Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf F2

The Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf F2 saw the biggest change in the design of the Panzer IV with the installation of the long barrelled 7.5cm KwK40 L/43 main gun. This transformed the Panzer IV from a medium support tank into the best battle tank then in German service.

Work on arming the Panzer IV with a larger gun had been under way before the invasion of Russia, organically using a 5cm gun that was already in use on the Panzer III, but nothing came of this project. The impetus for the adoption of the long 7.5cm gun came with the German invasion of Russia. Much to the surprise of the German panzer forces, the Russians proved to have the better tanks, with the KV-1 heavy tank and T-34 medium tank both having armour that was too heavy for existing German tank guns to easily penetrate. The early German successes in Russia were won because of the quality of German tactics, not of German equipment.


Panzer IV Ausf F2
Panzer IV Ausf F2

On 18 November 1941 the German Ordnance Department issued Krupp and Rheinmetall-Borsig with an order to develop a long barrelled 7.5cm gun. By March 1942 the gun was ready to be installed in new tanks, and the last 175 Panzer IV ausf Fs were built with the new gun.

Panzer IV Ausf F2 knocked out in North Africa
Panzer IV Ausf F2 knocked out in North Africa

Most of the new Panzers were issued to existing units to replace combat losses, although some were used to equip new units and the motorized infantry. The ausf F2 served in North Africa (where it was known as the Panzer IV “special”) and on the Eastern Front. On both fronts it was quickly realised that the new tank carried the best German tank gun yet to see service. In North Africa the Panzer IV “special” was superior to any existing Allied tank, while on the Eastern Front it outgunned the T-34, and with care could take on the KV-1.

Although this version of the Panzer VI is normally referred to as the Ausf F2, it actually only held that name for a short period. It was developed as the Ausf.F-Umbau (changed). In March 1942, as the first machines were completed, the F2 designation was adopted, with the older short-gunned tank becoming the F1. Finally on 5 June 1942 all of the existing long-gunned Panzer IVs were redesignated as the Ausf G (early examples of the Ausf G were identical to the F2). 

Names
Panzer IV Ausf F-Umbau
Panzer IV Ausf F2
7 Serie BW

Stats
Number produced:  175 plus 24 converted from Ausf F1
Produced:  March-July 1942
Length: 6.62m
Hull Width: 2.84m
Height: 2.68m
Crew: 5
Weight: 23 tons  
Engine: Maybach HL120TRM
Max Speed: 40km/hr
Max Range:  200km
Armament: One 7.5cm KwK40 L/43 and two 7.92mm MG13s

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Turret

 50mm/ 2.0in

 30mm/ 1.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

 10mm/ 0.4in

Superstructure

 50mm/ 2.0in

 30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

 12mm/ 0.5in

Hull

 50mm/ 2.0in

 30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

 10mm/ 0.4in

Gun mantlet

 50mm/ 2.0in

 

 

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 July 2008), Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf F2 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_panzer_IV_ausf_F2.html

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