excellent KwK42 75mm/L70.


    The FG 1250 infared searchlight and scope mounted on the commander´s cupola of an Panther Ausf.G.

    [​IMG]


    The steel band was fed through a hole in the turret roof at the base of the cupola. This steel band, connected internally to an indicator, allowed the gunner to recognize when the elevation of the gun was on target.

    [​IMG]

    Because of this reason the developers mounted an even greater 600mm searchlight on a halftrack, the Sd.Kfz. 251/20 "UHU", which was intended to be attached to each platoon to enhance the night fighting range of the platoon. Finally the Wehrmacht planned to use a halftrack called FALKE in combination with the vehicles mentioned.

    Nightfighting Panthers in Action

    In summer 1944 the Panthers of 3.Kompanie, 24th Panzerregiment, 116th Panzerdivision, were equipped with UHU on the battle/excercise-area BERGEN, and actually trained the use of the nightfighting concept SPERBER. Hitler planned the mission of this Kompanie to be during the Operation WACHT AM RHEIN (Battle of the Bulge) and actually some squads were tranfered to the western front, but never saw action there.

    One SPERBER squad including their Panthers was transfered to STUHLWEISSENBURG (Hungary) in early 1945 with 6th SS-Panzerarmee, intended to support the german counterattack to secure the area of Budapest. The rest of the Kompanie followed, but without nightfighting equipment. In 1945 the Wehrmacht planned to form 5 SPERBER Kompanies, but this concept proved to be illusory. 2 SPERBER squads joined the spontanuous formed Panzerdivision "CLAUSEWITZ", which was formed in spring 1945 on the western front. On 21st of april, these 2 squads ran down an american ambush, which has been set up at the WESER-ELBE-KANAL, and by this ensured the only documented action of the nightfighting concept SPERBER.

    In march 1945 the Panzerdivision "MÜNCHEBERG" received one fully equipped Kompanie of 10 SPERBER capable Panthers and one SPERBER capable Panzer Grenadier Kompanie. The Division took part in the last fights during the battle of BERLIN. If this Division used the SPERBER concept isn´t documented.


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  15. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    The Panther ausf D.

    [​IMG]

    Insistence of Hitler in which the new tank should to have a frontal armor of 80 mm consequently had the increase of the glacis, this raise the weight of tank 2 tons, the result of this was the " D" ausfurrung (model).

    The distinguishing typical of this model are it very simple cupola with elements of direct vision. Side of turret had openings for pistol ports and a circular hatch of the left side to expel the empty cases.

    [​IMG]

    Given the unaivailable of ball mounting for sloped armor, the machine gunner of hull fired its MG 34 trought a vertical hinged cover slit.

    The turret of the Panther was operated by a hydraulic motor with a max speed of 360º in 19 seconds. For fine adjustment a manual crankcase could be used with two relations of gears, in the lower gear a tunr in teh hadwheel crank swingded the turret just 0.6 degrees, which allowed a very precise adjustment for the shot at more than 1000 meters.
     
  16. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Nice going CB! I hope that you'll a similar thread on the StuG.....
     
  17. JugBR

    JugBR Active Member

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    man this infra-red devices says all about the advances of german warmachine in ww2.

    unfortunelly for them, this wasnt followed by a good strategy. they still manufacturing the Pz.IV until the very end, instead to give preference for the phanters and royal tigers and the bullets of Pz.IV just scratchs the t34´s armor.
     
  18. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Lucky. time is all I need.

    By the way I corrected the mispelling in my earlier post.

    It come too late in the war to had a real effect.
     
  19. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Firepower, the Rheinmetall K.w.K 42.

    The fear inspired by the new generation of russian armored vehicles and the heavy accent put by the panzerkommmision on the new main weapon of the new Pzpfw V is clearly stated by his main gun.

    [​IMG]

    Despite the fact this gun was perfectly capable to shot High explosive ammunition ( actually 50 % of the Panther magazine consisted in Sprengranaten) the Kampfwagenkanone 42 was created with other purpose in mind: to engage and destroy heavy armored vehicle at ranges up to 2500 m.

    The weapon was a derivated from the Pak 40, however the 714 mm case of the infantry antitank gun was not really suitable for handling in the small spaces of a tank turret, so the case was shortened and its diameter increased.

    In the final shape it was a completely different weapon with a streamlined 70 calibers lenght tube and electrically detonated primer.

    Handling the ammo for the K.w.K 42 in a Pantherstellung.

    [​IMG]

    For aiming this deadly cannon a Turmzielfenrorh TFz 12a with 2,5 x and 25 mm diameters binocular scope was used. In later models this was changed to a TZf 12c monocular with 5x magnification, better for longer ranges.

    Hitlers request sought a gun with a penetration of 15 cm of armor at 1000 meters. The K.w.K 42 was fully capable to achieve that with the panzergranate 40/42 ammunition with hard tugsten core, alluminium cap and tracer. This bullet left the barrel at 1150 meters per second. It was in short supply during all the war however and the most used antitank round was the panzergranate 39/42, armor piercing with hardened steel core, ballistic cap, high explosive and tracer.

    The pzg 39/42 had a muzzle velocity of 935 mps and a very flat trajectory wich eased aiming and increased the first shot kill chances.

    A third type was a HE sprenggranate 39/42 with a 7 kg shell at 700 mps to engage casemates, buildings and infantry.

    The Panther Pzg 39/42 actually penetrate the same armor at 2000 meters than a T-34/76 at point blank and 11 mm more than the Tiger 1 88mm at 1000 meters. .

    Ammunition type: 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m

    Panzergranate 39/42: 138mm 124mm 111mm 99mm 89mm

    Panzergranate 40/42: 194mm 174mm 149mm 127mm 106mm

    French soldier with some Panther KwK 42 cartrigdes, the bullet was an Panzergranate 39/42, armor piercing capped high explosive-tracer.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Excellent pics CB. Just excellent.
     
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