Debut: June 2017

 




   

.: Dave Garner's Sd.Kfz. 171 AusfA Panther

Brand:

Tamiya
# 35065

Scale:

1/35

Modelling Time:

3 weeks

PE/Resin Detail:

none

Comments:

"no comments"

Panther tank

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Panzerkampfwagen V Panther
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H26258, Panzer V 'Panther'.jpg
Panther Ausf. D tanks, 1943. The D model can best be recognized by the drum-shaped cupola.
Type Medium tank
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
In service
  • 1943–1945 (Nazi Germany)
  • 1944–1947 (France)
Used by Nazi Germany
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer MAN AG
Designed 1942
Manufacturer MAN, Daimler-Benz, MNH
Unit cost 117,100 Reichmarks[Notes 1]
Produced 1943–1945 (1946- 9 postwar for the British Army)
No. built about 6,000[1]
Variants Ausf. D, Ausf. A, Ausf. G, Befehlspanzer (command tank), Beobachtungspanzer (artillery observer vehicle), Bergepanther (armoured recovery vehicle)
Specifications
Weight 44.8 tonnes (44.1 long tons; 49.4 short tons)[2]
Length 6.87 m (22 ft 6 in)
8.66 metres (28 ft 5 in) gun forward[2]
Width 3.27 m (10 ft 9 in)[2]
3.42 m (11 ft 3 in) with skirts
Height 2.99 m (9 ft 10 in)
Crew 5 (driver, radio-operator/hull machine gunner, commander, gunner, loader)

Armour up to 80 mm (sloped at 35°)
Main
armament
Secondary
armament
Engine V-12 petrol Maybach HL230 P30[2]
700 PS (690 hp, 515 kW)
Power/weight 15.39 PS (11.5 kW)/tonne (13.77 hp/ton)
Transmission ZF AK 7-200. 7 forward 1 reverse[2]
Suspension double torsion bar, interleaved road wheels
Fuel capacity 720 litres (160 imp gal; 190 US gal)
Operational
range
Road: 200 km (120 mi)
Cross-country: 100 km (62 mi) [3]
Speed 55 km/h (34 mph) (first models)
46 km/h (29 mph) (later models)

The Panther was a German medium tank deployed during World War II on the Eastern and Western Fronts in Europe from mid-1943 to its end in 1945. It had the ordnance inventory designation of Sd.Kfz. 171. Until 27 February 1944, it was designated as the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther when Hitler ordered that the Roman numeral "V" be deleted. Contemporary English language reports sometimes refer to it as the Mark V.

The Panther was intended to counter the Soviet T-34 and to replace the Panzer III and Panzer IV. Nevertheless, it served alongside the Panzer IV and the heavier Tiger I until the end of the war. It is considered one of the best tanks of World War II for its excellent firepower and protection, although its reliability was less impressive.[4]

The Panther was a compromise. While having essentially the same engine as the Tiger I, it had more efficient frontal hull armour,[5] better gun penetration, was lighter and faster, and could traverse rough terrain better than the Tiger I. The trade-off was weaker side armour, which made it vulnerable to flanking fire. The Panther proved to be effective in open country and long range engagements, but did not provide enough high explosive firepower against infantry.[6]

The Panther was far cheaper to produce than the Tiger I, and only slightly more expensive than the Panzer IV. Key elements of the Panther design, such as its armour, transmission, and final drive, were simplifications made to improve production rates and address raw material shortages. The overall design remained somewhat over-engineered.[7][8] The Panther was rushed into combat at the Battle of Kursk despite numerous unresolved technical problems, leading to high losses due to mechanical failure. Most design flaws were rectified in the German retreat, though the bombing of production plants, increasing shortages of high quality alloys for critical components, shortage of fuel and training space, and the declining quality of crews all impacted the tanks's effectiveness.

 

Development and production

Design

Albert Speer examines a T-34 in June 1943

The Panther was born out of a project started in 1938 to replace the Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. The initial requirements of the VK 20 series called for a fully tracked vehicle weighing 20 tonnes and design proposals by Krupp, Daimler Benz and MAN ensued. These designs were abandoned and Krupp dropped out of the competition entirely as the requirements increased to a vehicle weighing 30 tonnes, a direct reaction to the encounters with the Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks and against the advice of Wa Pruef 6.[Notes 2][9] The T-34 outclassed the existing models of the Panzer III and IV.[10][11] At the insistence of General Heinz Guderian, a special tank commission was created to assess the T-34.[12]Among the features of the Soviet tank considered most significant were the sloping armour, which gave much improved shot deflection and also increased the effective armour thickness against penetration, the wide track, which improved mobility over soft ground, and the 76.2 mm (3.00 in) gun, which had good armour penetration and fired an effective high explosive round. Daimler-Benz (DB), which designed the successful Panzer III and Stug III, and Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg AG (MAN) were given the task of designing a new 30- to 35-tonne tank, designated VK 30.02, by April 1942.

Panther Ausf. G

The DB design resembled the T-34 in its hull and turret and was also to be powered by a diesel engine. It was also driven from the rear drive sprocket with the turret situated forward. The incorporation of a diesel engine promised increased operational range, reduced flammability and allowed for more efficient use of petroleum reserves. Hitler himself considered a diesel engine imperative for the new tank.[13] DB's proposal used an external leaf spring suspension, in contrast to the MAN proposal of twin torsion bars. Wa Pruef 6's opinion was that the leaf spring suspension was a disadvantage and that using torsion bars would allow greater internal hull width. It also opposed the rear drive because of the potential for track fouling. Daimler Benz still preferred the leaf springs over a torsion bar suspension as it resulted in a silhouette about 200 mm (7.9 in) shorter and rendered complex shock absorbers unnecessary. The employment of a rear drive provided additional crew space and also allowed for a better slope on the front hull, which was considered important in preventing penetration by armour-piercing shells.[9]

The MAN design embodied more a conventional configuration, with the transmission and drive sprocket in the front and a centrally mounted turret. It had a petrol engine and eight torsion-bar suspension axles per side. Because of the torsion bar suspension and the drive shaft running under the turret basket, the MAN Panther was higher and had a wider hull than the DB design. The Henschel firm's design concepts for their Tiger I tank's suspension/drive components, using its characteristic Schachtellaufwerk format – large, overlapping, interleaved road wheels with a "slack-track" using no return rollers for the upper run of track, also features shared with almost all German military half-track designs since the late 1930s – were repeated with the MAN design for the Panther. These multiple large, rubber-rimmed steel wheels distributed ground pressure more evenly across the track. The MAN proposal also complemented Rheinmetall's already designed turret modified from that of the VK 45.01 (H),[14] and used a virtually identical Maybach V12 engine to the Tiger I heavy tank's Maybach HL230 powerplant model.

The two designs were reviewed from January to March 1942. Reichminister Todt, and later, his replacement Albert Speer, both recommended the DB design to Hitler because of its advantages over the initial MAN design. At the final submission, MAN refined its design, having learned from the DB proposal apparently through a leak by a former employee in the Wa Pruef 6, senior engineer Heinrich Ernst Kniepkamp and others.[13] On 5 March 1942, Albert Speer reported that Hitler considered the Daimler-Benz design to be superior to MAN's design.[15] A review by a special commission appointed by Hitler in May 1942 selected the MAN design. Hitler approved this decision after reviewing it overnight. One of the principal reasons given for this decision was that the MAN design used an existing turret designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig, while the DB design would have required a brand new turret and engine to be designed and produced, delaying the commencement of production.[16] This time-saving measure compromised the subsequent development of the design.[17]

Albert Speer recounts in his autobiography Inside the Third Reich

Since the Tiger had originally been designed to weigh fifty tons but as a result of Hitler's demands had gone up to fifty seven tons, we decided to develop a new thirty ton tank whose very name, Panther, was to signify greater agility. Though light in weight, its motor was to be the same as the Tiger's, which meant it could develop superior speed. But in the course of a year Hitler once again insisted on clapping so much armor on it, as well as larger guns, that it ultimately reached forty eight tons, the original weight of the Tiger.[18]

Production

A mild steel prototype of the MAN design was produced by September 1942 and, after testing at Kummersdorf, was officially accepted. It was put into immediate production. The start of production was delayed, mainly because of a shortage of specialized machine tools needed for the machining of the hull. Finished tanks were produced in December and suffered from reliability problems as a result. The demand for this tank was so high that the manufacturing was soon expanded beyond MAN to include Daimler-Benz (Berlin-Marienfelde, former DMG plant), Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen Hanover (MNH, subsidiary of Eisenwerk Wülfel/Hanomag) and Henschel & Sohn in Kassel.

The initial production target was 250 tanks per month at the MAN plant Nuremberg. This was increased to 600 per month in January 1943. Despite determined efforts, this figure was never reached due to disruption by Allied bombing, and manufacturing and resource bottlenecks. Production in 1943 averaged 148 per month. In 1944, it averaged 315 a month (3,777 having been built that year), peaking with 380 in July and ending around the end of March 1945, with at least 6,000 built in total. Front-line combat strength peaked on 1 September 1944 at 2,304 tanks, but that same month a record number of 692 tanks were reported lost.[1]

Allied bombing was first directed at the common chokepoint for both Panther and Tiger production: the Maybach engine plant. This was bombed the night of 27/28 April 1944 and production was halted for five months. A second factory had already been planned, the Auto Union Siegmar plant (the former Wanderer car factory), and this came on line in May 1944.[19] The targeting of Panther factories began with a bombing raid on the DB plant on 6 August 1944, and again on the night of 23/24 August. MAN was struck on 10 September, 3 October and 19 October 1944, and then again on 3 January and 20/21 February 1945. MNH was not attacked until 14 and 28 March 1945.[20]

In addition to interfering with tank production goals, the bombing forced a steep drop in the production of spare parts, which as a percentage of tank production dropped from 25–30 percent in 1943 to 8 percent in late 1944. This compounded the problems with reliability and the numbers of operational Panthers, as tanks in the field had to be cannibalized for parts.[21]

Click on each image for a closer look


Great Dirt, Dave!

Box art:

Production figures

Panther tank production line

The Panther was the third most produced German armoured fighting vehicle, after the Sturmgeschütz III assault gun/tank destroyer at 9,408 units, and the Panzer IV tank at 8,298 units.

WANT MORE INFO? - GO TO WIKIPEDIA!

Thanks Wikipedia!

Web site contents Copyright Eastern Suburbs Scale Modelling Club 2017, All rights reserved.