PANTHER G gallery 2

The Panther tanks had the opportunity to show their worth in Italy and France, especially in France after the invasion of Normandy. But Allied air coverage always kept the Panthers at bay, which were commonly destroyed by aviation and not by ground fighting. The Allied armoured units tried to maintain the encounters with the Panthers at the minimum to avoid sure casualties.
The Pz.Gr.Patr. 40/42 ammunition had a muzzle velocity of 1,120 m/s, which gave it a huge penetration capacity, superior than Tiger E‘s  88mm KwK-36 anti-tank gun. A 75mm round impact used to be enough to knock out any enemy tank, even the Soviet IS-2. This high muzzle velocity gave it an excellent accuracy, achieving an expert gunner up to 90% impact on the first shot at distances of 1 km.
After WWII the French built the 75mm DEFA gun based on the Panther‘s KwK-42 gun. The French gun would be mounted on the AMX-13 light tank and EBR-75 armored car, making them a specially well-armed and fearsome light vehicles.
Panther‘s armour provided excellent protection in combats 1km away. The frontal arc was invulnerable to the allied 76mm ammunition even at 200 meters. Only the sides and the rear could be penetrated at normal combat distances by the 76mm rounds. Even the 90mm Allied ammunition only penetrated the frontal armor at 1 km if the angle was adequate, but its effectiveness was not guaranteed in combats at more than 500 meters away.
Due to the Panther‘s strength, the Allied tactics was to surround and attack them by the flanks whenever possible. If this was not possible, they tried to get as close as possible and made a rapid succession of shots exploiting their numerical superiority. Even so, rare was the occasion when the Panthers did not end up destroying any Allied vehicle.
The Panther‘s mobility was sufficient in that time to allow them to maneuver in rough terrain with enough agility. They had a power-to-weight ratio of 15 hp per ton, the best of all German tanks. The engine problem was not lack of power, as in the case of Tiger and Kingtiger, but the lack of reliability, especially at the beginning of its commissioning.
One problem that could not be solved was the excessive fuel consumption of the Maybach engine. Being a gasoline engine instead of diesel, the engine consumed twice as much as any Russian or Allied engine, and this greatly limited its combat radius.
Another problem added by the weight and size of the Panther tank was the difficulty of the recovery tasks in case of getting stuck or damage in combat. The Heer’s regulations indicated that two Sd.Kfz-9 (FAMO) half-track recovery vehicles had to be used to tow a Panther. This was required to avoid damage in the recovery vehicle itself, but it meant an overload of work to the small support units.
To conclude, it can be said that Panther tanks were highly valued by their crews. This tank was able to successfully face the most powerful Allied tanks at the end of the war with high chances of being victorious. Their victories were achieved thanks to the excellent gun, good protection and good mobility. These three capacities, which usually measure the combat effectiveness of a tank, were very high and made the Panther the best tank of WWII.

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