Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

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General info

Panzer IV Ausf. J in the garage.

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 main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

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.

Vehicle characteristics

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.

Tactics

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.

Specific enemies worth noting

Although any tank of the Rank 3 can destroy the Panzer IV J pretty quickly, the tanks that mostly need to avoided in open combat are IS-2s, KV-2s, SU-152s, Tigers and Panthers.

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.

Counter-tactics

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 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.)

Cons:

  • 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.

Specifications

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Armaments

1 x 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48 (87 Rounds)
1 x 7.92 mm MG 34 machine gun. (3,150 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: 3.6°/s (Stock), 4.9°/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: 3.6°/s (Stock), 4.2°/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: 3.6°/s (Stock), 4.2°/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° 42° 27° 19°
PzGr 40 177 176 154 130 109 92 APCR 930 4.2 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°
Hl.Gr 38B 80 80 80 80 80 80 HEAT 450 4.4 0.0 0.1 872.1 +0° 28° 21° 17°
Sprgr. 34 10 10 10 10 10 10 HE 570 5.7 0.1 0.1 715 +0° 11° 10°
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 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.
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the Panzer IV F2, which is the same as the Ausf. J
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°) Front plate
20 mm (72°) Front glacis
80 mm (12-64°) Lower glacis
30 mm 30 mm (4-15°) 26 mm Front
10 mm Rear and hatches
Turret 50 mm (11°) Turret front
50 mm (7-29°) Gun mantlet
30 (23-26°) + 5 (0-1°) mm 30 (15-17°) + 5 mm 16 mm Front
10 mm Rear
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 95 mm 10 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • The 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.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 25.0 ton (+ 0.4t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 43 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 465 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 18.60 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 572 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 22.88 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 43°
Weight: 25.0 ton (+ 0.4t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 39 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 10.60 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 12.00 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°
Weight: 25.0 ton (+ 0.4t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 39 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 10.60 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 12.00 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°

Modules and improvements

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.

History of creation and combat usage

Development

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.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the "Panzer IV J" from live.warthunder.com.

Sights

Additional information (links)

References


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germ_pzkpfw_iv_ausf_j.png

Icon-country-der.png Panzer IV Ausf. J
Nation Germany
Type Medium tank
Rank 3
Battle Rating
4.3
4.0
4.0

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
25,000 kg
55,116 lb
Number of Crew 5
Hull armour thickness
80/30/30/10 mm
3.15/1.18/1.18/0.39 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
465 hp
265 hp
265 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
572 hp
300 hp
300 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
18.60
18.90
10.60
10.77
10.60
10.77
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
22.88
23.25
12.00
12.19
12.00
12.19
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 MG 34 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 3,150 rounds
Mount Coaxial
Economy
Required RP 40,000 RP
Vehicle cost 150,000 SL
Crew training cost 43,000 SL
Max repair cost*
1,880 SL
2,100 SL
1,780 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
1d 23h
2d 23h
2d 13h
Free repair time (Upgraded)
15h 56m
23h 55m
20h 27m
Warning: this sidebar is a WIP and can be incorrect. Last updated 1.75.0.154.