Difference between revisions of "Panther D"

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{{Specs-Card|code=germ_pzkpfw_V_ausf_d_panther}}
 
{{Specs-Card|code=germ_pzkpfw_V_ausf_d_panther}}
 
{{About
 
{{About
|about = medium tank '''{{PAGENAME}}'''
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|about = German medium tank '''{{PAGENAME}}'''
 
|usage = other uses
 
|usage = other uses
 
|link = Panther (Family)
 
|link = Panther (Family)
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[[File:GarageImage_PantherD.jpg|420px|thumb|left]]
 
[[File:GarageImage_PantherD.jpg|420px|thumb|left]]
 
{{break}}
 
{{break}}
The '''{{Specs|name}}''' ('''{{Specs|pseudonym}}''') is a Rank {{Specs|rank}} German medium tank {{Battle-rating}}. It was introduced in during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. Beginning a new generation of German tanks, the Panther medium tank was one of the most iconic tanks of World War II with its high power [[KwK 42 (75 mm)|75 mm gun]] and heavy front sloping armour.
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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. Beginning a new generation of German tanks, the Panther medium tank was one of the most iconic tanks of World War II with its high power [[KwK 42 (75 mm)|75 mm gun]] and heavy front sloping armour.
  
 
The Panther is not like the [[Pz.IV H|Panzer IV]] you have become accustomed to in the line-up. The Panther D was historically made to fight in a long distance with its long 75 mm KwK 42 gun. Close distance is not the greatest ally for the Panther, with its weak side armour and gun mantlet, it can be easily penetrated by most other tanks at its rank if it can get these points. Thus, Panther should be played with a self-established "safe boundary" around the tank to stay safe from flankers. Despite that, as a front brawler, it excels due to the strong front armour and speed.
 
The Panther is not like the [[Pz.IV H|Panzer IV]] you have become accustomed to in the line-up. The Panther D was historically made to fight in a long distance with its long 75 mm KwK 42 gun. Close distance is not the greatest ally for the Panther, with its weak side armour and gun mantlet, it can be easily penetrated by most other tanks at its rank if it can get these points. Thus, Panther should be played with a self-established "safe boundary" around the tank to stay safe from flankers. Despite that, as a front brawler, it excels due to the strong front armour and speed.
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=== 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.''-->
 
{{main|MG 34 (7.92 mm)}}
 
{{main|MG 34 (7.92 mm)}}
  
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One method is to exploit the Panther's long gun range with distance. Fight from a long distance from 800 m to 2,000 m away. At this range, the enemy's gun shells will lose most of their penetrative qualities compared to the Panther's gun and will (hopefully) not be able to penetrate the Panther's weak point on the turret, plus you have the benefit on their lower aim accuracy due to distance. Of course, this scenario is very unlikely given the more close-oriented maps and games in War Thunder, so let's get to the alternative tactic...
 
One method is to exploit the Panther's long gun range with distance. Fight from a long distance from 800 m to 2,000 m away. At this range, the enemy's gun shells will lose most of their penetrative qualities compared to the Panther's gun and will (hopefully) not be able to penetrate the Panther's weak point on the turret, plus you have the benefit on their lower aim accuracy due to distance. Of course, this scenario is very unlikely given the more close-oriented maps and games in War Thunder, so let's get to the alternative tactic...
  
In a more close-range tactic, stay with your allies. Allies will help you by covering your weak points on your sides. If you advance too far form your allies, the likelihood of your tank ending in a fiery ammunition explosion increases exponentially. Even in a close range battle, try to maintain distance between you and the enemy tank to prevent them from easily flanking you and keep a range advantage to keep your weak points as small as possible. The slow turret traverse will also be a lower draw back at a longer range as you will not need to turn your turret as much to aim at different targets. Stay near the rear of the line while more mobile and aggressive allies charge forward and attract the enemy's attention so you can get the jump on them.
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In a more close-range tactic, stay with your allies. Allies will help you by covering your weak points on your sides. If you advance too far from your allies, the likelihood of your tank ending in a fiery ammunition explosion increases exponentially. Even in a close-range battle, try to maintain distance between you and the enemy tank to prevent them from easily flanking you and keep a range advantage to keep your weak points as small as possible. The slow turret traverse will also be a lower drawback at a longer range as you will not need to turn your turret as much to aim at different targets. Stay near the rear of the line while more mobile and aggressive allies charge forward and attract the enemy's attention so you can get the jump on them.
  
 
=== 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. 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".''-->
 
<!--''Summarize 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:'''
* Very good top speed, good acceleration.
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* Very good top speed, good acceleration
* High velocity shell ensures less shell-drop.
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* High-velocity shell ensures less shell-drop
* Excellent long-range capabilities.
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* Excellent long-range capabilities
* Two color camouflage as standard camouflage.
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* Two colour camouflage as standard camouflage
* Additional armour that covers a large part of the turret sides.
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* Additional armour that covers a large part of the turret sides
* Large tracks, good for scaling cliffs and moving through rough terrain.
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* Large tracks, good for scaling cliffs and moving through rough terrain
* Plays similarly to the Panzer IV, and features a good learning curve if one has mastered the late Panzer IV models.
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* Plays similarly to the Panzer IV, and features a good learning curve if one has mastered the late Panzer IV models
* Very adaptable, can be played as several roles.
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* Very adaptable, can be played as several roles
* Excellent turning capabilities when on the move.
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* Excellent turning capabilities when on the move
* Retains its momentum after turning and fast acceleration.
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* Retains its momentum after turning and fast acceleration
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''
* Extremely slow reverse.
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* Extremely slow reverse
* Turns extremly slow when standing still.
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* Turns extremely slow when standing still
* Very slow turret traverse speed, makes dealing with unexpected threats nearly impossible.
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* Very slow turret traverse speed, makes dealing with unexpected threats nearly impossible
* With the horrible reverse speed and terrible turret traverse, close quarters brawling borders on suicidal.
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* With the horrible reverse speed and terrible turret traverse, close quarters brawling borders on suicidal  
* Weak cannon barrel and breech.
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* Weak cannon barrel and breech
* Vulnerable in the gun mantlet & front turret.
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* Vulnerable in the gun mantlet & front turret
* Roof armour is only 16 mm thick.
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* Roof armour is only 16 mm thick
* Weak in the sides and rear.
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* Weak in the sides and rear
* Ammo racks litter the sides of the tank.
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* Ammo racks litter the sides of the tank
* Frontal armour is easily penetrated by British APDS rounds, which become more common at this BR
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* Frontal armour is easily penetrated by British APDS rounds, which become more common at this battle rating
  
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
 
<!--''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 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></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under <code><nowiki>=== Encyclopedia Info ===</nowiki></code>, also if applicable).''-->
 
<!--''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 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></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under <code><nowiki>=== Encyclopedia Info ===</nowiki></code>, also if applicable).''-->
 
===Development===
 
===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 look similar to the T-34 with the turret far forward in the hull, plus the use of a diesel engine and external leaf spring suspension. MAN's design had a twin torsion bar, interleaved suspension system (like the [[Tiger 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 reason the MAN was approved was because its turret was already in production while the DB used a completely new design. However, despite being built for a 30 ton design, Hitler decided to increase the armour on the MAN design and the weight went from 30 tons to 45 tons.
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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.
 
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===
 
===Design===
The MAN design for the Panther featured a heavily sloped armour design, with the front glacis plate being 80 mm thick (from the original 60 mm before the weight increase) and when sloped at 55 degrees, it was 140 mm effective in thickness. This made the Panther one of the best armoured vehicle in World War II. The side armour of the Panther was way thinner at 40 mm that could be pierced very easily. Additional side armour in the form of Schürzen could be placed on the sides hanging to cover the suspension and hull side from being penetrated by Soviet anti-tank rifle fire. The Panther used the same engine as the Tiger I, the Mayback HL 210 P30 engine, and had a similar suspension system, the ''Schachtellaufwerk'' interleaved wheel system, which complicated maintenance issues. The tank used the formidable 7.5 cm Kwk 42 cannon, which could destroy most of the allied tanks in service, though only possess a medicore HE shell.  
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The MAN design for the Panther featured a heavily sloped armour design, with the front glacis plate being 80 mm thick (from the original 60 mm before the weight increase) and when sloped at 55 degrees, it was 140 mm effective in thickness. This made the Panther one of the best-armoured vehicle in World War II. The side armour of the Panther was way thinner at 40 mm that could be pierced very easily. Additional side armour in the form of Schürzen could be placed on the sides hanging to cover the suspension and hull side from being penetrated by Soviet anti-tank rifle fire. The Panther used the same engine as the Tiger I, the Mayback HL 210 P30 engine, and had a similar suspension system, the ''Schachtellaufwerk'' interleaved wheel system, which complicated maintenance issues. The tank used the formidable 7.5 cm Kwk 42 cannon, which could destroy most of the allied tanks in service, though only possess a mediocre HE shell.  
  
The '''Ausf. D''' variant was the first variant designed for the Panther, easily distinguishable by its drum-shaped commander cupola. The Ausf. D can also be distinguished by a unique machine gun port with a shape of a vertical "letterbox" flap from where the machine gun was fired (this was replaced by a standard ball mount in later variants). The Ausf. D also had the initial turret curved gun mantlet that was introduced to the Panther, though there were faults with the design as explained below. 842 Panther Ausf. D were produced from January to September 1943.  
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The '''Ausf. D''' variant was the first variant designed for the Panther, easily distinguishable by its drum-shaped commander cupola. The Ausf. D can also be distinguished by a unique machine gun port with a shape of a vertical "letterbox" flap from where the machine gun was fired (this was replaced by a standard ball mount in later variants). The Ausf. D also had the initial turret curved gun mantlet that was introduced to the Panther, though there were faults with the design as explained below. 842 Panther Ausf. D was produced from January to September 1943.  
  
The Panther's rushed development and commitment into battle caused the design to have many flaws inhibiting its full potential. The most prominent flaw that lasted throughout the war was the weak final drive due to using a double spur system that made it more prone to failure from the Panther's torque requirements, which is averaged at around 150 km before failing. The curved gun mantlet design had a unfortunate tendency to ricochet deflected rounds into the roof, it was however, not fixed until a new gun mantlet design with a flat "chin" shape was introduced on the [[Panther G|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, lack of ventilation to the engine due to waterproofing, maintenance-heavy, fuel-hungry, and deteriorating armour quality as metal alloys in Germany began to run out.  
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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, lack of ventilation to the engine due to waterproofing, 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.
 
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===
 
===Combat usage===
The Panther was first issued to the Eastern Front, arming the 51st and 52nd Tank Battalions. Their usage presented mechanical problems of the Panther, forcing many of the early Panthers to be returned for rebuilding. Despite these issues, the Panther was deemed critical in the Battle of Kursk in ''Operation Citadel'', Hitler delayed the operation so more Panthers can reach the front. 200 Panthers were ready in June 1943, but its combat debut was disappointing. The Panthers, which arrived last minute before the operation started, meant that the crew serving the tanks had little time to train with the new tanks. Two tanks were lost to motor fires right after disembarking from the trains at the front lines. 184 were operational at the start of the operation on July 5, this dropped to 40 within two days. According to Heinz Guderian, five days into the offensive, only 10 operation Panthers were available with 25 completely lost, 100 in need of repairs, and 60 percent of those mechanical breakdowns were easily repaired. Those that did work during the campaign were able to cause heavy casualties on the Soviet tank forces, but the Panther's lethality was mitigated by its low number available. When the operation turned and the Soviet counteroffensive pushed the Germans away from Kursk, the Panther loss rose to 156 in August 11, with many more lost as the Soviet kept gaining ground. Perhaps the Panther's biggest role in Operation Citadel was delaying the start of the operation by two months to allow the Soviet defenses to be bolstered beyond the German's expectations, causing the failure of the offensive.  
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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 vary depending on the situation. The Panthers were also sent to suppress the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944. Two were captured by the Polish forces, who used them against the German forces. The captured Panthers were used until they became immobilized and were destroyed to prevent recapture by the Germans.
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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 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.
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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 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 the war due to alloy shortages.
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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.
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=== In-game description ===
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"This combat vehicle was developed by the company MAN in 1941 and 1942 and was intended to become the Wehrmacht's primary tank. According to German classification, the Panther was considered a medium tank.
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After the outbreak of war with the Soviet Union, German troops encountered the new Soviet T-34 and KV tanks, which were superior to all of the Wehrmacht's available models.
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After examining the strengths and weaknesses of the Soviet tanks, German engineers added sloping armor and a new chassis with large rollers and wide treads to the project.
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In the spring of 1942, MAN's prototype was approved and entered military service. This combat vehicle embodied the spirit of German tank construction: a front-mounted transmission compartment, rear engine compartment, and an individual, staggered torsion suspension designed by the engineer G. Kniepkamp. The tank's main armament was a 75 mm 7,5 cm KwK 42 L/70 tank gun produced by the company Rheinmetall-Borsig, with a long 70-caliber barrel.
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The main advantage of this weapon was its high muzzle velocity, which gave it high accuracy and good penetration power. Its ability to knock tanks out was better than that of the majority of Soviet, American, and British tank guns. In this way, it even surpassed the famous 8,8 cm KwK 36 installed on the Tiger I.
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Full-scale production of the tank began in January 1943. By September 1943, the companies Daimler-Benz AG, Henschel, and MAN had produced 850 Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. D tanks.
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The vehicle's combat debut was the Battle of Kursk, where the variant exhibited low technical reliability. For this reason, the tank's losses were very high. Hasty development and adoption of tanks featuring a new design contributed to numerous minor flaws."
  
 
== Media ==
 
== Media ==

Revision as of 15:58, 22 May 2019

Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. D
germ_pzkpfw_v_ausf_d_panther.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
5.7/5.7/5.7BR
5 peopleCrew
front / side / backArmour
80 / 40 / 40Hull
100 / 45 / 0Turret
Mobility
45.3 tWeight
61 km/h forward
4 km/h back
54 km/h forward
4 km/h back
Speed
Armament
75 mm KwK42 cannonMain weapon
79 roundsAmmunition
-8° / 20°Vertical guidance
2 700 roundsAmmunition
150 roundsBelt capacity
900 shots/minFire rate
Economy
46 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
170 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png2 280 / 3 404/1 610 / 2 403/1 510 / 2 254Repair
49 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
170 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
630 Ge icon.pngAces
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This page is about the German medium tank Panther D. For other uses, see Panther (Family).

Description

GarageImage PantherD.jpg


The Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. D (Panther D) is a rank III 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. Beginning a new generation of German tanks, the Panther medium tank was one of the most iconic tanks of World War II with its high power 75 mm gun and heavy front sloping armour.

The Panther is not like the Panzer IV you have become accustomed to in the line-up. The Panther D was historically made to fight in a long distance with its long 75 mm KwK 42 gun. Close distance is not the greatest ally for the Panther, with its weak side armour and gun mantlet, it can be easily penetrated by most other tanks at its rank if it can get these points. Thus, Panther should be played with a self-established "safe boundary" around the tank to stay safe from flankers. Despite that, as a front brawler, it excels due to the strong front armour and speed.

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 (29-31°) 16 mm
Turret 100 mm (11-12°) Turret front
60-100 (7-80°) + 10 mm Gun mantlet
45 mm (0-25°) 45 mm (20-30°) 16 mm
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 80 mm 16 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick. The interleaved suspension wheels means that there are places where it will be a cumulative 20 + 20 mm extra armour.
  • Belly armour is 16 mm thick.
  • A 30 mm RHA plate separates the engine compartment from the crew compartment.
  • 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.
  • The gun mantlet ring around the gun barrel is 300 mm thick.
  • Add-on armour adds tracks around the turret side and rear.

Mobility

Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armor
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
44.8 0.5 61 (AB)
55 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 1,007 1,240
Realistic/Simulator 575 650
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 22.48 27.68
Realistic/Simulator 12.83 14.51

Armaments

Main armament

Main article: KwK 42 (75 mm)
75 mm KwK 42
Capacity Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
Stabilizer
79 -8°/+20° ±180° N/A
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 3.60 4.90 _.__ _.__ _.__
Realistic 3.60 4.20 _.__ _.__ _.__
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
9.60 _.__ _.__ _.__
Ammunition
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
PzGr 39/42 APCBC 187 185 168 149 132 116
Sprgr. 42 HE 10 10 10 10 10 10
Shell details
Ammunition 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 39/42 935 6.8 1.2 25.0 28.9 +4° 48° 63° 71°
Sprgr. 42 700 5.7 0.1 0.5 725 +0° 79° 80° 81°
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the Panther.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
7th
rack empty
8th
rack empty
9th
rack empty
10th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
79 76 (+3) 74 (+5) 64 (+15) 56 (+23) 50 (+29) 40 (+39) 32 (+47) 17 (+62) (+74) (+78) Yes

Turret and large sides empty: 32 (+47)

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
2,700 (150) 900 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

The Panther has a much stronger front glacis armour than its heavy tank companion Tiger I, with ~140 mm effective thickness with sloping compared to the Tiger's 100 mm armour. However, only the frontal glacis is nigh impenetrable, the side armour and turret is very vulnerable and care must be taken to keep this safe.

One method is to exploit the Panther's long gun range with distance. Fight from a long distance from 800 m to 2,000 m away. At this range, the enemy's gun shells will lose most of their penetrative qualities compared to the Panther's gun and will (hopefully) not be able to penetrate the Panther's weak point on the turret, plus you have the benefit on their lower aim accuracy due to distance. Of course, this scenario is very unlikely given the more close-oriented maps and games in War Thunder, so let's get to the alternative tactic...

In a more close-range tactic, stay with your allies. Allies will help you by covering your weak points on your sides. If you advance too far from your allies, the likelihood of your tank ending in a fiery ammunition explosion increases exponentially. Even in a close-range battle, try to maintain distance between you and the enemy tank to prevent them from easily flanking you and keep a range advantage to keep your weak points as small as possible. The slow turret traverse will also be a lower drawback at a longer range as you will not need to turn your turret as much to aim at different targets. Stay near the rear of the line while more mobile and aggressive allies charge forward and attract the enemy's attention so you can get the jump on them.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Very good top speed, good acceleration
  • High-velocity shell ensures less shell-drop
  • Excellent long-range capabilities
  • Two colour camouflage as standard camouflage
  • Additional armour that covers a large part of the turret sides
  • Large tracks, good for scaling cliffs and moving through rough terrain
  • Plays similarly to the Panzer IV, and features a good learning curve if one has mastered the late Panzer IV models
  • Very adaptable, can be played as several roles
  • Excellent turning capabilities when on the move
  • Retains its momentum after turning and fast acceleration

Cons:

  • Extremely slow reverse
  • Turns extremely slow when standing still
  • Very slow turret traverse speed, makes dealing with unexpected threats nearly impossible
  • With the horrible reverse speed and terrible turret traverse, close quarters brawling borders on suicidal
  • Weak cannon barrel and breech
  • Vulnerable in the gun mantlet & front turret
  • Roof armour is only 16 mm thick
  • Weak in the sides and rear
  • Ammo racks litter the sides of the tank
  • Frontal armour is easily penetrated by British APDS rounds, which become more common at this battle rating

History

Development

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

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

Design

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

The Ausf. D variant was the first variant designed for the Panther, easily distinguishable by its drum-shaped commander cupola. The Ausf. D can also be distinguished by a unique machine gun port with a shape of a vertical "letterbox" flap from where the machine gun was fired (this was replaced by a standard ball mount in later variants). The Ausf. D also had the initial turret curved gun mantlet that was introduced to the Panther, though there were faults with the design as explained below. 842 Panther Ausf. D was produced from January to September 1943.

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, lack of ventilation to the engine due to waterproofing, 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

"This combat vehicle was developed by the company MAN in 1941 and 1942 and was intended to become the Wehrmacht's primary tank. According to German classification, the Panther was considered a medium tank. After the outbreak of war with the Soviet Union, German troops encountered the new Soviet T-34 and KV tanks, which were superior to all of the Wehrmacht's available models. After examining the strengths and weaknesses of the Soviet tanks, German engineers added sloping armor and a new chassis with large rollers and wide treads to the project.

In the spring of 1942, MAN's prototype was approved and entered military service. This combat vehicle embodied the spirit of German tank construction: a front-mounted transmission compartment, rear engine compartment, and an individual, staggered torsion suspension designed by the engineer G. Kniepkamp. The tank's main armament was a 75 mm 7,5 cm KwK 42 L/70 tank gun produced by the company Rheinmetall-Borsig, with a long 70-caliber barrel.

The main advantage of this weapon was its high muzzle velocity, which gave it high accuracy and good penetration power. Its ability to knock tanks out was better than that of the majority of Soviet, American, and British tank guns. In this way, it even surpassed the famous 8,8 cm KwK 36 installed on the Tiger I.

Full-scale production of the tank began in January 1943. By September 1943, the companies Daimler-Benz AG, Henschel, and MAN had produced 850 Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. D tanks. The vehicle's combat debut was the Battle of Kursk, where the variant exhibited low technical reliability. For this reason, the tank's losses were very high. Hasty development and adoption of tanks featuring a new design contributed to numerous minor flaws."

Media

Live.Warthunder

Videos

Bovington Tank Museum Tank Chats: Panther

References


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
  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 C · M48A2 G A2
Leopard  Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard 2K · Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2A5