Special Panthers – part I: Panther and Jagdpanther

Hello everyone,

today, we are going to have a look at some of the weirdest (but most interesting) Panther variants there were. Most will come from W.Spielberger, so the info is as solid as it gets – no fakes here :)

The Panther is the ultimate medium tank of the Second world war. Despite being plagued by its own problems, it was a perfect blend of mobility, armor and firepower. Where other famous mediums lacked quality and made up for that by sheer numbers, the Panther was facing the opposite problems. There were simply too few. Despite the fact there were never enough Panthers around however, a number of interesting projects and upgrades were developed for the Panther chassis.

Obviously, thanks to the game, everyone noticed the Schmalturm – the “narrow” turret for the Panther. This was of course a real project, but the 75mm L/100 is… well, semi-real. In early 1943 (January, in fact), Hitler demanded this gun to become the Panther armament. At that point, the gun was not even developed I believe (long barrels have problems of their own – most notably the vibrations, in fact reducing the gun accuracy, they are also very expensive and notoriously difficult to make) and nothing came of it. But, it was proposed. What WAS however developed, was the Panther with autoloader. Basically, Škoda Pilsen developed an autoloading mechanism for the Panther KwK 42/2 (to be ready in April 1945) – so yes, Panthers with autoloaders could roam the battlefields of WoT one day. This is sort of conencted with SerB’s remark that eventually the E-50 and E-50M might merge, with the “Turbopanther” jumping to tier 9.

This is how the ultimate Panther (last historical Ausf.F) was concieved:


Following upgrades were also considered for the Panther:

- Stabilized gunsights, April 1945
- Biwa infra-red scope and searchlight and a built-in range finder, April 1945
- Gummisparende Laufrollen (rubber saving, steel-tyred roadwheels), May 1945
- Dreschflegelpanzer (mine-clearing flail tank), May 1945
- 900 hp Maybach HL 234 engine, August 1945
- Air cooled diesel engine by Simmering and water cooled diesel engine by Deutz
- Stabilized main gun
- Hydrostatic steering gear
- Hydrodynamic steering gear
- New turret with 8,8cm KwK L/71

What’s a “Turbopanther”? Well, what we can guess is: the ultimate Panther with various steering mechanism and drivetrain upgrades, sporting the heavies weaponry historically concieved for Panther (88mm L/71 in a Schmalturm), equipped with the GT-series gas turbine, giving it roughly 1200 horsepower to run around with. In real life, the turbine had a number of drawbacks and serious flaws, but in World of Tanks, it could work. Could work.

GT101 schematics:


Back to the Panther chassis, though. Four basic categories of vehicles were planned for the Panther chassis: scout tanks, anti-aircraft vehicles, self-propelled guns and tank destroyers.

Scout tanks

I will sort of skip the scout tanks, because there were only two models – the recon Panther (that is in the game), if you are interested, I wrote about its history earlier here. There is one more thing: an artillery ranging vehicle on Panther chassis. You can read about it in the article I linked, but basically, it was a Panther with all sorts of ranging equipment and a dummy gun (or a 50mm one), used to direct artillery fire. This is how it looked:

I will also skip the AA vehicles, as they have very little chance of appearing in World of Tanks. Earlier, I kinda thought one of the AA Panthers would make a cool scout (twin 37/55mm or so), but I guess we can’t really expect that, can we. Anyway, this is how it would have looked:

Now, however, we are getting to the interesting stuff: the self-propelled guns and tank destroyers.

Let’s start with the Jagdpanther. An 88mm with autoloader (PaK 43/3, 3 or 5 round drum autoloaders) and 128mm guns were both considered for the Jagdpanther (it was announced by Krupp during the November 1944 “tank re-arm” program proposal). The 128mm Jagdpanther was also considered (12,8cm PaK 80 L/55 that is). Doyle states that this vehicle would weight roughly 51 tons and would have to switch to the rear casemate design. Basically, it would be extremely uncomfortable for the crew and its performance would be limited by that. This design (along a bunch of others) was scrapped in February 1945 by Waffenprüfamt (German weapons testing office). Here’s how it would have looked:


Note that this design has nothign to do with the Jagdpanther II, it only adopted the rear casemate solution. By the time this vehicle was introduced, both Panther II and Jagdpanther II projects were long dead.

Part 2 will deal with the Waffenträgers, Panther artillery pieces and the 150mm Sturmmörser Panther assault mortar.

W.Spielberger – Panther and its variants
H.L.Doyle, T.Jentz – Panther Variants 1942-1945
H.L.Doyle – Panzer Tracts
Posts by Daigensui (US forum)

57 thoughts on “Special Panthers – part I: Panther and Jagdpanther

    • I’ve seen it. The english is too garbled to make too much sense of it I am afraid. I mean, I get what the guy means in general, but to make it an article, I’d need a proper translation I can understand at least, so there are no mistakes.

      • As if it wasn’t widely known that hoardes of 59s would make the game unplayable – or the fact that the chinese community likes the “pay cash to beat ass- pay lots to win the game” religion…

          • Why should he watch his manners? He’s speaking the truth. You don’t see on Russian server players playing only USSR tanks or on NA server people playing only US tanks?

        • In fact on the Chinese server a tier 6-8 vehicle is only a good vehicle if it can deal damage to Type 59 effectively.

          • “Why should he watch his manners? He’s speaking the truth. You don’t see on Russian server players playing only USSR tanks or on NA server people playing only US tanks?”

            Except you don’t know what you’re talking about. According to the devs (That’s if you actually read FTR) the Chinese play a lot of Russians or other tanks that you can pay to win.

            Besides, you’re telling me that you wouldn’t buy a Type 59 in an instant if it was available?

          • No I won’t. I wouldn’t waste my money on some stupid game. WG haven’t and won’t get any dime from me.

          • >No I won’t. I wouldn’t waste my money on some stupid game. WG haven’t and won’t get any dime from me.

            What, you poor or something? Go make some cash, m8, instead of complaining about sour grapes.

          • “What, you poor or something? Go make some cash, m8, instead of complaining about sour grapes.”

            I’m not complaining about anything you idiot. I have enough cash to buy premium for 3 years if I wanted to. I just don’t see the point on spending my money on computer games. And I haven’t played WoT for about 2 months or so.

            And for your information I was talking about Chinese players using mostly Chinese tanks only. What’s the f*cking point to have different nations then?

        • U are a retard, u moronic bastard, maybe have some cultural understanding before u make a comment about an ENTIRE community of people otherwise u WILL get ur arse beaten if u just go around saying that.

  1. Lol, implying the panther was mobile. Top speed doesn’t matter when the final drives will self destruct after 150km

  2. That Artillery ranging Panther might be a neat T5/6 premium light tank, barring the god awful gun it would have.

    • The English term is “observation vehicle” I believe, or “observation post vehicle” in period jargon IIRC

    • JPII was a design introduced more than a year earlier I believe. But I will have a look into it, it’s possible that WG took the 128mm JP model for the JPII.

  3. This is why Nazi Germany lost the war, always have to over complicate things. They had bigger industry then USSR yet they didn’t produce nearly as much equipment. Instead of adopting simple yet reliable designs to manufacture and just throw some high tech stuff in there. They went the hard way, even the Americans did it better with their tin cans. Even the Pershing could be manufactured faster then a Panther.

    • There is a reason why Germany didn’t mass produce like the allies did: Not enough manpower. Sure, they could have build ten thousands of tanks. But who would drive them? They had to go the quality way because the allies had so many more people to fight with.

    • well, they basically didn’t… better, maybe, but not bigger… and total mobilisation of german industry begun in 1942/1943, while in the USSR, the industry was mobilised as early as in 1941, if not even earlier

    • You do need to understand that not every factory that could and did build tanks could and did have the ability to build panthers. Secondly, the Panther was mass produced with just over 6k of them in all variants produced. Third, the Panthers design was created for mass production. Such was the first design used in production that the Germans had to add some quality and scarce materials back into the tank to make it more reliable and useable on the battlefields. Pershing production was stupid slow which is one reason why so few even made it to Europe not to mention the priority issues with producing a new tank in the middle of a war.

      • Fact of the matter is German chances of ultimate vicotry were slim to nonexistent to begin with, and they only got as far as they did on blind luck plus their early opposition having their heads firmly lodged up their asses. IIRC what I’ve read about it they themselves didn’t consider it likely they could win a drawn-out conflict with even just the Franco-British Entente (what with the resources of global empires at the latters’ disposal and the Royal Navy’s ability to effect a “Continental Blockade” and literally starve Germany out, as had happened in the Great War) nevermind now the US.

        Hence the obsession with getting results *fast and now* no matter the price (usually in manpower) in a desperate effort for a quick “knock-out” victory – not to mention only too often a pressing need to capture various strategic objectives dictated far more by circumstances than strategic planning. For example the occuptaion of Denmark and Norway suddenly became a priority (to secure the northern flank) when the Brits proved obstinate after the Fall of France, while the start date of Barbarossa and the importance of capturing the Ukraine were mostly dictated by the detail German grain stores were starting to run out…
        Similarly IIRC the infamous lack of winter gear for Barbarossa was due to a conscious gamble forced by circumstances; the Germans simply lacked the time and production capacity to produce enough, and more importantly the logistical capacity to actually supply them to the frontline in addition to the “victuals” (ammo, fuel, spare parts, ood…) needed to keep the units capable of fighting in the first place. All the more so as the Soviet transportation infrastructure turned out to be in far worse state than had been assumed which (alongside the partisans soon springing up all over the place) further restricted the supply flow…

        When the ’42 summer offensives failed to reach the Black Sea oilfields (though given the Soviet willingness to torch them if it came to that it is hard to see how much they’d have benefited the invaders) the German strategic planners basically concluded the war to be unwinnable and started advising Hitler to start seeking peace. True to form he instead suddenly developed a taste for wild “super weapon” projects and started tightening the screws on his assorted subjects to squeeze the proverbial blood out of stone in increasingly obviously doomed efforts to hold the imploding fronts.

        Anyways, the Panther was sound in basic concept but the execution left *much* to be desired, ending up rather oversized for its capabilities and chronically unreliable. Something of a moot point anyway as by the time it began entering service in real numbers Germany losing the war was not a question of “if” but “when”. It did however represent a notable effort at the kind of industrial streamlining for rapid mass production the Germans frankly sucked at compared already to the Brits, not to mention the reigning champions of “economies of scale” the US and USSR.

        As for the Pershing, eh. Farcical infighting, service-branch one-upmanship, outright complacency and general ugliness and failure in the US Army brass hampered its developement to ridiculous degrees (as well as projects to improve the Sherman) with the due result it ultimately had to be rushed into production with all kinds of teething problems (primarily in the transmission), duly became something of an intermediary placeholder until an improved model was designed, and pretty much missed the war anyway. Not the proudest episode in the annals of Murrican armoured warfare by any stretch of imagination.

        • >.>
          …I have no idea what you're talking about. .__.

          Anyways, might as well be thorough. It annoys me when people reduce this topic into a crude dick-measuring contest when the fundamental causes run far deeper. It's probably also worth pointing out that the gross insufficiency of the German resource base was quite specifically one of the major drivers of Nazi expansionist doctrine, since according to their bizarre world-explanation (which combined a vulgar-Darwinist view of international relations with a major dose of good old apocalyptic milleniarism, a narcissistic brand of paranoid schitzophrenia and plentiful supplies of sheer wtf) a final showdown between the last bastion of the Aryan Master Race and a constellation of (mostly Jewish; explaining how "Soviet Judaeo-Bolshevism" and the "Wall Street Jewry" were in cahoots predictably required some rather tortuous mental gymnastics) forces seeking its ruin loomed in the immediate future…

    • Lay off the Americans. Tell me, do you even know why we used tin cans? Because too many tucking immagrants from Europe moved over here and used all of our materials and sent all of our canned foods/money to starving relatives you fucktard

  4. From what I’ve read the actual JPII is nothing more than a Jagdpanther with more armor that was proposed in 1943 when the Germans thought that they wold be producing Panther IIs instead of Panthers. The JPII in WoT is a Frankenstein Jagdpanther mit 12.8 cm using a hull from an extinct project(Panther II).

  5. Thanks for writing an article up SS.

    For those who don’t know try reading about the Panther on the wiki page since it discusses at length the compromises that were done to enable the Panther to be mass produced.

    The wiki article on the GT101 is good but I think, iirc, it gets a few facts wrong (mostly mixed up) from its source, German Jet Engine and Gas Turbine Development 1930-1945 by Anthony Key, 2002. SO, once I have some time I will go back and go line by line and add in some corrections to it. Overall it is correct

    • I didn’t even mention the book because I thought the wiki article is basically just a copy of a part of that book. On WoT level, total details hardly matter I guess.

  6. Good to see an article about panthers, one question has bothered me for a long time. I haven’t found any information IF the jgpanther actually had a variant with 10.5 cannon (that we have ingame).
    Since as for historical cannons I have only seen information that it had 8.8 on it. Is this a balance? change from WG to give jgpanther ingame 10.5 or a 10.5 variant actually excisted.

    • I have not read that the Jagdpanther would have a 10.5 cm gun, so I believe it was done for balance.

      • Yes, it was done for balance, although instead they could have put in the 15cm STUH 43 as derp gun option.

    • AFAIK historically the Germans never got around to “tankifying” their 10,5cm AA piece in the first place (though I understand it was considered), and instead beelined straight for the bigger 12,8cm while they were at it.

      • There was never need for that. “Long 88″ was best AT gun of war and more than sufficient. 128mm gun was to be an upgrade to counter Allied future tank designs with, but they never materialized (if you compare AT gun calibers and thickness of armor plates used throughout WW2, you soon realize that tank designers knew, and followed, the “overmatch” principle).

        • Actually late-production Churchills and the like started having enough plate on the nose to stand up to the 88, AFAIK.

          Also regarding caliber progression do I REALLY need to point out that the Germans stuck to 7,5cm in their “line” medium-tank designs while the Allies and Soviets were mounting (or planning to) 85 to 90mm guns in the equivalents – and while the Germans at most put a 88L71 even in their heavy tanks the Soviets deliberated between a 100 and a 122mm gun for theirs (which, it ought to be noted, was only slightly heavier than the “medium” Panther), and decided on the latter… meanwhile the Murrican heavy-tank projects went from 90 to 105 to 120 to a somewhat ludicrous *155* millimeter gun on a platform no heavier than the Kingtiger.

          • 1) No, they didn’t, NYDNK (“No You Do Not Know”).
            2) Do you REALLY need a reminder that other mediums of that time were stuck at ~50mm armor (obviously, there was no need for higher caliber guns to counter them). Soviet 85mm S-53/D-5T L/55 (introduced in April 1944.) had marginally better penetration than 75mm KwK 40 L/48 (introduced in June 1942.) or American 76mm M1 L/55 gun (introduced in February 1944.) and was outclassed by British 17pndr 76.2mm and German 75mm KwK 42. Higher caliber (new turret, less ammo, ROF etc.) and only a few mm more penetration. See?
            3) 122mm Soviet guns were laughable as AT guns, especially so if examined through platforms that carried them. Heavy weight (made any tank it was mounted upon front-heavy), large caliber (only 28 ammo, large recoil, appallingly bad ROF of up to 4 rpm *with* redesigned breech *and* good crew – if you miss your first shot, and you usually will more than not thanks to poor optics, good luck staying alive while your opponent has enough time to fire 2 more shots unopposed), large chamber and breech (which means limited crew space and appallingly bad gun depression of -4° in Soviet way of thinking), two-piece ammo (low ammo load, low ROF, can’t change ammo type if already loaded-you load HE shells for bunker busting and then a wild Tiger 2 appears…). Add various other side-effects like two-piece ammo but single loader (gets tired faster), large amounts of toxic fumes in crew compartment etc. And all that to have ~15mm more penetration than 88mm KwK 36 and better HE round…Americans pretty much came to same conclusion with 155mm guns and choose to stick with 90mm.
            4)What part in “Long 88″ was best AT gun of war and more than sufficient” do you not understand?

  7. Due in english autoloader is the overall word for all in german we have categories, so of what kind of autoloader we are talking here ?
    Autoloader that replaces the loader, like in the T64 for example
    are we talking about a mag tank like the British Warrior in modern terms or ingame as all autoloaders ( 50B forexample ) ?

    • A drum one, probably of similiar construction than the one proposed for Škoda T-25. As far as I remember, the revolver drum was situated around the breech.

      • (Longtime happy owner of the “Skoda Boat” here) That one just gives the 7,5cm a slightly better RoF though… :/

  8. .. – 900 hp Maybach HL 234 engine, August 1945

    I guess, by those nazi scientists that secretly fled on UFOs to Argentina, Antarctica and Atlantis?

  9. Great article, alot of these upgrades should be considered, by giving germany what it had in 1945 to fight 1950/60s tanks is simply unfair. Having germany relegated to glorified battering rams is laughable and shouldn’t be considered a balancing factor but a byproduct of a heavy tank. They should be giving germany what it was developing for what it would have had on their tanks in 1950s/60s if they continued with development. (omitting the tier 9/10 leopard)

    “I will also skip the AA vehicles, as they have very little chance of appearing in World of Tanks. Earlier, I kinda thought one of the AA Panthers would make a cool scout (twin 37/55mm or so), but I guess we can’t really expect that, can we.”


    “Basically, it would be extremely uncomfortable for the crew and its performance would be limited by that.”

    No it would not of been uncomfortable, Germany would simply put tankers who are smaller in this tank just like the russians and chinese so we can ignore crew comfort yet again. Add another awesomely unbalanced sardine can tank to the list!

    • …except German wartime population was around 70 million (and falling) while that of the USSR was, depending on the year and who you count in, between ~170 and nearly *200* million.

      That’s quite a difference in recruitement base let me tell you. And even *they* junked a fair few proposed designs on the grounds that they were simply too cramped for sufficiently effective crew operations.
      Now consider that the big 12,8cm gun was historically mounted in a casemate on an *enlarged* Kingtiger hull, and the detail the Panther was a rather smaller machine to begin with…
      So, yeah.

      • And we should care about wartime populations why? This is a tank shooting game not hearts of iron strategy game. They should be ignoring historicity outside of whether such designs existed or not, because then the developers start to pick and choose very specific technical historical details leaving the door open to horrible qualitative bias. Historical information are good starting points but balance is more important.

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