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Panzerkampfwagen Panther II


Model by Steve Banas


With the publication of Thomas Jentz's Germany's Panther Tank: The Quest for Combat Supremacy, a good deal of controversy was created regarding the technical specifications of the Panther II. Many of the previous specifications were challenged by the Jentz work. Rather than taking one side or another in this debate, Technical Virtue will present both views and let the reader make their own decisions.

All sources agree that development of the Panther II started in early 1943. According to Jentz, the only initial difference between the Panther II and the Panther I was armor thickness (and, of course, the mass increase associated with the thicker armor), and It was not until February that plans for standardization of components between the Panther II and Tiger III (later renamed Tiger II) was planned. Spielberger contends that the commonality was seen as a major driving force behind the creation of the Panther II.

The following table details the two prevailing views regarding the technical specifications of the Panther II:

Panzerkampfwagen Panther II
  Jentz Spielberger
Project Start Date: January 22, 1943 February 1943
Planned Production Date: ~January 1945 Late 1944 / Early 1945
Armor: Hull Front 100mm @ 55o 100mm
  Hull side 60mm @ 0 to 35o 60mm
  Hull rear 40mm @ 40o 60mm
Primary Armament 7.5 cm KwK 42 L/70 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71
Turret Schmale Blendenausfuehrung

(Narrow gun mantelet model turret, see text below)

Schmalturm

(As on Panther Ausf. F, but upgunned, see text below)

The Turret Controversy