The Jagdpanther was a Tank Destroyer, based on the Panther chassis and armed with the 88mm L/71 gun.
The vehicles was proposed in October 1942 and Hitler inspected a prototype some fourteen months later. A total of 392 were produced by two manufacturers up to March 1945.
The turreted Panther tank mounted a 75mm gun but, by eliminating the turret and adding a fixed superstructure it proved possible to mount a larger gun, the Tiger’s formidable 88mm. The Jagdpanther was also renowned for the exceptional use of sloped armour and it remains a modern, sleek looking design. Even so there were problems. Since the gun had limited traverse the driver often had to swing the entire vehicle to bring the gun to bear and after a while this resulted a period of final drive gear failures. Once this was remedied it turned out to be a fearsome weapon; in a well selected ambush location, for which the camouflage shown on our exhibit was typical, the Jagdpanther could destroy a number of opponents before being discovered and attacked. Although issued to anti-tank battalions to start with these vehicles later found their way into tank units who generally would have preferred turreted vehicles.
The Tank Museum’s Jagdpanther
This Jagdpanther was one of a batch found partly completed on the production lines at MNH (Hannover) after the German surrender and completed under supervision by REME.