| Jagdpanzer V "Jagdpanther" |
Don't provoke a hunting Panther
|Class||Advanced Tank Destroyer|
As its name suggests, the Jagdpanther mounts the famous 88mm high velocity gun on a turretless Panther chassis to minimalise its profile, but at a cost of firing whilst stationary. The Jagdpanther is upgraded from the Marder and is much better at firing on tanks, yet defending itself with its strong armor in the process.
The Jagdpanther is perhaps the best mobile Anti-Tank unit in the game, dealing a massive 483 damage to vehicles (for reference the King Tiger only does 480). It also has very heavy armor for a tank hunter, the M10 Wolverine has 15mm, the M36 Jackson has 30mm. But its armor is out classed by Japan's Ho-Ri which has a 5 armor rating.
A heavy tank destroyer design based on the 8.8 cm Pak 43 gun and the Panther tank chassis was ordered in late 1942 as design SdKfz 173. Production started in January 1944; in February Hitler specified the Jagdpanther name.To accommodate the heavier-calibre gun, much as on previous Jagdpanzer-style unturreted tank destroyers, the glacis plate and sides of the Jagdpanther were extended up into an integral, turretless fixed casemate as part of the main hull itself to provide a roomy interior. The Jagdpanther had side armour of increased thickness to offset the slightly reduced angle of the side armour necessary to provide enough interior space. The new (April 1944) Panther Ausf. G had the same feature, to harmonize production and increase protection.
It was armed with the same long-barreled 8.8 cm gun as the Tiger II "King Tiger" and a single 7.92 mm MG-34 machine gun in the front glacis plate for local defence. The Jagdpanther had a good power-to-weight ratio and a powerful main gun, which enabled it to destroy any type of Allied tank. Based on the existing Panther chassis, the vehicle did not suffer too many mechanical problems. It had an upgraded transmission (the Zf Ak 7-400 heavy duty) and final drive to counter the Panther's main weakness. It was manned by a crew of five: a driver, radio-operator, commander, gunner and a loader.
Two main variants can be distinguished, the earlier (1944 model) G1 with a small internally-bolted main gun mantlet and a modified Panther A engine deck, and the later (1945 model) G2 with a larger, outside-bolted mantlet and a modified Panther G engine deck, though late G1s also had the larger mantlet. Early Jagdpanther tank destroyers had two vision openings for the driver, whereas late versions had only one. The main gun originally had a monobloc gun barrel but later versions were equipped with the PaK 43/4 gun with a two-part barrel. Early G1s (to September 1944) were given Zimmerit anti-magnetic mine coating in a distinctive "small-squared" pattern.
A total of 415 Jagdpanthers tank destroyers were produced from January 1944 by three manufacturers. MIAG produced 270 from January 1944 until the end of the war. Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen-Hannover (MNH) produced 112 from November 1944. Maschinenbau und Bahnbedarf (MBA) produced 37 vehicles from December 1944.
The Jadgpanther equipped heavy anti-tank battalions ( schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung ) and served mainly on the Eastern Front. In the West, they were first encountered in very small numbers late in the Battle of Normandy, where the German 654 Schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung ("654th Heavy Anti-tank Battalion") deployed about 12 Jagdpanther tank destroyers against British units. Later, significant numbers were concentrated in the West for the Ardennes Offensive. But by that time the German lacked manpower to properly maneuver these and were therefore not used to their potential.
- The best way to use the Jagdpanther is in a supportive role for medium and heavy tanks, but it can do fairly well when used in a defensive role as well, so long as it is eqiuipped with recon and infantry.
- When on the offensive, it's best to match them in groups of 4 or 5 matched with a pair of recon. Moving them fast and using there range to the max To deal with tanks.
- On the defensive, use them to cover narrow choke points such as end of towns.