PzKpfw V Panther Heavy Tank

Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:49 pm

Germany brought heavy tanks weighing 40 to 60 tons onto the World War II battlefield long before the Allies did.

After realizing that the Soviet Union’s T-34 medium tank was a better tank than Germany’s PzKpfw III and PzKpfw IV medium tanks, the Nazis performed a detailed study of the T-34. The design of the PzKpfw V heavy tank, commonly known as the Panther, was based on that of the Russian’s T-34.

The PzKpfw V Ausf D first appeared in 1943. It weighed 43 tons (43,690 kg), had a maximum speed of around 28 miles per hour (45 kph) and a range of about 124.3 miles (45 kilometers).  Its main armament was a 2.95 inch (7.5cm) KwK42 L/70 gun. A five member crew manned the tank.

850 Ausf Ds were built.

PzKpfw V Panther heavy tank, 1944 Source: German Federal Archive
2,000 PzKpfw V Ausf As were built between August 1943 and May 1944. The Ausf A had thicker armor and better running gear than the Ausf D. It also had a commander’s cupola, which the Ausf D lacked.

The Ausf G, which was built after the Ausf D and the Ausf A had already experienced combat, had a new hull. While the Ausf D and the Ausf A had a vision visor for the driver, the driver’s vision visor was removed from the Ausf G.

From March 1944 to April 1945, more than 3,000 Ausf Gs were built.

Variants of the Panther tank included an armored recovery vehicle (ARV), known as Bergepanther, as well as observation tanks and command tanks.

The most famous variant of the PzKpfw V was probably the Jagdpanther heavy tank destroyer.

Nazi Germany

PzKpfw V Panther Heavy

Active: 1944
Crew: 5
Weight: 45.5 tons (45,465kg)
Length: 29ft 1in (8.87m)
Height: 9ft 9in (2.97m)
Width: 11ft 3in (3.43m)
Weapons: Main – 2.95in (7.5cm) Kwk42 L/70 gun, Secondary – 2 x 0.312 inch (7.92mm) machineguns
Armor Maximum – 3.94in (100mm)
Engine: Maybach HL230P30 V12 gasoline, 700hp
Speed: 28.75 mph (46 kph)
Range: 125 miles (200 km)