Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. A

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

General info

Panther Ausf. A in the garage.

The Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. A (Panther A) is a Rank IV German medium tank with a battle rating of 5.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

As with all other Panther-series Medium Tanks, it is best played in a supporting role or as a front-line offensive Tank due to its agility. The Cannon mounted is more than forgiving and powerful enough to destroy any potential target, so use it to your advantage; Long-range shooting is effective as the muzzle velocity is extremely high, owing to the long-barreled 75mm, the penetration values are more than capable of punching through any opposing armor, and the shell weight will, if the Shell penetrates, consistently deal decent amounts of Crew and Module damage, if not immediately make the target on combat ineffective.

This tank however, owing to its "Mailbox" gun mantlet design, is not good combatant frontally, especially at its BR; many enemy tanks will find your gun mantlet a juicy target. Never engage in extended frontal skirmishes with enemy tanks; instead, use your high mobility as much as possible. Don't stay in one place as much as possible, shoot and scoot before the enemy can react shoot through your mantlet.

Vehicle characteristics

Like any Panther, the Panther A features a broad, sloping upper glacis, and the "letterbox" gun mantle. Its main distinguishing factors from the Panther D or the Panther G are; A new cupola (compared to the Ausf. D), and the normal, rounded gun mantle (compared to the chinned one on the Ausf. G).

Tactics

Being very fast for its rank, as well as arguably well armoured (frontally), the Panther A can be played in both a frontal assault/brawling style, as well as flanking or even sniping.

Specific enemies worth noting

Any British tank that fires APDS can penetrate your upper glacis. The 17 pounder can sometimes go through your lower glacis at shorter ranges too. Any standard AP or APHE shell of a caliber above the 80-90mm range (aka 100mm and above) will penetrate you anywhere frontally.

Counter-tactics

Due to its weak side armor (20mm autocannons can penetrate it), flanking is the best option to deal with any Panther. However, should you be forced to face it frontally, shoot the right turret cheek (as you view it) to take out the gunner. This is one of the weakest places frontally, only ("only") 100mm thick. Heavier guns such as the 17 pdr can penetrate the lower glacis at short ranges, and any large caliber (100mm and up) can penetrate the upper glacis.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent Mobility.
  • Good gun for long range fighting.
  • Good sloped frontal armour.
  • Has access to APCR ammo.
  • Good accuracy while moving.
  • Almost 300% faster turret rotation than the previous D model.
  • Fastest turret rotation from all Panther models.
  • Fastest Panther model.
  • Decent gun elevation angles.
  • Reasonably cheap repair cost.
  • Best acceleration from all Panther models.
  • As with all Panther models, gun sight is on parallel with the gun (SB).

Cons:

  • Gun mantlet is still an obvious weak spot.
  • Ammo racks offer great target.
  • Terrible reverse speed of only -4 km/h
  • Weak side and rear armour.
  • Lower glacis is also a weak spot and often catches fire when shot there.
  • High profile.
  • Roof armour is still the same as the D model, only 16 mm.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Armaments

1 x 7.5 cm KwK 42 cannon (79 Rounds)
1 x 7.92 mm MG 34 machine gun (2,700 Rounds)

Main armament

1 x 7.5 cm KwK 42
  • Ammunition Capacity: 79 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -8°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 14.3°/s (Stock), 19.8°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 9.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 7.5 cm KwK 42
  • Ammunition Capacity: 79 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -8°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 14.3°/s (Stock), 16.8°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 9.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 7.5 cm KwK 42
  • Ammunition Capacity: 79 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -8°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 14.3°/s (Stock), 16.8°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 9.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 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 39/42 187 185 168 149 132 116 APCBC 935 6.8 1.2 25.0 28.9 +4° 48° 63° 71°
Sprgr. 42 10 10 10 10 10 10 HE 700 5.7 0.1 0.5 725 +0° 79° 80° 81°
PzGr 40/42 226 225 198 169 144 123 APCR 1120 4.8 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 66° 70° 72°
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the Panther.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
7th
rack empty
8th
rack empty
9th
rack empty
10th
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
79 72 (+7) 64 (+15) 56 (+23) 48 (+31) 40 (+39) 32 (+47) 24 (+55) 16 (+63) (+71) (+78) 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

Armor type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet, Cupola)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides (Slope angle) Rear (Slope angle) Roof
Hull 80 mm (55°) Front glacis
60 mm (56°) Lower glacis
40 mm (40°) Top
40 + 5 mm Lower
40 mm (29°) 16 mm
Turret 100 mm Turret front
65 -100 mm Gun mantlet
45 mm 45 mm 16 mm
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 80 mm 16 mm

Notes:

  • Tracks and lower side of the hull are covered by 5 mm thick armor plate, protecting them from HEAT and HE shells.
  • Rear parts of the upper side hull armor have tracks attached to it, adding additional 20 mm of armor.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 44.8 ton

Max Speed: 61 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 1085 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 24.22 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 1336 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 29.82 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 43°
Weight: 44.8 ton

Max Speed: 55 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 619 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 13.82 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 700 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 15.62 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°
Weight: 44.8 ton

Max Speed: 55 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 619 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 13.82 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 700 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 15.62 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°

Modules and improvements

As per usual, "Parts" and "FPE" should be the focus first for modifications to increase combat survivability. Everything else is fair game after you get those two.

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The Panther development started as far back as 1938 as a replacement to the Panzer IIIs and Panzer IVs. The program was called VK 20 and it called for a 20 ton tracked vehicle design by Krupp, Daimler-Benz, and MAN. Krupp dropped out when the requirements changed to 30 tones in 1941 when the German encounters the Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks where the Panzer III and Panzer IV's performance have little effect due to its superior armor, mobility, and armament. The VK 20 was abandoned for the VK 30.02 in April 1942. Daimler-Benz design for this project look similar to the T-34 with the turret far forward in the hull, plus the use of a diesel engine and external leaf spring suspension. MAN's design had a twin torsion bar, interleaved suspension system (like the Tiger I) with the turret situated in the middle of the hull, plus had a petrol Maybach engine. Hitler was reported to believe that the DB design was superior to the MAN design, and in a review between January to March 1942, Fritz Todt and Albert Speer also recommended the DB design. Then MAN revised their design, and a special commission by Hitler decided on the MAN design in May 1942, to which Hitler approved after reviewing it. One of the reason the MAN was approved was because its turret was already in production while the DB used a completely new design. However, despite being built for a 30 ton design, Hitler decided to increase the armor on the MAN design and the weight went from 30 tons to 45 tons.

The MAN design was made into a prototype in September 1942, when it was officially accepted after testing and named the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther. Where it remained so until 1944, where Hitler removed the V in the designation for the name Panther. Production started in December 1942, though the early models suffered from reliability issues. The production plants expanded from MAN to Daimler-Benz, MNH, and Henschel for increased output. Despite that, production was often delayed due to Allied air bombing, which targeted the Maybach engine plant and DB, MAN, and MNH tank factories. Nevertheless, the total number of Panther tanks produced was 6,706, making the Panther the third most produced armored fighting vehicle in Germany behind the Panzer IV and the StuG III.

Design

The MAN design for the Panther featured a heavily sloped armor design, with the front glacis plate being 80 mm thick (from the original 60 mm before the weight increase) and when sloped at 55 degrees, it was 140 mm effective in thickness. This made the Panther one of the best armored vehicle in World War II. The side armor of the Panther was way thinner at 40 mm that could be pierced very easily. Additional side armor in the form of Schürzen could be placed on the sides hanging to cover the suspension and hull side from being penetrated by Soviet anti-tank rifle fire. The Panther used the same engine as the Tiger I, the Mayback HL 210 P30 engine, and had a similar suspension system, the Schachtellaufwerk interleaved wheel system, which complicated maintenance issues. The tank used the formidable 7.5 cm Kwk 42 cannon, which could destroy most of the allied tanks in service, only possess a medicore HE shell.

The Ausf. A variant was the second variant designed for the Panther, The old drum-shaped cupola on the Ausf. D had been replaced by a side-swinging hatch that didn't require the commander to expose himself to open or close the hatch. The Ausf. A introduced the standard ball mount for the assistant driver's machine gun, replacing the "letterbox" flap design on the Ausf. D. The Ausf. A also had the initial turret curved gun mantlet that was introduced to the Panther, though there were faults with the design as explained below. Other small improvements of the Ausf. A over the Ausf. D was improved reliability by ironing out several mechanical issues. 2,192 Panther Ausf. A were produced from August 1943 to June 1944.

The Panther's rushed development and commitment into battle caused the design to have many flaws inhibiting its full potential. The most prominent flaw that lasted throughout the war was the weak final drive due to using a double spur system that made it more prone to failure from the Panther's torque requirements, which is averaged at around 150 km before failing. The curved gun mantlet design had a unfortunate tendency to ricochet deflected rounds into the roof, it was however, not fixed until a new gun mantlet design with a flat "chin" shape was introduced on the Panther G. The Schachtellaufwerk suspension system, like the Tiger, suffered from over-engineering and complicating maintenance of the tank. Smaller problems in the tank included not having a dedicated periscope for the gunner, maintenance-heavy, fuel-hungry, and deteriorating armor quality as metal alloys in Germany began to run out.

Despite its heavier weight and slightly complex design, the cost of each Panther tank was not very high in relative to tanks with a price at 117,100 Reichmarks, compared to the 103,462 RM of Panzer IVs and 250,800 RM of the Tiger I. This made the tank rather economic for its fighting purposes despite being over-engineered.

Combat usage

The Panther was first issued to the Eastern Front, arming the 51st and 52nd Tank Battalions. Their usage presented mechanical problems of the Panther, forcing many of the early Panthers to be returned for rebuilding. Despite these issues, the Panther was deemed critical in the Battle of Kursk in Operation Citadel, Hitler delayed the operation so more Panthers can reach the front. 200 Panthers were ready in June 1943, but its combat debut was disappointing. The Panthers, which arrived last minute before the operation started, meant that the crew serving the tanks had little time to train with the new tanks. Two tanks were lost to motor fires right after disembarking from the trains at the front lines. 184 were operational at the start of the operation on July 5, this dropped to 40 within two days. According to Heinz Guderian, five days into the offensive, only 10 operation Panthers were available with 25 completely lost, 100 in need of repairs, and 60 percent of those mechanical breakdowns were easily repaired. Those that did work during the campaign were able to cause heavy casualties on the Soviet tank forces, but the Panther's lethality was mitigated by its low number available. When the operation turned and the Soviet counteroffensive pushed the Germans away from Kursk, the Panther loss rose to 156 in August 11, with many more lost as the Soviet kept gaining ground. Perhaps the Panther's biggest role in Operation Citadel was delaying the start of the operation by two months to allow the Soviet defenses to be bolstered beyond the German's expectations, causing the failure of the offensive.

After the failure at Kursk, improvements on the Panther helped its reliability rate. By March 1944, Guderian reported that most of the Panther's flaws were ironed out, but the final drive and other mechanical issues were still a major issue to front-line units. The Panthers served the rest of the war as quick-reaction forces to fight off Allied offensives on both fronts. On the Eastern Front, some 700 Panthers were committed to the battle at all times, though the number of operational vehicles vary depending on the situation. The Panthers were also sent to suppress the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944. Two were captured by the Polish forces, who used them against the German forces. The captured Panthers were used until they became immobilized and were destroyed to prevent recapture by the Germans.

On the Western Front, the Panthers began being present in large numbers after the Invasion of Normandy. 156 Panthers were initially present between two Panzer regiments, but this increased by seven regiments after the Allied invasion, boosting the strength to 432 tanks. The high number of Panther situated in France, mostly around Caen, and their performance against the Allied armor caused many Allied tankers to fear it as much as the Tiger tanks. However, the Panther's reliability problem was still evident as many Panthers were left abandoned by the crew when they broke down. The mechanical breakdown, partly from the flaws in the machine, can also be attributed to the poor crew training given, which showed by crew overburdening the transmission or lacking regular maintenance on the tank. The Allied assessment of the Panther was that its mobility on soft grounds was superior due to its wider tracks giving more flotation over ground, and armor and firepower value was superior to anything they had, though it was inferior in the bocage terrain of France due to the constrained nature of the environment. The Panther participated in the famed Battle of Arracourt, where a total of 262 German tanks were committed to battle. The battle, against the mostly M4 Sherman equipped 4th Armored Division, routed the Germans after they suffered heavy casualties, while the Allies only losing 32 armored fighting vehicles, a testament on how crew training and tactical advantage have a big impact on tank warfare. The highest concentration of Panthers on the Western Front was 471 Panthers (336 operational) in the Ardennes Offensive (Battle of the Bulge), where it showed its prowess in open terrain due to its superior gun. The Panthers also took place in Operation Grief, being disguised as M10 tank destroyers to trick American soldiers. All of these mocked up Panthers were destroyed in battle or scrapped after it. After the Ardennes Offensive, eight Panzer division with 271 Panthers were transferred to the Eastern Front to beat back the Soviet offensive. Only five Panther battalions, 96 Panthers for each battalion, remained on the Western Front to fight the Allies.

After the war, Panther still saw use for some time in various countries. Bulgaria and Romania received Panthers from the Soviets as aid, which they used until the 1950s. France was the most notable user of the Panther tanks after World War II due to the large quantities of operable vehicles left behind by the Germans during the Normandy invasion. The French raised a regiment of 50 Panthers from 1944 to 1947, when they were replaced by the new ARL 44 tanks. The Panther also influenced the French AMX 50 tank design, and its gun was derived onto the AMX 13 light tank. In 1947, an evaluation was written by the French War Ministry on the Panthers which even made their own assessment of the Panther that pointed out most of the flaws of the Panthers, especially the mechanical failure and the deficiency of the armor later in the the war due to alloy shortages.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the Panther A from live.warthunder

Sights

Videos

Bovington Tank Museum Tank Chats: Panther





Images

The Littlefield Panther A in California.

Additional information (links)

References


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germ_pzkpfw_v_ausf_a_panther.png

Icon-country-der.png Panther A
Nation Germany
Type Medium tank
Rank 4
Battle Rating
5.7
5.7
5.7

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
44,800 kg
98,767 lb
Number of Crew 5
Hull armour thickness
80/40/40/16 mm
3.15/1.57/1.57/0.63 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
1,085 hp
619 hp
619 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
1,336 hp
700 hp
700 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
24.22
24.61
13.82
14.04
13.82
14.04
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
29.82
30.30
15.62
15.87
15.62
15.87
Max speed
61 km/h
38 mph
55 km/h
34 mph
55 km/h
34 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 75 mm KwK 42 Cannon
Ammo stowage 79 rounds
Vertical guidance -8°/20°
Secondary Weapon
1 x 7.92 mm MG 34 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 2,700 rounds
Mount Coaxial
Economy
Required RP 54,000 RP
Vehicle cost 180,000 SL
Crew training cost 52,000 SL
Max repair cost (Stock)
1,540 SL
2,160 SL
2,270 SL
Max repair cost (Upgraded)
2,299 SL
3,224 SL
3,389 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
2d 19h
5d 14h
5d 14h
Free repair time (Upgraded)
22h 29m
1d 20h
1d 20h
Warning: this sidebar is a WIP and can be incorrect. Last updated 1.79.1.192.