Panzer IV/70 (V)

The Panzer IV/70 (V) was an improved version of the Jagdpanzer IV, armed with a Pak42 L/70 gun in place of the shorter gun used on the earlier vehicle.

Work on the Panzer IV/70 began in 1943, and on 26 January 1944 a Vomag designed Panzerjäger armed with the 7.5cm L/70 gun was part of a display of new army equipment seen by Hitler. He was impressed with the new vehicle, and on 28 January ordered the existing program of tests on the long gun to be sped up.

On 20 April 1944, after Hitler had seen the first photographs of the Panzer IV/70 (V), it was given production priority, and an unrealistic production target of 800 units per month was set.

In July 1944 it was decided to shift all Panzer IV production from turret armed tanks to the Jagdpanzer armed with the L/70 gun (this is the reason it was known as the Panzer IV/70, and not the Jagdpanzer IV/70). At the same time Alkett received an order to produce their own version of the vehicle, as the Panzer IV/70 (A). Although this had been seen as an interim design while production of the Vomag design was speeding up, both designs entered production in August 1944 and remained in production to the end of the war.

Vomag produced a total of 930 Panzer IV/70 (V)s, 560 in 1944 and 370 in the first three months of 1945 – a total production run only just above the target for a single month!

The Panzer IV/70 (V) was very similar to the Jagdpanzer IV, using the same shape and size of superstructure to carry the longer gun. The two vehicles were produced in parallel until December 1944, when the Jagdpanzer IV was phased out.

The Panzer IV/70 (V) was a very effective tank killer. Its main gun was capable of penetrating the armour of just about every Allied tank at normal combat ranges, while its own sloped 80mm armour was proof against most Allied weapons.

The combination of the heavy gun and thick armour did mean that the vehicle was very nose heavy, and also made it hard to steer, especially across country. The extra weight meant that the original rubber rimmed road tyres were prone to failure, and the front road wheels were later replaced with all-metal wheels.

The Panzer IV/70 (V) was first issued to the 105th and 106th Independent Panzer Brigades, in August 1944. As more were produced they were also issued to independent Panzer Jäger detachments and to the tank-hunter detachments of the Panzer divisions. Although most are said to have served on the eastern front, just under 140 were used during the Ardennes offensive at the end of 1944.

Names
Panzer IV/70(V)
Sd Kfz 162/1
Panzerwagen 604/10
Gerät 559
Jagdpanzer IV mit 7.5cm StuK 42 L/70

Stats
Number produced:  930
Produced: August 1944-March 1945
Length: 8.5m
Hull Width: 3.17m
Height: 1.85m
Crew: 4
Weight: 25.8 tons   
Engine: Maybach HL120TRM
Max Speed: 35km/hr
Max Range:  210km
Armament: One 7.5cm PaK42 L/70 and one 7.92mm MG42s

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Superstructure

80mm/ 3.2in

40mm/ 1.6in

20mm/ 0.8in

20mm/ 0.8in

Hull (upper)

80mm/ 3.2in

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), Panzer IV/70 (V) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_panzer_IV_70_V.html

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