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"German Pz Kw 5 -- Additional Information" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A U.S. intelligence report on German WWII Panzer V ("Panther"), from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 40, December 16, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The receipt of more recent information supplementing the data on the German PzKw 5 (Panther) tank as described in Tactical and Technical Trends No. 37, p. 5, makes it possible to furnish additional details.

The overall appearance of the Panther closely resembles that of the Soviet T-34, particularly as to inclined armor plate, cone-shaped turret and Christie-type suspension wheels. It should be emphasized that the type and arrangement of driving sprockets and bogie wheels is one of the most important aids to prompt identification and destruction of enemy tanks (see reference p11, armor skirting on German tanks).

By American standards, the Panther should be classed as a heavy tank, not a medium.

a. Dimensions

(1) Lengths
Overall length, including gun   29 ft 1 in
Overall length, excluding gun22 ft 7 1/2 in
Length of hull22 ft
(2) Widths
Overall width11 ft 3 in
Width over tracks10 ft 9 in
Width of superstructure9 ft 9 1/2 in
Width of hull6 ft
(3) Heights
Overall height9 ft 6 1/2 in
Ground clearance1 ft 7 in
(4) Diameters
Inside diameter of turret ring5 ft 5 in

b. Armor

Position of Plate    Thickness    Angle to Vertical
in Degrees
(1) Turret
Front (including gun mantlet) 3.93 in 0
Sides and rear 1.77 in25
Roof  .66 in90
(2) Hull and Superstructure
Front nose plate 2.95 in53
Driver's front plate 3.34 in57
Superstructure sides 1.77 in42
Hull sides 1.77 in 0
Tail plate 1.77 in30
Belly plate  .66 in90
Skirting plates  .19 in 0

The armor appears to consist of rolled plate except for the gun mantlet which is a casting. The skirting plates extend down to about 30 inches above ground level.

c. Armament

The armament consists of one 75-mm tank gun Kw.K 43, turret mounted, one 7.92-mm machine gun, coaxially mounted; and six electrically-fired smoke projectors in two sets of three on either side of the turret. The 75-mm tank gun is a straight-bore weapon having a muzzle brake with an overall length of 18 feet 2 inches.

d. Suspension

Front sprocket drive, large, disk-type interleaved, rubber-tired bogie wheels on eight load-carrying axles each side of the tank. Independent torsion bar springing. All units are fitted with shock absorbers.

e. Track

Track width    2 ft 2 in
Pitch of track 6 in
Diameter of track pin 0.9 in
Links per track 86
Ground contact, front to rear bogie wheel centers 12 ft 9 1/2 in
Ground contact by measurement on ground 13 ft 5 1/2 in
Width of track between centers of track plates 8 ft 6 in
Width of track between edges of track plates 10 ft 8 in
Track pressure (Russian report) 11.7 lb (per sq in)

f. Miscellaneous data

Ammunition carried    75 rounds of 75-mm (2.95 in) shells, 2500 rounds of 7.92 mm (MG)
Sighting arrangement Binocular sighting telescope on left of 75-mm gun
Gasoline (2 tanks) capacity 165 gals
Ventilation An electric fan in the turret roof above the coaxial machine gun.
Pistol ports One in each side and one in rear of turret.

It has been reliably reported that due to the angle at which the armor is placed (practically none of the armor is vertical) the Panther is the most formidable of German tanks.


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