Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

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General info

Panzer IV Ausf. H in the garage.

The Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H (Panzer IV Ausf. H) is a Rank III German medium tank with a battle rating of 4.7 (AB) and 4.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. The most common iteration of the Panzer IV, the Ausf. H carries the powerful 75 mm L/48 gun that can destroy most tanks at its BR. It also has side-skirts that can provide a small degree of protection to the side armour of the tank.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

This tank can be described in one word. Capable. While this version of the Panzer IV isn't nearly as renowned and feared as the Ausf. F2 variant that precedes it, it's still a very capable medium tank. The Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H has a new gun that, while not that different to the guns on the G and F2, still packs a deadly punch in it's BR range. The armour is meh, with a paltry 50mm of armour at the front of the turret, and 80mm of armour at the front of the hull. This makes you an easy target for tanks like KV-2s, T-34-85(D-5T)s, and M4A3E2 Jumbos among others. But, with some careful play and some creative use of angling, you can bounce some shots from equal rank tanks, and kill tanks at the top of your BR range. Mobility of this tank is lacking, albeit not by much. (It is the heaviest version of the entire Panzer 4 series after all). It's acceptable, but it will still take time for it to accelerate to its top speed, as your engine is underpowered and your tracks are narrow, which results in poorer cross-country performance than comparable tanks.

The Pz.Kpfz IV Ausf. H is a capable, versatile tank, perfect for sniping, ambushing, flanking, and second line defense. Make use of it's accurate gun for hitting the enemy from a distance. But keep in mind it's weak turret armour should return fire come your way. This tank also works very well supporting heavy tanks. Hide behind a friendly heavy that can tank the damage, while you can pop out and kill the enemy, if your teammate can't. Or you can use your decent mobility and get around to shoot into the enemy tanks flanks. In a equal r BRank or lower, you can reliably bounce shots if angled properly, but remember that frontal confrontation in a full uptier can lead to certain death.

Vehicle characteristics

The most distinctive aspect of this Panzer IV compared to it's previous iterations, is that its covered head to toe in 5mm thick spaced armour skirts (known as Schurtzen). These skirts, while they won't stop much in the way of an enemy AP or APBC shell, It can give tanks like the M4A3 (105) some trouble in damaging you. There is a small mobility penalty from having the extra armour though, compared to the G and F2. So keep that in mind. It's also the first Panzer IV to get the upgraded 75mm L/48 gun. Which, while not that much of an upgrade from the L/46 on the G and F2, still packs a punch at it's BR. It also is the only Panzer IV in the game that comes with zimmereit modeled on the hull, turret, and turret skirts. This just effects the visuals though, as War Thunder doesn't have infantry armed with magnetic mines.

Tactics

Tactics-wise, on a open map like Kursk, make like a true German tank and hit the enemy from range. Don't bother going in close, as your advantages lies at range. On a city map like Advance to the Rhine, go for flank routes, or stick with your heavies, giving them more firepower should they need it. Keep in mind to keep the frontal armour angled as you go around corners to bounce any shots.

Specific enemies worth noting

Although most tanks in Rank III can destroy you pretty quickly, the tanks you need to avoid in open combat (if possible) are KV-2s, SU-152s, T-34-85(D-5T)s, M4A3E2 Jumbos, and if you're playing in Arcade: Tigers and Panthers

  • For KV-2s, if it's looking at you, (And hopefully reloading) shoot at the flat of the turret below the mantlet. It's flat, relatively thin armour, and your shell should go right through and take out everyone and everything in the turret. From the side, shoot it in the side of the hull (At a 90 degree angle for best effects) to ignite the fuel tanks and maybe even detonate the ammo. Shooting the turret isn't recommended unless for knocking out the gunner or the breech, as there are a lot of crew members in there, and the shells in the turret rarely ignite. Trying to kill it that way will take time.
  • For SU-152s, shoot to the right of the gun, above the driver's viewport, and it will wreck everything inside. If that's an option, try to get around it. It is a casemate after all. Once you're on it's side, shoot it in the crew compartment to obliterate it.
  • For T-34-85(D-5T)s, it is imperative you get the first shot off, as their 85mm will go through you 85 ways from Sunday, and nuke your entire tank interior. Don't shoot the turret unless you have no other option, as it's incredibly trollish, and prone to bouncing your shot. Instead, shoot the hull center. Pay close attention not to hit the driver's hatch as it's actually more armoured than the glacis itself.
  • M4A3E2 Jumbo's will give you the hardest time, as their frontal armour is nigh impenetrable, aside from the machine gun port. It's a small, unreliable target, but it's your only chance of killing the Jumbo from the front. If you're lucky, and catch a Jumbo on it's side, shoot it in it's hull. As it's Turret side (and rear!) armour is still thick enough to block your shots. Also, keep in mind, that if the Jumbo is showing its side while angling toward you, that the side armour behind its tracks is very thinly armoured. Try shooting there if you can.

Counter-tactics

The Panzer IV Ausf. H 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 if using ammunition with explosive filler, also ruin the gun breech, loader and commander. Then get around the side and 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 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. H above all else, as it would deny the Panzer IV H even a chance to use its high-penetrating 75 mm gun.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 75 mm KwK 40 gun can destroy most equivalent tanks with stock rounds.
  • Great gun accuracy.
  • Good turret traverse.
  • APCR rounds allow for usage against more heavily armoured vehicles.
  • Good gun depression of -10°.
  • 5 man crew, able to spare 2 casualties before combat efficiency drops.
  • Decently fast and maneuverable for the battlefield.
  • 80 mm of frontal armour that can absorb some damage when angled properly.
  • Access to 20 mm of additional armour in the form of T-34 tracks that cover almost the whole of the front of the hull and the turret armour (Keep in mind, Tracks make for only 75% or RHA grade armour. Making the armour effectively 15 mm RHA equivalent.) This makes your hull front effectively just 7 mm thinner than that of the Tiger 1.
  • Side-skirts can soak up HE and HEAT shells, as well as bomb and rockets at a sufficient distance.

Cons:

  • Flat armour on all sides.
  • Side armour is weak, very vulnerable to 20 mm autocannons at close range.
  • Small gun mantlet, with weak 50 mm frontal turret armour.
  • Cramped turret crew space means that one hit can knock out entire turret crew.
  • Cupola extends up from the profile and can be a weak point for enemies to shoot at.
  • Like all Panzer IV models, ammo racks all over the hull and are likely to be hit.
  • Heaviest of the Panzer IV model, consequently it is the slowest of them all.
  • Acceleration is mediocre.
  • Poor cross-country performance due to underpowered engine and narrow tracks.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Armaments

1 x 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48 (87 Rounds)
1 x 7.92 mm MG 34 machine gun. (3,000 Rounds)

Main armament

1 x 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48
  • Ammunition Capacity: 87 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.3°/s (Stock), 11.5°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48
  • Ammunition Capacity: 87 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.3°/s (Stock), 9.8°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48
  • Ammunition Capacity: 87 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.3°/s (Stock), 9.8°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
PzGr 39 136 135 123 109 97 86 APCBC 750 6.8 1.3 15.0 28.9 +4° 48° 63° 71°
PzGr 40 177 176 154 130 109 92 APCR 930 4.2 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 66° 70° 72°
Hl.Gr 38B 80 80 80 80 80 80 HEAT 450 4.4 0.0 0.1 872.1 +0° 62° 69° 73°
Sprgr. 34 10 10 10 10 10 10 HE 570 5.7 0.1 0.1 686 +0° 79° 80° 81°
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
K.Gr.Rot Nb. Smoke 570 6.8 13 5 20 50
Shell types
  • PzGr 39 - Armour Piercing Ballistic Cap shell - This is your main ammo type, always use this if you think 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 you are having trouble penetrating your 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 - You should carry only very few of these. They are useless against anything other than unarmoured AA vehicles, to which it is lethal.
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the Panzer IV F2, which is the same as the Ausf. H
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
7th
rack empty
8th
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
87 78 (+9) 68 (+19) 58 (+29) 48 (+39) 38 (+49) 28 (+59) 19 (+68) 10 (+77) (+86) Turret empty: 58 (+29) yes

Secondary armament

1 x 7.92 mm MG 34 machine gun (coaxial)

Crew

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver
  • Assistant Driver

Total: 5 Crew members

Armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Cupola)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 80 mm (11-12°) Front plate
20 mm (73°) Front glacis
80 mm (13-14°) Lower glacis
30 + 5 (6°) mm 20 mm (4-15°) 10 mm
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
25 mm Rear
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 95 mm 25 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • The hull and turret side are protected by an extra 5 mm thick plate to provide protection against HEAT and HE rounds.
  • Add-on Armour gives an additional 20 mm of armour can be added to the front facing surfaces.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 26.0 ton (+ 0.4t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 43 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 465 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 17.88 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 39°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 572 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 22.00 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 43°
Weight: 26.0 ton (+ 0.4t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 39 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 10.19 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.54 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°
Weight: 26.0 ton (+ 0.4t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 39 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 10.19 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.54 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°

Modules and improvements

As with most tanks make sure you research Parts and FPE. Then focus on researching Pz.Gr. 40 (APCR shells) so your 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 aid the bad acceleration is not a bad idea, in particular Filters and Transmission are useful.

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The Pz.Kpfw. IV's creation, like its predecessor the Pz.Kpfw. III, was devised by Heinz Guderian, where he envisioned a support tank to be used to handle anti-tank guns and fortifications. The Panzer IV was to work alongside the more numerable Panzer III in Panzer Divisions (three company of IIIs and one of IVs) to engage the enemy, giving the role of fighting enemy armoured forces to the Panzer IIIs. The tank was to have the short 75 mm howiter as its main armament and have a weight limit of 24 tons. MAN, Krupp, and Rheinmetall-Borsig worked on the development of the tanks, but the Krupp's model was selected for further testing.

The chosen model from Krupp once finished used a leaf-spring double-bogie system for its suspension, doing away the proposed interleaved or torsion bar suspension system earlier devised. 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. The Panzer IV was then accepted into service and production began in 1936.

Panzer IV Ausf. H

In the later part of World War II, the Panzer IV in its base form was deemed inadequate against the new tanks the Allies have, the Soviet T-34 and American M4 Shermans were able to come toe-to-toe with the Panzer IV, if not better than it. Germany rapidly upgraded their Panzer IV to compete with the enemy, mainly the armour and gun. From the Ausf. C to the Ausf. G, the armour increased from the original 20 mm to 80 mm thick and the original KwK 37 L/24 75 mm howtizer to the longer KwK 40 L/48 75 mm.

The Panzer IV Ausf. H began production in June 1943. The 80 mm front glacis armour is now a single piece rather than attached via weld or bolt. Zimmerit paste is also added onto the Panzer IV hull to prevent the use of magnetic anti-tank mines. Schürzen side skirts on the hull added 5 mm thickness while the turret added 8 mm thickness, plus its application as spaced armour improved its efficiency. A common complaint of the Schürzen side skirts was that it was easy for the skirts to just fall off by brushing against foliage. The Ausf. H return rollers were changed from rubber-rimmed to cast steel. All these modifications increased the tank weight to 25 tons, and despite the use of a new suspension, the cross-country speed dropped to only 10 mph (16 km/h). Despite that, the Panzer IV Ausf. H would go on to be the most produced Panzer IV variant. These features pushed the Panzer IV's limits to its maximum capacity. An attempt to mount the Schmalturm found on the Panther Ausf. F failed and only further proved this point.

The Panzer IV Ausf. H stayed as the main German tank alongside the Panther tanks throughout the rest of the war. The 80 mm thickness of the frontal armour could withstand the M4 Sherman's 75 mm gun, and the 76.2 mm gun of the T-34. The Ausf. H served in all combat theaters past 1943, from the Battle of Kursk, to the Battle of France, and the Ardennes Offensive. Many were lost due to combat or from lack of fuel and supplies and had to be abandoned. The rapid loss of the Panzer IVs in the German inventory caused a simplified variant to be produced. Designated the Panzer IV Ausf. J, the construction was simplified and the internal mechanics was modified, but the variant is a retrograde of the Ausf. H.

Twenty Panzer IV Ausf. H went to Spain in 1943, which held them as the best tanks they had in their inventory. Spain sold them to Syria in 1967. 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.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the Panzer 4H series can be found with the search term "#pz_iv_h" or for more results the general term "#panzeriv" on live.warthunder.com.

Sights

Additional information (links)

References


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germ_pzkpfw_iv_ausf_h.png

Icon-country-der.png Panzer IV Ausf. H
Nation Germany
Type Medium tank
Rank 3
Battle Rating
4.7
4.3
4.3

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
26,000 kg
57,320 lb
Number of Crew 5
Hull armour thickness
80/30/20/10 mm
3.15/1.18/0.79/0.39 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
465 hp
265 hp
265 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
572 hp
300 hp
300 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
17.88
18.17
10.19
10.35
10.19
10.35
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
22.00
22.35
11.54
11.72
11.54
11.72
Max speed
43 km/h
26.7 mph
39 km/h
24.0 mph
39 km/h
24.0 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 75 mm KwK 40 L/48 Cannon
Ammo stowage 87 rounds
Vertical guidance -10°/20°
Secondary Weapon
1 x 7.92 mm MG 34 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 3,000 rounds
Mount Coaxial
Economy
Required RP 33,000 RP
Vehicle cost 130,000 SL
Crew training cost 36,000 SL
Max repair cost*
1,380 SL
1,570 SL
1,610 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
20h 47m
1d 11h
1d 08h
Free repair time (Upgraded)
6h 55m
11h 40m
10h 47m
Warning: this sidebar is a WIP, and can be incorrect. Last updated 1.79.1.125.