Medium tank destroyer
German World War II armored fighting vehicles gallery
Jagdpanther was a very successful installation of highly effective 88 mm PaK43 AT gun on a Panther tank chassis. Its development was ordered in August 1942 and the first prototype was ready in October or November 1943. The machine was promptly accepted by the army and serial production started in January or February of 1944.
The original rotating tank turret was replaced with a fully enclosed fixed casemate. It had a sharply sloped 80 mm frontal armor. The above mention anti-tank gun was installed in the center of the front wall. The massive armored gun mount allowed only a limited traverse of 11 degrees to each side. Considering the long range fire abilities, this was not a vital drawback. Secondary weapon was a machine gun installed in a ball mount to the right of the main gun.
Jagdpanther had a mass of 45,5 metric tons. Powered by 700 hp Maybach HL 230 P30 engine, it could achieve a respectable top speed of 55 km/h. It was produced until the end of war with total production score of 415 vehicles. There were two production versions which differed only in details such as gun mantlet design or number of vision ports. Jagdpanther had a very balanced levels of protection, firepower and speed and some consider it to be the best tank destroyer of the entire WWII.