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Panzer IV ausf B

History: Krupp-Gruson had been given an order to produce 45 of the 2nd series BW, but three were not completed because of shortage of parts.
Specific features:  Improvements incorporated in the ausf B included a larger engine and six-speed transmission, an increase in the frontal armour thickness to 30mm, and a new type of cupola.  Other modifications included a conical-shaped hood over the right signal port in the roof, to shield signal lamps, and single-piece hatches over the driver and radio-operator.  The superstructure front on the ausf B was in one straight piece, without the hull machine-gun which had been replaced by a visor and a pistol port.  In order to prolong their combat life, from late 1940, additional armour plates were bolted to the hull and superstructure sides of some ausf B's.
Combat service: During the period in which the ausf B was produced in 1938, only three Panzer IV were issued to a Zug (platoon) in the light tank company (a) of each Panzer detachment, which resulted in Panzer regiments with only six Panzer IV.  The ausf B saw service in Poland, France, the Balkans and Russia, and had been gradually phased out through attrition by late 1943.

Panzer IV ausf B


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Copyright Simon Vosters 1999-2000