After preparing for several years, assembly of the Panzer IV reproduction began on March 2nd, 10 years to the day from the start of the Panzer III.
The Panzerkampfwagen IV (PzKpfw IV), commonly known as the Panzer IV, was a German medium tank developed in the late 1930s and used extensively during the Second World War. Its ordnance inventory designation was Sd.Kfz. 161.
Designed as an infantry support tank, the Panzer IV was not intended to engage enemy armor—that role being allocated to the Panzer III. However, with the inadequacy of the Panzer III becoming apparent and in the face of Soviet T-34 tanks, the Panzer IV soon assumed the original role of its increasingly vulnerable cousin. The most widely manufactured and deployed German tank of the Second World War, the Panzer IV was used as the base for many other fighting vehicles, including the Sturmgeschütz IV assault gun, Jagdpanzer IV tank destroyer, the Wirbelwind self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, and the Brummbär self-propelled gun.
The Panzer IV saw service in all combat theaters involving Germany and was the only German tank to remain in continuous production throughout the war, with over 8,800 produced between 1936 and 1945. Upgrades and design modifications, intended to counter new threats, extended its service life. Generally, these involved increasing the Panzer IV’s armor protection or upgrading its weapons, although during the last months of the war, with Germany’s pressing need for rapid replacement of losses, design changes also included simplifications to speed up the manufacturing process.
The Panzer IV was generally succeeded by the Panther medium tank, which was introduced to counter the T-34. The Panzer IV was the most widely exported tank in German service, with around 300 sold to Finland, Romania, Spain and Bulgaria. After the war, Syria procured Panzer IVs from France and Czechoslovakia, which saw combat in the 1967 Six-Day War. Some 8,553 Panzer IVs of all versions were built during World War II, with only the StuG III assault-gun/tank destroyer’s 10,086 vehicle production run exceeding the Panzer IV’s total among Axis armored forces.
Manufacturer: Krupp, Vomag, Nibelungenwerk
Number built: ≈8,553
Specifications (Pz IV Ausf H, 1943)
Weight: 25.0 tonnes (27.6 short tons; 24.6 long tons)
Length: 5.92 metres (19 ft 5 in) 7.02 metres (23 ft 0 in) gun forward
Width: 2.88 m (9 ft 5 in)
Height: 2.68 m (8 ft 10 in)
Crew: 5 (commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator/bow machine-gunner)
Armor: Front 80 mm (3.1 in)
Side: 30 mm (1.2 in)
Sideskirts: 5 mm (0.20 in)
Rear: 20 mm (0.79 in)
Main armament: 7.5 cm (2.95 in) KwK 40 L/48 main gun (87 rds.)
Secondary armament: 2 × 7.92 mm MG 34 machine guns (3,150 rds.)
Engine: 12-cylinder Maybach HL 120 TRM V12 300 PS (296 hp, 220 kW)
Power/weight: 12 PS/t
Transmission: (Synchromesh ZF SSG 77) 6 forward and 1 reverse ratios
Suspension: Leaf spring
Fuel capacity: 470 l (120 US gal)
Operational range: 200 km (120 mi)
Speed: 38 km/h (24 mph) to 42 km/h (26 mph) max speed, 25 km/h (16 mph) max sustained road speed 16 km/h (9.9 mph) off road