Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Early war Panzer "Mediums": Panzer IV (Short Barrelled)

To be fair the Germans did not pretend to have any heavies in their early war order of battle (OoB). The Panzer battalion had its two companies of "lights" and one company of "medium" tanks. These latter ones were the short barrelled 75mm Panzer IV's designated as a specialist infantry support (or should I say Panzer Grenadier) role (see below):

These chaps are the classic Airfix kit made up in the early was Panzer Mk IV F1 variant.

These boys were painted "long, long ago" (note, still no decals on them) in the mid-1990's but seem to hold their paint jobs against my more recent stuff.

I still rate the Airfix kit as a classic and I have two kits made (see previous post) ready to paint and a third still in the box of the long barrelled mid-later version to complete (technically the Pz IV F2).

Strangely "as by means of necessity" this initial "infantry support tank" supplanted its cousin the Panzer Mk III in its various 'Ausf' up-gunned and up-armoured guises as the Main Battle Tank (MBT) of the German Army from 1943 onwards. This was down to the virtue of having  a bigger turret ring that could fit the long barrelled 75mm gun that was needed to combat the Soviet tanks (T34's and KVI's)  encountered on the Eastern Front. The poor old Pz III was stuck at the long barrelled 50mm having its 'Kursk swan song' and was finally turned into a "infantry support version" in its end-of-life Ausf N version.

Exciting stuff as I am nearing the end of the early war German Panzers. Next I better sort out mu Orders Of Battle and get them onto the table-top for a bit of Command Decision III action (he says dusting off my copy of the rules).


Paul said...

Hi Geordie, some people knock the Airfix Mk IV, but I think its a gem.

The two main verison in one kit, what more could you want, other than a hollowed out barrel.

Great work.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Totally agree Paul, I think Airfix had it right early on (one basic kit with many variants) and forgot the magic formula

Al said...

Nice work mate, some of my favs

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

You can do a lot with a short 75, especially early war ;)