Heavy Tanks Of Ww2

German Tanks of World War II in ColorDeveloped during the 1930s in contravention to the Treaty of Versailles, German tanks, along with the panzer units that operated them, were counted among the most feared conventional weapons of World War II. The story of German tank evolution, firsthand accounts of savage tank battles, tank comparisons, explanations of roles, and detailed armor and armament specifications combine with modern and rare period color photography to reveal the stories behind Germany's light armored support vehicles, light and medium Panzer tanks, and the behemoth Tiger tanks View German Tanks of World War II in Color CLICK HERE

The Panther tank first saw mass action around the Kursk on 5 July 1943. Early tanks were plagued with mechanical problems: the track and suspension often broke and the engine was dangerously prone to over-heating and bursting into flames. Initially, more Panthers were disabled by their own failings than by enemy action. For example, the XLVIII Panzer Corps reported on July 10, 1943, that they had 38 Panthers operational and 131 awaiting repair, out of about 200 they had started with on July 5. Heinz Guderian, who had not wanted Hitler to order them into combat so soon, later remarked about the early Panther's performance in the battle: "they burnt too easily, the fuel and oil systems were insufficiently protected, and the crews were lost due to lack of training." However, Guderian also stated that the firepower and frontal armor were good.
While many of the Panthers used at Kursk were damaged or suffered from mechanical difficulties, only a small number were lost for good and the tanks also achieved success, destroying several Soviet tanks. After Kursk, the problems of early Ausf. D models were fixed, making the Panther tank a formidable tank. A German comparison of German tanks with the new at the time Russian T-34/85 and JS-II 122 mm, from March 23 of 1944, stated that: "The Panther tank is far superior to the T-34/85 for frontal fire Panther tank Ausf G could penetrate frontal armor of T-34/85 at 2000m, while T-34/85 could penetrate frontal armor of Panther tank Ausf G at 500 m, approximately equal for side and rear fire, superior to the JS1 for frontal fire and inferior for side and rear fire." In 1943 and 1944, Panther tank was able to destroy any allied enemy tank in existence at ranges of 2,000 m, while in general veteran Panther tank crews reported 90 percent hit rate at ranges up to 1,000 m
According to US Army Ground Forces statistics, destruction of a single Panther tank was achieved after destruction of an average of 5 M4 Shermans or some 9 T-34s. The Panther tank remained a major German tank until the end of the war. Later versions of the Panzer IV with long 75 mm KwK 40 L/48 guns were slightly cheaper to produce and more reliable and so it remained in production alongside the Panther tank. However the main reason for the prolonged Panzer IV production was that the re-organization of the German tank industry to manufacture Panthers rather than Panzer IVs would have resulted in such a temporary decrease in overall tank production that it would have been unbearable for Germany when the tide of war had already turned.
Panthers saw the most service on the Eastern Front, though by the D-Day landings of June 1944, Panzer units stationed in France were also receiving Panther tank tanks, which were used to good effect on that front. Approximately half of the German tanks in France were Panthers. Around the time of the Battle of the Bulge a number of Panther tank tanks were configured to look roughly like an M10 Wolverine, as part of a larger operation that involved para-dropping soldiers disguised as Americans, and other activities. Captured Panthers proved to be extremely popular vehicles among Soviet troops, who received them as rewards for extraordinary achievements in combat, and who sought contrary to regulations that captured Tigers and Panthers should not be repaired but abandoned and destroyed after mechanical failure to keep them in service as long as possible. Even the humorous instruction manual for German Panther tank crews, called the Pantherfibel Panther tank Primer; was translated into Russian and provided to crews of captured Panthers.

German Forces History of the Germany Army WW2