Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf G

The Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf G was the first version of the Panzer IV to be produced in really large numbers, with a total of 1,687 being completed as gun-armed tanks between May 1942 and June 1943. Despite this large increase in tank production the Ausf G appeared just as the balance of power in the war was shifting away from the Germans, and the long gun Panzer IV would be one of the weapons of German defeat.

Production of the Ausf G was split between Krupp-Gruson, Vomag and Nibelungenwerke, a long overdue expansion of the Panzer IV production pool that had begun with the Ausf F, but got into its stride with this model. Of the 1,750 Ausf Gs order, 1,687 were completed as gun armed tanks. Of the remaining chassis ten were used for the prototype of the Hummel and fifty three to produce the Brummbär (grizzly bear).

The first 1,275 Ausf Gs were built with the 7.5cm KwK40 L/43, but in March 1943 production switched to the longer L/48 version of the gun (five calibres, or 35cm longer).

Panzer IV ausf G
Panzer IV ausf G

From June 1942 an extra 30mm of armour was added to the front of the superstructure and hull of sixteen tanks per month, and from December 1942 that extra protection was installed on half of the total protection.

Early versions of the Ausf G were identical to the Ausf F2, so much so that in June 1942 all surviving F2s were redesignated as Gs to avoid confusion with the short gunned Ausf F.  During the production run a series of modifications were made. The first saw the vision ports removed from the sides of the turret and from the loader’s side of the turret front.

In the summer of 1942 a new muzzle brake was installed, as was a system for transferring coolant between tanks. This was done to make it easier to start the Panzer IV in extreme cold. One tank would be started, and its coolant would warm up. That warm coolant would then be swapped for the cold coolant on a second tank. The first tank would keep running anyway, while the warm coolant would help the cold tank start.

In January 1943 the driver’s episcope (a projection designed to increase his view) was removed. In March a new better armoured cupola was installed, and in the same month thin steel plates were attached to the side of the hull and turret sides and rear (known as “Schürzen”, or skirts). Late in the production run a new drive sprocket was introduced, and the radio antenna was moved to the left hull rear.

The Ausf G began to enter combat during the summer of 1942. A total of 170 long gunned Panzer IVs were present at the start of the German summer offensive in June 1942. The type was at its peak at the start of the Kursk offensive of 1943, when Army Groups Centre and South between them had a total of 841. This big increase came about after the Panzer IV became the standard equipment of every company in each Panzer regiment, rather than just the medium companies. The Ausf G remained in service to the end of the war.

Names
Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf G
Sd Kfz 161/1 and Sd Kfz 161/2
7 and 8 Serie BW

Stats
Number produced:  1,687
Produced:  May 1942-June 1943
Length: 6.62m
Hull Width: 2.88m
Height: 2.68m
Crew: 5
Weight: 23.5 tons  
Engine: Maybach HL120TRM
Max Speed: 40km/hr
Max Range:  210km
Armament: One 7.5cm KwK40 L/43 or L/48 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*

 30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

 12mm/ 0.5in

Hull

 50mm/ 2.0in
+30mm/ 1.2in*

 30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

 10mm/ 0.4in

Gun mantlet

 50mm/ 2.0in

 

 

 

* Extra 30mm armour not on all tanks

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

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