German World War II armored fighting vehicles gallery


Medium tank armed with 75 mm gun

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Soon after the invasion of Soviet union, the Germans recognized that their current tanks are not able to effectively fight advanced soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks. New type of tank was needed to return the superiority to Wehrmacht. Germans decided to take inspiration in the T-34 design. It was clear that the new German tank should have a slopped front armor, strong long barreled gun, wider tracks and bigger roadwheels then older types.

Daimler-Benz and MAN prepared competitive proposals for the new tank design. Army selected the one by MAN company. First two prototypes were tested in the spring of 1942 and a „zero“ series of twenty more vehicles followed. After thorough tests, the army accepted the new tank and a mass production started in December 1942. There were 3 production versions of the Panther tank, labeled Ausf. A, Ausf. D and Ausf. G. They differed in several details but the basic characteristics remained practically the same.

Panther had a mass of almost 45 tons. It was powered by a 23 liter Maybach HL 230 P30 engine with maximum output of 700 hp. Top speed on the road was some 46 km/h. Panther was armed with very effective 75 mm KwK 42 L/70 gun. Production continued till the end of war giving a total of almost six thousand tanks.