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Old 01-10-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
schnorchel
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why 50mm of front turret amour for PZIV?

As we all know that from G model, PZIV was upgraded its front hull amour to 80mm. but I am curious that why its front turret amour is still merely 50mm till the and of war?
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:58 AM   #2
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I'm no expert, but my guess is that towards the middle of the war, when the PzIV's were being upgunned and upggraded constantly, 5cm of armor was simply enough. At the ranges the PzIV was built to work at, 5cm would be able to handle most incoming rounds, and by the time Allied weaponry got more lethal, the "main battle tank" of the war was the Tiger, or the Panther, both of which could absorb a lot more punishment.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by schnorchel View Post
As we all know that from G model, PZIV was upgraded its front hull amour to 80mm. but I am curious that why its front turret amour is still merely 50mm till the and of war?
That is a bit more complicated affair!

Let's look at origins of Pz IV Ausf. G. So Pz IV Ausf. F2 version was basically Pz IV Ausf. F1 armed with long barreled 75 mm gun. However Pz IV Ausf. F1 had 50 mm frontal armor everywhere (glacis, turret). Anyway Pz IV Ausf. F2 were produced between March and July 1942 only and in the meantime production switched to next version - Pz IV Ausf. G. Later Pz IV Ausf. G tanks were up-armored by removing 20 mm thick side armor and adding 30 mm applied frontal armor plate instead (to retain tank's weight at the same level) thus increasing its frontal glacis only armor to 80 mm. Pz IV Ausf. G turret still had 50 mm armor! That didn't change till end of war. Last Pz IV versions: Ausf. H and J had the same armor - one significant change was replacement of 50 mm (main plate) +30 mm (appliqué plate) glacis armor configuration with one homogeneous 80 mm thick glacis armor plate.

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Old 01-11-2012, 07:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sledgehammer427 View Post
I'm no expert, but my guess is that towards the middle of the war, when the PzIV's were being upgunned and upggraded constantly, 5cm of armor was simply enough. At the ranges the PzIV was built to work at, 5cm would be able to handle most incoming rounds, and by the time Allied weaponry got more lethal, the "main battle tank" of the war was the Tiger, or the Panther, both of which could absorb a lot more punishment.
My underestanding is that 50mm front amour can merely withstand Soviet's 45mm Anti-tank gun's punishment at normal combat range. but when model G introduced red army already issue 76.2mm AT widely. I realy cannot figure out why German leaves PzIV front turret amour untouched. 30mm should not caues too much weight.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by schnorchel View Post
My underestanding is that 50mm front amour can merely withstand Soviet's 45mm Anti-tank gun's punishment at normal combat range. but when model G introduced red army already issue 76.2mm AT widely. I realy cannot figure out why German leaves PzIV front turret amour untouched. 30mm should not caues too much weight.
I tend to agree, weight played a roll. The Panzer IV was not designed with the ability to upgrade to the degree necessary. Being built before the war and beyond any way of knowing how fast the race would begin for the never ending need for greater fire power and armor protection etc. But what made the German so damn good in warfare was not the advancement of their weapons, on the contrary, their tanks became obsolete as soon as they crossed the Russian boarder. What made the deference also made them the best fighting force the world had ever seen. How many know what that was?

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Old 01-11-2012, 11:00 PM   #6
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What made the deference also made them the best fighting force the world had ever seen. How many know what that was?
Best training, inter-unit communication, good leadership, and some of the most excellent tactical minds in the military world.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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I would add to that superior optics and tank guns and crews well trained in maintaining their equipment...
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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Well, if we deliberate about Pz IV frontal armor resistance against Soviet anti-tank fire I think 50 mm thick frontal armor completely protected Pz IV against BT-7, T-26, T-28, T-35 guns while T-34/76 gun could penetrate it at ranges up to about 500-600 meters. Later applied 80 mm frontal hull armor made Pz IV immune to T-34/76 fire at distances over 100 meters. It was unacceptable because Pz IV long barreled 75 mm gun could destroy T-34/76 even from 1500 meters. That is why Soviets had to introduce T-35/85 in early Spring 1944 - its new 85 mm gun could destroy late Pz IV models at close to 1000 meters range so both tanks became equal adversaries then.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ZeeWolf View Post
their tanks became obsolete as soon as they crossed the Russian boarder. What made the deference also made them the best fighting force the world had ever seen. How many know what that was?
You apparently don't know you are wrong. Maybe German tanks became obsolete in 1941 on Eastern Front but it does not mean such situation persisted till the end of war! In 1942 Germans introduced Tiger tank which outclassed all Soviet tanks (T-34, KV, not mention about older types) and in 1943 they introduced Panther tank which solidified III Reich qualitative advantages over Soviet Union in tanks. Later Soviets tried do catch up Germans in this area by fielding T-34/85 and IS tanks but I don't think they were successful. Anyway Soviets chose to vastly outnumber Germans in tanks and they really achieved this goal. That is also why Soviets won that war.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:32 PM   #10
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Those numbers sound pretty wrong...

While the 76mm APCBC round was not spectacular, it was potent enough to damage the 80mm front hull at ~1000m, but the 50mm turret front was vulnerable at ~2000m range, accuracy being more limiting than penetration.

The 75mm PzGr39 fired from an L43 or L48 gun would struggle to deal with the hull-front of a T34 (all marks have same protection) beyond 500m, and only the turret front was more vulnerable. This vulnerability was reduced with successive designs of turret, with the vulnerability range reducing from 2000m for the thinner 1940 model to ~1000m for the 1943 turret. The T34 85 was heavier, with turret front armour approaching that of the hull.

The 85mm gun was introduced to deal with the 100-110mm turret front armour of the Panther, and the 110mm frontal armour of the Tiger I, not to deal with the relatively weak PzIV.


The Tiger Fibel gives the 88mm gun as being 'good' for 800m for frontal engagements.
It also lists the Tiger flank & rear armour as being vulnerable inside 1500m against the T34 gun. It isn't made clear which T34 they refer to, but it is consistent with the later 85mm IMO (KV1 listed as 900m, Sherman 75mm as 800m). It should be noted that the protection is a limit for a clean hit near 90 degrees, and the vulnerable range is essentially zero near the oblique angles the driver was trained to adopt. These are the same as protection values of the frontal hull armour of the PzIV, so this should be considered vulnerable at 800-900m, with the turret much further... Frontal protection of the T34 should also be considered around 700-800m for the PzGr39 fired from the 75mm PaK or KwK L48

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Old 01-12-2012, 05:50 PM   #11
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The PzIV turret was marginal in size with the gun mounted very far forward there was minimal clearance to the TC position.

With the much heavier L48 gun, compared to the original L24, the turret balance was close to practical limits, and adding more turret front armour would have also required large increases in armour weight on the turret rear, and a consequent increase in turret weight much greater than the small area and thickness increase suggest. Given the composite 'bolted' construction of the hull/superstructure, and relatively light weight structures (side and deck armour much thinner than normal for medium tanks) this increase in turret weight would probably require additional structural weight in the turret ring and hull - all of which would also add to the stress on the overburdened suspension.

The PzIV already suffered in comparison with the Panther and Tiger in cross country manoeuvrability - having a MMP significantly higher than either of these later tanks.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorshkov View Post
You apparently don't know you are wrong. Maybe German tanks became obsolete in 1941 on Eastern Front but it does not mean such situation persisted till the end of war! In 1942 Germans introduced Tiger tank which outclassed all Soviet tanks (T-34, KV, not mention about older types) and in 1943 they introduced Panther tank which solidified III Reich qualitative advantages over Soviet Union in tanks. Later Soviets tried do catch up Germans in this area by fielding T-34/85 and IS tanks but I don't think they were successful. Anyway Soviets chose to vastly outnumber Germans in tanks and they really achieved this goal. That is also why Soviets won that war.
The Tiger and Panther are proof that what I said is true
As for the Soviet Tanks built before the war in particular the T34 and the KV , both had upgrade capacity far beyond the
Panzer IV. Much of the prewar drag on German tank development was due however to the restrictions of the Versailles treaty.
The Panzer IV success was due to the things Sledgehammer and frinik said.

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Old 01-14-2012, 10:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lieste View Post
Those numbers sound pretty wrong...

While the 76mm APCBC round was not spectacular, it was potent enough to damage the 80mm front hull at ~1000m, but the 50mm turret front was vulnerable at ~2000m range, accuracy being more limiting than penetration.
That is not true - Soviet 76 mm APBC rounds fired from T-34/76 gun had penetration less than 50 mm at ranges over 600 meters. So they could not pierce through 80 mm frontal armor maybe except well below 100 m range. Only APCR round issued in October 1943 could penetrate 80 mm thick armor at 300-400 meters but due to larger speed drop it had worse penetration than APBC rounds over 500 meters. That's why T-34/76 became obsolete very quickly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieste View Post
The 75mm PzGr39 fired from an L43 or L48 gun would struggle to deal with the hull-front of a T34 (all marks have same protection) beyond 500m, and only the turret front was more vulnerable. This vulnerability was reduced with successive designs of turret, with the vulnerability range reducing from 2000m for the thinner 1940 model to ~1000m for the 1943 turret. The T34 85 was heavier, with turret front armor approaching that of the hull.
T-34/76 had 90 mm frontal hull armor and 52-60 mm frontal turret armor in successive sub-variants. So German 75 mm L/43 & L/48 tank guns could destroy it from 1000 meters hitting hull or from over 1500 meters hitting turret.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieste View Post
The 85mm gun was introduced to deal with the 100-110mm turret front armour of the Panther, and the 110mm frontal armour of the Tiger I, not to deal with the relatively weak PzIV.
Most probably T-34/85 was introduced mainly because T-34/76 could not kill Tigers even from sides!

Last edited by Gorshkov; 01-14-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:19 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ZeeWolf View Post
The Tiger and Panther are proof that what I said is true
Good joke!

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Originally Posted by ZeeWolf View Post
As for the Soviet Tanks built before the war in particular the T34 and the KV , both had upgrade capacity far beyond the Panzer IV.
Both Soviet tanks had deplorable upgrade potential with KV-1 being wonderful example of unsuccessful design - look at efforts to rearm it with mediocre for heavy tanks 85 mm gun, to up-armor it - all those efforts failed due to too week propulsion. Well, heavy tank with 76 mm gun...very pathetic, indeed.
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gorshkov View Post
Good joke!



Both Soviet tanks had deplorable upgrade potential with KV-1 being wonderful example of unsuccessful design - look at efforts to rearm it with mediocre for heavy tanks 85 mm gun, to up-armor it - all those efforts failed due to too week propulsion. Well, heavy tank with 76 mm gun...very pathetic, indeed.
So, you saying the prewar Panzer IV was a better designed tank then both
T34 and KV?
Do not confuse design with manufactured quality. Because the Soviets
where never able to even come close to the Germans. However the Soviets
did spare some engineers and engineering designers from the prewar purges.
Let's look at it this way, if the Germans manufactured the t34 and the KV
before the war, their upgrades would have been more than sufficient to
handle necessary changes needed for the duration of the war. These changes
would be interior and exterior. They would be both superior in automotive and in weaponry.
No question about it.

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