The construction programme of the new tank destroyer based on the Panther tank chassis began in August 1942. The Krupp company from Essen was originally comissioned to do the construction work. In October 1942 minister Albert Speer ordered to pass on the work on the Jagdpanther to the Daimler-Benz factories (the Panther tank producer). It was meant to improve further production of the destroyer.
The Jagdpanther was armed with the excellent 8,8 cm PaK 43/3 L/71 cannon and the front of the vehicle was protected by a 80 mm plate inclined at an angle of 55˚ (an installation of a 100 mm armour was also considered).
The mass production was developing very slowly since January 1944 because of a lack of resources as well as manpower and the later USAAF bombings. Several modifications were implemented during the manufacturing, e.g.: the left driver’s periscope was removed, the gun mantlet design was changed, the two-part barrel of the new 8,8 cm PaK 43/4 L/71 gun was being mounted since May 1944. Since Autumn 1944 use of the Zimmerit paste was discontinued also the construction of the idler-wheel and the engine plate were changed.
Until the end of the war, the Jagdpanther was the best German tank destroyer. The Jagdpanther construction was a great combination of armour, good mobility with a powerful gun which had no equivalents in the armament of the Allied vehicles. However, too few of those vehicles appeared on the battlefields to have a significant influence on the course of the war.
The first Jagdpanthers were issued to the 559 Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung and 654 Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung in January 1944.
Main gun: 88 mm Pak 43/3 or 43/4 L/71 – traverse: 13° left and right; elevation: -8° +14°.
Total production: 415 destroyers.
|designations||Panzerjäger für 8,8cm PaK 43 auf Fgst Panther I
8,8cm PaK43 (L/71) auf Pz Jäg Panther
|hull lenght||6870 mm|
|width||3270 mm, 3420 with schurzen|
|combat weight||45000 – 45500 kg|
|ground pressure||0,87 kg/cm2|
|armor / angle:||hull: 60 mm front, 40 mm sides and rear, top and bottom: 25-16 mm
superstructure: 80 mm front, sides : 50 mm, rear: 40 mm, top: 25 mm mantlet: 100 mm
|engine:||Maybach HL230 P30, 690 hp at 3000 rpm or 600 hp at 2500 rpm, 12
cylinder, water-cooled, gasoline 23095 cm3. Weight: 1280 kg
|transmission||ZF AK 7-400 (Adler Frankfurt, Waldwerke Passau, Zahnradfabrik
Friedrichshafen), 7 forward and 1 reverse
|fuel consumption (road / off road) per 100 km||280 l / 700 l|
number of links per track
|86 – 87 (from October 1944)|
|max speed||55 km/h (25 km/h off-road)|
|range||250 km (100 km off-road)|
|turning radius||10 m|
|trench crossing||2450 mm|
|vertical obstacle||900 mm|
|ground clearance||560 mm|
|ammunition||57 – 59 (later) rounds|
|secondary armament||1 x MG34 or MG42 (600 rounds)|
|radio||FuG 2, FuG 5|
|chassis numbers||300001 – 300392|
|manufacturer||MIAG, MNH, MBA|
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- Panzer Tracts No.9 Jagdpanzer Jagdpanzer 38 to Jagdtiger – Thomas L. Jentz, Hilary Louis Doyle
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- Ian Baxter – Hitler’s Heavy Panzers 1943-1945 (Images of War)
- Walter J. Spielberger – Panther & Its Variants, The Spielberger German Armor & Military Vehicles, Vol I 1993
- Walter J. Spielberger, Uwe Feist – Sturmartillerie from Assault Guns to Hunting Panther, Armor Series 3
- Spielberge, Jentz, Doyle – Heavy Jagdpanzer: Development – Production – Operations (Spielberger German Armor and Military Vehicle)
- Karlheinz Munch – Combat History of the 654th Schwere Panzerjager Abteilung
- Achtung Panzer, 4: Panther, Jagdpanther & Brummbar