Beobachtungspanzer Panther, SdKfz 268 (Pz Beob Wg): Observation post vehicle. Dummy gun was installed and a ball mounted MG 34, which could be traversed 5° and elevated from -10° to +15°. Converted from rebuilt Panthers. Prototype was ready in the summer of 1943. Early vehicles retained its main armament. It mounted a stereoscopic range-finder in the turret, with the commander having 2 periscopes.
Was assigned to the battalion that had Wespes or Hummels in the armored artillery regiment.
Befehlspanzer Panther, SdKfz 267 (Pz Bef Wg); SdKfz 167: Command vehicle with an extra external antennae on the turret roof and engine decking. Extra radio reduced rounds to 64. Fu 5 and a Fu 8 (divisional) or Fu 5 and Fu 7 (ground-to-air) were installed. The loader was also the second radio operator and had a receiver and transmitter next to him on the right side turret wall.
The Ausf A and Ausf G models had the Fu 5 and Fu 8, whereas the earlier models had the Fu 5 and Fu 7. The antenna placed on the engine cover was for the Fu 7 or Fu 8.
Approximately 1 in 10 Panthers coming of the production line were the Befehlspanzer. Starting in July 1944 all Panthers were installed with brackets so that, in the field, antennae and radios could be added.
The Befehlspanzers were used by staff officers, battalion commanders, and regimental commanders.
The Beobachtungspanzers were used by the staff officers, observation officers, and commanders in self propelled artillery regiments.