Jagdpanther


Jagdpanther

Infobox Weapon
name= Jagdpanther


caption= Jagdpanzer V Jagdpanther
origin=Nazi Germany
type= Tank destroyer
is_artillery=yes
is_vehicle=yes
weight= 45.5 tonnes (100,309 lbs)
length= 9.87 m (32.38 ft)
width=3.42 m (11.22 ft)
height=2.71 m (8.89 ft)
crew=5
armour=80 mm (3.14 in) frontal
100 mm (3.93 in) mantlet
primary_armament=1x 8.8 cm Pak 43/3 or 43/4 L/71
57 rounds
secondary_armament=1x 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34
600 rounds
engine=Maybach HL230 P30 (V-12 petrol)
engine_power=700 PS (690 hp, 515 kW)
pw_ratio=15.4 PS/tonne
suspension=Dual torsion bar
vehicle_range=160 km (99.41 mi)
speed=46 km/h (28.58 mph)

The Jagdpanther ("Hunting Panther") was a tank destroyer built by Nazi Germany during World War II based on the chassis of the Panther tank. Many historians consider the Jagdpanther to be the best tank destroyer of World War 2.Fact|date=July 2008

Development

A heavy tank destroyer design based on the 88 mm Pak 43 gun and the Panther tank chassis was ordered in late 1942 as design SdKfz 173. Production started in early 1944; at the same time Hitler specified the Jagdpanther ("hunting panther") name.

To accommodate the gun, the sides of the Panther tank were extended up to provide a roomy interior, while maintaining a very low profile. Both the Panther Ausf. G and Jagdpanther had side armor of increased elevation to enhance this effect even further and to harmonize production.

It was armed with an anti-tank version of the same long-barreled 88 mm gun as the Tiger II and a 7.92 mm MG-34 machine gun in the front glacis plate for local defence. The Jagdpanther had a good power-to-weight ratio and a powerful main gun, which enabled it to destroy any type of Allied tank. The Jagdpanther's low profile Fact|date=July 2008 meant that it was easily camouflaged. Because it was based on the existing Panther chassis, the vehicle did not suffer too many mechanical problems. It was manned by a crew of 5, a driver, radio-operator, commander, gunner, and a loader.

Two variants can be distinguished, one with a welded steel band around the main gun mantlet and the other with a bolted-on band. The versions with the bolted-on ring were equipped with Pak 43/4 gun. Early Jagdpanthers had a monobloc gun barrel and two vision openings for the driver, whereas late versions had only one.

Production

Around 392 Jagdpanthers were produced in 1944 and 1945. They equipped heavy antitank battalions and served mainly on the Eastern Front, although significant numbers were concentrated in the West for the Ardennes Offensive. They were first encountered in the west in very small numbers late in the Battle of Normandy, where the German 654th Heavy Antitank Battalion (schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung) deployed about 12 Jagdpanthers against British units.


=Survivors=

Three surviving Jagdpanthers have been restored to running condition. The German museums in Munster Deutsches Panzermuseum and Koblenz (WTS—Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung) have one running Jagdpanther each. The SDKFZ Foundation in the UK has restored one Jagdpanther to running condition, using two wrecked Jagdpanthers to complete one tank destroyer. The other wreck will also be restored. There are at present seven other known surviving Jagdpanthers and they are displayed at the following museums:

* Imperial War Museum, London
* Musée des Blindés in Saumur, France
* United States Army Ordnance Museum, Aberdeen, Maryland
* Bovington Tank Museum, UK.
* Kubinka Tank Museum, Moscow, Russia.
* Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum, Sinsheim, Germany.
* Panzermuseum Thun, Thun, Switzerland.
* Munster Panzermuseum, Munster, Germany.

Because of its visually striking design, the Jagdpanther was featured on the box cover art of the game "Panzerblitz".

External links

* [http://afvdb.50megs.com/germany/jagdpanther.html AFV Database]
* [http://www.panzerworld.net/jagdpanther.html Information about the Jagdpanther at Panzerworld]
* [http://www.achtungpanzer.com/pz15.htm#jagdpanther Achtung Panzer!]
* [http://www.tarrif.net/wwii/img/manuals/jagdpanther/ Jagdpanther manual] (In German)
* [http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_Panthers.pdf Panthers survivors] - A PDF file presenting the Panther tanks (Panther, Jagdpanther, Bergepanther) still existing in the world


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