|This page is about the German medium tank Panther G. For other vehicles of the family, see Panzer V Panther (Family). For other uses, see Panther (Disambiguation).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Panzerkampfwagen V Ausführung G (Panther G) (Sd.Kfz. Index: Sd.Kfz. 171) is the third production variant of the iconic Panzerkampfwagen V Panther medium tank family. The letter G was used to signify that this batch of tanks had a new, modified chassis. The most visible difference between the Panther G and the Panther A was a small increase in the thickness of the hull side armour plate to counter infantry anti-tank weapons. However, this added weight to the Panther, which was already overweight, so the lower frontal armour plate and hull belly armour plate thickness were reduced to compensate. Many other small improvements were made, but the general goal of the design was to simplify the manufacturing process so that more tanks could be produced as quickly as possible. The ventilation systems for the transmission, brakes, engine, and exhaust were redesigned, and the two parallel vertical pipes that emerged from the exhaust cover at the back of the Panther A tank hull were no longer required. Sheet metal coverings were gradually introduced beginning in June 1944 as a temporary remedy to assist in decreasing the red glow given off by the exhaust pipes at night. These were subsequently replaced by purpose-built Flammenvernichter flame suppressor exhaust mufflers beginning in October 1944. On September 9, 1944, factories received orders to cease using Zimmerit due to evidence that it had caused tank fires and a lack of confirmation of magnetic mine use by the Soviets and the Allied infantry.
Introduced in the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41, the Panther G is part of the next generation of medium tanks that officially superseded the Panzer IVs in World War II. It was the most produced Panther variant, accounting for 2,961 of the total number of around 6,000 Panther tanks constructed during World War II. The Panther G's gameplay experience is quite identical to Panther A's, however, the maximum speed is slightly lower. The gun mantlet is also slightly modified, lowering the likelihood of successful enemy penetration into the turret crew compartment. The players can also use a commander's cupola-mounted MG34 light machine gun as a deterrence to hostile low-flying aircraft.
Survivability and armour
The Panther G has excellent frontal armour, which can protect the crew from many of the kinetic shells found in this BR range (with the exception of chemical shells and large calibre kinetic shells). Panther G'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 kinetic shells and APDS shells from the like of US M36 tank destroyers, UK tanks, and Swedish tanks will easily penetrate the frontal armour of all Panther tanks, necessitating greater caution when engaging such foes.
Panther A and Panther G differ in that Panther G has slightly improved side armour, with a 10 mm increase. Nonetheless, such enhancements are negligible and will not protect the Panther G from enemy tank side shots any more than the Panther A.
- 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
50 mm (56°) Lower glacis
| 50 mm (30°) Top
41.5 + 5 mm Lower
|40 mm (24°)||17 mm|
|Turret|| 100 mm Turret front
100 - 120 mm Gun mantlet
|45 mm||45 mm||16 mm|
|Cupola||80 mm||80 mm||80 mm||16 mm|
- Turret mantlet now features a flat "chin" on the lower side, which while prevents shot traps, does present a vertical surface on the turret.
- 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.
- Belly armour front part is 18 mm thick while the back part is 15 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The Panther G's mobility is very similar to that of the previous Panther A, though it is slower due to its slightly weaker engine. The Panther G 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 G 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
|75 mm KwK42||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|82||80 (+2)||74 (+8)||62 (+20)||50 (+32)||38 (+44)|
|26 (+56)||22 (+60)||12 (+70)||4 (+78)||1 (+81)||No|
- As they are modeled by sets of 2, shells disappear from the rack only after you fire both shells in the set.
- Right side empty: 50 (+32) shells, or both sides empty: 22 (+60) shells.
|7.92 mm MG34|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
Playing as Panther G:
Panther is a great "hunter"; locating the weak (slow, damaged, lone) tank and taking it out is one of the best ways to play the vehicle. Mobility is a big advantage and you should use it, especially againstt high-rank vehicles. You should find a suitable location and take it as soon as possible; when you do this, you can easily push off advancing enemy tanks while heavy tanks join the action. Just when you notice that you have strong enough backup it is time to retreat. Your role is not to fight directly but rather spot weaknesses in the enemy defence. Once you learn how to take advantage of the speed and a gun, you'll easily take out enemy targets by surprise.
However, this tank can only reach its full potential in Realistic and Historical battles where there are no spotting systems and where you can use it the way it's meant to be used.
Most of the heavy tanks are not fast enough to counter your attacks; however, this does not mean their turret is stuck. Be careful when approaching one and always try to have the advantage. It is not advised to attack enemy heavy tanks directly or frontally; this is where they have most of their armour and, most likely, will bounce anything you throw at them. It's better to retreat and try to find an alternative route before engaging the enemy.
Because Panthers, like other medium tanks, have weak side armour (20 mm autocannons can penetrate it), flanking is the best way to deal with them. Despite Panther G's significantly improved turret traverse speed, which greatly aids in reducing reaction time to sudden threats, all Panthers continue to struggle to get the first shot in against common enemies such as Shermans and T-34-85. Due to the rather violent rocking of the gun sight during abrupt stopping of the vehicle, it is not recommended to drive too fast in zones where enemy tanks are close by, as this significantly reduces gun sight stabilisation time.
Playing against Panther G:
When confronted with a Panther head-on, always shoot the right turret cheek to take out the gunner. This is one of the front armour weak points, but keep in mind that as the range increases, the shell may bounce. At short ranges, heavy 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. At shorter ranges, the 17-pounder can also pass through the lower glacis. The Panthers will be easily penetrated from the front by the Soviet 122mm gun.
- Light tank: Light tanks will be able to engage the Panther G much more easily than medium or heavy tanks due to their higher speed, increasing the chances of successful flanking. Common light tanks, such as the US M18, can easily penetrate the side armour, which is only 50 mm thick. The Panther has a tall and long side profile, making it even easier to spot and shoot at. All Panther series medium tanks have neutral steering and can traverse the hull on the spot, allowing them to respond to threats quickly.
- Medium tank: The Panther series' greatest strengths are long-range engagements, as their excellent combination of thick frontal armour, great firepower, and decent mobility allows them to reach advantageous positions quickly enough to compete effectively against other medium tanks of similar BR. Close the combat distance and force close-range engagements with Panthers are always a good idea. This also helps to mitigate the disadvantages of Allied medium tank gun ammunition's lower penetration. The Panther series medium tank's turret cheek is a well-known weak spot that should be targeted quickly and accurately. In a close-quarters battle, aim for the Panther's gun mantlet, which is only 100 mm thick. It typically knocks out the gunner, cannon breech, commander, or loader. Due to the primitive one-plane stabiliser found in Shermans and the relatively stable gun sights found in T-34-85, Shermans and T-34-85s can usually pull off the first shot more effectively than Panthers. On an open map, never engage any Panthers from the front, as this will be detrimental.
- Heavy tank/tank destroyer: Heavy tanks should still be played with caution, as the cannon on all Panther series medium tanks has a high penetration. Do not rely too heavily on armour unless you are certain that Panther will be unable to penetrate your frontal armour anywhere. Vehicles with powerful cannons, such as the IS-2, can easily penetrate a Panther's frontal armour, so players should aim to engage Panthers as soon as possible to reduce pressure on the friendly team.
Pros and cons
- Good frontal armour
- Good gun
- Good acceleration
- Good turret rotation
- Good accuracy while moving
- Access to APCR
- Lower part of the gun mantlet is stronger
- Tricolor camouflage as default is good for RB/SB modes
- Downgraded engine, means this Panther variant is slower than the A and D model
- Despite having a redesigned gun mantlet, it still remains as a weak spot
- Lower glacis is still a weak spot. Will often catch fire if shot there
- Like all Panther variants, it has a poor reverse speed of only -4 km/h
- Is large for a medium tank
- Side armour is still weak despite being upgraded to 50 mm from previous models
- Ammo racks offer a great target
- You need some knowledge of your enemies to fully utilize this tank's capabilities
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.
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 Kwk42 cannon, which could destroy most of the allied tanks in service, though only possess a mediocre HE shell.
The Ausf. G variant was the last major variant designed and produced for the Panther, The Ausf. G retained many of the characteristics from the Ausf. A, such as the side-swinging commander's cupola and the ball mount machine gun for the assistant driver. The Ausf. G design removed the driver's front folding visor view on the front hull. The interior of the Ausf. G was also modified to hold 82 rounds instead of the usual 79 on the Ausf. A and Ausf. D. The Ausf. G also introduced the newly designed Panther gun mantlet with a "chin" on the bottom to solve the shot trap issue, but some had the initial turret curved gun mantlet due to high demand. 2,953 Panther Ausf. G was produced from March 1944 to April 1945.
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 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.
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.
In March 1944, the most numerous Pz.Kpfw. V Panther variant of the whole war entered production. A total of 3,126 tanks were built by April 1945. The Ausf. G variant had a simpler, more technologically advanced hull. The driver's hatch was removed from the front plate. The sides' angle of inclination was reduced to 30°, and their thickness was reduced to 50 mm. The thickness of the roof of the turret was increased to 30 mm. On vehicles released later, the shape of the gun mantlet was modified to prevent shells from ricocheting into the roof of the tank hull. The amount of shells carried for the gun was increased to 82 shots. Some of the vehicles were released with rollers featuring internal shock absorbers.
From March to April 1945, approximately 50 Panther Ausf. G tanks were equipped with the world's first mass-production active night vision device, the Sperber FG 1,250. These devices were mounted on the commander's cupola along with surveillance devices which allowed viewing areas from a distance of 200 m while driving. However, the tank's driver did not have such a device and had to follow the instructions of the commander. Tanks equipped with infrared devices made by the company Zeiss-Jena took part in battles on the Eastern and Western fronts. Tank subdivisions used them in conjunction with SdKfz.251/20 Uhu armoured vehicles equipped with 60 cm search lights to illuminate a zone of up to 700 m.
The Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. G Panther tank was the best German tank of the Second World War and one of the best in the world. At the same time, the vehicle had a number of drawbacks. It was difficult and expensive both to manufacture and to operate.
After the war, many French tank divisions were equipped with Panther tanks. Also, after the war, these tanks were used by Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. France produced a modified version of the 75 mm KwK42 L/70 gun and installed it on light post-war French tanks.
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|Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg Aktiengesellschaft (MAN AG)|
|Panther||VK 3002 (M) · Panther A · Ersatz M10 · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Panther II|
|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|
|Trophies||▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)|
|Other||Nb.Fz. · KPz-70|
|USA||mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C|