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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's BW/4, BW/5, Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf D, PzKpfw IV Ausf D, SdKfz 161 medium tank

Design

First large scale production of this type. Wider tracks, larger sprockets, and hull stowage bin. Increase in side and rear armor from 15mm to 20mm. Late production vehicles had armor plate bolted and welded to turret and hull front. The front superstructure plate was stepped and the radio operator was moved back further than the driver. Hull MG was installed.

Some of the last produced had 30 mm plates bolted and welded onto the hull superstructure front and 20 mm to the sides.

Had external mantlet.

In 1943 some were upgraded to 75 mm KwK L/48. 16 chassis were converted to bridge laying tanks, 2 chassis to self-propelled guns, and a Munitionsschlepper for the Karl.

Production

Started production in the summer of 1939. 45 were finished before the start of the invasion of Poland.

The PzKpfw IV series production figures.

Usage

Saw action in France, North Africa, Balkans, and Russia.

Specifications

  Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf D
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator
5
Radio FuG5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 43,431 lb, 44,092 lb
20 tons
19,700 kg
Length 19.4', 19' 5.25"
5.9 m, 5.91 m, 5.92 m
Height 8.5', 8' 8.5", 8.9'
2.6 m, 2.68 m
Width 9' 4", 9.6'
2.83 m, 2.84 m, 2.86 m, 2.9 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.4 m
Ground contact length 3.52 m
Ground pressure 0.75 (kg/cm2), 0.83 (kg/cm2)
10.6 psi, 11.81 psi
Turret ring diameter 1.65 m
Armament  
Main 75 mm KwK 37 L/24
75 mm L/24
75 mm KwK L/24
75 mm KwK 39 L/24
Secondary  
MG 2: MGs
2: 7.92 mm MG34
MG - coaxial 7.92 mm MG34
MG - hull 7.92 mm MG34
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 80
Secondary  
MG 2,700, 2,800, 3,150
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 20 - 90
Front: 30
Side: 20
Side, Rear: 20
Hull Front, Upper 30
30@7°
Hull Front, Lower 30@12°
Hull Sides, Upper 20
20@0°
Hull Sides, Lower 20@0°
Hull Rear 20
20@9° & 10°
Hull Top 10-11
12@84°-90°
Hull Bottom 11
10@90°
Turret Front 35-30
30@10°
mantlet: 30@round
Mantlet: 35@0°-29°
Turret Sides 20
20@25°
Turret Rear 20
20@0°-24°
Turret Top 10
10@83°-90°
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 120 TRM
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders V-12
Capacity  
Net HP 300@3,000 rpm
Power to weight ratio 15.5 hp/ton
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh, ZF SSG 76
6 forward, 1 reverse.
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 105 gallons
470 liters
Road consumption 100 km/235 liters
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, electric.
Speed - Road 40 kph, 42 kph
25 mph
Speed - Cross Country 13 mph
20 kph
Range - Road 200 km, 210 km
125 miles
Range - Cross Country 130 km
Turning radius 5.92 m
Elevation limits -11° to +21°
-8° to +20°
Fording depth 0.8 m, 1 m
2' 7.5"
Trench crossing 7.5', 7' 7"
2.3 m
Vertical obstacle 60 cm
2'
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Leaf springs
Wheels each side 8x2
Return rollers each side 4x2
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 15.75"
380 mm
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 2.39 m

Sources:

  1. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  2. Panzer Truppen The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942, Thomas L. Jentz, 1996
  3. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  4. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  5. Battle Winning Tanks, Aircraft & Warships of World War II, David Miller, 2000
  6. Panzers At War, Michael and Gladys Green, 2005
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site