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PzKplw V Panther AUSF A

Discussion in 'German Motorised Weapons' started by Jim, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The capture of a Soviet T-34 medium tank on the Eastern Front led directly to the development of the German Panzerkampfwagen V Panther, which incorporated a number of the design elements of the T-34 and became an exceptional armoured weapon in its own right. The Panther was sent to frontline units in the spring of 1943 and first saw major combat at Kursk. With the correction of the production-related mechanical difficulties, the Panther became highly popular with German tankers and a fearsome weapon on the battlefield.

    [​IMG]

    1. Main Armament
      The primary weapon mounted by the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther was the 75-mm (2.95-in) KwK 42 L/70 high-velocity cannon manufactured by Rheinmetall-Borsig.
    2. Turret
      The Panther tank incorporated an existing three-man turret design that underwent several modifications. Later versions included a cast commander's cupola rather than an early drum-like configuration and a bracket for an MG 34 anti-aircraft machine gun.
    3. Engine
      The Panther's 485-kW (650-hp) Maybach HL 210 P 45 petrol engine was later improved to a 514.5-kW (690-hp) V-12 Maybach HL230 P30 with a top speed in excess of 48 km/h (30 mph) and a range of more than 240 km (150 miles).
    4. Suspension
      The distinctive suspension of the Panther included a double torsion bar arrangement with interwoven road wheels. This allowed the vehicle to traverse difficult terrain more easily. Wide tracks offered greater stability.
    5. Ammunition Storage
      No ammunition was stored in the Panther's turret. However, up to 48 rounds of 75-mm (2.95-in) ammunition were carried in sponsons on either side of the hull.
    6. Armour Protection
      The Panther's frontal armour was up to 80 mm (3.2 in) thick. Its 55-degree slope effectively increased the protection afforded the five-man crew. Side armour, which varied from 40 mm (1.6 in) to 50 mm (2 in), could be considered a defensive weakness.

    Facts about PzKplw V Panther​


    The high-velocity 75-mm (2.95-in) cannon gave the Panther a main armament which was initially superior to most Allied guns.

    Daimler-Benz and Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg AG (MAN) competed for the contract to manufacture the Panther.

    The debut of the Panther at the Battle of Kursk was inauspicious because of mechanical failures.
     
  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    [​IMG]

    To destroy a Panther, a tank destroyer with a 76-mm (3-in) gun would have to aim for the side or rear of the turret (the opening through which the hull-mounted machine gun projected), or target the underside of the gun shield.


    PzKplw V Panther AUSF A [​IMG]

    Country of Origin: Germany Crew: 5
    Designer: MAN AG Designed: 1942 In Service: 1943-45
    Manufacturers: MAN, Daimler-Benz, Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen-Hannover (MNH), Henschel & Sohn
    Number Built: 6000
    Produced: 1942-45
    Gross Weight: 45.5 tonnes (50.1 tons)

    Dimensions:


    Hull Length: 6.9 m (22.6 ft)
    Length (gun forward): 8.86 m (29 ft)
    Width: 3.27 m (10.75 ft)
    Width (with skirts): 3.42 m (11.25 ft)
    Overall Height: 3 m (9 9 ft)

    Performance:​


    Maximum Speed: 48 km/h (30 mph)
    Range, Road: 200 km (120 miles)
    Range, Cross-country: 100 km (60 miles)
    Ground Pressure: 0.75 kg/cm2
    Fording Capacity: 1.9 m (6.2 ft)
    Maximum Gradient: 36 degrees
    Maximum Trench Width: 2.45 m (8 ft)
    Maximum Vertical Obstacle: 0.9 m (3 ft)
    Suspension Type: Torsion bar

    Engine:​


    Powerplant: 1 x Maybach HL230 P30 V-12 water-cooled petrol engine
    Capacity: 23 Ltrs (5 gallons)
    Output: 690 hp (514.5 kW) @ 3000 rpm
    Power/Weight Ratio: 15.5 bhp/tonne
    Fuel Capacity: 730 Ltrs (160.6 gallons)

    Armour and Armament:​


    Armour Type: Homogenous rolled/welded nickel-steel
    Hull Front: 50-80 mm (2-3.2 in)
    Hull Sides: 40-50 mm (1.6-2 in)
    Hull Rear: 40 mm (1.6 in)
    Hull Top: 16 mm (0.6 in)
    Hull Bottom: 16 mm (0.6 in)
    Turret Front: 100 mm (4 in)
    Turret Sides: 45 mm (1.8 in)
    Turret Rear: 45 mm (1.8 in)
    Turret Top: 16 mm (0.6 in)
    Main Armament: 1 x 75-mm (2.95-in) KwK42 L/70. 82 rounds.
    Secondary Armament: 2 x 7.92-mm (0.31-in) MG34 machine guns. 4800 rounds.
    Ancillary Armament: 92-mm (3.6-in) bomb/grenade launcher

    Derived Vehicles:​


    Jagdpanther: Heavy tank destroyer with the 88-mm (3.45-in) L/71 gun.
    Befehlspanzer Panther: Command tank with additional radio equipment.
    Beobachtungspanzer Panther: Observation tank for artillery
    spotters: dummy gun; armed with only two MG34.
    Bergepanther: Armoured recovery vehicle.
     
  3. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    In one single day of combat in late July 1944, SS Oberscharfuhrer (Technical Sergeant) Ernst Barkmann wrote the most famous chapter of his combat career on the Western Front. Near the French village of Le Lorey, Barkmann placed his Panther medium tank among a thick stand of oak trees and waited for an advancing Allied armoured formation. As a column of 15 American Sherman tanks came into view, the lone Panther quickly knocked out the two leading vehicles as well as a tanker truck attached to the column. Barkmann then hit and disabled two more Shermans attempting to skirt around the wreckage of the earlier victims. As the Americans regrouped, they called for tactical air support, and the Panther was damaged during the ensuing attack. Still, Barkmann defended his ground, knocking out two further Shermans as they closed in. Finally, he was able to coax his damaged tank to safety in the town of Neufbourg.


    A column of Panther tanks rolls towards the front during bitter winter fighting. Early Panthers were plagued by mechanical and design flaws yet, ultimately the PzKpfwV responded ferociously to the Soviet T-34.

    [​IMG]

    Against long odds, Barkmann had destroyed nine Sherman tanks and several support vehicles. For this and other exploits in combat, the leading Panther ace of the war received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He also further enhanced the reputation of the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther as a rugged and formidable foe.

    Although the Panther earned a fearsome reputation, the swiftness of its development and deployment resulted in numerous mechanical failures, particularly during the Battle of Kursk. General Heinz Guderian, a famed panzer commander, further stated, "They burnt too easily, the fuel and oil systems were insufficiently protected, and the crews were lost due to lack of training."
     

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