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Panzerkampfwagen IV

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The Panzerkampfwagen IV (Pz.Kpfw. IV) commonly known as the Panzer IV was a medium tank developed in Nazi Germany 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 originally intended to engage enemy armor—that function was performed by the lighter Panzer III. However, with the flaws of pre-war doctrine becoming apparent and in the face of Soviet T-34 tanks, the Panzer IV soon assumed the tank-fighting role of its increasingly obsolete 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 weapon, and the Brummbär self-propelled gun.

Robust and reliable, it saw service in all combat theaters involving Germany and has the distinction of being 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, often made in response to the appearance of new Allied tanks, 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 retrograde measures to simplify and speed manufacture.

Pzkpfw IV variants in Forgotten Hope Secret Weapon
Ausf. F1 Ausf. F2 Ausf. H Ausf. J Ausf.H mit 7,5 cm Rfk. 43 & 3cm MK 103


Ausf. DEdit

Pzkpfw IV Ausf. D
Sd.Kfz. 161
Panzer IV Ausf. D
General Historical Information
Place of origin Germany
Manufacturer Krupp-Gruson
Produced In October 1939 - May 1941
Category Medium tank
Debut in FHSW Debut in FH
Speed 42 km/h
Armour 210px
Main armament 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24
122 shells
Coaxial weapon 7.92 mm MG 34
17 x 150 rounds
General Ingame Information
Used by Germany
Crew in‑game 2
Seat 2 7.92 mm MG 34
8 x 250 rounds
Seat 3 Passenger Seat
Seat 4 Passenger Seat
Historical Picture
PanzerIVAusfD


After assembling 40 Ausf. Cs, the engine was replaced with the improved HL 120TRM. The last of the 140 Ausf. Cs was produced in August 1939, and production changed to the Ausf. D. This version, of which 248 vehicles were produced, reintroduced the hull machine gun and changed the turret's internal gun mantlet to an external one. The protection was upgraded by increasing side armor to 20 mm.

In response to the difficulty of penetrating British Matilda Infantry tanks during the Battle of France, the Germans had tested a 50 mm gun—based on the 5 cm Pak 38 L/60 anti-tank gun on a Panzer IV Ausf. D. However, with the rapid German victory in France, the original order of 80 tanks was canceled before they entered production.

Ausf. F1Edit

Pzkpfw IV Ausf. F
Pzkpfw IV Ausf F1
Sd.Kfz. 161
Panzer IV Ausf. F1
General Historical Information
Place of origin Germany
Manufacturer Krupp-Gruson
Vomag
Nibelungenwerke A.G.
Produced In April 1941 - March 1942
Category Medium tank
Debut in FHSW Debut in Forgotten Hope
Speed 42 km/h
Armour PzIVF1armour
Main armament 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24
122 shells
Coaxial weapon 7.92 mm MG 34
17 x 150 rounds
General Ingame Information
Used by Germany
Crew in‑game 2
Seat 2 7.92 mm MG 34
8 x 250 rounds
Seat 3 Passenger Seat
Seat 4 Passenger Seat
Historical Picture
PanzerIVAusff1


In April 1941 production of the Panzer IV Ausf. F started. It featured 50 mm single-plate armor on the turret and hull, as opposed to the appliqué armor added to the Ausf. E, and a further increase in side armor to 30 mm. The weight of the vehicle was now 22.3 tonnes, which required a corresponding modification of track width from 380 to 400 mm to reduce ground pressure. The wider tracks also facilitated the fitting of ice sprags, and the rear idler wheel and front sprocket were modified. The designation Ausf. F was changed in the meantime to Ausf.F1, after the distinct new model, the Ausf. F2, appeared. A total of 464 Ausf. F (later F1) tanks were produced from April 1941 to March 1942, of which 25 were converted to the F2 on the production line.

Ausf. F1 PillboxEdit

Ausf. F1 Pillbox
Pzkpfw IV Ausf F1 turret
General Historical Information
Place of origin Germany
Category Turret Bunker
Debut in FHSW Debut in FHSW
Main armament 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24
122 shells
Coaxial weapon 7.92 mm MG 34
17 x 150 rounds
General Ingame Information
Used by Germany
Crew in‑game 2
Seat 2 Commander Seat
Historical Picture
German turret at Omaha Beach



Ausf. F2Edit

Pzkpfw IV Ausf. F2
Sd.Kfz. 161/1
Panzer IV Ausf. F2
General Historical Information
Place of origin Germany
Manufacturer Krupp-Gruson
Vomag
Nibelungenwerke A.G.
Produced In March 1942 - May 1942
Category Medium tank
Debut in FHSW Debut in FH
Speed 40 km/h
Armour PzIVF2armour
Main armament 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/43
87 shells
Coaxial weapon 7.92 mm MG 34
17 x 150 rounds
General Ingame Information
Used by Germany
Italy
Crew in‑game 4
Seat 2 Commander Seat
Seat 3 7.92 mm MG 34
8 x 250 rounds
Seat 4 Passenger Seat
Seat 5 Passenger Seat
Historical Picture
PanzerIvF2

On May 26, 1941, mere weeks before Operation Barbarossa, during a conference with Hitler, it was decided to improve the Panzer IV's main armament. Krupp was awarded the contract to integrate again the same 50 mm Pak 38 L/60 gun into the turret. The first prototype was to be delivered by November 15, 1941. Within months, the shock of encountering the Soviet T-34 medium and KV-1 heavy tanks necessitated a new, much more powerful tank gun. In November 1941, the decision to up-gun the Panzer IV to the 50mm gun was dropped, and instead Krupp was contracted in a joint development to modify Rheinmetall's pending 75 mm anti-tank gun design, the 75 mm Pak 40. Because the recoil length was too long for the tank's turret, the recoil mechanism and chamber were shortened. This resulted in the 75 mm KwK 40 L/43 and it was the only Panzer IV with this gun with the ball shaped muzzle break. When firing an armor-piercing shot, the gun's muzzle velocity was increased from 430 m/s to 990 m/s. Initially, the gun was mounted with a single-chamber, ball-shaped muzzle brake, which provided just under 50% of the recoil system's braking ability. Firing the Panzergranate 39, the KwK 40 L/43 could penetrate 77 mm (3.03 in) of steel armor at a range of 1,830 m (6,000 ft). The Ausf. F2 is the only version using the ball-shaped muzzle brake! The tank increased in weight to 23.6 tonnes. One 175 Ausf. F2s were produced from March 1942 to July 1942. Three months after beginning production, the Panzer IV Ausf. F2 was renamed Ausf. G.

Ausf. HEdit

Pzkpfw Ausf. H
Sd.Kfz. 161/2
Pzkpfw IV Ausf H
General Historical Information
Place of origin Germany
Designer Krupp
Manufacturer Krupp-Gruson
Vomag
Nibelungenwerke
Produced In April 1943 - July 1944
Category Medium tank
Debut in FHSW Debut in FH (Without Night Vision)
0.51 (With Night Vision)
Speed 38 km/h
Armour PzIVHarmour
Main armament 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48
(87 rounds)
Coaxial weapon 7.92 mm MG 34
(150 rounds)
General Ingame Information
Used by Germany
Crew in‑game 3
Special abilities Night Vision available
Seat 2 7.92 mm MG 34
(250 rounds)
Seat 3 7.92 mm MG 34
(250 rounds)
Seat 4 Passenger Seat
Seat 5 Passenger Seat
Historical Picture
PanzerIVAusfh


The next version, the Ausf. H, began production in April 1943 and received the designation Sd. Kfz. 161/2. This variant saw the integrity of the glacis armor improved by manufacturing it as a single 80-millimetre plate. To prevent adhesion of magnetic anti-tank mines, which the Germans feared would be used in large numbers by the Allies, Zimmerit paste was added to all the vertical surfaces of the tank's armor. The vehicle's side and turret were further protected by the addition of 5 mm side-skirts and 8 mm turret skirts. During the Ausf. H's production run its rubber-tired return rollers were replaced with cast steel; the hull was fitted with triangular supports for the easily-damaged side-skirts. A hole in the roof, designed for the Nahverteidigungswaffe, was plugged by a circular armored plate due to shortages of this weapon. These modifications meant that the tank's weight jumped to 25 tonnes, reducing its speed, a situation not improved by the decision to adopt the Panzer III's six-speed SSG 77 transmission, which was inferior to that of earlier-model Panzer IVs.


Ausf. JEdit

Pzkpfw IV Ausf. J
Sd.Kfz. 161/2
Pzkpfw IV Ausf J
General Historical Information
Place of origin Germany
Manufacturer Nibelungenwerke
Vomag
Produced In June 1944 - March 1945
Category Medium tank
Debut in FHSW v0.42
Speed 38 km/h
Main armament 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48
(48 rounds)
Coaxial weapon 7.92 mm MG 34
(150 rounds)
General Ingame Information
Used by Germany
Crew in‑game 4
Ammunition Panzergranate 40 APCR
Special abilities Night Vision available
Seat 2 7.92 mm MG 34
(250 rounds)
Seat 3 7.92 mm MG 42
{50 rounds)
Seat 4 Nahverteidigungswaffe
10 x HE grenade
Seat 5 Passenger Seat
Seat 6 Passenger Seat
Historical Picture
PanzerIVAusfj


Despite addressing the mobility problems introduced by the previous model, the final production version of the Panzer IV - the Ausf. J — was considered a retrograde from the Ausf. H. Born of German necessity to replace heavy losses, the Ausf H was simplified to speed the production. It was the same Ausf H fuselage but with less details and parts. The electric turret drive with auxiliary generator set was remove from the design and later, since July 1944, replace by a extra 200 litre fuel tank wich increased the fuel capacity to 680 litres. By removing the electric turret drive, the crew needs to travers the turret by hand wich slows down the turret speed. However, the fuels tanks give mechanical problems so they need to be fixed and that happens in September 1944 with new fuel tanks. As the production continued, more modifications were made including. Such luke deleting of the turret visor and pistol ports, installation of Pilze 2-ton crane mount sockets, introduction of Flammentoeter mufflers, conversion from plate Schürzen to Thoma type wire-mesh, reduction to 3 return rollers per side, installation of Naehverteidigungswaffe close defence system and ceasing application of Zimmerit paste. In addition to new modifications, numerous changes made to Ausf G and H were also applied to Ausf J. Unfortunately this was not applied to the model in FHSW! Only the Schürzen are been replaced, the pistol ports are been removed, upgraded with rge Flammentoeter mufflers, the machinegun on the top of the roof is a MG 42 and not a MG 34 and the Nahverteidigungswaffe have been built in the turret.


External linksEdit

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