Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tanker's Tuesday: JAGDPANZER IV

A new generation of tank hunters

The long development of tank hunters, at first based on whatever chassis were available, Panzer-I, II, Panzer 38(t), then STUG-III and IVs, ended with a significant battlefield experience in 1943. But at that time, this experience led to devise yet another generation of tank hunters, purpose-built, well armored, with a very low profile. This last generation encompassed the Jagdpanther, the Hetzer, and the Jagpanzer-IV. At first, the new tank destroyer was named «neu Sturmgeschutz» («new assault gun"), still for the ordnance a self-propelled (AT) gun. By mid-1943 Vomag AG has proposed a new tank destroyer based on the chassis of a medium tank Pz.Kpfw. IV. The only version to emerge for production was the Jagdpanzer IV Ausf F, Sd.Kfz. 162 for the ordnance, with a 7.5 cm Pak 39 L/48 main gun. The decision to not built a tank hunter on the Panzer III chassis was dictated by practical considerations. The latter was not tough enough to carry more longer guns and massive armour, whereas the former was then well-produced and thanks to Albert Speer's production management, simplified and cheaper.

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