(32) Pz.Kpfw. IV family

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G coded 623 of II./Pz.Rgt.15, 11th Panzer Division, the battle of Kursk, Russia, July 1943. The Division was a part of the Army Group South with only 25 Pz.Kpfw. IV tanks armed with long-barreled guns. The vehicle sported a two-tone camouflage with thin lines of green (RAL 6003) sprayed over the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base after the tactical numbers and other markings had been applied. The code digits and temporary division markings for the Operation Zitadelle period were black.

Befehlswagen IV Ausf. G coded 055 of Stab/SS-Pz.Rgt.1, 1st SS Panzer Division LSSAH, Zhitomir area, Ukraine, November 1943. This vehicle was the command tank of SS-Ostubaf. Joachim Peiper. It was the standard Ausf. G tank fitted with additional radio set with clearly visible additional aerial on the turret side and a periscope installed. The range of modifications is hard to define as they were not factory-made.. The command vehicles based on the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J tanks were not introduced before 1944. The tank carried a two-tone camouflage with small irregular green (RAL 6003) patches painted over the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base. Other distinctive features of the vehicle were the white division emblem and black and white thin lined tactical number.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H/J coded 715 of the 7th company, II./Pz.Rgt. Hermann Göring, 1st Fallschirm-Panzer-Division Hermann Göring, Italy, spring 1944. The system of markings in that unit was absolutely unique. Standard tactical numbers were completed with circles inside which the companies of the sub-unit were marked out in the clock-order. The colours of the central points on the clock faces, their borders or the geometric figures outside them were distinctive for each sub-unit of the division. This vehicle had been completed between December 1943 and May 1944 and had the Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating applied. Its tactical markings were supplemented with a heart symbol painted on the side of the hull and a nickname applied on the driver’s visor cover. The latter was unfortunately unreadable and therefore wasn’t reproduced on the colour profile. The layout of rear markings is hypothetical. The three-tone camouflage of the vehicle consisted of thin green (RAL 6003) and brown (RAL 8017) lines painted over the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base colour.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H/J coded 511 of II./Pz.Rgt. Großdeutschland, the battle of Târgu Frumos, Romania, April-May 1944. The vehicle was commanded by Oblt. Hans-Joachim Jung. The exhausted Panzer-Grenadier--Division Großdeutschland was sent to the defensive positions in Romania between March and April 1944. At that time it received 22 newly manufactured Pz.Kpfw. IV tanks, including the presented one. Apart of the mentioned officer, the crew consisted of Uffz. Breuning (driver), StGefr. Heinrich (gunner), PzSchtz. Schütz (loader), and Gefr. Schlumberger (radiooperator). The vehicle carried three-tone camouflage with patches of green (RAL 6003) and brown (RAL 8017) sprayed over the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base. The ‘Stahlhelm’ emblem of the division and the tactical number were painted in black on the sides and rear of the turret protective screens.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H coded 813 and named ‘Germaine’ of II./Pz.Rgt.26, 26th Panzer Division, Lanuvio area, Italy, May 1944. In the beginning of 1944 the 26th Panzer Division took part in the battles with the US Army in the Anzio bridgehead area. The vehicles of the 8th company of II./Pz.Rgt.26, including ‘Germaine’, operated there too. The tank was destroyed in the last days of May 1944 by the Americans during their approach to Rome. Apart of the white tactical number, it sported the chassis number on the front part of the hull, the early version of the divisional emblem, and the nickname ‘Germaine’. Another interesting feature of that tank was the irregular Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating added at the frontline level. The three-tone camouflage consisted of green (RAL 6003) and brown (RAL 8017) thin lines sprayed over the dark yellow (RAL 7028) base colour.