Difference between revisions of "Panther A"

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{{Specs-Card|code=germ_pzkpfw_V_ausf_a_panther}}
 
{{Specs-Card|code=germ_pzkpfw_V_ausf_a_panther}}
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{{About
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|about = German medium tank '''{{PAGENAME}}'''
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|other
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|usage-1 = other uses
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|link-1 = Panther (Disambiguation)
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|usage-2 = other vehicles of the family
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|link-2 = Panther tank (Family)
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}}
  
 
== Description ==
 
== Description ==
''In the description, the first part needs to be about the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle, as well as its key features. In the second part, tell the reader about the ground vehicle in the game. Insert the screenshot of the vehicle. If the novice player does not remember the vehicle by name, they will immediately understand what kind of vehicle it is talking about.''
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<!-- ''In the description, the first part should be about the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle, as well as its key features. In the second part, tell the reader about the ground vehicle in the game. Insert a screenshot of the vehicle, so that if the novice player does not remember the vehicle by name, he will immediately understand what kind of vehicle the article is talking about.'' -->
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[[File:GarageImage_{{PAGENAME}}.jpg|420px|thumb|left]]
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{{Break}}
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The '''{{Specs|name}}''' ('''{{Specs|pseudonym}}''') is a rank {{Specs|rank}} German medium tank {{Battle-rating}}. It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41.
 +
 
 +
Like any Panther, the Panther A features a broad, sloping upper glacis, and the curved 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).
  
 
== General info ==
 
== General info ==
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
''Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpfull for survival in combat?''
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<!-- ''Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpful for survival in combat? If necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.'' -->
 +
'''Armour type:'''
 +
 
 +
*Rolled homogeneous armour
 +
*Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet, Cupola)
 +
 
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
|-
 +
! Armour !! Front (Slope angle) !! Sides (Slope angle) !! Rear (Slope angle) !! Roof
 +
|-
 +
| Hull || 80 mm (55°) ''Front glacis'' <br> 60 mm (56°) ''Lower glacis'' || 40 mm (40°) ''Top'' <br> 40 + 5 mm ''Lower'' || 40 mm (29°) || 16 mm
 +
|-
 +
| Turret || 100 mm ''Turret front'' <br> 65 -100 mm ''Gun mantlet''|| 45 mm || 45 mm || 16 mm
 +
|-
 +
! Armour !! Sides !! Roof
 +
|-
 +
| Cupola || 80 mm || 16 mm
 +
|}
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'''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.
 +
 
 +
Due to its weak side armour (20 mm autocannons can penetrate it), flanking is the best option to deal with any Panther. However, should the Panther be forced to face it frontally, shoot the right turret cheek to take out the gunner. This is one of the weakest places frontally, only ("only") 100 mm thick. Heavier guns such as the 17 pdr can penetrate the lower glacis at short ranges, and any large calibre (100 mm and up) can penetrate the upper glacis.
  
''If necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.''
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Any British tank that fires APDS can penetrate the upper glacis. The 17 pounder can sometimes go through the lower glacis at shorter ranges too. Any standard AP or APHE shell of a calibre above the 80-90 mm range (aka 100 mm and above) will penetrate the Panther anywhere frontally.
  
 
=== Mobility ===
 
=== Mobility ===
''Write about the mobility of the ground vehicle. Estimate the specific power and maneuverability as well as the maximum speed forward and backward.''
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<!-- ''Write about the mobility of the ground vehicle. Estimate the specific power and manoeuvrability, as well as the maximum speed forwards and backwards.'' -->
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 +
{{tankMobility|abMinHp=1,085|rbMinHp=619|AoAweight=0.45}}
 +
 
 +
== Armaments ==
 +
=== Main armament ===
 +
<!-- ''Give the reader information about the characteristics of the main gun. Assess its effectiveness in a battle based on the reloading speed, ballistics and the power of shells. Do not forget about the flexibility of the fire, that is how quickly the cannon can be aimed at the target, open fire on it and aim at another enemy. Add a link to the main article on the gun: <code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.'' -->
 +
{{main|KwK42 (75 mm)}}
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 +
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
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|-
 +
! colspan="5" | [[KwK42 (75 mm)|75 mm KwK42]] || colspan="5" | Turret rotation speed (°/s) || colspan="4" | Reloading rate (seconds)
 +
|-
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! Mode !! Capacity !! Vertical !! Horizontal !! Stabilizer
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! Stock !! Upgraded !! Full !! Expert !! Aced
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! Stock !! Full !! Expert !! Aced
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|-
 +
! ''Arcade''
 +
| rowspan="2" | 79 || rowspan="2" | -8°/+20° || rowspan="2" | ±180° || rowspan="2" | N/A || 22.8 || 31.6 || 38.4 || 42.5 || 45.2 || rowspan="2" | 9.62 || rowspan="2" | 8.51 || rowspan="2" | 7.84 || rowspan="2" | 7.40
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|-
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! ''Realistic''
 +
| 14.3 || 16.8 || 20.4 || 22.6 || 24.0
 +
|-
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
==== Ammunition ====
 +
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
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! colspan="8" | Penetration statistics
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|-
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! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
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! rowspan="2" | Type of<br>warhead
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! colspan="6" | '''Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)'''
 +
|-
 +
! 10 m !! 100 m !! 500 m !! 1,000 m !! 1,500 m !! 2,000 m
 +
|-
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| PzGr 39/42 || APCBC || 192 || 188 || 173 || 156 || 140 || 126
 +
|-
 +
| PzGr 40/42 || APCR || 228 || 224 || 204 || 182 || 162 || 145
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|-
 +
| Sprgr. 42 || HE || 11 || 11 || 11 || 11 || 11 || 11
 +
|-
 +
|}
 +
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
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! colspan="10" | Shell details
 +
|-
 +
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
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! rowspan="2" | Type of<br>warhead
 +
! rowspan="2" | Velocity<br>(m/s)
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! rowspan="2" | Projectile<br>Mass (kg)
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! rowspan="2" | Fuse delay<br>(m)
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! rowspan="2" | Fuse sensitivity<br>(mm)
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! rowspan="2" | Explosive Mass<br>(TNT equivalent) (g)
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! colspan="3" | 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 || N/A || N/A || N/A || 66° || 70° || 72°
 +
|-
 +
| Sprgr. 42 || HE || 700 || 5.74 || 0 || 0.1 || 725 || 79° || 80° || 81°
 +
|-
 +
|}
  
== Weaponry ==
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==== [[Ammo racks]] ====
=== Main weaponry ===
+
[[File:Ammoracks_{{PAGENAME}}.png|right|thumb|x250px|[[Ammo racks]] of the {{PAGENAME}}]]
''Give the reader information about the characteristics of the main gun. Assess its effectiveness in a battle based on the reloading speed, ballistics and the power of shells. Do not forget about the flexibilty of the fire, that is how quickly the cannon can be aimed at the target, open fire on it and aim at another enemy. Add a link to the main article on the gun: <code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.''
+
<!-- '''Last updated:''' -->
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
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|-
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! Full<br>ammo
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! 1st<br>rack empty
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! 2nd<br>rack empty
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! 3rd<br>rack empty
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! 4th<br>rack empty
 +
! 5th<br>rack empty
 +
! 6th<br>rack empty
 +
! 7th<br>rack empty
 +
! 8th<br>rack empty
 +
! 9th<br>rack empty
 +
! 10th<br>rack empty
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! Visual<br>discrepancy
 +
|-
 +
| '''79''' || 77&nbsp;''(+2)'' || 71&nbsp;''(+8)'' || 62&nbsp;''(+17)'' || 53&nbsp;''(+26)'' || 44&nbsp;''(+35)'' || 35&nbsp;''(+44)'' || 31&nbsp;''(+48)'' || 16&nbsp;''(+63)'' ||4&nbsp;''(+75)'' || 1&nbsp;''(+78)'' || Yes
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|-
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|}
  
=== Additional weaponry ===
+
Turret and large sides empty: 31 (+48)
''Some tanks are armed with several guns in one or more turrets. Evaluate the additional weaponry and give advice on its use. Describe the ammunition available for additional weaponry. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage. If there is no additional weaponry remove this subsection.''
 
  
 
=== Machine guns ===
 
=== Machine guns ===
''Offensive and anti-aircraft machine guns not only allow you to fight some aircraft, but also are effective against lightly armoured vehicles. Evaluate machine guns and give recommendations on its use.''
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<!-- ''Offensive and anti-aircraft machine guns not only allow you to fight some aircraft but also are effective against lightly armoured vehicles. Evaluate machine guns and give recommendations on its use.'' -->
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{{main|MG34 (7.92 mm)}}
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center" width="50%"
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|-
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! colspan="5" | [[MG34 (7.92 mm)|7.92 mm MG34]]
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|-
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! Mount !! Capacity (Belt) !! Fire rate !! Vertical !! Horizontal
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|-
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| Coaxial || 2,700 (150) || 900 || N/A || N/A
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|-
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| Pintle || 2,000 (150) || 900 || -10°/+25° || -60°/+160°
 +
|-
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|}
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 +
== Usage in battles ==
 +
<!-- ''Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but instead give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).'' -->
 +
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 75mm, 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.
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This tank, however, owing to its "Mailbox" gun mantlet design, is not good combatant frontally, especially at its BR; many enemy tanks will find the gun mantlet a juicy target. Never engage in extended frontal skirmishes with enemy tanks; instead, use the 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 the mantlet.
  
== Usage in the battles ==
+
=== Modules ===
''Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).''
+
{| class="wikitable"
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! Tier
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! colspan="2" | Mobility
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! Protection
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! colspan="2" | Firepower
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|-
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| I
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| Tracks
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|
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| Parts
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| Horizontal Drive
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|
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|-
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| II
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| Suspension
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| Brake System
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| FPE
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| Adjustment of Fire
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|
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|-
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| III
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| Filters
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|
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| Crew Replenishment
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| Elevation Mechanism
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| Smoke grenade
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|-
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| IV
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| Transmission
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| Engine
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| Add-on Armor
 +
| Artillery Support
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| PzGr 40/42
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|-
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|}
  
 
=== Pros and cons ===
 
=== Pros and cons ===
''Summarize and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in a bulleted list. Do not use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - they have a substitution in the form of softer "inadequate", "effective".''
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<!-- ''Summarise and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in a bulleted list. Try not to use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - use substitutions with softer forms such as "inadequate" and "effective".'' -->
  
 
'''Pros:'''
 
'''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 (Family)|M4 Sherman]] or even the [[M4A3E2]]), piercing APCR for early cold war tanks (eg. [[M26 (Family)|M26]], [[T-44]], early [[Centurion (Family)|Centurions]]) and HE for light vehicles. Great accuracy and velocity allows easy long-range sniping. Plenty of ammo capacity allows flexible ammo setups.
 +
* 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.
 +
* 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 / map.
  
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''
*
 
  
== Historical part ==
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* Gun mantlet is only 100mm, a huge and '''well-known''' weakspot to shoot at.
''Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the ground vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/historical reference" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/Name-vehicles/historical reference) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to include links to sources at the end of the article.''
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* Side ammo racks are prone to detonation when hit.
 +
* Terrible reverse speed of only -4 km/h, can get the player killed.
 +
* Weak side armor gets penetrated easily by Russian APHEBC. Cannot angle too much.
 +
* Lower glacis often catches fire or breaks transmission when penetrated, leaving the tank immobile and vulnerable.
 +
* High profile for a medium tank makes it harder to hide.
 +
* Roof armour of 16 mm is vulnerable to [[M2 Browning (12.7 mm)|M2 Brownings]] which are widely seen on American planes.
 +
* Although heavily armoured, it can still get frontally penetrated easily by a rather common heavy tank: [[IS-2 (Family)|IS-2]].
 +
 
 +
== History ==
 +
<!-- ''Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: <nowiki>https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History</nowiki>) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <code><nowiki><ref></ref></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <code><nowiki><references /></nowiki></code>. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under <code><nowiki>=== In-game description ===</nowiki></code>, also if applicable).'' -->
 +
===Development===
 +
The '''Panther''' development started as far back as 1938 as a replacement to the [[Pz.III F|Panzer IIIs]] and [[Pz.IV E|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 (1941)|T-34]] and [[KV-1 (L-11)|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 H1|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-armored 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 [[Panther D|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|Panther G]]. The ''Schachtellaufwerk'' suspension system, like the [[Tiger H1|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|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 GMC|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-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 armored 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.
  
 
== Media ==
 
== Media ==
''An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.''
+
<!-- ''Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.'' -->
 +
 
 +
;Skins
 +
 
 +
* [http://live.warthunder.com/feed/camouflages/?q=%23panther_a Skins and camouflages for the ''Panther A'' from live.warthunder.com.]
 +
 
 +
;Sights
 +
 
 +
* [https://live.warthunder.com/post/675135/en/ RideR2's Realistic gunsight (TZF4a, TZF 5a/b/d/e/f/f2, TZF 9b/b1/c/d, TZF 12/a) for Pzkpfw II, Pzkpfw III, Pzkpfw IV, Pzkpfw V, Pzkpfw VI]
 +
 
 +
;Videos
 +
{{Youtube-gallery|y1S7jHyFxdA|'''The Shooting Range #34''' - ''Pages of History'' section at 02:36 discusses the Panther I.|Bf1YWYfD_qk|'''The Shooting Range #135''' - ''Metal Beasts'' section at 01:12 discusses the {{PAGENAME}}.|oa26g25qqP4|'''Best medium tanks''' discusses the {{PAGENAME}} at 0:34 - ''War Thunder Official Channel''|9rUocSj2dHc|'''Tank Chats #16 Panther''' - ''The Tank Museum''}}
  
== Read also ==
+
== See also ==
''Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example,''
+
''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;''
 
* ''reference to the series of the vehicles;''
 
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''
 
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''
''ETC.''
 
  
== Sources ==
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== External links ==
 
''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
 
''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
* ''page on the Wikipedia;''
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* ''encyclopedia page on the tank;''
 
* ''other literature.''
 
* ''other literature.''
 +
 +
{{Germany medium tanks}}

Latest revision as of 17:20, 23 November 2020

RANK VI USSR
T-72AV (TURMS-T) PACK
Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. A
germ_pzkpfw_v_ausf_a_panther.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
5.7/5.7/5.7BR
5 peopleCrew
125 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
80 / 40 / 40Hull
100 / 45 / 0Turret
Mobility
45.3 tWeight
1336 hp700 hpEngine power
29.5 hp/t15.5 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
62 km/h forward
5 km/h back
55 km/h forward
5 km/h back
Speed
Armament
75 mm KwK42 cannonMain weapon
79 roundsAmmunition
7.4 / 9.6 sReload
-8° / 20°Vertical guidance
2700 roundsAmmunition
8 / 10.4 sReload
150 roundsBelt capacity
900 shots/minFire rate
2000 roundsAmmunition
8 / 10.4 sReload
150 roundsBelt capacity
900 shots/minFire rate
Economy
54000 Rp icon.pngResearch
180000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png4700 / 6951/4500 / 6655/4400 / 6507Repair
52000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
180000 Sl icon.pngExperts
710 Ge icon.pngAces
166 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
180 % Sl icon.png150 % Sl icon.png120 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the German medium tank Panther A. For other uses, see Panther (Disambiguation). For other vehicles of the family, see Panther tank (Family).

Description

GarageImage Panther A.jpg


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 during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41.

Like any Panther, the Panther A features a broad, sloping upper glacis, and the curved 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).

General info

Survivability and 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
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 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.

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

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

Mobility

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 62 5 44.9 0.45 1,085 1336 24.19 29.49
Realistic 55 5 619 700 13.8 15.45

Armaments

Main armament

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 22.8 31.6 38.4 42.5 45.2 9.62 8.51 7.84 7.40
Realistic 14.3 16.8 20.4 22.6 24.0

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 11 11 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 N/A N/A N/A 66° 70° 72°
Sprgr. 42 HE 700 5.74 0 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
6th
rack empty
7th
rack empty
8th
rack empty
9th
rack empty
10th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
79 77 (+2) 71 (+8) 62 (+17) 53 (+26) 44 (+35) 35 (+44) 31 (+48) 16 (+63) (+75) (+78) Yes

Turret and large sides empty: 31 (+48)

Machine guns

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

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 75mm, 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.

This tank, however, owing to its "Mailbox" gun mantlet design, is not good combatant frontally, especially at its BR; many enemy tanks will find the gun mantlet a juicy target. Never engage in extended frontal skirmishes with enemy tanks; instead, use the 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 the mantlet.

Modules

Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism Smoke grenade
IV Transmission Engine Add-on Armor Artillery Support PzGr 40/42

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 (eg. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 / map.

Cons:

  • Gun mantlet is only 100mm, a huge and well-known weakspot to shoot at.
  • Side ammo racks are prone to detonation when hit.
  • Terrible reverse speed of only -4 km/h, can get the player killed.
  • Weak side armor gets penetrated easily by Russian APHEBC. Cannot angle too much.
  • Lower glacis often catches fire or breaks transmission when penetrated, leaving the tank immobile and vulnerable.
  • 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.
  • Although heavily armoured, it can still get frontally penetrated easily by a rather common heavy tank: IS-2.

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-armored 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.

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 armored 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.

Media

Skins
Sights
Videos

See 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.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the tank;
  • other literature.


Germany medium tanks
  Nb.Fz.
Pz.III  Pz.III B · Pz.III E · Pz.III F · Pz.III J · Pz.III J1 · 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  Panther A · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Ersatz M10 · Panther II
Trophies  ▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)
Post-war  KPz-70 · mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C · M48A2 G A2 · M48 Super
Leopard 1  Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 1A5 · C2A1
Leopard 2  Leopard 2K · Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2A5 · Leopard 2A6