Panzerbefehlswagen IV

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

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General info

Panzerbefehlswagen IV in the garage.

The Panzerbefehlswagen IV is a premium Rank III German medium tank with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB) and 4.0 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.43. The Panzerbefehlswagen IV was a command vehicle based on the Panzer IV J medium tank, equipped with three radios – the FuG 8 and FuG 5 for communication with headquarters and with tanks and the FuG 7 for communication with aircraft. Each of these radios needed its own antenna – the FuG 8 had a star aerial at the right-rear of the tank, the FuG 5 a 2 meter rod aerial on the turret roof and the FuG 7 a 1.4 meter aerial at the rear left.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

The Pz.Bfw. IV is a premium equivalent of the Panzer IV Ausf. J, most notably with the slow turret traverse. However, it is still a Panzer IV and can be played as such if compensating for the slower turret movement. With a gun that can knock out most enemies it meet, decent mobility, and adequate armour, the Pz.Bfw. IV is a great tank to supplement a line up in the 4.0-4.3 area.

Vehicle characteristics

The Pz.Bfw. IV looks more like a Panzer IV Ausf. H than the Ausf. J due to its default tri-color camouflage and presence of Schürzen side skirts on the turret and the hull. While the turret skirts are nothing new in the late Panzer IV series, the hull skirts are the wire mesh designs also known as Thoma-Schürzen which were easier to produce in the German industry, not to mention were lighter and could fulfill the same role as the regular plates.

Aside from the wire Schürzen, another big difference is the presence of more radio antenna throughout the tank. As the Pz.Bfw. IV is intended as a command tank, more radios were installed inside for the commander to talk with headquarters. The three noticeable radio antennas are on the rear left for the FuG 7, the rear right for the FuG 8, and the turret roof for the FuG 5.

Tactics

Like the Panzer IV J, the Pz.Bfw. IV suffers compared to its other variants due to its slow, manual turret traverse rate. This causes the Pz.Bfw IV to lose flexibility in reacting to close encounters without turning the entire hull around. As such, it is recommended not to use the Pz.Bfw IV as a front-line assaulter in combat.

Tactics-wise, the Pz.Bfw IV is perfect for sniping and ambushes, where the slower turret traverse rate affects its combat performance less. Attack from a distance, especially while that enemy is focused on other allies in the team. Ambushes can also work in close-range events when watching corners, street intersections, and chock points, but be wary of any enemies trying to outmaneuver the Pz.Bfw IV as it would require drastic action with the slow turret rate. Try not to engage the enemy in a straight-up front confrontation as most enemies would be able to easily cleave through the front armour and end the vehicle.

Specific enemies worth noting

Although most tanks in Rank III can destroy you pretty quickly, the tanks you need to avoid in open combat (if possible) are KV-2s, SU-152s, T-34-85(D-5T)s, M4A3E2 Jumbos.

  • For KV-2s, if it's looking at you, (And hopefully reloading) shoot at the flat of the turret below the mantlet. It's flat, relatively thin armor, and your shell should go right through and take out everyone and everything in the turret. From the side, shoot it in the side of the hull (At a 90 degree angle for best effects) to ignite the fuel tanks and maybe even detonate the ammo. Shooting the turret isn't recommended unless for knocking out the gunner or the breech, as there are a lot of crew members in there, and the shells in the turret rarely ignite. Trying to kill it that way will take time.
  • For SU-152s, shoot to the right of the gun, above the driver's viewport, and it will wreck everything inside. If that's an option, try to get around it. It is a casemate after all. Once you're on it's side, shoot it in the crew compartment to obliterate it.
  • For T-34-85(D-5T)s, it is imperative you get the first shot off, as their 85mm will go through you 85 ways from Sunday, and nuke your entire tank interior. Don't shoot the turret unless you have no other option, as it's incredibly trollish, and prone to bouncing your shot. Instead, shoot the hull center. Pay close attention not to hit the driver's hatch as it's actually more armored than the glacis itself.
  • M4A3E2 Jumbo's will give you the hardest time, as their frontal armor is nigh impenetrable, aside from the machine gun port. It's a small, unreliable target, but it's your only chance of killing the Jumbo from the front. If you're lucky, and catch a Jumbo on it's side, shoot it in it's hull. As it's Turret side (and rear!) armor is still thick enough to block your shots. Also, keep in mind, that if the Jumbo is showing its side while angling toward you, that the side armor behind its tracks is very thinly armored. Try shooting there if you can.

Counter-tactics

The Pz.Bfw IV is vulnerable to most front shot engagement, especially so if no serious attempt is made in compound angling. The front plate in its unsloped format is an enticing target, but beware to not hit the front sloping glacis right in front of it as that area has a tendency to bounce everything. Also avoid hitting straight into the ball machine gun and driver's port in the front as these also have a tendency to nullify an armour-piercing shot. When using APHE rounds, simply hit center mass of the front plate and let the post-penetration effect do the rest.

In the case of a vehicle with a gun simply unable to penetrate this front plate, aim towards the turret that still retains a 50 mm front plate. Even the weaker non-autocannon armaments can penetrate through this front plate and incapacitate the turret crew. Aim for the turret left side (right side when shooting it) to knock out the gunner and deny their firepower, then chip away at weak spots until the threat is destroyed.

Alternatively, aim at the Panzer IV from its long vulnerable sides in cases where its slow turret traverse cannot keep up with a flanking maneuver or catching it in an ambush. The interior is fully stocked with ammo racks even when the user is taking a minimum load. Moreover, the fuel tank resides at the very bottom of the center of the tank, so a penetrating shot with APHE will either detonate the ammunition, set the tank on fire, or knock out a good portion of the crew, if not fully destroy the tank with all three effect.

In every case scenario, it is to the benefit of the surviving player to fire the first shot against the Pz.Bfw IV above all else, as it would deny the Pz.Bfw IV even a chance to use its high-penetrating 75 mm gun.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • The KwK 40 L/48 cannon provides enough muzzle velocity to penetrate most contemporary enemies at far range.
  • PzGr 40 (APCR) offers great penetration in case PzGr 39 (APCBC) fails.
  • Heavily sloped area in front of the front flat plate has tendency to bounce most shots aimed towards it.
  • Turrets and side have Schürzen (Spaced Armour), which can offer some protection from HEAT or HE rounds.
  • Good acceleration from a stop.
  • Satisfactory performance over cross-country and road terrains.
  • 5 crew members are present in the tank. (Commander, gunner, driver, loader, machinegunner)
  • Rather favorable matchmaking.

Cons:

  • Poor turret traverse rate can be fatal in certain situations.
  • Box armour structure has no benefits from sloping except for a section in the front.
  • Generally, most AP rounds will effortlessly penetrate the Panzer IV, weaker rounds can also easily hit at weak points.
  • Lacks a large gun mantlet for turret protection.
  • Armour protection is poor, able to be penetrated by all the tanks it encounters even frontally.
  • Generally out performed by vehicles it faces and fights with.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Armaments

1 x 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48 (87 Rounds)
1 x 7.92 mm MG 34 machine gun. (3,150 Rounds)

Main armament

1 x 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48
  • Ammunition Capacity: 87 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 3.6°/s (Stock), 4.9°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48
  • Ammunition Capacity: 87 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 3.6°/s (Stock), 4.2°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
PzGr 39 136 135 123 109 97 86 APCBC 750 6.8 1.3 15.0 28.9 +4° 42° 27° 19°
PzGr 40 177 176 154 130 109 92 APCR 930 4.2 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°
Hl.Gr 38B 80 80 80 80 80 80 HEAT 450 4.4 0.0 0.1 872.1 +0° 28° 21° 17°
Sprgr. 34 10 10 10 10 10 10 HE 570 5.7 0.1 0.1 715 +0° 11° 10°
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
K.Gr.Rot Nb. Smoke 570 6.8 13 5 20 50
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the Panzer IV F2, which is the same as the Ausf. J
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
7th
rack empty
8th
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
87 78 (+9) 68 (+19) 58 (+29) 48 (+39) 38 (+49) 28 (+59) 19 (+68) 10 (+77) (+86) Turret empty: 58 (+29) yes

Secondary armament

  • 1 x 7.92 mm MG 34 machine gun (coaxial)

Crew

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver
  • Assistant Driver

Total: 5 Crew members

Armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet, Cupola)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 80 mm (11°) Front plate
20 mm (72°) Front glacis
80 mm (12-64°) Lower glacis
30 mm 30 mm (4-15°) 26 mm Front
10 mm Rear and hatches
Turret 50 mm (11°) Turret front
50 mm (7-29°) Gun mantlet
30 (23-26°) + 5 (0-1°) mm 30 (15-17°) + 5 mm 16 mm Front
10 mm Rear
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 95 mm 10 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • The hull and turret sides are protected by an extra 5 mm thick plate to provide protection against HEAT and HE rounds.
  • Belly armour is 10 mm thick.
  • Barrel shroud around gun barrel is 20 mm thick.
  • Add-on Armour gives an additional 15 mm of armour can be added to the front facing surfaces.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 25.3 ton (+ 0.4t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 43 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 465 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 18.38 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 572 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 22.61 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 43°
Weight: 25.3 ton (+ 0.4t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 39 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 10.47 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.86 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°
Weight: 25.3 ton (+ 0.4t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 39 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 10.47 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.86 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°

Modules and improvements

As a premium tank all upgrades are already unlocked. The "Mark of disticntion" can be earned, allowing for four decals without using a premium account.

History of creation and combat usage

The Panzerbefehlswagen IV is a command tank variant of the Panzer IV. While nearly the same exterior wise, the inside has been refitted with new equipment to enhance communication, thus fighting is not its purpose role. About 105 Panzerbefehlswagen IV were made during the war, with 17 from the Panzer IV Ausf. J variant and the rest from refurbished chassis adapted to the role.

The conversion allowed the tank to mount additional radio sets for communicating with tank, infantry, and even aircraft units, or back to headquarters. The loader of the tank doubled as a radio operator as well to maintain all the radios in the tank. As well as the radios, mounting racks, transformers, junction boxes, antennas, and an auxiliary electrical engineer are also installed into the tank. These new equipment take up space in the tank and so the ammunition stowage is reduced from the usual 87 rounds to 72 rounds, but this is mitigated by the fact that it should not be the front-line weapon against the enemy.

Other than that, the tank is nearly the same to the original Panzer IV tank. The tank featured a 75 mm KwK 40 main gun with coaxial MG34 machine gun. The tank had about 80 mm of armour on the front hull, plus additional armour in the form of Schürzen side skirts. Unlike the Ausf. H variant, this variant had the skirts made from wire-meshes rather than metal plates to decrease weight, yet keep the same protection against HEAT rounds.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the Pz.Bfw.IV from live.warthunder.com.

Sights

Additional information (links)

References


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germ_panzerbefelhswagen_iv_ausf_j.png

Icon-country-der.png Pz.Bfw. IV
Nation Germany
Type Medium tank
Rank 3
Battle Rating
4.3
4.0
4.0

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
25,300 kg
55,777 lb
Number of Crew 5
Hull armour thickness
80/30/30/10 mm
3.15/1.18/1.18/0.39 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
465 hp
265 hp
265 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
572 hp
300 hp
300 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
18.38
18.67
10.47
10.64
10.47
10.64
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
22.61
22.97
11.86
12.05
11.86
12.05
Max speed
43 km/h
26.7 mph
39 km/h
24.0 mph
39 km/h
24.0 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 75 mm KwK 40 L/48 Cannon
Ammo stowage 87 rounds
Vertical guidance -10°/20°
Secondary Weapon
1 x MG 34 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 3,150 rounds
Mount Coaxial
Economy
Required RP N/A
Vehicle cost 1,750 GE
Crew training cost 10,000 SL
Max repair cost*
2,740 SL
3,300 SL
2,860 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
1d 03h
1d 16h
1d 12h
Free repair time (Upgraded)
9h 02m
13h 34m
12h 06m
Warning: this sidebar is a WIP and can be incorrect. Last updated 1.75.0.154.