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Panzer V (Panther)

Panzerkampfwagen V




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Panzer V (Panther)

History

The Panther I or Panzerkampfwagen V or abbreviated to Pz.Kpfw. V the Panther tank, was a direct response of the German army, encountering the Russian T-34 and KV-1 tanks the T-34 outclassed the existing Panzer III and Panzer IV, due to the high losses of Panzer III and Panzer IV, on the insistence of general Heinz Guderian an emergency commission was set up and dispatched to the eastern front to study Russian T-34 and KV-1 three main points were decided upon 1, the use of sloped armour which gave excellent shot deflection. 2, use of large road wheels gave exceptionally good stability. 3, overhanging gun.
The armaments Ministry acted swiftly and on the 25th of November 1941, contacted Daimler-Benz and M.A.N to design a new medium tank of 30 to 35 tons in weight to have a minimum of 60 mm frontal armour and 40 mm side armour with a maximum speed of 55 km per hour to be known under the designation of VK 3002.
In April 1942 the two prototype designs by Daimler-Benz, and M.A.N were submitted to the army weapons department the Daimler-Benz prototype was near identical copy of the T-34 diesel engine was fitted with transmission to rear sprockets paired steel bogies without rubber tyres were suspended by leaf springs. The VK 3002 DB was a very clean design with huge potential.
By comparison VK 3002 M.A.N was far more in keeping with German design and thinking. It was over sophisticated, rather than simple, it was fitted with a Maybach petrol engine with drive to the front sprockets torsion bar suspension was used with interlevered road wheels, the internal layout followed conventional German tank layouts.
But M.A.N won the production contract, and the first Panther models, which came off the construction line in November 1942 were designated Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. A they had 60 mm thick frontal armour. From January 1943, with all the new design improvements suggested from prototype trials frontal armour was increased to 80 mm there were number of improvements during the course of the Panthers production run other manufacturers, who produced a Panther were Demag, Henschel, MNH

Gallery:

Panther I Ausf. A Sd.Kfz. 171 picture 2
Panther I Ausf. A Sd.Kfz. 171 picture 3
Panther I Ausf. D Sd.Kfz. 171 picture 4
Panther I Ausf. D Sd.Kfz. 171 picture 5
Panther I Ausf. G Sd.Kfz. 171 picture 6
Panther I Ausf. G Sd.Kfz. 171 picture 7

Film Footage Gallery







Sources:

German Military Vehicles.
ISBN-10: 087349783X

Armoured Fighting Vehicles of Germany World War II.
ISBN-10: 0214203077

Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World Two.
ISBN-10: 1854095188

For a complete list of sources
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