(32) Pz.Kpfw. IV family

(32) Pz.Kpfw. IV family

Color profiles: Jacek Pasieczny, Sławomir Zajączkowski, captions: Marek Jaszczołt
Free decals for all 16 painting schemes in 3 scales.

MiniTC32-1

 

References:

Books:
Agte, P. Jochen Peiper: Commander, Panzerregiment Leibstandarte, Winnipeg 2000.
Archer, L. & Auerbach, W. Panzerwrecks 2. German Armour 1944-45, Monroe 2006.
Archer, L. & Auerbach, W. Panzerwrecks 3. German Armour 1944-45, Monroe 2006.
Archer, L. & Auerbach, W. Panzerwrecks 13. Italy 2, Heathfield 2012.
Deprun, F. Panzer en Normandie: Histoire des équipages de char de la 116. Panzerdivision (Juillet-août 1944), Louviers 2011.
Ellis, C. PzKpfw IV at the front Vol.4: mid-late Ausf. G, H, and J, Aberdeen 2008.
Majewski, A. Barwy i znaki Panzerwaffe cz.1 – Panzerregiment, Gdynia 2001.
Jentz, T. L. Panzertruppen 2: The Complete Guide to the Creation & Combat Employment of Germany’s Tank Force 1943-1945. Formations, Organizations, Tactics, Combat Reports, Unit Strengths, Statistics, Atglen 1996.
Jung, H.-J. The History of Panzerregiment “Grossdeutschland”,
Winnipeg 2000.
Moshchanskiy, I., Aksyonov, A. & Lebedev, N. Panzertruppen 1945. Organization and Armament, Moscow 2001.
Otte, A. The HG Panzer Division, West Chester 1989.
Urbanke, A. Endkampf um das Reichsgebiet 1944-1945. Ostfront, Bad Zwischenahn 2009.

Magazines:
Bączyk, N. Żołnierze dywizji „Totenkopf” w walce z Powstaniem Warszawskim w dniach 1–5 sierpnia 1944 roku, Militaria XX wieku, 2007, nr 2 (17).
Wróblewski, R. & Mucha, K. Tygrysy 3.DPanc SS „Totenkopf” w Polsce, Militaria XX wieku, 2008, Wydanie Specjalne nr 5.

Internet:
Missing-lynx.com: Axis WWII AFV Discussion Group: www.network54.com/Forum/47207/
Bundesarchiv via Wikipedia Commons: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Images_from_the_German_Federal_Archive
Photo gallery of Warsaw Rising Museum: www.1944.pl/galerie/fototeka/
Akira Takiguchi’s Wehrmacht in World War II: www.history.jp/wehrmacht/
Carl Mydans’ photos from archive of the LIFE magazine:
www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/ff5f1aa28fca8ab6_large
www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/f4e25e3f48bda3cf_large
www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/a804609610cfba4a_large

 

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F2 (G) coded 1233 of III./Pz.Rg.24, 24th Panzer Division, southern Russia, summer 1942. As far as the Panzerwaffe units are concerned this Division was unusual in many ways. It was formed from the 1st Cavalry Division, which traditions were consistently continued. Its structure was based on three battalions, what affected e.g. on the tactical numbers of its vehicles. In this case it is the third tank of the 3rd platoon of the 9th squadron, not the 12th one as it would be expected (the unit was not named ‘company’ because of the cavalry traditions). There were three squadrons in each battalion, but the staff vehicles were counted as the ordinary squadron ones. Due to that, the tactical numbers of tanks of the 7th squadron of III. Battalion started with 9, the 8th squadron – with 10, HQ – with 11, and the 9th squadron – 12. The 24th Panzer Division was encircled and destroyed during the battle of Stalingrad. This tank had the typical monotone Panzergrau (RAL 7021) camouflage and carried white division emblem (the leaping horseman) as well as the yellow arrow insignia of the regiment. The layout of rear markings is hypothetical.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F2 (G) coded B11 of Pz.Rgt.29, 12th Panzer Division, Ssinjawino, Russia, spring 1943. The tank belonged to the 8th company of Pz.Rgt.29 which was formed from Panzer-Kompanie z.b.V.66 in April 1942. The latter unit was originally attached to the Malta invasion force (Operation Hercules). In August 1942, bearing the name of Kompanie Bethke, the company was sent to the Eastern Front and in October was absorbed by the 12th Panzer Division. The vehicle carried a three-tone camouflage consisting of green (RAL 6003) and brown (RAL 8017) patches over the dark yellow base (RAL 7028 or RAL 8020, if the layer had been applied during the preparations for invasion of Malta). The company’s tanks had distinctive codes consisting of letter B (the first letter of the commander’s surname) and a pair of bicolor digits, which colours are hypothetical.


Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G coded 623 of II./Pz.Rgt.15, 11th Panzer Division, the battle of Kursk, Russia, July 1943. The Division was a part of the Army Group South with only 25 Pz.Kpfw. IV tanks armed with long-barreled guns. The vehicle sported a two-tone camouflage with thin lines of green (RAL 6003) sprayed over the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base after the tactical numbers and other markings had been applied. The code digits and temporary division markings for the Operation Zitadelle period were black.

Befehlswagen IV Ausf. G coded 055 of Stab/SS-Pz.Rgt.1, 1st SS Panzer Division LSSAH, Zhitomir area, Ukraine, November 1943. This vehicle was the command tank of SS-Ostubaf. Joachim Peiper. It was the standard Ausf. G tank fitted with additional radio set with clearly visible additional aerial on the turret side and a periscope installed. The range of modifications is hard to define as they were not factory-made.. The command vehicles based on the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J tanks were not introduced before 1944. The tank carried a two-tone camouflage with small irregular green (RAL 6003) patches painted over the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base. Other distinctive features of the vehicle were the white division emblem and black and white thin lined tactical number.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H/J coded 715 of the 7th company, II./Pz.Rgt. Hermann Göring, 1st Fallschirm-Panzer-Division Hermann Göring, Italy, spring 1944. The system of markings in that unit was absolutely unique. Standard tactical numbers were completed with circles inside which the companies of the sub-unit were marked out in the clock-order. The colours of the central points on the clock faces, their borders or the geometric figures outside them were distinctive for each sub-unit of the division. This vehicle had been completed between December 1943 and May 1944 and had the Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating applied. Its tactical markings were supplemented with a heart symbol painted on the side of the hull and a nickname applied on the driver’s visor cover. The latter was unfortunately unreadable and therefore wasn’t reproduced on the colour profile. The layout of rear markings is hypothetical. The three-tone camouflage of the vehicle consisted of thin green (RAL 6003) and brown (RAL 8017) lines painted over the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base colour.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H/J coded 511 of II./Pz.Rgt. Großdeutschland, the battle of Târgu Frumos, Romania, April-May 1944. The vehicle was commanded by Oblt. Hans-Joachim Jung. The exhausted Panzer-Grenadier--Division Großdeutschland was sent to the defensive positions in Romania between March and April 1944. At that time it received 22 newly manufactured Pz.Kpfw. IV tanks, including the presented one. Apart of the mentioned officer, the crew consisted of Uffz. Breuning (driver), StGefr. Heinrich (gunner), PzSchtz. Schütz (loader), and Gefr. Schlumberger (radiooperator). The vehicle carried three-tone camouflage with patches of green (RAL 6003) and brown (RAL 8017) sprayed over the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base. The ‘Stahlhelm’ emblem of the division and the tactical number were painted in black on the sides and rear of the turret protective screens.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H coded 813 and named ‘Germaine’ of II./Pz.Rgt.26, 26th Panzer Division, Lanuvio area, Italy, May 1944. In the beginning of 1944 the 26th Panzer Division took part in the battles with the US Army in the Anzio bridgehead area. The vehicles of the 8th company of II./Pz.Rgt.26, including ‘Germaine’, operated there too. The tank was destroyed in the last days of May 1944 by the Americans during their approach to Rome. Apart of the white tactical number, it sported the chassis number on the front part of the hull, the early version of the divisional emblem, and the nickname ‘Germaine’. Another interesting feature of that tank was the irregular Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating added at the frontline level. The three-tone camouflage consisted of green (RAL 6003) and brown (RAL 8017) thin lines sprayed over the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base colour.


Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H coded 821 and named ‘Gisela’ of an unknown unit, Eastern Front, 1944. The shape of the tactical number suggests that the tank belonged to the 16th Panzer Division. It carried a three-tone camouflage with irregular, brush-painted patches of green (RAL 6003) and brown (RAL 8017) applied on the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base. Painting such camouflage was extremely time-consuming.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H coded 531 of II./Pz.Rgt.16, 116th Panzer Division, Normandy, August 1944. The 116th Panzer Division was sent to the frontline in the last days of July 1944. During a one-month campaign it suffered significant losses, being divided into small battle groups. The tank coded 531, which belonged to the 5th company of II./Pz.Rgt.16 commanded by Oblt. Werner Adam, was one of the destroyed. Only 4 of 86 tanks which were used by the unit on 18th July 1944 survived till 5th September. The Pz.Kpfw. IVs of the II./Pz.Rgt.16 sported small white tactical numbers (supplemented with thin black outline on the 5th company’s vehicles) on the sides and rear of the turret protective screens. The three-tone camouflage of the tank consisted of green (RAL 6003) and brown (RAL 8017) patches sprayed over dark yellow base coat, while the Schürzens could be taken from another tank as they carried two-tone geometrical pattern.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J coded 732 of II./SS-Pz.Rgt.3, 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf, Warsaw, early August 1944. The launch of the Warsaw Uprising on the 1st August 1944 surprised the crews of a group of the Totenkopf’s combat vehicles during the transport to the division’s replacement center located in ‘Stauffer-Kaserne’ at Puławska Street. Because of that 8 Pz.Kpfw. IVs, 6 Tiger Is and 1 Panther tank as well as 7 Grille 38(t) took part in the fights in the first half of August. The vehicle coded 732 was photographed in the Warsaw city center at the crossroad of Pankiewicza Street and Jerozolimskie Alleys. Its three-tone camouflage consisted of green (RAL 6003) and brown (RAL 8017) patches on the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base colour. The markings were unusually applied at four locations.

Sturmpanzer IV coded 8 of Stu.Pz.Abt.217, Aachen area, autumn 1944. The vehicle represents the last, fourth production series, manufactured after abandoning of the Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating application. It sported a ‘disc-type’ camouflage, which was a variation of the Hinterhalt-Tarnung (so called ‘ambush’ pattern). It was done by applying big green (RAL 6003) and brown (RAL 8017) patches on the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base, and then adding another layer of dark yellow painted with a template. The template itself was prepared by cutting the openings between adjoining wheels.

Panzer IV/70 (A) coded 223 of II./Pz.Rgt. Großdeutschland attached to the Führer-Begleit-Brigade, Trier, Germany, January 1945. The Brigade took part in the Ardennes Offensive, during which the ¾ of its vehicles had been lost. The majority of the battalion was equipped with Panzer IV/70 (A) self-propelled guns. This particular vehicle luckily survived the campaign in Belgium and was retreated to Germany without the side screens. It carried the three-tone factory applied camouflage consisting of brown (RAL 8017) and dark yellow (RAL 7028) patches on the green (RAL 6003) base. The white tactical numbers were painted as outlines only.

Sturmgeschütz IV coded 214 of an unknown unit, Eastern Front, winter of 1944-1945. The vehicle had the Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating and concrete support layers in front of the drivers compartment and the frontal superstructure. Te standard three-tone dark yellow (RAL 7028), green (RAL 6003), and brown (RAL 8017) camouflage was supplemented with irregular white lines painted with a broad brush.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J coded 831 of II./Pz.Rgt.31, 5th Panzer Division, Königsberg area, East Prussia, March 1945. The turret sides of the tanks of the 31st Regiment were carefully marked with the division emblem, the head of a devil, as well as another symbol – the letter X in a square. This particular vehicle had the Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating applied and probably had lost the side screens during the earlier battles. The white winter camouflage was neatly applied on its all surfaces. The previous scheme is visible only around tactical numbers and non-typical national markings.

Panzer IV/70 (V) coded 522 of an unknown unit, Germany, May 1945. The high tactical number suggests that the vehicle belonged to the II. Battalion of an armoured division, not the self-propelled tank hunters unit. In the last weeks of the war it was quite common to supply the tank regiments with such combat vehicles. Its camouflage probably represented the three-tone type consisting of green (RAL 6003) patches with thin borders of thinned brown (RAL 8012 or RAL 8017) paint, all over the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base. It is also possible that the borders were applied with less diluted green paint.

Befehlswagen Panzer IV/70 (V) coded 101 of s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt.655, Oldenburg, Germany, May 1945. At the end of the war the battalion comprised three self-propelled tank hunters companies. There were 10 Panzer IV/70 (V) vehicles in the 1st and 3rd company, and 5 Jagdpanthers in the 2nd one. The majority of the vehicles did not sport the tactical numbers. This particular example carried a three-tone camouflage consisting of brown (RAL 8017) and dark yellow (RAL 7028) patches painted on the green (RAL 6003) base colour.

 

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