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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Jagdpanzer V Jagdpanther "Hunting Panther", SdKfz 173

Photos

Jagdpanzer V Jagdpanther "Hunting Panther" tank destroyer:
Germany's Jagdpanther 'Hunting Panther' tank destroyer

Jagdpanzer V Jagdpanther "Hunting Panther" tank destroyer:
Germany's Jagdpanther 'Hunting Panther' tank destroyer

Dragon Armor, 60005:
Dragon Diecast 1/72 Armor German Jagdpanther 60005

Dragon Armor, 60006:
Dragon Diecast 1/72 Armor German Jagdpanther 60006
Dragon Armor, 60007:
Dragon Diecast 1/72 Armor German Jagdpanther 60007

Dragon Armor, 60008:
Dragon Diecast 1/72 Armor German Jagdpanther 60008
Dragon Armor, 60037:
Dragon Armor 1/72 Diecast Armor, 60037, German Jagdpanther

Dragon Armor, 60038:
Dragon 1/72 Diecast Armor 60038, German Jagdpanther
Easy Models, 36241:
Easy Model 36241 German Jagdpanther 1/72 Model

Design

Specifications for a heavy assault tank that would use the long 8.8 cm PaK 43/3 L/71 mounted on a Panther chassis was given on October 2, 1942 / early 1943 / mid-1943. The Panther chassis was preferred over one based on the Tiger, as the Elefant was disappointing, and the Panzer III/IV chassis was too light to handle the weight of the gun and the armor necessary to protect it.

On October 20, 1943, MIAG completed the prototype and it was show to Hitler.

On February 27, 1944, Hitler ordered that it be called the Jagdpanther.

Crew

The driver had a periscope beside the gun mount and the rest of the crew had vision through periscopes in the roof.

The crew was rather cramped with the large breech mechanism of the 88 mm PaK 43/3 and ammunition, but the crews still seemed to like it. The driver was on the left, and the radio and hull machine gun operator was on the right. Behind them were the gunner and loader. The commander was all the way in the rear.

Platoon commanders would have extra radios and two aerials at the rear of the superstructure.

Superstructure

The front and side armor plates were extended up to form the superstructure.

Many of the Jagdpanthers had Zimmerit (antitank paste) on the outside.

Chassis

The chassis that was used was the Panther Ausf A / Panther Ausf G. It's Saukopf mantlet was 100 mm.

Main Armament

In the rear of the superstructure was the main hatch that the crew could use to enter and exit the vehicle, but also for loading the long 88 mm ammunition. The gun could destroy just about all the Allied tanks quite easily if a hit was scored.

Ammunition Type Weight Velocity Range ° Penetration
100 yards 1,640 yards / 500 m
AP 22.4 lb 3,281'/s   0 9.4" 7.17" / 182 mm
HE     9,000      

Late models had barrels that were in two parts allowing for easier maintenance.

Mantlets

There were two variations on the mantlets used, one was large and bolted on, and the other was a smaller collar.

Tank Destroyer Armament Performance

Tank Destroyer Armament Performance

 

Prototype

The prototype was known as the Panzerjäger Panther.

Production

  • Jagdpanther: 230, 382, 392
    • Production: 1943 - 1944, January 1944 - March 1945, February 1944 - ?, February 1944 - December 1944, February 1944 - April 1945, December 1944 - April 1945 , ? - April 1945
      • 1943: 2
      • 1944: 228
    • Manufacturers: MIAG at Braunschweig, MIAG at Brunswick, Brandenburg Eisenwerk Kirchmöser at Brandenburg, Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen-Hannover (MNH) starting in December 1944
      • Armor: Brandenburgische Eisenwerk Kirchmöser of Brandenburg/Havel
      • Main Armament: Dortmund/Hyrder Hüttenverein of Lippstadt

Production Comparison

Tank Destroyer Production Comparison

Variants

  • Panzerjäger Panther: Prototype.
  • Jagdpanther V; 8.8cm Pak 43/3 auf Panzerjäger Panther; Jagdpanther; SdKfz 173: Production model.
  • Jagdpanther with 12.8 cm: Design only. Was to mount a 12.8 cm Pak 80 L/55.
  • Flakpanzer: Design only. Was to mount an 8.8 cm Flak 41 in a turret.
  • Flakpanzer "Coelian": Design only. Was to mount a dual 3.7 cm Flak gun.

Usage

The Jagdpanthers were intended to be deployed in battalion sized units to blunt the enemy's tank attacks.

First issued to the 559th and 654th Panzerjägerabteilungen in June 1944. They were also issued, starting in January 1945, to seven different Panzer Divisions, a Panzer brigade, and the Führer Grenadier Division.

A battalion was designated to have 30 Jagdpanthers.

France

The 654th was only unit in the west in June 1944. On June 6, 1944, it was at the Mailly-le-Camp training ground, near Paris. The crews had just received their Jagdpanthers. By June 18, only two companies received their complement of fourteen Jagdpanthers. Only the 2nd Company fought in Normandy, not arriving until July 28, 1944.

The 2nd was crucial in the stopping of Operation "Bluecoat", that was launched by the British XXX Corps. Just south of Caumont, the British 15th Scottish Division, with support from the 6th Guards Tank Brigade, went through the weakened German lines towards Hill 309. Three Jagdpanthers attacked the Churchills, and in two minutes, eleven Churchills were knocked out. The Jagdpanthers then withdrew because of the superior numbers of Allied tanks.

Only two of the 2nd Company's vehicles made it back across the River Seine.

Ardennes

51 Jagdpanthers were assigned to the offensive in the Ardennes. Typically for each of the independent army heavy anti-tank battalions, there was 1 company of Jagdpanthers and the other two had field assault guns or Jagdpanzer IV/70s. Six of these battalions were used.

The 560th Army Heavy Anti-tank Battalion, with 25 Jagdpanthers and 25 Jagdpanzer IV/70(V)s provided support to the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend.

Operation Northwind

During the Ardennes offensive the 654th Army Heavy Anti-tank Battalion was taken from reserve and redeployed to Alsace-Lorraine on December 31, 1944. The goal of the offensive was to retake Strasbourg in a pincer attack. There were eight Jagdpanthers with the 654th and advanced with the southern pincer.

On February 6, 1945, at Wolfgantzen, near Colmar, a Jagdpanther was waiting in ambush. However, Sherman tanks from the 1st French Army succeeded in surprising it, and shot off it's tracks. Engine failure and damaged tracks forced crews to abandon two Jagdpanthers. A fourth was recovered with a Bergepanther.

By the end of the offensive there were only four Jagdpanthers in the 654th. By March 1945, the battalion was completely destroyed.

Specifications

  Jagdpanther
Crew Commander, gunner, 2 loaders, radio operator/machine gunner, driver
5, 6
Radio FuG5, FuG2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 101,200 lb, 101,411 lb
46,000 kg
44.78 tons, 45.27 tons, 45.3 tons, 45.5 ton, 46 tons, 51.3 tons
Length w/gun 32' 4", 32' 5.7", 32' 5.8", 32' 8"
9.86 m, 9.9 m
Length w/o gun 22.6', 22' 6", 22' 6.5", 22' 7"
6.87 m
Height 8.9', 8' 10.9", 8' 11"
2.715 m, 2.72 m
Width 10' 8.7", 10' 9", 11.2', 11' 2.6"
3.27 m, 3.28 m, 3.42 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 21.2"
Ground contact length 154"
Ground pressure 12.8 psi
Armament  
Main 1: 88 mm
1: 88 mm PaK 43
1: 88 mm PaK 43/3
1: 88 mm PaK 43/3 L/71
Secondary  
MG 1: MG
1 or 2: 7.92 mm MG
1: 7.92 mm MG34
1: 7.92 mm MG34
2: 7.92 mm / 0.312" MG
OR 1: 7.92 mm MG42
MG - hull 1: 7.92 mm MG34
1: 7.9 mm MG34
Side arms 2: machine pistols
Quantity  
Main 57, 60, 57 or 60
28: AP; 29: HE
Secondary  
MG 300, 600
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 80, 80 - 120, 100
Front: 80, 3.2"@55°
Side: 60, 2"@35°
Hull Front, Upper 80, 80@55°, 80@35°
100@55°
Hull Front, Lower 60@55°, 60@35°
Hull Sides, Upper 40@90°, 50@30°, 60@35°
Hull Sides, Lower 40@0°
60@0°
Hull Rear 40@35° & 40@25°, 40@60°
Hull Top 25@83° + 16@90°
30@80°
30@90°
Hull Bottom 16-25@90°
30@90°
Superstructure Front 80@35°
Mantlet: 100
Mantlet: 100, Saukopfblende
Superstructure Sides 50@60°
Superstructure Rear 40@60°
Superstructure Top 17@15°
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach,
Maybach HL 230 P30
Maybach HL230
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders V-12
Capacity  
Net HP 600 - 700, 700, 700@3,000 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.8:1
Transmission (Type) AK 7-400
Synchromesh
7 forward, 1 reverse
Steering Discontinuous regenerative, giving 1 radius of turn for each gear engaged
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric and inertia
Electrical system Starting: 24-volt
Normal: 12-volt
Ignition Magneto
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 154 gallons, 193 gallons (in 5 tanks)
700 liters
Road consumption 0.67 mpg
100 km/333 liters
Cross country consumption 0.34 mpg
Performance  
Traverse 11°
11° left, 11° right
13° left, 13° right
Speed - Road 28 mph, 28.6 mph, 29 mph, 34 mph, 34.2 mph
45 kph 46 kph, 55 kph
Speed - Cross Country 15 mph, 16 - 19 mph
24 kph
Range - Road 99.4 miles, 124 miles, 130 miles, 131 miles
160 km, 210 km
Range - Cross Country 62 miles, 87 miles
140 km
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -8° to +14°
-8° to +15°
Fording depth 5' 7"
1.7 m
Trench crossing 6' 3"
1.9 m
Vertical obstacle 2' 11", 2' 11.4"
0.9 m
Climbing ability 35° (70%) slope
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar
Wheels each side 8x2, overlapped and interleaved
Return rollers each side 1
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length  
Width 2' 2"
Diameter  
Number of links 87
Pitch 5.9"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8.4'

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. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. New Vanguard 88 mm PaK 43/36/37/41 and PaK 43 1936-45, John Norris, 2002
  5. Panther Variants 1942-1945, Hilary Doyle and Tom Jentz, 1997
  6. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  7. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  8. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  9. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  10. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H. L. Doyle, 1973
  11. AFV #10 Panzerkampfwagen V Panther, Chris Ellis and Peter Chamberlain
  12. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
  13. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site