History

The Jagdpanzer IV was the first of a series of highly effective tank destroyers developed in Germany from 1943, each of which carried a powerful gun in a low chassis protected by well sloped armour.

While the StuG had originally been developed as a close support weapon to work with the infantry, and had later been modified to become a powerful anti-tank weapon, the Jagdpanzer IV was designed from the start as a tank killer.

The first wooden model of the Jagdpanzer (or Panzerjäger) was completed in May 1943, and a soft steel prototype was presented to Hitler on 20 October 1943. The final prototype was ready in December 1943, and production began in January 1944. Vomag were responsible for production of the Jagdpanzer, producing it alongside the Panzer IV until May 1944 and then concentrating on the new weapon.

The Jagdpanzer had the same basic hull as the Panzer IV, although the flat front of the Panzer IV was replaced by a sharp nose. The superstructure was built of sloping armour plates. The frontal armour was originally 60mm thick, 20mm thinner than on contemporary Panzer IVs, but was sloped at 50 degrees, making it much more effective. In May 1944 the frontal armour was thickened to 80mm, making it even more powerful.

The Jagdpanzer IV was armed with the 75mm Pak39 L/48 gun. It was replaced by the Panzer IV/70(A) and Panzer IV/70(V), armed with the longer 75mm KwK42 L/70 gun, while the same basic design was also used to produce the Jagdpanzer 38(t) “Hetzer”

The Panzer IV/70 (A) was intended to be an interim design, designed to speed up the introduction of a version of the Jagdpanzer armed with a 7.5cm PaK42 L/70 main gun.

Vomag, who also produced the Jagdpanzer IV, had produced a similar design, which entered production as the Panzer IV/70 (V), and which was seen as the main production version of the long-gun armed Jagdpanzer.

Alkett’s design was based on the standard chassis of a Panzer IV. This made it narrower than the Vomag design, and meant that the superstructure needed to be taller (2.35m compared to 1.85m), with flat sided armoured plates between the top of the tracks and the start of the sloped side armour. Like the Vomag design the Panzer IV/70 (A) was nose-heavy.

In July 1944 Alkett received an order to convert some of their Panzer IV production to the Panzer IV/70 (A), and production began in August (the same month as at Vomag). A total of 278 Panzer IV/70 (A)s were produced by Alkett at Nibelungenwerk, and production continued to the end of the war.

The Panzer IV/70 (A) was intended to be an interim design, designed to speed up the introduction of a version of the Jagdpanzer armed with a 7.5cm PaK42 L/70 main gun.

Vomag, who also produced the Jagdpanzer IV, had produced a similar design, which entered production as the Panzer IV/70 (V), and which was seen as the main production version of the long-gun armed Jagdpanzer.

Alkett’s design was based on the standard chassis of a Panzer IV. This made it narrower than the Vomag design, and meant that the superstructure needed to be taller (2.35m compared to 1.85m), with flat sided armoured plates between the top of the tracks and the start of the sloped side armour. Like the Vomag design the Panzer IV/70 (A) was nose-heavy.

In July 1944 Alkett received an order to convert some of their Panzer IV production to the Panzer IV/70 (A), and production began in August (the same month as at Vomag). A total of 278 Panzer IV/70 (A)s were produced by Alkett at Nibelungenwerk, and production continued to the end of the war.

The Panzer IV/70 (A) was intended to be an interim design, designed to speed up the introduction of a version of the Jagdpanzer armed with a 7.5cm PaK42 L/70 main gun.

Vomag, who also produced the Jagdpanzer IV, had produced a similar design, which entered production as the Panzer IV/70 (V), and which was seen as the main production version of the long-gun armed Jagdpanzer.

Alkett’s design was based on the standard chassis of a Panzer IV. This made it narrower than the Vomag design, and meant that the superstructure needed to be taller (2.35m compared to 1.85m), with flat sided armoured plates between the top of the tracks and the start of the sloped side armour. Like the Vomag design the Panzer IV/70 (A) was nose-heavy.

In July 1944 Alkett received an order to convert some of their Panzer IV production to the Panzer IV/70 (A), and production began in August (the same month as at Vomag). A total of 278 Panzer IV/70 (A)s were produced by Alkett at Nibelungenwerk, and production continued to the end of the war.

Four men crew – commander, gunner, loader and driver, operated IV/70(V) and IV/70(A). Both vehicles were modified during production for example in September, number of return rollers was decreased to three per side. Many vehicles were fitted with Schurzen or Thoma wire mesh shields and were factory applied with Zimmerit anti-magnetic paste until September of 1944. Also starting in September of 1944, Jagdpanzer IV (L/48) and Jagdpanzer IV/70(V) were fitted with flame dumping exhausts and mufflers (Flammentoter). Heavier long barrelled gun and thick frontal armour made the nose extremely heavy and both vehicles less mobile (especially in rough terrain) and difficult to operate causing drivers to gave them the nickname “Guderian’s Duck” (“Guderian-Ente”). This problem was partially rectified by fitting steel-rimmed wheels at the first two wheel stations in IV/70(V) and on the first four wheel stations in IV/70(A) instead of rubber ones that could not handle the weight.

agdpanzer IV/70(A) was issued first in September of 1944. It was issued as regular tank to Panzer Abteilungs or as a replacement assault gun to Panzer and Stug Brigades. It was used as an anti-tank support vehicle for regular battle tanks. Most of the vehicles saw service on the Eastern Front. On April 10th of 1945, there were still 285 Jagdpanzer IV/70 in service with the German Army, 274 on the Eastern Front, 8 in Italy and 3 on the Western Front. After the war, approximately 6 Jagdpanzer IVs (L/48 and L/70) found their way to Syria.

The Kit

The Dragon Kit Panzer IV/70 A (Kit#6015) made it’s premier in 1994. And was the first in a series of this “Tank Killer”,by Dragon. The latest being Kit 6689 “Smart Kit”. It is well engineered and carefully crafted to accurately recreate the original vehicle not bad for a kit from 1994. The major parts fitted with no problem,and the details are rather impressive. The tracks needed some clean up,but not a real issue. I used the Eduard PE Set # EDU35310 JgdPz IV/70 Mesh Shields ombined with the kit’s parts, which made the installation of the mesh skirts easier. At this stage,today I am going to primer and basecoat with the skirts off, as seen in these “Bench” photos. And then install the skirts and “touch up” those areas. I really like to say this kit for me is a wonderful building experience. Thanks Dragon/DML.

Box Art

 

Advertisements