| Panzerkampfwagen V Ausf. G "Panther" |
|Class||Advanced Medium Tank|
|Upgrade of||Panzer IV|
Arguably one of the best medium tanks of the World War II period, the Panzerkampfwagen V Ausf. G Panther replaces the Panzer IV in the RTS game. It is so technologically advanced that the Panther 1 beats tanks in every category, and is more than capable of firing on vehicles. With huge range, up-to-date armor and a high-velocity 75mm gun, the Panther 1 alone can stop hordes of infantry, the strongest tanks and survive the most destructive bombings. It is preferred for the offensive, as other tanks like the Tiger are better suited for defense for their slowness.
The development of the Panther 1 was largely influenced by the emergence of the Soviet T-34, which set new standards in tank construction. The Army Ordnance Department contracted MAN and Daimler-Benz to develop a 34.4 ton tank with the same outstanding properties as the T-34. The Panther can even defeat early heavy tanks as the KV1 and B1 Bis, it can be produced en masse when having a stable economy and 3 armor factories deployed.The Panther in the game is the Ausf,G version,the latest and the most powerful of the Panther I series.
Development of the Panther began in 1941, following encounters with Soviet T-34 tanks in the opening days of Operation Barbarossa. Proving superior to their current tanks, the Panzer IV and Panzer III, the T-34 inflicted heavy casualties on German armored formations. That fall, following the capture of a T-34, a team was sent east to study the Soviet tank as a precursor to designing one superior to it. Returning with the results, Daimler-Benz (DB) and Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg AG (MAN) were ordered to design new tanks based on the study.
In assessing the T-34, the German team found that the keys to its effectiveness were its 76.2 mm gun, wide road wheels, and sloping armor. Utilizing this data, DB and MAN delivered proposals to the Wehrmacht in April 1942. While the DB design was largely an improved copy of the T-34, MAN's incorporated the T-34's strengths into a more traditional German design. Using a three-man turret (the T-34's fit two), the MAN design was higher and wider than the T-34, and was powered by a 690 hp gasoline engine. Though Hitler initially preferred the DB design, MAN's was chosen as it used an existing turret design.
Following prototype trials at Kummersdorf in the fall of 1942, the new tank, dubbed Panzerkampfwagen V Panther was moved into production. Due to the need for the new tank on the Eastern Front, production was rushed with the first units being completed that December. As a result of this haste, early Panthers were plagued by mechanical and reliability issues. At the Battle of Kursk in July 1943, more Panthers were lost to engine issues than to enemy action. During the war, Panthers were built by MAN, DB, Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen-Hannover, and Henschel & Sohn.
The Panther was sent to frontline units in the spring of 1943, and first saw major combat at Kursk. With the correction of the production-related mechanical difficulties, the Panther became highly popular with German tankers and a fearsome weapon on the battlefield. While the Panther was initially intended to only equip one tank battalion per panzer division, by June 1944, it accounted for nearly half of German tank strength on both the eastern and western fronts. The Panther was first used against US and British forces at Anzio in early 1944.
The Panther remained in German service until the end of the war. In 1943, efforts were made to develop the Panther II. While similar to the original, the Panther II was intended to utilize the same parts as the Tiger II heavy tank to ease maintenance for both vehicles. Following the war, captured Panthers were briefly used by the French 503e Régiment de Chars de Combat.
The Panther II was also in development but never saw the day as Russian units captured the facility where it was being built.
- Rule of thumb is to have a well developed economy, (several supply chains, or Administrative Buildings), and at least two Armor Bases in operation before attempting to produce the Panther. This will ensure a timely rate of production, while still keeping your economy afloat.
- Air protection is vital for almost any cluster of German tanks, as they are immensely expensive.
- All around, the Panther is probably the best German tank.
- The Panther 1 is best used for an offensive attack, as it is fast and powerful whilst in combat.
- Using the Panther 1 for defense is not suggested, as a Tiger can do a much more efficient job in defence. While the Tiger is slower, it boasts 50m more range, a nearly twice as powerful gun in comparison, and only $5 more to produce.
- When sent in groups the Panther can do tremendous damage, and they can do surprisingly well against even a few heavy tanks.
- Just like any other unit, utilizing scout cars, in this case preferably the Puma, or air recon will maximize the effective firing range.