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- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in the battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 Read also
- 8 Sources
The Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J (Panzer IV J) is a Rank III German medium tank with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB) and 4.0 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.43. A retrograde of its predecessor, the Ausf. J removes the powered traverse for a simpler manual one, though retains the 75 mm L/48 gun for the same lethality.
The Panzer IV Ausf. J is a shadow of the infamous Ausf. F2 variant. The tank has a new gun which doesn't have that much of a difference, and the armour is lacking. With 80 mm of armour at the front, the Panzer IV J will be an easy target for IS-1, M4A3E2 Jumbo, KV-2s and many other powerful tanks. But despite those flaws, Ausf. J can still pack a mean punch for enemies that might not take too much notice. The fact that the Panzer IV J will be thrown against more powerful opponents can be an advantage because many players would rather focus on the most lethal threats rather than a lowly Panzer IV. Ensure that the opponents are focused on the stronger tanks from the team, then flank them and engage. Using these tactics, the Panzer IV J can become a game changer. Be warned and always mindful that this tank has an utterly poor turret traverse rate. Check the surroundings and pre-aim the 75 mm gun to expected enemy positions.
The mobility of this tank is another flaw (being the heaviest of the entire Panzer 4 series). Although it can achieve a decent speed, it will take time for it to accelerate to top speed. Engine is under powered and the tracks are narrow, which results in poorer cross-country performance than many heavier tanks.
The Panzer IV Ausf. J on the outside shares many features with the older Panzer IV series. It brings back the distinctive Dunkelgelb yellow coat on the default body (and would be changed with alternate camouflages), has a double-baffle muzzle brake on the 75 mm KwK 40 L/48 gun, and still has the turret offset to the left of the main body. The Schürzen skirts are only present on the turret, the hull left exposed without the skirts.
The biggest difference to the Panzer IV Ausf. J compared to the others is the lack of a powered turret traverse, part of the retrograde program with the tank for simpler production. This causes the turret slew rate to be significantly reduced in the Panzer IV J compared to the others, with a stock traverse rate of only 3.6°/s compared to the other's 8.3°/s
Though some details are seen distinctive to the Panzer IV Ausf. J model compared to the others. The biggest sign is in the number of return rollers on the top tracks, reduced to three instead of the usual four. On the turret top, the presence of a Nahverteidigungswaffe discharger was present next to the turret ventilator. The commander's hatch on the cupola is also now a one-piece design rather than the usual two-piece design. The wheel rack on the hull left side is repurposed to hold extra jerry cans.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Cupola)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 80 mm (11°) Front plate
20 mm (72°) Front glacis
80 mm (12-64°) Lower glacis
|30 mm||30 mm (4-15°)|| 26 mm Front |
10 mm Rear and hatches
|Turret|| 50 mm (11°) Turret front
50 mm (7-29°) Gun mantlet
|30 (23-26°) + 5 (0-1°) mm||30 (15-17°) + 5 mm|| 16 mm Front |
10 mm Rear
|Cupola||95 mm||10 mm|
- Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.
- The turret sides are protected by an extra 5 mm thick plate to provide protection against HEAT and HE rounds.
- Barrel shroud around gun barrel is 20 mm thick.
- Add-on Armour gives an additional 20 mm of armour can be added to the front facing surfaces.
- Belly armour is 10 mm thick.
The Panzer IV Ausf. J is vulnerable to most front shot engagement, especially so if no serious attempt is made in compound angling. The front plate in its unsloped format is an enticing target, but beware to not hit the front sloping glacis right in front of it as that area has a tendency to bounce everything. Also avoid hitting straight into the ball machine gun and driver's port in the front as these also have a tendency to nullify an armour-piercing shot. When using APHE rounds, simply hit center mass of the front plate and let the post-penetration effect do the rest.
In the case of a vehicle with a gun simply unable to penetrate this front plate, aim towards the turret that still retains a 50 mm front plate. Even the weaker non-autocannon armaments can penetrate through this front plate and incapacitate the turret crew. Aim for the turret left side (right side when shooting it) to knock out the gunner and deny their firepower, then chip away at weak spots until the threat is destroyed.
Alternatively, aim at the Panzer IV from its long vulnerable sides in cases where its slow turret traverse cannot keep up with a flanking maneuver or catching it in an ambush. The interior is fully stocked with ammo racks even when the user is taking a minimum load. Moreover, the fuel tank resides at the very bottom of the center of the tank, so a penetrating shot with APHE will either detonate the ammunition, set the tank on fire, or knock out a good portion of the crew, if not fully destroy the tank with all three effect.
In every case scenario, it is to the benefit of the surviving player to fire the first shot against the Panzer IV Ausf. G above all else, as it would deny the Panzer IV G even a chance to use its high-penetrating 75 mm gun.
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armor
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|75 mm KwK 40 L/48|
|Turret rotation speed (°/s)|
|Mode||Stock||Upgraded||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Stock||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 90°|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
Mass in kg
| Screen radius
| Screen time
| Screen hold time
| Explosive Mass in g|
- PzGr 39 - Armour Piercing Ballistic Cap shell - This is the main ammo type, always use this if confident it can penetrate enemy armour. It deals the most damage because of its explosive filler.
- PzGr 40 - Armour Piercing Composite Rigid shell - This type of ammo should be used only if there is trouble penetrating the opponent, or trying to hit a fast moving tank at some distance. However, its damaging potential is much lower because it has no explosive filler to further enhance damage after the penetration. It can be also used against highly sloped armour like on the T-34 tanks or the M10 tank destroyer, as it does not ricochet so easily.
- Hl.Gr. 38B - Cumulative Anti-armour shell - it is recommended to completely avoid this kind of shell as its performance is vastly inferior in all aspects compared to APCBC or APCR ammo used by this tank.
- SprGr. 34 - High Explosive shell - Carry only very few of these. They are useless against anything other than unarmoured AA vehicles, to which it is lethal.
|87||78 (+9)||68 (+19)||58 (+29)||48 (+39)||38 (+49)||28 (+59)||19 (+68)||10 (+77)||1 (+86)||yes|
Turret empty: 58 (+29)
|7.92 mm MG 34|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in the battles
The Panzer IV J suffers compared to its other variants due to its slow, manual turret traverse rate. This causes the Panzer IV J to lose flexibility in reacting to close encounters without turning the entire hull around. As such, it is recommended not to use the Panzer IV J as a front-line assaulter in combat.
Tactics-wise, the Panzer IV J is perfect for sniping and ambushes, where the slower turret traverse rate affects its combat performance less. Attack from a distance, especially while that enemy is focused on other allies in the team. Ambushes can also work in close-range events when watching corners, street intersections, and chocke points, but be wary of any enemies trying to outmaneuver the Panzer IV J as it would require drastic action with the slow turret rate. Try not to engage the enemy in a straight-up front confrontation as most enemies would be able to easily cleave through the front armour and end the vehicle.
Most of the heavy tanks that it will face include Tigers, the last of KV series, IS-1s, and even some IS-2s. Particularly IS-2s will be the toughest opponent, and will take out the Panzer IV with one hit. Avoid frontal confrontation at all cost. Instead try to be sneaky and attack them from the sides when they become vulnerable.
As with most tanks make sure to research Parts and FPE. Then focus on researching Pz.Gr. 40 (APCR shells) so the tank can stand the chance against heavily armoured vehicles like the Panther. After progressing this far into the unlock tree artillery should be taken swiftly as well. Accuracy is decent, so sidestepping over to the mobility upgrades to address the bad acceleration is not a bad idea, in particular filters and transmission are useful.
Pros and cons
- The KwK 40 L/48 cannon provides enough muzzle velocity to penetrate most enemies in the BR range at far range.
- PzGr 40 (APCR) offers great penetration in case PzGr 39 (APCBC) fails.
- Sometimes under tiered.
- Synchromesh ZF SSG 77 transmission provides good acceleration.
- Satisfactory performance on off road and on road terrains.
- Turrets have Schürzen (Spaced Armour), which can offer some protection from HEAT or HE rounds.
- 5 crew members are present in the tank. (Commander, gunner, driver, loader, machinegunner.)
- Turret traverse is the slowest compared to all the other Panzer IV models.
- Schürzen (Side skirts) only protects the turret.
- Lacks a gun mantle.
- Armour protection is poor, able to be penetrated by all the tanks it encounters even frontally.
- Unable to traverse fast in rough terrains.
- Generally out performed by the vehicle it faces and fights with.
The Pz.Kpfw. IV's was designed and approved for production in 1936. Envisioned as a support tank, it was equipped with a 75 mm howitzer at its initial stages. MAN, Krupp, and Rheinmetall-Borsig worked on the development of the Panzer IV, with Krupp's model finalized as the basis of the Panzer IV, using a leaf-spring double-bogie system for its suspension. The main armament was the KwK 37 L/24 75 mm howitzer. The vehicle held a crew of five, the commander, gunner, loader, radio operator (and hull machine gunner), and driver. Though it looked symmetrical, the Panzer IV turret was actually offset to the left of the chassis center line a bit while the engine was also offset to the right, this was to allow the torque shaft to turn the turret. The offset also meant that more of the ammo is held on the right side of the tank in storage areas. Nevertheless, the Panzer IV, with about 8,553 units made from 1936 to the end of World War II in 1945, it remained as one of Germany's main battle tank of the war, despite newer replacements such as the Panther tank.
The Panzer IV started with only minimum armour, 14.5 mm on the Ausf. A. This was upgraded to 20 mm on the Ausf. C. As the war moves on to 1940, the 20 mm armour was deemed insufficient, so 30 mm extra steel plates were bolted or welded on on the Ausf. E variant, becoming a permanent feature as a single 50 mm plate on the Ausf. F. As the war moves to the Invasion of Barbarossa, the German tank forces were unprepared for the appearance of the Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks, which could shrug the 75 mm howitzer on the Panzer IV. An upgrade was done on the gun to mount the newer and better KwK 40 L/43 cannon on the Ausf. F2, which balanced the disparity on tank firepower. The Panzer IV was upgraded again in 1942 to the Ausf. G with an extra 30 mm steel plate applied to the 50 mm glacis, bringing the armour to 80 mm thick, plus a newer KwK 40 L/48 gun that was slightly more powerful. Then in 1943, the most produced variant Ausf. H was finalized with a single-piece 80 mm glacis plate, Zimmerit paste, and Schürzen side armour skirts.
Panzer IV Ausf. J
However many Panzer IV the German Army fielded, the war was not looking their way by 1944. The Allied had landed in France in part of Operation Overlord, and the Soviet offensive in Operation Bagration had costed the Wehrmacht lots of land, personnel, and materiel. To replace the decimated armoured forces, the Panzer IV was once again revised not to be better, but for a more easily produced vehicle, the end result was a retrograde from the Panzer IV Ausf. H, the Panzer IV Ausf. J. The Panzer IV Ausf. J had the electric turret traverse and its associated auxiliary engine removed for an auxiliary fuel tank (although a dual speed hand-traverse was installed to compensate for this loss). The pistol and vision ports on the turret were removed, the engine radiator housing was simplified, a Nahverteidigungswaffe device was added for self-defense device (firing smoke or high-explosive shells on its surrounding). The armour on the tank roof was increased, the return rollers were reduced from four to three, the Schürzen skirts were changed from solid plates to wire-meshes. All of these were made to increase productivity of the Panzer IV while keeping combat survivability high.
Despite these features, the Panzer IV has already met its maximum limit. An attempt to mount the Schmalturm found on the Panther Ausf. F failed and only further proved this point. The Ausf. J's new features did not increase its survivability, nor was it able to replace the combat losses suffered on the German Panzer forces.
15 Panzer IV Ausf. J were bought by Finland for about twice its production price. Ironically, they arrived too late to fight the Soviets and instead were used against the Germans during the Lapland War between Finland and Germany. After the war, around 130 Panzer IVs of various variants made it to Syria in the 1950s and 1960s. These Panzer IVs served the Syrians alongside T-34-85s, T-54s, and T-55s during the Six-Day War against Israel.
- 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
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.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
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|Germany medium tanks|
|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||Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 2K · Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2A5|