The Panzer IV could well be described as the workhorse of the German Panzer arm.
Classed originally as a close-support tank for panzer regiments its short, stubby 75mm gun fired high explosive and smoke rounds as required. At around 18 tons it was the heaviest front line tank in German service at the outbreak of war but, apart from the suspension, bore a strong family likeness to the Panzer III. Various improvements were introduced over the years but the most significant, dating from the winter of 1941/1942, was the fitting of the much longer 75mm KwK 40 which, at a stroke, made the Panzer IV one of the most powerful tanks on the battlefield.
The Tank Museum’s Panzer IV
This Panzer IV was completed as an Ausf D, with 30mm extra armour on the superstructure front and 20mm armour on the hull and superstructure sides before it even left the factory. In 1943 additional armour was put on the front and the original 75mm KwK L/24 replaced with the KwK 40 L/43 and this may well have been as part of the development of these various changes. It was used as a driving instruction vehicle. Plate 292 in the ‘Encyclopedia of German Tanks’ shows an N.S.K.K. Pz. Kpfw. IV D/H, possibly the Museum exhibit.
Served with Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrerkorps (N.S.K.K.) (National Socialist Motor Corps).