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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Panzerkampfwagen V Ausf A; PzKpfw V Ausf A; Panther; SdKfz 171 medium tank

Design

Came after the PzKpfw V Ausf D, and was introduced late in the summer of 1944. MAN, Daimler-Benz, MNH and DEMAG built this model. Stronger wheel fixing (24 bolts vs. 16 bolts).

The AP round weighed 15 lbs and had a muzzle velocity of 3,066'/sec.

Armored aprons were installed for the top of the tracks. Zimmerit was also applied. There were four exhaust pipes that were mounted differently than the Ausf D.

Zimmerit was added to all new Panthers starting in September 1943 through September 1944, at which time it was discontinued as it was felt that it was unnecessary .

Fighting Compartment

Had better vision with episcopes rather than vision slits. Ball mounted hull machine gun for the radio operator.

Turret

Later models had the turret modified. The side gun ports and the left side loading hatch were eliminated. Nahverteidgungswaffe close-in defense weapon was installed.

There was now an armored cupola in the turret. The cupola was cast and had seven periscopes. There was also a mount for an AA MG to be installed.

The gunner had a monocular sight.

Production

A total of 1,768 were constructed.

Additional production information.

Usage

This was the main type encountered in Normandy.

Specifications

  Panzerkampfwagen V Ausf A
Crew 4, 5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 45,500 kg
98,800 lb, 100,310 lb
44 tons, 44.78 tons, 45.5 tons, 50.2 tons
Length w/gun 29' 0.75", 29' 0.8", 29' 1"
8.86 m
Length w/o gun 22' 7", 22.6'
6.88 m
Height 9.7', 9' 9", 10' 2", 10.3'
3.1 m
Width 10.8', 11' 3"
3.43 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 21.2", 1' 10"
Ground contact length 154"
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 7.5 cm L/70
75 mm KwK 42 L/70
Secondary  
MG 2: MG
3: 7.92 mm MG
3: 7.92 mm MG34
MG - coaxial 7.9 mm MG34
MG - hull 7.9 mm MG34
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 79
Secondary  
MG 4,200, 4,500, 5,100
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 15 - 110
Front: 3.2"@55°
Side: 1.6"@40°
Hull Front, Upper 80, 80@55°
Hull Front, Lower 60@5°, 80@55°
Hull Sides, Upper 40, 40@40°
Hull Sides, Lower 40@0°
Hull Rear 40@30°
Hull Top 15, 15@90°, 16@90°
Hull Bottom 16-30@90°, 20+13@90°
Turret Front 4.3"
110@10°, 110@11°, 120
Turret Sides 1.8"
45@25°
Turret Rear 45@25°, 45@28°
Turret Top 15@83° & 88°, 16@83°-90°
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach, Maybach HL 230 P30
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders V-12
Capacity  
Net HP 690@3,000 rpm, 700, 700@3,000 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.8:1
Transmission (Type) AK 7-200, 7 forward, 1 reverse
Synchromesh, 7 forward, 1 reverse
Steering Discontinuous regenerative
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric and inertia
Electrical system Starting :24-volt
Normal: 12-volt
Ignition Magneto
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 193 gallons (5 tanks)
Road consumption 0.67 mpg
Cross country consumption 0.34 mpg
Performance  
Traverse Hand and hydraulic
Speed - Road 25 mph, 28 mph, 28.6 mph, 29 mph, 34 mph
46 kph
Speed - Cross Country 15 mph, 16-19 mph
Range - Road 110 miles, 124 miles
177 km, 200 km
Range - Cross Country 55 miles, 55.3 miles, 62 miles
89 km
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -8° to +18°
Fording depth 4' 7", 5' 7", 67"
1.7 m
Trench crossing 6' 3", 6.25'
1.91 m
Vertical obstacle 35.4", 3'
0.91 m
Climbing ability 35° (70%) slope
Suspension (Type) Two large road wheels independently sprung on 2 torsion bars
Wheels each side 8
Return rollers each side 1 (small, behind sprocket)
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length  
Width 2' 1.6", 2' 1.75", 2' 2"
6.5 cm
Diameter  
Number of links 87
Pitch 5.9"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8.6', 8' 7", 8' 7 1/8"
2.62 m

Sources:

  1. The Panther Family, Horst Scheibert, 1990
  2. Battle Winning Tanks, Aircraft & Warships of World War II, David Miller, 2000
  3. AFV #10: Panzerkampfwagen V Panther, Chris Ellis and Peter Chamberlain
  4. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  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. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site