Pz.Bfw.IV

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Panzerbefehlswagen IV
germ_panzerbefelhswagen_iv_ausf_j.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
4.0/4.0/4.3BR
5 peopleCrew
Mobility
25.7 tWeight
6 forward
1 back
Gear box
Armament
75 mm KwK40 L48 cannonWeapon 1
87 roundsAmmunition
-10° / 20°Vertical guidance
3 150 roundsAmmunition
150 roundsBelt capacity
900 shots/minFire rate
Economy
1 750 Ge icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png2 290/2 760/2 350Repair
10 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
240 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
550 Ge icon.pngAces
x 2.54 Rp icon.pngReward for battle

Description

GarageImage Pz.Bfw.IV.jpg


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 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.

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.

General info

Survivability and 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.

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.

Mobility

Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armor
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
25.3 0.4 43 (AB)
39 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 465 572
Realistic/Simulator 265 300
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 18.38 22.61
Realistic/Simulator 10.47 11.86

Armaments

Main armament

Main article: KwK 40 (75 mm)
75 mm KwK 40 L/48
Capacity Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
Stabilizer
87 -10°/+20° ±180° N/A
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 3.6 4.9 __.__ __.__ __.__
Realistic 3.6 4.2 __.__ __.__ __.__
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
7.6 __.__ __.__ __.__
Ammunition
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration in mm @ 90°
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
PzGr 39 APCBC 136 135 123 109 97 86
PzGr 40 APCR 177 176 154 130 109 92
Hl.Gr 38B HEAT 80 80 80 80 80 80
Sprgr. 34 HE 10 10 10 10 10 10
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
0% 50% 100%
PzGr 39 APCBC 750 6.8 1.3 15.0 28.9 +4° 48° 63° 71°
PzGr 40 APCR 930 4.2 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 66° 70° 72°
Hl.Gr 38B HEAT 450 4.4 0.0 0.1 872.1 +0° 62° 69° 73°
Sprgr. 34 HE 570 5.7 0.1 0.1 686 +0° 79° 80° 81°
Smoke characteristic
Ammunition Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
K.Gr.Rot Nb. 570 6.8 13 5 20 50
Ammo racks
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
Visual
discrepancy
87 78 (+9) 68 (+19) 58 (+29) 48 (+39) 38 (+49) 28 (+59) 19 (+68) 10 (+77) (+86) yes

Turret empty: 58 (+29)

Machine guns

Main article: MG 34 (7.92 mm)
7.92 mm MG 34
Coaxial mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
(shots/minute)
Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
3,150 (150) 900 N/A N/A

Usage in the battles

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.

Although most tanks in Rank III can destroy the Pz.Bfw.IV pretty quickly, the tanks the Pz.Bfw.IV 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 the Pz.Bfw.IV (And hopefully reloading), shoot at the flat of the turret below the mantlet. It's flat, relatively thin armour, and the 75 mm 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 destroy 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 the tank is on its side, shoot it in the crew compartment to obliterate it.
  • For T-34-85(D-5T)s, it is imperative that the Pz.Bfw.IV gets the first shot off, as their 85 mm will go through the Pz.Bfw.IV 85 ways from Sunday, and nuke the entire tank interior. Don't shoot the turret unless there is no other option, as it's incredibly prone to ricochet shells. Instead, shoot the hull center. Pay close attention not to hit the driver's hatch as it's actually more armoured than the glacis itself.
  • M4A3E2 Jumbo's will give the Pz.Bfw.IV the hardest time, as their frontal armour is nigh impenetrable, aside from the machine gun port. It's a small, unreliable target, but it's the only chance of penetrating the Jumbo from the front. If lucky, and catch a Jumbo on it's side, shoot it in it's hull. As it's Turret side (and rear!) armour is still thick enough to block the 75 mm shots. Also, keep in mind, that if the Jumbo is showing its side while angling toward the Pz.Bfw.IV, that the side armour behind its tracks is very thinly armoured. Try shooting there if possible.

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.

History

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.

Media

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

Sights

Read also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example,

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

ETC.

Sources

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


Germany medium tanks
  Neubaufahrzeug
Pz.III  Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. B · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. E · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. F · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J1 · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. L · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. M · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. N
Pz.IV  Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. C · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. E · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F1 · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F2 · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H · Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J · Panzerbefehlswagen IV
Pz.V  Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. A · Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. D · Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. F · Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. G · Ersatz M10 Panther · Pz.Kpfw. Panther II
Trophies  ▀Pz.Kpfw. M4 748 (a) · ▀T-34-747(r)
Post-war  KPz-70 · mKPz M47 G · M48A2 G A2
Leopard  Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard 2K · Leopard 2A4

Germany premium ground vehicles
Light tanks  Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf. C (DAK) · Aufklärungspanzer 38(t) · Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. H · Spähpanzer Ru 251
Medium tanks  Neubaufahrzeug · Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. N · Panzerbefehlswagen IV · ▀Pz.Kpfw. M4 748 (a) · ▀T-34-747(r) · Ersatz M10 Panther · mKPz M47 G · Leopard A1A1 (L/44)
Heavy tanks  ▀Infanterie-Pz.Kpfw. Mk IV (e) Churchill · ▀KV-IB · ▀Pz.Kpfw. KV-IB 756(r) · ▀KV-II 754(r) · VK 45.01 (P) · ␠Tiger
  Panzerbefehlswagen VI (P) · Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. B (H) mit Simmering Sla.16
Tank destroyers  15 cm Pz.W.42 (15 cm Nb.W.41) auf Sf. · 15cm Sturm-Panzer 43(L/12) IV "Brummbär" · Panzer IV/70(A) · Befehlswagen Jagdpanther · Sd.Kfz.234/3 · Sd.Kfz.234/4