|“||Ready yourself, Major. It's one of a dangerous new breed.
- Andrew Campbell, Kasserine Pass
Developed first to support the Panzer III in combat, the Panzerkampfwagen IV quickly became Germany's main medium tank. If the Soviet T-34 tank was the best in its category, the Pz IV came in a close second. It was well armed as its long 75mm L/48 gun was equipped with a very precise sight (a TFZ 5, the best of the war), plus a MG-34 machine-gun in the hull for close defense. The PzKpf. IV is also the last German tank of average production cost that can therefore be fielded in great numbers.
Undoubtedly the best German medium tank was the PzKpfw IV, and it was the only German battle tank to remain in production throughout World War II, being constantly up-armoured and up-gunned. The PzKpfw IV was a well-made robust tank with a satisfactory cross-country performance and a large turret ring that enabled it to take more powerful guns.
The Panzer IV was the brainchild of German general and innovative armored warfare theorist Heinz Guderian. In concept, it was intended to be a support tank for use against enemy anti-tank guns and fortifications. Ideally, the tank battalions of a Panzer-Division were each to have three medium companies of Panzer IIIs and one heavy company of Panzer IVs. On 11 January 1934, the German army wrote the specifications for a "medium tractor", and issued them to a number of defense companies.
It was first developed to support the Panzer III, which would be armed with a 37mm (1.46 in) anti-tank gun; the PzKmpf IV Ausf. A would have a short-barrelled 75mm (2.95in) gun that fired high-explosive rounds, and was allotted a weight limit of 24 tonnes (26.46 short tons). Development was carried out under the name Begleitwagen ("accompanying vehicle"), or BW, to disguise its actual purpose, given that Germany was still theoretically bound by the Treaty of Versailles. MAN, Krupp, and Rheinmetall-Borsig each developed prototypes, with Krupp's being selected for further development.
- The Panzer IV can be produced at about the same rate as an American Sherman if two Armour bases are set up. If mass produced behind a Siegfried line, they can be used effectively for Blitzkrieg tactics (I say behind a Siegfried line because it is easier to keep them alive long enough to mount a proper attack on the enemy if they are properly defended. This also helps to prevent enemy infantry or tanks from capturing/destroying your armour bases). If used with artillery and close air support, and an infantry rear guard (plus some heavy tanks, like the Tiger) a player can pull off a successful Blitzkrieg against a defensive enemy, like the French.
- Sometimes its best to stay with the Panzer IV instead of upgrading to the Panther, due to the inability to mass-produce Panthers with ease.
- The Panzer IV is faster than some Medium and Heavy tanks and even beats some of the lower quality Light tanks (H39) in mobility. It can be harried by units such as the Carro M13/M15 and even faster Light tanks such as the Chaffee though.
Pros & Cons
Medium HE Shell
Medium AP Shell
- The version of Panzer IV in-game is the Panzer IV Ausf. H. This is determined by the added characteristic of the Schürzen, or spaced armor.