Panzer IV als Tauchpanzer

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The Tauchpanzer IV (literally “dipping tank”) was a version of the Panzer IV designed to be driven underwater. It was developed for use in the early stages in the planned invasion of Britain in an attempt to provide armour for the first vital stages of the landing. A similar problem would face the western Allies in 1944, and their solution was to produce floating tanks, which would sail onto the beaches.

The German approach was very different. A number of Panzer IIIs and Panzer IVs were turned into underwater vehicles. The idea was they would be carried most of the way across the English Channel before being lowered to the seabed. They would then drive across the sea floor and emerge onto the British beaches.

To achieve this the Tauchpanzers were made waterproof. Every opening on the tank was sealed with a waterproof compound. The cupola, the mantlet for the main gun and the hull mounted machine gun were covered with rubber sheeting which could be blown away once the tank had landed. The turret ring was sealed with an inflatable rubber ring, which could be deflated one ashore. Air was provided through a long hose connected to a float on the surface of the sea.

The Tauchpanzer IV was a successful design, but the cancellation of Operation Sea Lion left them without a purpose. They were instead issued to the 18th and 3rd Panzer Divisions, where they operated as normal tanks. The Tauchpanzers did operate underwater on one occasion, when on 22 June 1941 volunteer crews from the 18th Panzer Division used them to cross the River Bug underwater early in the German invasion of Russia.

Names
Panzerhampfwagen IV als Tauchpanzer
Tauchpanzer IV

Stats
Number produced:  42 converted
Produced:  July 1940
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

 35mm/ 1.4in

 

 

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 July 2008), Panzer IV als Tauchpanzer , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_panzer_IV_tauchpanzer.html

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