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Jagdpanzer IV Tank Destroyer



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Ausf F

Production vehicles of the Ausf F had a straight front 60mm armour plate. It remained sloped at 40 degrees but at each end it was interlocked with stepped joints to the flat side plates. There was a machine-gun ball-mounting on either side of the main armament, each fitted with an armoured cover. All vehicles were fitted with 5mm Schürzen skirt armour. They were also planned to be armed with a Nahverteidigungswaffe but this was not always available to be fitted. All early and mid-production vehicles appear to have received Zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste.
After seeing combat a number of modifications were made to the Ausf F, though initially just to the stowage arrangements. In May/June 1944 the frontal armour was increased from 60mm to 80mm and the hull and superstructure side armour was increased from 30mm to 40mm. This was from vehicle 320301; the Jagdpanzer IV (all variants) had chassis numbers 320001-321725. The gunner’s machine-gun mounting to the left of the main armament was removed. Also, the gun mounting flange was undercut under the gun where previously it had risen perpendicularly from the glacis plate, probably to save weight. Late production Ausf F’s were fitted with steel return rollers.
A more obvious change was the removal of the muzzle brake, since the low mounting of the gun meant that the back blast from the muzzle produced unacceptable obscuration. Many vehicles received guns threaded to take a muzzle brake though one was no longer fitted. After some time guns were delivered without this thread. Both early and late production vehicles can be seen with and without muzzle brakes, possibly due to changes of armament in the field. Very late vehicles received only three return rollers per side, in line with late production PzKpfw IV Ausf J tanks, and appear not to have received a Zimmerit coating.

Panzer IV/70

Once production of the Jagdpanzer IV Ausf F was underway attempts were made to comply with the order to produce a version mounting the 7.5cm L/70 as soon as possible. Rheinmetall-Borsig successfully developed such a gun from the Panther’s 7.5cm KwK 42 L/70 and gave it the designation 7.5cm StuK 42 L/70. After Hitler saw a demonstration of a Jagdpanzer IV mounting the new gun on his birthday, 20 April 1944, he ordered that it be given top priority in production. It was introduced to the production line in May 1944 but only a small proportion of Jagdpanzer IVs were completed with the longer gun.
Like the early Ausf F, the first StuK 42 L/70 barrels were threaded for a muzzle-brake though none was ever fitted. A torsionally sprung, A-frame gun clamp was fitted on the glacis plate for use with the longer gun.
In July 1944 Hitler ordered that the entire PzKpfw IV production be turned over to producing Panzerjäger Vomag L/70. Since it was planned to completely eliminate the Panzer IV by February 1945 the Panzerjäger Vomag L/70 received the official designation Panzer IV/70. It was nicknamed Guderian Enten (Guderian’s “Duck” or “Hoax”) because of his opposition to its introduction.
The Panzer IV/70 first saw action with selected Panzerjäger units in August 1944 and proved to be a very effective anti-tank weapon. However, because it was nose-heavy it was found to be difficult to steer and there was excessive wear on the rubber tyres on the front bogie. Steel rimmed wheels were under development for the PzKpfw IV chassis and as soon as they became available they were therefore fitted on the front two wheel stations of the Panzer IV/70.
Early production vehicles had all rubber-tyred road wheels, four rubber-tyred return rollers per side, and were coated with Zimmerit. Mid production vehicles had four all-steel return rollers per side, and some had Zimmerit. Late production vehicles had two steel rimmed road wheels each side as described above, three all-steel return rollers per side, no Zimmerit, and were fitted with the vertical exhaust silencers introduced on late production PzKpfw IV Ausf J. It should be noted, however, that at least one late production vehicle abandoned before advancing British forces in April 1945, like the example now preserved at Kubinka, had only one steel-rimmed roadwheel per side. All vehicles were fitted with 5mm Schürzen skirt armour as standard. An improvement to the Panzer IV/70 installed in a limited number of vehicles was a curved barrel machine-gun or Vorsatz P in the roof.
The last production changes to the Panzer IV/70 were made in about March 1945. These final production vehicles had a solid plate gun clamp, large rear towing pintle, new type final drive covers (with a handle replacing the previous armoured cowl), covers around the vertical exhaust pipes, and a simplified gun sight opening. They also had three mounting points on the superstructure roof to hold the base of a 2 tonne Kran lifting frame for changing the engine. (Source: L. Archer).
The total production run of the Jagdpanzer IV Ausf F, Panzer IV/70 and Panzer IV/70 Zwischenlösung (see page 6) together amounted to some 1531 vehicles.

Model Id:
215
Manufacture:Vogtländische Maschinenfabrik AG (VOMAG), Plauen, Germany (Sole manufacturer 1944-5)


1) Canadian War Museum, LeBreton Flats, Canada

Number of Photos:
2
Sample Photo from Album Number 204

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Unique ID: 204
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This Panzer IV/70 was transferred from Vimy House when the current museum was opened.