Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf D

The Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf D was the fourth production version of the Panzer IV medium support tank, and saw the first increase in the thickness of the side and rear armour. The 15mm armour of the Ausf A-C was replaced by 20mm armour.

The original order for 200 4th Series BW and 48 5th Series BW tanks was placed in January 1938, but production did not get underway until October 1939, and it took Krupp nineteen months to complete the order. Of the 248 tanks ordered 229 were completed as Panzer IVs, while the remaining chassis were used to produce two self-propelled guns, sixteen bridge laying tanks and one ammunition carrier.

Panzer IV Ausf D in Flanders
Panzer IV Ausf D
in Flanders, 1940

In 1941 one of the Ausf Ds was also used to test the 5cm KwK39 L/60 gun, in one of the first attempts to provide the Panzer IV with more firepower.

The Ausf D saw a return to the superstructure layout of the Ausf A, with the driver’s position on the left stepped ahead of the radio operator’s position. The hull mounted machine gun originally installed on the Ausf A and removed on the B and C was also replaced.

The Ausf D also saw the internal mantlet for the 7.5cm KwK gun of the earlier models replaced with an external mantlet to reduce the danger from bullet splash (where either fragments or melted remains of an incoming shell entered the turret past the mantlet).

Panzer IV Ausf D in North Africa
Panzer IV Ausf D
in North Africa

Late Ausf Ds were produced with 30mm armour plates bolted and welded to the front of the superstructure and hull, and 20mm plates bolted to the sides.

The production of the Ausf D meant that by May 1940 every tank detachment could have a medium tank company of between six and eleven Panzer IVs, and on 10 May 1940 the Panzer divisions that were to take part in the campaign in the west were equipped with 280 Panzer IV Ausf A-Ds. The Ausf D served in France, the Balkans, Africa and Russia, remaining in combat until the last survivors were destroyed early in 1944. A number of Ausf Ds were withdrawn from the front line in 1943, rearmed with longer 7.5cm KwK L/48 guns and used for training purposes.

Names
Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf D
Sd Kfz 161
4 Serie BW and 5 Serie BW

Stats
Number produced:  229
Produced:  October 1939-May 1941
Hull Length: 5.92m
Hull Width: 2.84m
Height: 2.68m
Crew: 5
Weight: 20 tons  
Engine: Maybach HL120TRM
Max Speed: 40km/hr
Max Range:  200km
Armament: One 7.5cm KwK37 L/24 and two 7.92mm MG13s

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Turret

 30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

20mm/ 0.8in

 10mm/ 0.4in

Superstructure

 30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

20mm/ 0.8in

 12mm/ 0.5in

Hull

 30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

20mm/ 0.8in

 10mm/ 0.4in

Gun mantlet

 30mm/ 1.2in

 

 

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 July 2008), Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf D , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_panzer_IV_ausf_D.html

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