Panzerkampfwagen IV – Sd.Kfz. 161, With technical data on Ausf. J

Posted: , Last update: December 6 2015, in Tanks & Vehicles. No Comments

Panzerkampfwagen IV ausf G – Sd Kfz 161/1

The Panzerkampfwagen mark IV was the workhorse of the Wehrmacht. It was the first panzer in the 20 ton class when production started in 1937. It was the first German panzer to have an electric controlled turret, with exception of the “J” version. In 1938 the first Panzerkampfwagen mark IV’s where issued to the troops, in total 35 panzer of the first type “A” were built.
The main gun was upgraded to a 7,5cm KwK37 L/24 in the first versions (Ausfurung / Type A till F) which was a short barrel gun. The initial purpose of the Panzerkampfwagen IV was infantry support, though over the years the mark IV got other roles, like for example as a tankdestroyer.


The panzerkampfwagen IV was powered by a 12 cylinder gasoline engine and a five speed transmission gearbox. An auxiliary engine was installed to power a generator for the electric turret traverse.

Armour and armament

Besides the main gun there were 2 machineguns MG43, one coaxial in the turret and one in the hull with the radio operator. The “A” version had armour of 15mm thick!! Only to withstand small arms fire and shell fragment protection. As said before, it was developed as infantry support weapon. Numerous vision ports and pistol ports where added to the tank during further development, a cupola with 8 vision slits, and a 360 view, for the panzer commander.

On the battlefield

The Panzerkampfwagen IV ausf A saw action in Norway, Poland and France, but was withdrawn from the panzer regiments before the spring invasion of 1941. Further development of the panzer IV was drastically needed. On the short barrel versions they doubled the armour, upgraded the engine power and redesigned the cupola (lowered it). Versions B until F had their armour improved. From 15mm’s on type “A”, 30mm’s on types “B to E” to even 50mm’s on type “F”.

The first type “F” tanks were build in April 1941 until March 1941, just before the invasion of Russia. It was obvious the gun needed drastic improvement, so the second version of this type “F”, the “F2” got the long barreled 7,5cm KwK L/43 gun, which was so desperately needed to take on the T-34 tanks on the great plains of Russia. Accuracy and a further range were much more of the essence on these open plains.

Storage was adjusted for the larger rounds. This provided the Wehrmacht with a panzer which was superior to the Russian, British and American tanks on all fronts in the summer of 1942.

The last 2 versions of the Panzerkampfwagen mark IV had an armour of 80mm, and a cupola mount for an anti aircraft machine gun. The later versions of the Panzerkampfwagen IV also carried a smoke discharger.

Panzerkampfwagen IV ausf G – Sd Kfz 161/1

Panzerkampfwagen IV variants

The Panzerkampfwagen IV, like the Panzerkampfwagen mark III, had a lot of variants as well, built mostly on the same vision. There are some outstanding types to mention though.
A Panzerbefehlswagen (command tank), a Tauchpanzer (submersible tank),Bergepanzer IV (recovery vehicle), a Minenraumpanzer (mine destroyer) and a bridge laying device.

Even more notable on the chassis of the panzerkampfwagen IV are;

  • Brummbär  – a 15cm StuH43 assault infantry gun
  • Jagdpanzer IV- successful tank destroyer like the StuG (no turret, a fixed 7.5cm gun)
  • Sturmgeschütz IV – successful tank destroyer like the StuG (no turret, a fixed 7.5cm gun)
  • Dicker Max – 10.5cm K18, self propelled gun
  • Hornise / Nashorn – the mighty 8.8cm flak gun on wheels
  • Hummel – 15cm heavy howitzer Sd Kfz 165
  • Möbelwagen – 3,7cm flak anti aircraft, or one 2cm flakvierling
  • Wirbelwind – one 2cm flakvierling (four times 2cm anti aircraft in one setup)
  • Östwind – one 3.7cm flak anti aircraft
  • Munitionsschleppers for the Karlgerat (Ammunition carriers for huge bunker buster mortars, of 54cm to 60cm diameter)
  • Ladder carriers, for infantry support, to get soldiers to higher places.
  • A rocket shooting version which carried a box like device, for rockets or a recoilless gun.

Alltogether approximately 14,000 Panzerkampfwagen IV, including all special versions, were built.

Panzerkampfwagen IV ausf G – Sd Kfz 161/1

The Panzermuseum in Munster and Technik museum Sinsheim have panzerkampfwagens IV on display, together with some interesting variants like the Hummel or Jagdpanzer IV. They are beautiful to see. The version in Munster is even in running condition.

Panzerkampfwagen IV ausf G – Sd Kfz 161/1

Technical Data

Name:                           Panzerkampfwagen IV ausf J – Sd Kfz 161/2  Technik Musuem Sinsheim
Other designation:     Gerät 550
Type:                             Medium tank

Manufacturer:             Nibelungenwerke
Chasis numbers:         91501 –
Number produced:     1758
Production:                  From June 1944 to March 1945

Crew:                             5
Weight (tonnes):         25
Length (metres):         7.02
Width (metres):           2.88
Height  (metres):         2.68

Engine:                         Maybach HL120TRM112
Gearbox:                       6 forward, 1 reverse
Speed (km/h):            38
Range (km):                320
Radio:                           FuG5

Armament:                 One 7.5cm KwK L/48
Two 7.92mm Mg43

Traverse:                     360° (by hand)
Elevation:                    -8° to +20°
Sights:                         TZF5f/2  / KgZF2 on MG34

Ammunition:               87 Pzgr
3150 patr SmK

Armour  (mm/angle)
Turret front:                   50/10°
Superstructure front:   80/8°
Hull front:                      80/15°
Gun mantlet front:       50/0-30°

Turret Panzerkampfwagen IV ausf D – Sd Kfz 161

Photosets of Landmark Scout

Panzerkampfwagen IV audf D – Turret only Sd Kfz 161
Panzerkampfwagen IV audf F – Turret only Sd Kfz 161
Panzerkampfwagen IV ausf G Sd Kfz 161/1
Panzerkampfwagen IV ausf J Sd Kfz 161/2

Variants based on the panzerkampfwagen IV

Jagdpanzer IV
Jagdpanzer IV

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