Panzerbeobachtungswagen Panther

The Panzerbeobachtungswagen Panther was an artillery fire direction vehicle based on the Panther and designed to operate with the armoured artillery. The vehicle was developed by Rheinmetall Borsig and Anshütz during 1943. The design drawings were ready by 16 July 1943, and a single experimental turret was produced between July and September 1943. The project then stalled, as the shortage of Panther tanks for the front meant that none were allocated to the artillery. A series of documents from 1944 suggest that none were produced during that year either, but it is possible that some were created late in 1944 using old Panther Ausf Ds returning from the front.

The heart of the Panzerbeobachtungswagen Panther was a redesigned turret, designed to carry all of the required equipment for artillery observation. The main gun of the Panther was removed, and replaced by a dummy gun made of sheet steel, which was attached to a dummy mantlet one third of the width of the turret. A ball mounted MG34 was mounted to the right of the mock gun. The new turret carried a wide range of optical equipment. The rangefinder was a stereoscopic EM 1.25m R (Pz) produced by Zeiss. Three periscopes were provided – a TBF2 observation periscope, a TSR1 spotting periscope and a SF14Z scissors periscope. A KZF2 telescopic gun sight was included for the machine gun. The vehicle was also equipped with an automatic Blockstelle 0 plotting board, designed to allow it to be used when the commander lacked maps of the local area. The Panzerbeobachtungswagen Panther carried a crew of four – commander, observer, radioman and driver.

Stats
Number produced: 41 converted in late 1944-45 or test examples only.
Length: 8.86m
Hull Width: 3.4m
Height: 2.96m
Crew: 4
Weight: 44.5 tons
Engine: Maybach HL230P30
Max Speed: 46 km/hr
Max Range:  200km
Secondary Armament: Two 7.92mm MG34s

Armour

 

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Turret

100mm

45mm

45mm

16mm

Superstructure

80mm

40mm

40mm

16mm

Hull

60mm

40mm

40mm

16-30mm

Gun mantlet

100mm

 

 

 

Panther Medium Tank, 1942-45, Stephen A. Hart, Osprey New Vanguard 67. This look at what was probably the best German tank of the Second World War concentrates on the technical development of the Panther. The text is divided into chapters on each of the major versions of the Panther, looking at their development, production, deployment and combat career. As a result the text flows well, and each new development is placed properly in its context. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 September 2008), Panzerbeobachtungswagen Panther , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_panzerbeobachtungswagen_panther.html

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