|Primary Role||Tank Destroyer|
Contributor: Andrew Nguyen
ww2dbaseDuring the war, all of the six main German panzer models also had their chassis serving as the basis of German Sturmartillerie (assault guns) and Panzerjager (tank destroyers). Often those vehicles had heavier armor and more lethal main guns. For the Panther tank, its Panzerjager counterpart was the Jagdpanther ("Hunting Panther").
ww2dbaseThree months after finalizing on the design of the Panther tank to produce; the Germans drew up plans for a heavy tank destroyer that had the Panther,s chassis and the 88mm L/71 gun. At first, a prototype would have been ready by June 1943 but delays occurred to void those plans. Eventually in October 1943, Hitler accepted the final design plans and construction of actual prototypes began in the same month. In November, the new vehicle received the suggested name of Jagdpanther with Hitler approving the name in January 1944. At the beginning of 1944, the Jagdpanther began full construction with the man focus of the production being in three locations in Germany. The Germans hoped to produce 150 Jagdpanthers per month but Allied bombing prevented that from being a reality. Sources vary with the total numbers of Jagdpanthers produced ranging between 382 and 417.
ww2dbaseThe Jagdpanther consisted of the Panther tank chassis and a fixed casemate with an increase of height in the front section of the vehicle. Protection consisted of 80mm front armor which was sloped to give 160mm protection as well as 45mm armor on the side. The Jagdpanther,s armament consisted of an 88mm L/71 gun with fifty-seven rounds as well as a MG-34 machine gun located in a ball mount at the front for close in defense and loaded with 600 rounds. The same Maybach HL230 engine which powered the Panther also powered the Jagdpanther which lead to the Jagdpanther suffering somewhat similar problems if terms of engine reliability although not as bad as what happened in the actual Panther tank when it first entered combat. It gave the vehicle a top speed of 28 mph. Five crewmen operated the large tank destroyer, which had a large roomy interior for their use.
ww2dbaseJagdpanthers operated in individual heavy anti-tank battalions although rarely at full strength. They saw their first combat action in Normandy during the early days of the invasion and then participated in the Battle of the Bulge along with heavy action on the Eastern Front up to the end of the war. Many historians have often compared its performance to that of the Soviet SU-100 tank destroyer.
ww2dbaseSeveral Jagdpanthers survived the war and now reside in museums in Europe and America with three restored to running condition.
Perrett, Bryan. Sturmartillerie & Panzerjager. Osprey Publishing, 1999
Last Major Revision: Mar 2010
|Machinery||One Maybach HL 230 P30 23-liter V-12 gasoline engine rated at 690hp|
|Suspension||Dual torsion bar|
|Armament||1x8.8cm PaK 43/3 gun or 43/4 L/71 gun (57 rounds), 1x7.92mm ball-mounted MG34 machine gun|
|Armor||80mm front, 100mm mantlet, 45mm side, 40mm rear, 16mm top|
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Winston Churchill, on the RAF