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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's BW/7; Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf F2; PzKpfw IV Ausf F2; SdKfz 161/1 medium tank

Design

As the PzKpfw IV Ausf F1 was rolling off production lines, the T-34 was encountered on the Russian front. Hitler ordered the PaK 40 antitank gun fitted into all new PzKpfw IVs.

On November 18, 1941 the Ordnance Department issued Order #917/41 gKdos Wa. Pruef. 4 to Friedrich Krupp AG of Essen and Rheinmetall-Borsig AG to design a replacement for the short barrel 75 mm gun being used.3

Turret

The turret of the PzKpfw IV Ausf F2 was welded and there were seats for the commander, gunner, and loader.3,11

The commander had a cupola that was towards the rear of the roof that had five observation ports.3,11 The front port was lined up with the main armament would fire.3,11

In front of the side hatches was an observation port.3,11 On each side of the mantlet were observation ports.3,11 Some of the turrets were produced without the right side port.3,11

The turret roof had a signal port.3 At the rear of the turret were two pistol ports.3,11

To extract the fumes after firing, there was a fan in the roof of the turret.3

There was a DKW two cylinder two cycle 10 HP 500 cc gasoline engine that provided power for the turret traverse.3,11

Hull

The joints were austenitic steel welds and the plates were made of chromium-molybdenum steel.3,11 The hull was separated by 2 bulkheads into the driving, fighting, and engine compartment.3,11

The transmission and the final drive assemblies were housed in the driving compartment.3,11 The driver and hull gunner / radio operator had their seats located in the front.3,11

Under the fighting compartment was 105 gallons of fuel in tanks.3

There were two hinged and one bolted maintenance hatches in the front glacis plate.3,11

At the right front of the hull was the machine gun that was operated by the radio operator.11

Superstructure

The welded superstructure was bolted to the top of the hull.3 The superstructure extended out over the sides of the hull to make room for a large turret.3

Hatches for the driver and hull gunner were in the roof.3

Main Armament

The 75 mm Kampfwagenkanone 44 (later KwK 40) L/43 was mounted on a trunnion axis.3 Extending through the mantlet was the recoil mechanism that added more protection.3

Early models had single baffle, but later models had double baffle muzzle brake.3,11

Ammunition Muzzle Velocity
per Second
Weight Armor Penetration
  2,000 yards
  2,428'8   89 mm @ 30°8  
PzGr3911       77mm11
AP2 2,428'2 15 lbs11    

Ammunition storage was altered to allow for the larger rounds. The gunner's and commander's seat was altered to allow more room. There was an auxiliary hand crank for traverse for the loader.

Engine

The Maybach HL 120 TRM was built under license by Norddeutsche Motorenbau GmbH of Berlin-Niederschoeneweide.3,11

The engine could output 300 HP at 3,000 rpm but was restricted to 265 HP at 2,600 rpm.3

Air entered the engine compartment on the left.3,11 The air then went through two radiators and then was drawn over the engine by two 10 bladed fans.3,11 There was a large air filter for the engine.3,11 A propeller shaft transmitted the power to the Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen AG gearbox.3,11

Production

In March 1942, factories started to put the 7.5 cm gun KwK 40 L/43.8,13

The PzKpfw IV series production figures.

Usage

Eastern Front

Small number of the PzKpfw IV Ausf F2 appeared on the Eastern Front in the spring of 1942.3

North Africa

Were called the "Mark IV Special" by the British.3,9 First encountered at Alam Halfa and El Alamein in September and October 1942.9

On June 11, 1942 there were six PzKpfw IV Ausf F2s in North Africa.3

At the start of the Battle of Alam el Halfa there were 27 PzKpfw IV Ausf F2s.3

Specifications

  Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf F2
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator3,11
51,2,3,4,5,7,11,12
Radio FuG54
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 50,706 lb, 52,000 lb
22 tons1,12, 23 tons4, 23.2 tons3,11, 23.6 tons3,5,7,8,11, 25.8 tons2
22,350 kg1,12
Empty weight 22 tons3,11
Length w/gun 19.4'2, 21' 9"1,3,7,11,12, 22.08'5
5.62 m4, 6.63 m1,7
Length w/o gun 17' 9"3,11
5.93 m
Height 8.53'2, 8' 6", 8' 9.5"1,3,7,11,12, 8.9'5
2.68 m1,4,7,12
Width 9' 3.75", 9' 5.5"1,3,7,11,12, 9.5'2, 9.6'5, 9' 7"
2.84 m4, 2.88 m1,7,12
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.75"2
40 cm
Ground contact length 138.5"2
3.52 m
Ground pressure 2.86 psi3,11, 11.8 psi2
0.84 kg/cm2
Turret ring diameter 1.65 m
Armament  
Main 1: 75 mm KwK 40 L/432,3,4,11,12
1: 75 mm KwK L/4310
1: 75 mm1,5
1: 75 mm L/439
1: 75 mm L/43 or L/487
Secondary  
MG 2: 7.92 mm MG7,12
2: 7.92 mm MG344
2: MG5
MG - hull 1: 7.92 mm 34 MG3
1: 7.92 mm MG1,6
1: 7.92 mm MG342,11
MG - coaxial 1: 7.92 mm 34 MG3
1: 7.92 mm MG1,6
1: 7.92 mm MG342,11
Side arms Hand Grenades11, Signal gun11
Quantity  
Main 87 HEAT, smoke, APCR, APCBC, HE
874,6,11
PzGr 39 (APCBC), PzGr 40 (APCR), Sprgr 38A & B (HEAT), Sprgr 34 (HE), Nebel (Smoke)3,11
Secondary  
MG 2,2503,11, 3,0004, 3,1502,7, 3,1926,11, 3,200
Side arms Hand Grenades: 611
Signal cartridges: 2411
Armor Thickness (mm) 10 - 505, 5012
Front: 2"2
Side: 1.2"2
Hull: 6010
Turret: 5010
Hull Front, Upper 30+307, 606
50@10°4,11
Hull Front, Lower 25@73°3,11
50@12°4
Hull Sides, Upper 30+207, 20+20@0°3,11, 30@0°4
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°4
Hull Rear 20@12°3,11, 20@0°4 & 20°4
Hull Top 117, 12@85°-90°4, 15@90°3,11
Hull Bottom 10@90°3,4,11
Turret Front 2"2
506,7
50@11°3,4,11
Mantlet: 50°3,11, 50@0°-30°4
Turret Sides 0.8"2
30@26°3,4,11
Turret Rear 30@16°3,4,11
Turret Top 10@83°-90°4, 10@90°3,11
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 120 TRM1,2,3,4,11
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water2
Capacity 11,867 cc3
Cylinders V-121,3,12
Net HP 3007,12, 300@3,000 rpm2,3,11
Power to weight ratio 13.6 bhp/ton3,11
Compression ratio 6.5:12
Transmission (Type) Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen ZF SSG 76 Aphon3,11
Synchromesh2,3,11
6 forward, 1 reverse.2,3,4,11
Steering Clutch brake2
Krupp-Wilson clutch steering brake3,11
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric and inertia2
Electrical system Starting: 24-volt2
Running: 12-volt2, GQL 12 volt3,11
Ignition Magneto2
Fuel (Type) Gasoline2,3,12
Octane 743,11
Quantity 105 gallons3, 125 gallon2
470 liters
Road consumption 1 mpg2
100 km/235 liters
Cross country consumption 0.6 mpg2
Performance  
Traverse 360°4,11
Electric2,3,4, hand2,3
Speed - Road 24.8 mph1,3,7,11, 24.9 mph12, 25 mph2,5,8
40 kph1,4,8,12
Speed - Cross Country 10 mph2, 11 mph
16 kph
Range - Road 124 miles2,7, 129.9 miles12, 130 miles1,3,11
200 km4,7, 209 km1,12
Range - Cross Country 71 miles3,11, 78 miles2, 80.7 miles7
130 km7
Turning radius 5.92 m
Elevation limits -11° to +21°
-10° to +20°3
-8° to +20°4
-1° to +20°11
Fording depth 3' 3"10,11, 39.4"2
1 m
Trench crossing 7'3,11, 7.2'2
2.2 m
Vertical obstacle 1' 11.6"2, 2'3,11
60 cm
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope2, 30°3,11
Suspension (Type) Leaf springs
Quarter elliptic springs2,3
Wheels each side 82,3, 8x2
Wheel size 18.5"11
Return rollers each side 42,3,11, 4x2
Tracks (Type) Dry pin2
Manganese steel3
Length  
Width 1' 3.75"2,3,7,11
40 cm3,7,11
Diameter 18.5"3
Number of links 983,11, 992
Pitch 4.25"3,11, 4.9"2
120 mm3
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8' 0.5"3,11, 8.1'2, 8' 7"7
2.45 m, 2.62 m7

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  3. Armour in Profile #8: PanzerKampfwagen IV (F2), Walter Spielberger, 1967
  4. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  5. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  7. Airfix Magazine Guide #8 German Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gande and Peter Chamberlain, 1975
  8. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  9. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  10. Tanks - Over 250 of the World's Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, Chris Chant, 2004
  11. Profile AFV Weapons #43 PanzerKampfwagen IV, Walter Spielberger, 1972
  12. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site