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Panzer IV ausf E

History: In January 1938, the order for 223 6th series BW was issued to Krupp-Gruson, and this total was completed.
Specific features: The main improvements introduced with the ausf E were a new cupola design, modifications to the turret, and increased armour protection.  The turret now had a single bent plate for the turret rear, and an exhaust fan to extract gun fumes.  While all ausf E had a 50mm hull front and 20mm plate bolted to the hull and superstructure sides, several of the early ausf E were minus the extra 30mm plate on the superstructure front.  Minor modifications included a simplified sprocket design, glacis hatches countersunk level with surface of glacis, new design of driver's visor (pivoting), single signal post on turret roof and an armoured cover for the smoke-candle rack.
Combat service: With the continued production of the ausf D, and the completion of the ausf E, sufficient Panzer IV became available to furnish each medium tank company with ten Panzer IV for the campaigns in the Balkans, North-Africa and Russia.  Forty ausf D and E were taken to North-Africa with the 5th and 8th Panzer regiments, and 438 ausf B-F were with the seventeen Panzer Divisions which attacked the Russians in June 1941.  The last ausf E were phased out by attrition early in 1944.

Panzer IV ausf E

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Copyright Simon Vosters 1999-2000