Panzer V Panther Ausf A (SdKfz 171)
Type: German heavy medium tank.
Table of Contents
After a study had been made of the Russian T-34 , Hitler ordered the development of a similar vehicle. Production of the Panzer V Panther Ausf D was to start in December 1942, with 250 to be built by 12 May 1943, the time for the summer offensive.
The Ausf A was the second series of the Panther production. The basic design remained the same as the Ausf D, the difference being a series of modifications to improve performance.
Here to Panther tank Ausf D and G.
The important changes on the Panther Ausf A were the introduction of the new cupola for the commander and strengthened running gear. The number of wheel-rim bolts was doubled to prevent failures. Several modifications were made to the drive-train to improve reliability. Engine exhaust cooling was modified. The hull design remained unchanged, but a new ball-mount was designed to replace the letter-box flap MG port. These ball-mounts were fitted to a proportion of Ausf A starting in August 1943, and were fitted to all Ausf A starting in late 1943.
The turret had many modifications. In addition to the new cupola, a periscope for the loader was provided on the right side of turret roof. The small ammunition-loading hatch on the left side was eliminated, and during the production run, the turret side pistol ports were eliminated in favor of the roof-mounted Nahverteidigungswaffe (close-defense weapon). The TZF12 binocular telescope was gradually replaced by the monocular TZF12a during the Ausf A production.
When the Panther Ausf A was first introduced, it saw service in Russia and Italy. Most of the Panther detachments deployed to meet the Allied invasion of France in mid 1944 were equipped with Panther Ausf A, and many of them were still in service at the end of the war.
For comparison, average number of hits to knock out each type of tank:
Western Europe 1944-45:
|Tank Type||Average number of hits||Average number of penetrations|
|Panzer V Panther||2.55||1.9|
The importance of good all round armor protection is also stressed by the analysis of hits and penetrations on different surfaces of Panther tanks from different weapons system on Normandy battlefields 1944:
|Weapon||Super- structure Front||Turret Front or Gun Mantlet||Turret Side||Super- structure or Hull Side||Turret rear||Super- structure or Hull Rear|
|17-Pounder||0 (2)||1 (0)||4 (1)||9 (0)||1 (0)||3 (0)|
|3 inch M10||0 (1)||0 (1)||1 (1)||5 (0)||-||1 (0)|
|75 mm||0 (1)||-||1 (1)||4 (1)||-||-|
|6 Pounder APDS||0 (3)||1 (1)||1 (0)||3 (0)||-||1 (0)|
|6 Pounder ABCBC||1 (0)||-||3 (1)||2 (0)||-||-|
|Penetration %||13 %||50 %||71 %||96 %||100 %||100 %|
Users: Germany, Romania (for all variants).
Here to Panther tank Ausf D and G.
Animated 3D model of Panther Ausf A Command tank
Specifications for Panzerkampfwagen V Ausf A Panther (SdKfz 171)
|Panther tank Panzer V Ausf A||Specification|
|Engine||Maybach HL 230 P30 gasoline engine with 700 hp|
|Gearbox||7 forward, 1 reverse|
|Turret crew||3 (with 360° Commanders cupola)|
|Length||29ft 0.81in (8.86 m)|
|Width||11ft 2.65in (3.42 m)|
|Height||9ft 9.32in (2.98 m)|
|Maximum speed||29 mph|
|Cross-country speed||15 mph|
|Fuel consumption per 100 miles||724 litres on road, 1,078 litres cross-country|
|Road radius||100 miles|
|Cross-country radius||60 miles|
|Vertical obstacle||2ft 11.43in (0.90 m)|
|Trench crossing||6ft 2.80in (1.90 m)|
|Fording depth||5ft 6.93in (1.70 m)|
|Turning circle||32ft 9.7in (10 m)|
|Climbing power||35 °|
|Panther tank Panzer V Ausf A||mm||angle|
|Turret front||110 mm||11 °|
|Turret side||45 mm||25 °|
|Turret rear||45 mm||25 °|
|Turret top||16 mm||84-90 °|
|Upper hull front||80 mm||55 °|
|Upper hull side||40 mm||40 °|
|Upper hull rear||-||-|
|Hull top||16 mm||90°|
|Lower hull front||60 mm||55 °|
|Lower hull side||40 mm||0 °|
|Lower hull rear||40 mm||30 °|
|Hull bottom||16-30 mm||90 °|
|Gun mantlet||100 mm||round|
Armament and Equipment:
|Panther tank Panzer V Ausf A||Specification|
|Main armament||7.5 cm KwK42 L/70|
|Elevation||-8° to +18°|
|Muzzle velocity Pzgr||925 m/s|
|Muzzle velocity Pzgr40 (available only in limited numbers)||1,120 m/s|
|Shell weight Pzgr||6.80 kg|
|Shell weight Pzgr40||4.75 kg|
|Secondary armament||one 7.92mm MG34 coaxially to gun, one 7.92mm MG34 in front hull (traverse 5°left to 5°right, elevation -10° to +15°); together 5,100 rounds|
|Radio||FuG5 (2.5 milesrange)|
|Telescopic sight||TZF12a (2.5 miles aiming)|
Penetration mm at 30° armor plates of 7.5cm KwK42 L/70:
|Range||Pzgr||Pzgr40 (just limited numbers)|
|Penetration 100 meters||138 mm||194 mm|
|Penetration 500 meters||124 mm||174 mm|
|Penetration 1,000 meters||111 mm||149 mm|
|Penetration 1,500 meters||99 mm||127 mm|
|Penetration 2,000 meters||89 mm||106 mm|
|Panther tank Panzer V Ausf A||figures|
|Production||from August 1943 to May 1944|
|Combat delivery||immediately after production delivery|
|Price per tank||RM 129,100 (early models) = ~$ 58,095 = ~£ 12,308|
|Total production figure||2,000|
Service statistics of all Panzer V variants:
|1945||1,982 (1.1.)||459 (Jan-Mar)||237 (Jan)|
Here to Panther tank Ausf D and G.
Panther A in War Thunder
Status of the information: December 2020.
In the F2P game War Thunder, the V Panther A medium tank has a Battle Rating (short: BR) of 5.7.
For the players who prefer to use German vehicles (so called ‘Wheraboos’), the BR 5.7 with its Tiger tank Ausf E is one of the most popular places next to the BR 6.7 with the King Tiger tank, and therefore numerous players also cavort here.
Also, the Russians with their T-34-85 and Stalin tank, as well as Americans with the Jumbo, M18 and M26 Pershing as opponents are to be found in large numbers.
The Panther Ausführung (Version) A is the fastest version of the Panzer V due to the better performance ratio of engine power to combat weight and also has a much faster turret rotation than the previous Panther D, which is now based on BR 5.3 alongside the tank destroyer Nashorn.
In addition, all Panther variants have excellent frontal armor and are most likely only to be eliminated when hitting the turret. However, a shot from the side usually means immediate end. The Panther should also always stand directly in the direction of the enemy and ideally with a slightly angled turret, because even a slightly angled hit into the side of the hull can lead to immediate destruction.
In addition, the Panther’s gun quickly fails when a hit is made on the turret. But since this tank has only a very slow reverse gear, a retreat is hardly possible and ideally a cover possibility in the direction of travel should be sought for repairs.
On the credit side, however, the penetration of the ammunition of the Panther tank is excellent, as you can see in the following video.
Video of action with the Panther A in War Thunder
This video gives a good impression of how effective the gun, armor and speed in forward gear of the Panther A in War Thunder is. Without losses, a CAP control zone is conquered within minutes along with five kills, including three of the powerful, Soviet heavies IS tanks.
Victory rate and BR uptiers
Last November the author fought 40 battles with the German BR 5.7 line.
Of these, 12 (a whopping 30 percent) took place without uptiers on the perfect BR 5.7, only 4 (10 percent) on the next higher BR 6.0, 13 (32.5 percent) on BR 6.3 and 11 times (27.5 percent) the maximum uptier of +1 on the worst and highest BR of 6.7 had to be accepted.
55 percent of all battles were won by the German team (with possible allies). The mass of them on the ideal BR 5.7 with eight victories (66.66 percent), the least on BR 6.3 with 46.1 percent.
Which vehicle line has proven itself for Germany BR 5.7 ?
The following is a summary of a proven line for Germany on BR 5.7, using the maximum possible number of 10 vehicle slots.
As always, the right mix of main battle tanks for combat or conquest scenarios as well as aircraft, tank destroyers and anti-aircraft vehicles is crucial for a successful outcome of the battle.
In addition to the Panther A, the following vehicles are also suitable:
Heavy battle tank Pz.Bef.Wg.VI(P) (BR 5.7)
The heavy main battle tank Porsche Tiger as a premium vehicle which costs ‘Golden Eagles’ (premium currency for real money) is considerably better armored than the standard Tiger I Ausf E. The hull corresponds to that of the Ferdinand tank destroyer and is therefore about twice as thick as the Tiger I. The turret is also significantly better armored and rounded.
From the front, the Porsche Tiger looks quite similar to the standard Tiger I at a distance, so that most opponents aim at its known, avoidable weak points, which however are all much better protected in this heavy battle tank.
However, the Porsche Tiger is relatively slow and immobile, and the turret rotates much more slowly. On the other hand, it has a reverse gear, which makes the vehicle move about as fast as it moves forward and thus offers excellent options to withdraw elegantly from dangerous situations or after damage.
Players who do not have this premium vehicle should instead use the standard Tiger I Ausf E from the normal research tree.
Tank destroyer Panzer IV/70(V) (BR 5.3)
The Panzer IV/70(V) is still an excellent tank destroyer for this line. Its low silhouette, its excellently beveled frontal armor, the same highly effective cannon as the Panther and additional smoke projectors make it a dangerous opponent even at short distances.
The flat tank destroyer, which can also be well covered with camouflage material, is often overlooked and many frontal hits are ‘swallowed’ by the excellent armor design.
The cannon can deal with almost all enemies from the front, even when upgraded to a battle with an unfavorable battle rating.
Tank destroyer Nashorn (BR 5.3)
Despite its high silhouette, the author considers the Nashorn (Rhinoceros) of BR 5.3 to be a more suitable tank destroyer with the heavy 88 mm anti-tank gun Pak 43 for long firing distances than the ‘Waffenträger’ (weapon carrier), which has a turret and is flat, but appears very fragile and on top of that very slow and immobile, in order to reach suitable firing positions in time.
But maybe it is also due to the long routine the author already had with the German line of BR 5.3 and therefore has more and better operational experience with the Nashorn.
Tank destroyer Brummbär (BR 4.3)
As the so called ‘cheapest’ solution (minimum entry points for a tank with a heavy gun) for a tank destroyer with at least a Battle Rating below the standard of this line the author uses the Premium Assault Tank Brummbär (Growler). This has been currently downgraded to BR 4.3, although its slanted frontal armor is hardly crackable even for many guns from BR 5.7 on, while its 15 cm howitzer still makes short work of most enemies, both with explosive and HEAT shells. Even if the first hit is often not enough to destroy the target, it does hit it so hard that it is practically immobilized until the second, final impact.
Alternatively the Panzer IV/70 (A) can be used with the same gun of the Panther or Panzer IV/70(V). This is also a premium vehicle, now also to be found on BR 4.3 and has a small frontal weakness with a horizontal armor plate and is slightly higher.
If you can’t own one of these premium vehicles, you have to use the Hetzer (BR 4.3) or Jagdpanzer IV (BR 4.7) from the standard research tree.
Tank destroyer SdKfz 234/4 ‘Pakwagen’ (BR 3.0)
The SdKfz 234/4 Pakwagen (anti-tank gun carrier), which is as well known as hated by the players in the opposing team, serves as a tank destroyer and especially as a fast vehicle to occupy CAP points. Its 7.5cm Pak with ammunition, which was used in 1945, can still handle most enemy vehicles in this range of the ‘Battle Rating’ and can also reconnaissance them, marking them on the map for your players and giving you points and discounts on aircraft spawning when they are destroyed. So it’s a very useful vehicle, especially for opening the game.
However, the ‘Pakwagen’ is a premium vehicle, which can only be unlocked during special events. If you don’t have it, use the normal Puma armored car variant (BR 2.7) instead.
Anti-aircraft tank Ostwind II (BR 5.3)
The anti-aircraft tank Ostwind II (East wind II) serves mainly as an anti-aircraft vehicle, but can also take out lightly armored vehicles, especially from the side and from behind.
The vehicle was equipped with a 3.7 cm twin flak (AA-gun), which allows enough balls to be distributed in the air and a hit is often sufficient. All in all a very effective anti-aircraft tank for shooting down enemy aircraft and – in contrast to the Wirbelwind (BR 3.7) – also possible over longer distances.
Fighter plane Me 109K (BR 5.7)
The Me 109K is one of the strongest fighters in this range of the Battle Rating. A pure energy fighter that surprises with fast dive and climb performance that hardly anyone else can follow.
Since the aircraft has no bombs, it is not usable as a fighter-bomber, however. But additional machine guns can be mounted under the wings. Also, the repair costs are quite high in case of loss, so only experienced fighter pilots should handle it.
Fighter-bomber Do 335 B-2 (BR 5.7)
The Do 335 B-2 Pfeil (Arrow) is a premium aircraft and has a bomb load of one 500-kg and two 250-kg bombs as well as enormous firepower with its machine guns. The latters are sufficient to blow almost any opponent out of the sky in a head-to-head duel and can also be used to fire and destroy ground targets.
However, the Do 335 is not very maneuverable, but it is quite fast. You should never get involved in a dogfight with it.
Those who do not own the premium version can also use one of the free versions from the research tree. However, these are slower, not so heavily equipped with cannons and not all of them have a bomb load to be used as a fighter-bomber.
Bomber Ju 288 C (BR 5.7)
The Ju 288C is not wrongly considered one of the most powerful bombers in War Thunder. Besides high speed and a good defensive armament it can load two 1,800 kg bombs. Each of these large bombs is good enough to destroy at least one ground vehicle. Their only disadvantage compared to their predecessors Ju 88 and Ju 188 is the lack of dive flaps to be able to fly even more accurate dive attacks.
Unfortunately it is also a premium aircraft and those who do not have it can fall back on the Ju 188 from the normal research tree, which can carry other smaller bombs in addition to just one 1,800 kg bomb and has dive-break flaps.
More about War Thunder
References and literature
Kraftfahrzeuge und Panzer der Reichswehr, Wehrmacht und Bundeswehr (Werner Oswald)
Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two (P.Chamberlain, H.L.Doyle)
Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis, and Military Simulation, Volume I – IIIB (Nigel Askey)
Panzer und andere Kampffahrzeuge von 1916 bis heute (Christopher F. Foss, John F. Milsom, Colonel John Stafford Weeks, Captain Georffrey Tillotson, Richard M. Ogorkiewicz)
Panzerkampfwagen des 1. und 2. Weltkrieges (Andrew Kershaw)
Krieg der Panzer (Piekalkiewicz)
The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II (Chris Bishop)