Jagdpanzer IV, Ausf.F

The Jagdpanzer IV was the first of a series of highly effective tank destroyers developed in Germany from 1943, each of which carried a powerful gun in a low chassis protected by well sloped armour.

While the StuG had originally been developed as a close support weapon to work with the infantry, and had later been modified to become a powerful anti-tank weapon, the Jagdpanzer IV was designed from the start as a tank killer.

The first wooden model of the Jagdpanzer (or Panzerjäger) was completed in May 1943, and a soft steel prototype was presented to Hitler on 20 October 1943. The final prototype was ready in December 1943, and production began in January 1944. Vomag were responsible for production of the Jagdpanzer, producing it alongside the Panzer IV until May 1944 and then concentrating on the new weapon.

The Jagdpanzer had the same basic hull as the Panzer IV, although the flat front of the Panzer IV was replaced by a sharp nose. The superstructure was built of sloping armour plates. The frontal armour was originally 60mm thick, 20mm thinner than on contemporary Panzer IVs, but was sloped at 50 degrees, making it much more effective. In May 1944 the frontal armour was thickened to 80mm, making it even more powerful.

The Jagdpanzer IV was armed with the 75mm Pak39 L/48 gun, protected by the “pig’s head” mantlet (thus the alternative designation of Panzerjäger 39). A conical hatch to the left of the gun protected one of the two machine guns originally installed.

The Jagdpanzer IV was replaced by the Panzer IV/70(A) and Panzer IV/70(V), armed with the longer 75mm KwK42 L/70 gun, while the same basic design was also used to produce the Jagdpanzer 38(t) “Hetzer”

The Jagdpanzer IV began to enter service with the tank hunter detachments of the Panzer divisions in March 1944, often replacing the earlier Marder. As with the StuG III the Jagdpanzer IV was an effective defensive weapon, especially when the direction of the enemy advance was known, but was less useful in more fluid situations where its inability to turn rapidly could make it more vulnerable – the main gun could only traverse 20 degrees, so to hit any target more than 10 degrees to the left or right the entire vehicle had to be turned.

The Jagdpanzer IV fought in Italy with the Hermann Goering Division, in Russia with the 4th and 5th Panzer Divisions, and in Normandy with Panzerlehr Division, the 9th Panzer Division and the 12th SS Panzer Division.

Names
Sturmgeschütz neuer Art mit 7.5cm PaK L/48 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV
Gerät 821
Sd Kfz 162
Jagdpanzer IV Ausf F. 7.5cm Pak 39 L/48
Jagdpanzer IV (tank destroyer)
Panzerjaeger 39 (tank hunter)

Stats
Number produced:  769
Produced: January –November 1944
Hull Length: 6.85m
Hull Width: 3.17m
Height: 1.85m
Crew: 4
Weight: 24-25 tons   
Engine: Maybach HL120TRM
Max Speed: 40km/hr
Max Range:  210km
Armament: One 7.5cm PaK39 L/48 and two 7.92mm MG42s

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Superstructure

60mm/ 3.0in

30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

20mm/ 0.8in

Hull (upper)

60mm/ 3.0in

30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

10mm/ 0.4in

Hull (lower)

50mm/ 2.6in

30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

12mm/ 0.9in
+ 10mm/ 0.4in

Gun mantlet

80mm/ 3.2in

 

 

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 August 2008), Jagdpanzer IV, Ausf.F , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_jagdpanzer_IV.html

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