Panther A

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This page is about the German medium tank Panther A. For other versions, see Panther tank (Family). For other uses, see Panther (Disambiguation).
Panther A
germ_pzkpfw_v_ausf_a_panther.png
GarageImage Panther A.jpg
ArtImage Panther A.png
Panther A
AB RB SB
6.0 6.0 6.0
Class:
Research:46 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:155 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Panzerkampfwagen V Ausführung A (Panther A) (Sd.Kfz. Index: Sd.Kfz. 171) is the second production variant of the iconic Panzerkampfwagen V Panther medium tank family. Many Panther D characteristics, such as the small rectangular 'letterbox' hull machine gun opening, remained on the early production Panther A manufactured between July and December 1943. The Panther A turret has received significant modifications. For starters, the gun mantlet on the Panther A turret was larger than the one on the previous Panther D. The design of the cast turret side directly behind the gun mantlet was modified to a dish-shaped protrusion to fit the new gun mantlet. In addition, a new dome-shaped cast-armour commander's cupola was designed, and a ring was mounted on the commander's cupola to allow for the mounting of an anti-aircraft light machine gun. A single-speed turret power traverse system was also introduced, allowing Panther A to react to adversary tanks considerably faster than before. Finally, the German Army put a unique coating called Zimmerit on the tank's outside surface, anticipating that the Soviets and Allies would deploy magnetic mines to destroy the tank. The Zimmerit aims to minimize the effectiveness of magnets adhering to the metal hull.

Introduced in the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41, the Panther A was part of the next generation of medium tanks that officially superseded the Panzer IVs in World War II. The Panther A is widely regarded as one of the best medium tanks of World War II, combining mobility, protection, and firepower. After the Soviet T-34, it was one of the most influential tank designs and served as the foundation for many later medium tank designs in other countries. The turret traverse speed is much faster than the previous Panther D model, lowering reaction time to unexpected spotting of enemies at close quarters significantly. Players can also use the commander's cupola-mounted MG34 light machine gun as a deterrence to hostile low-flying aircraft.

General info

Survivability and armour

Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull60 / 40 / 40
Turret100 / 45 / 45
Crew5 people
Visibility125 %

The Panther A has excellent frontal armour, which can protect the crew from many of the kinetic shells found in this battle rating range (with the exception of chemical shells and large calibre kinetic shells). Panther A's survivability is excellent when played to its strengths in long-range engagement; avoid brawling with enemy tanks unless absolutely necessary. Although the turret cheek of all Panther medium tanks is a well-known weak spot, engaging the enemy from a mid- to long-distance can greatly mitigate this weakness because the enemy will struggle to effectively penetrate the weak spot as engagement distance increases. Furthermore, due to the unique curvature of the turret armour layout, the turret cheek can bounce many kinetic shells from the enemy as distance increases. Keep in mind that powerful kinetic shells like that of the 122 mm D-25 cannon and APDS shells from British and Swedish tanks will easily penetrate the frontal armour, necessitating greater caution when engaging such foes.

The Panther A armour is not very different from the Panther D, retaining the curved gun mantlet that could potentially bounce a kinetic round down into the vulnerable hull roof. While this phenomenon is relatively rare, the risk is present and should be considered when fighting any enemy even if they don't have a gun that can reliably penetrate the Panther's turret front armour.

Armour 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
Cupola 80 mm 80 mm 80 mm 16 mm

Notes:

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

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB51 / 4 km/h
RB and SB46 / 4 km/h
Number of gears7 forward
1 back
Weight45.3 t
Engine power
AB1 145 hp
RB and SB600 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB25.3 hp/t
RB and SB13.2 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock AoA Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 51 4 44.8 0.45 930 1,145 20.74 25.28
Realistic 46 4 531 600 11.84 13.25

The mobility of the Panther A is greatly improved over that of the previous Panther D, and it can be considered one of the best medium tanks in Germany's mid-BR range during WWII. The Panther A combines great mobility with excellent firepower thanks to its high top speed and neutral steering. However, mobility is still lacking when compared to its contemporary era tanks, particularly the Soviet T-34-85. Most Panther enemies, such as Sherman and T-34-85, will have no trouble firing the first shot when they come face-to-face with Panthers unexpectedly. Maps with lots of cover should be played with caution as US M18 light tanks frequently appear in unexpected areas of the map at the start of a match. Overall, the Panther A should be played as a fast medium tank, taking advantage of its excellent frontal armour while not overly relying on it to take hits, and engaging the enemy from a distance with its excellent cannon.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB1 966 → 2 907 Sl icon.png
RB2 291 → 3 388 Sl icon.png
SB2 955 → 4 370 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications40 300 Rp icon.png
77 400 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 400 Ge icon.png
Crew training45 000 Sl icon.png
Experts155 000 Sl icon.png
Aces630 Ge icon.png
Research Aces440 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
100 / 150 / 180 % Sl icon.png
160 / 160 / 160 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
2 700 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 200 Sl icon.png
175 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 400 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 400 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
2 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 800 Sl icon.png
165 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Research:
2 700 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 200 Sl icon.png
175 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 400 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement ger.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
2 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 800 Sl icon.png
165 Ge icon.png
Mods tank additional armor.png
Add-on Armor
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
2 700 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 200 Sl icon.png
175 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 400 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
2 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 800 Sl icon.png
165 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
2 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 800 Sl icon.png
165 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
75mm_kwk_42_APCR_ammo_pack
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 000 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Main armament

Ammunition79 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
9.6 → 7.4 s
Vertical guidance-8° / 18°
Main article: KwK42 (75 mm)
75 mm KwK42 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 79 -8°/+20° ±180° N/A 19.0 26.4 32.0 35.4 37.6 9.62 8.51 7.84 7.40
Realistic 11.9 14.0 17.0 18.8 20.0

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
PzGr 39/42 APCBC 192 188 173 156 140 126
PzGr 40/42 APCR 228 224 204 182 162 145
Sprgr. 42 HE 13 12 11 11 11 11
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
PzGr 39/42 APCBC 935 6.8 1.2 14 28.9 48° 63° 71°
PzGr 40/42 APCR 1,120 4.75 - - - 66° 70° 72°
Sprgr. 42 HE 700 5.74 0.2 0.1 725 79° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Panther A
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
79 77 (+2) 71 (+8) 62 (+17) 53 (+26) 44 (+35)
6th
rack empty
7th
rack empty
8th
rack empty
9th
rack empty
10th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
35 (+44) 31 (+48) 16 (+63) (+75) (+78) Yes

Note:

  • Turret and large sides empty: 31 (+48) shells.

Machine guns

Ammunition2 700 rounds
Belt capacity150 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate900 shots/min
Ammunition1 950 rounds
Belt capacity150 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate900 shots/min
Main article: MG34 (7.92 mm)
7.92 mm MG34
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 2,700 (150) 900 N/A N/A
Pintle 2,000 (150) 900 -10°/+25° -60°/+160°

Usage in battles

Playing as Panther A:

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 an advantage; long-range shooting is effective as the muzzle velocity is extremely high, owing to the long-barreled 75 mm, the penetration values are more than capable of punching through any opposing armour, 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.

Sniping may be a fun and tempting strategy but you can get outmatched at those longer ranges where your fast reload and turret traverse no longer matter. A good strategy is to push objectives with the panther A considering it has the improved turret traverse and thus is able to fight in both the city and open ground. Do not attempt to use the panther like a tiger, and that is being a meatshield breakthrough tank. Instead, Spearhead assaults on objectives and flank the enemy. Your gun will be able to take care of most targets medium to close range and your armour should do its job. Make sure you check every corner and shoot and scoot. If you move methodically behind cover or on flanking routes you should be able to destroy many tanks. You can brawl quite well if you watch your flanks and flank others.

Another viable strategy is ambushes. The good camouflage for the tank can hide you if you hide behind a bush. Hide near a choke point and hope an enemy tank comes by.

Because Panthers have relatively weak side armour that even 20 mm autocannons can penetrate it, most enemies would make it their goal to flank around and penetrate the Panther's side armour (it does not help that the Panther's target profile is much larger from the side compared to the front as well). The Panther A's significantly improve turret traverse speed makes it better able to counter this trick than the Panther D, but it can still struggle against enemies that are moving at high speed like Shermans and T-34-85 at close ranges.

As the Panther's suspension rocks violently during the start and stop of the tank movement, it is recommended to not drive too fast when enemies are expected to be close by in order to reduce the gun sway and gun sight stabilization.

Playing against Panther A:

Like when fighting the previous Panther D variant head-on, fight the Panther A by firing into the right turret cheek. This is one of its weak points and can also knock out the gunner to provide some breathing room for a follow-up shot. Keep in mind that as the range increases, the shell may bounce. At short ranges, high-velocity guns like the 17-pounder can penetrate the lower glacis, and any large calibre (100 mm and up) can penetrate the upper glacis. Any British tank equipped with APDS can easily penetrate the upper glacis.

Light tank: Light tanks can use their high speed to flank the Panther A tank, often more successfully than medium tanks due to their smaller profile and swift mobility. Most light tanks also carry sufficiently powerful cannons to penetrate the Panther A side armour from even a fair distance away as the Panther A's side armour is only 50 mm thick. Ensure that the Panther's firepower or mobility is taken out with the first shot, or else the Panther A would be able to quickly respond to a flanking threat by either their turret traverse or hull neutral steering turn to point directly at the light tank's position, protecting themselves while allowing them to handle the light tank threat.

Medium tank: The Panther series medium tanks' greatest strengths are long-range engagements with its high-velocity 75 mm cannon and thick frontal armour. Their mobility also allow the Panther tank to reach most places an up-tiered medium tank may not reach in time. Try to minimize this disadvantage by closing the combat distance to minimize the firepower and armour disparity. Take care to make use of all map terrain and cover in order to avoid getting into the Panther's gun sights. Closing the distance also enable better targeting of weak points like the turret cheeks that is only 100 mm thick to quickly incapacitate the Panther A's turret crew, allowing for an opportunity to advance as the gunner is being replaced by another crew member. Tanks like the M4 Shermans can take advantage of their gun stabilizers to quickly move up and briefly pause and take a well-aimed shot at the Panther weak point as they get closer to take out the Panther A without needing to flank all the way around. Tanks like the T-34-85 can often instantly take out the Panther A with one well-placed APCBC round into the side and letting the post-penetration damage devastate the interior, often taking out all the crew members or igniting the ammunition.

Heavy tank/tank destroyer: While heavy tanks are more well-armoured, caution is still needed as the Panther's high-velocity cannon can easily penetrate tanks like the IS-2 from a distance. Continue to approach the Panther A as one would with a medium tank, making the most of existing cover and terrain to avoid staying in the Panther's gun sights for very long. That said, heavy tanks and tank destroyers often have cannon armament more than able to penetrate the Panther's front armour without relying on weak points. With this attribute, heavy tanks and tank destroyers should take on the "Panther-destroyer" role by having allies attempt to expose the Panther tank in the open and keep it in placed for the heavy tank/tank destroyer to aim at the Panther tank and penetrate their armour with ease.

Notable Enemies

  • M18 Hellcat or any hellcat variation: These guys are super annoying and will flank shot you by sneaking into a bush. Honestly a waste of ammo to shoot. Just watch your flanks because if you shoot it, it will crumple like a tin can and the crew will simply cease to exist.
  • M4 Sherman 76 variants: These guys are dangerous for a different reason. Never underestimate how petty a m4 is. They will shoot your gun and then take your tracks with their 50 cals. Then they will flank shot you as you flail around helplessly. Best way to brawl them is to wiggle your turret while reloading causing them to miss.
  • Jumbo sherman variants: These are a bit different because they will play like m4 and remove your gun and tracks and flank you, but they have super tough armor combined with godawful mobility. Shoot the hull mg port and wiggle your turret while reloading. It might seem like a small target but it is impossible to miss in a close range slugfest. Do not even think about shooting the turret anywhere because it is extremely heavily armoured. Any side shot is possible but in a face to face brawl a clean shot to the hull mg port will cause the jumbo's entire crew to flatline.
  • M-51 Super Sherman: Despite its name, the only thing super about it is its gun. The HEAT shell will penetrate you easily but struggles to spall and will likely take two shots to kill you. Despite this meaning you can easily kill them with just a single shot in retaliation still be weary. If you find it pointing its gun at you, take cover immediately.
  • PT-76B: Like the super sherman, this tank is deadly for its HEAT shell. Thankfully it is not particularly fast and has paper thin armour. There isn't much of a strategy for these guys. All you have to do is shoot first and that will be easy considering it takes about 2 shots for them to finish you off because of the bad spalling from the HEAT shell. It is possible that you will need 2 shots as well because the hollow insides of the tank, but always go for the turret crew first unless they are facing hull towards you, then, shoot the front hull plate and watch the 75mm round take out all 3 crew members.
  • IS-2: The best and most spectacular way to kill an IS-2 is to ammorack it. Frontally, shoot the drivers vision port unless it is a mod 1944 variant. Other weak spots include the (your right, their left) turret cheek to take out the gunner and commander and pray that the 17 grams of RDX finish the job. The last an most surprising weak spot is the lower front plate which is poorly angled. This might sound risky but will likely result in a 1 shot because of the shrapnel bouncing off the floor of the tank. The IS-2 has a gun capable of penetrating you anywhere frontally but the chances are about 50/50. However, it is devastating if it does penetrate you. Bait the IS-2 into shooting because you have a 3× faster reload. they you can toy around with them as they scream for help. Treat any soviet tank with an abnormally long gun(ISU-122S, SU-100Y, KV-2(ZiS 6))with caution. Fear not, for big soviet guns have slow reloads. (If you want to be extra cheeky when you have a side or rear shot of the IS-2 turret, do not aim for the crew, aim for the turret rear for a guaranteed beautiful ammorack.)
  • M26 Pershing and variants: Not all that common of a threat but still notable for being hard to kill. Shoot the hull or turret mg ports and aim for the lower and upper glacis joining point all the way up to the middle of the upper glacis. The gun of the normal pershing is potentially dangerous but nothing to be worried about only worry about the guns of the super pershing or the M26E1.
  • Super Pershing: Super rare but possible. Best idea is to get a side shot perhaps by ambushing. The frontal weak points are the exposed(your right their left)turret cheek to ammorack it or go for the hull mg port. You can also shoot the tubes above the turret to disable the vertical drive and then scramble up to high or low ground and flank shot it.
  • T-44: Also a rare sight. Shoot the(your right their left)turret cheek for a clean instant kill.
  • T-34-85: This tank is mostly a nuisance. Do not fear the gun of the T-34. The T-34's biggest strengths are mobility and turret traverse. Flanking is your only weakness.
  • M41A1: Small tank with an impressive APDS shell, but the spalling effects of this round is laughable. They will try to ammorack you because of this and will take 2-3 shots to kill you. You can kill them easily but the luck and the skill of their ammoracking is uncanny.
  • Strv 74: Again, poorly armoured HEAT shell user. Extremely high HEAT penetration but this time with a easy to spot tall profile.
  • FV4005: Possible to meet but very rare if not impossible. Never get hit by this thing. It is literally the size of a refrigerator there is no missing this thing. You can ammorack by going to the sides of the turret.
  • R3 T20 FA-HS: We have all grown to hate this thing and it can side shot you but it is very rare. Most used by players trying to be funny. Machine gun into oblivion on sight.
  • 2S3M: Getting more and more common these days. It has a super dangerous HE shell and will snipe you. Also very easy to kill. The rear hull houses a large ammorack
  • Any ISU or SU series tank destroyer 100mm gun and up: Shoot anywhere except gun mantlet. Be aware of the slow reload for the 122mm ones as well as their tall profile unless it is a SU-100.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent cannon has a range of ammo for any type of enemy: great stock AP for common targets (eg. T-34-85, M4 Sherman or even the M4A3E2), piercing APCR for early cold war tanks (e.g. M26, T-44, early Centurions) and HE for light vehicles. Great accuracy and velocity allows easy long-range sniping. Plenty of ammo capacity allows flexible ammo setups. It even has a fast reload.
  • Heavily armoured frontal hull is immune to most guns at 5.7 like the 85 mm D-5T and 76 mm M1
  • Almost 300% faster turret rotation than the previous D model. Is more responsive to flankers
  • Fast top speed, good hull traverse. Can get to positions in time. unlike other tanks it has neutral steering.
  • Engine has 50 more horsepower compared to the D variant, acceleration is noticeably faster and is on par, if not slightly faster, than T-34s
  • Adequate gun depression of -8° adapts most terrains well
  • Reasonably cheap repair cost
  • Has a wide range of good-looking camouflage to unlock. Suitable for almost every terrain
  • 2 machine guns to get rid of airplanes or light tanks.

Cons:

  • Gun mantlet is only 100 mm thick, well-known weak spot to shoot at. The ball mg port that is 80 mm can also be penetrated albeit less frequently.
  • Terrible reverse speed of only -4 km/h, can get the player killed
  • Weak side armour gets penetrated easily by Soviet APHEBC. Cannot angle too much
  • Lower glacis often catches fire or breaks transmission when penetrated, leaving the tank immobile and vulnerable. The transmission does protect the crew at the cost of a lengthy repair.
  • High profile for a medium tank makes it harder to hide
  • Roof armour of 16 mm is vulnerable to M2 Brownings which are widely seen on American planes. Any autocannon can cause strafing damage.
  • Although heavily armoured, it can still get frontally penetrated easily by a rather common heavy tank: IS-2
  • Gun mantlet traps shots (shells may deflect into the hull roof weak armour). This is incredibly rare.

History

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 armour, mobility, and armament. The VK 20 was abandoned for the VK 30.02 in April 1942. Daimler-Benz design for this project looks 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, the 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 reasons the MAN was approved was that 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 armour 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 armoured fighting vehicle in Germany behind the Panzer IV and the StuG III.

Design

The MAN design for the Panther featured a heavily sloped armour 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-armoured vehicle in World War II. The side armour of the Panther was way thinner at 40 mm that could be pierced very easily. Additional side armour 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 mediocre 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 was 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 an 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 armour 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 per cent 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 on 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 defences 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 varies 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 armour 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 the ground, and armour 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 armoured 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 a 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 armour later in the war due to alloy shortages.


Archive of the in-game description

In the fall of 1943, production of the Ausf.A variant of the Pz.Kpfw. V tank began. The Verstandigungsoeffnung hatch, which allowed for communication with infantry and for pistol fire from inside, was removed from the new turret. Vehicles of this variant were given the simpler monocular TZF-12А sight, as well as the commander's cupola used by the Tiger I tank. The hull's front plate was equipped with a traditional ball-mount directional machine gun instead of the inefficient letterbox flap gun used earlier. To strengthen the chassis, the road wheels received an increased number of bolts. The engine and transmission cooling systems were improved. A viewport was installed on the roof of the turret, along with a close-combat device (antipersonnel fragmentation grenade launchers). Tanks released at a later date had a modified exhaust system. Some Panther Ausf. A tanks were equipped with experimental infrared night vision devices. All of the tanks of this variant had their vertical surfaces coated with Zimmerit anti-magnetic paste.

From August 1943 to May 1944, about 2,000 of these tanks were released.

Beginning in 1943, the Red Army captured a small number of Panther tanks (of several variants). These tanks were then used by several of the USSR's armoured divisions, including, for example, Lieutenant Sotnikov's division. This tank was known as a dangerous enemy to Soviet tank forces, and captured vehicles were considered a thing of great luck. They were given to the most experienced and effective crews as recognition of their incredible merit. To keep the German tanks in good condition, Soviet tank divisions used captured German mechanics. In 1944, a technical manual for the Panther was published in Russian, for distribution to the crews.


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Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg Aktiengesellschaft (MAN AG)
Medium tanks 
Panther  VK 3002 (M) · Panther A · Ersatz M10 · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Panther II
Export/captured 
USSR  ▂T-V
France  Panther "Dauphiné"

Germany medium tanks
Pz.III  Pz.III B · Pz.III E · Pz.III F · Pz.III J · Pz.III J1 · Pz.III J1 TD · Pz.III L · Pz.III M · Pz.III N
Pz.IV  Pz.IV C · Pz.IV E · Pz.IV F1 · Pz.IV F2 · Pz.IV G · Pz.IV H · Pz.IV J · Pz.Bef.Wg.IV J
Pz.V  VK 3002 (M) · Panther A · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Ersatz M10 · Panther II
M48 upgrades  M48A2 G A2 · M48 Super
Leopard 1  Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 1A5 · C2A1 · Turm III
Leopard 2  PT-16/T14 mod. · Leopard 2K · Leopard 2AV
  Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2 (PzBtl 123) · Leopard 2 PL · Leopard 2A5 · Leopard 2 PSO · Leopard 2A6 · Leopard 2A7V
Trophies  ▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)
Other  Nb.Fz. · KPz-70
USA  mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C
USSR  ◊T-72M1