Find out how three enormous Jagdpanthers surprised a battalion of Scots Guards Churchills during Operation Bluecoat, Normandy 1944, with terrifying results.
The Jagdpanther (German: “hunting panther“), Sd.Kfz. 173, was a tank destroyer built by Germany during World War II based on the chassis of the Panther tank. It entered service in 1944 during the later stages of the war on the Eastern and Western Fronts. The Jagdpanther combined the 8.8 cm Pak 43 cannon, similar to the main gun of the Tiger II, and the armor and suspension of the Panther chassis. The poor state of German production, maintenance and training in the later part of the war resulted in small production numbers, shortage of spare parts and poor crew readiness.
A total of 415 Jagdpanthers were produced from January 1944 by three manufacturers. MIAG in Braunschweig produced 270 from January 1944 until the end of the war. Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen-Hannover (MNH) produced 112 from November 1944. Maschinenbau und Bahnbedarf (MBA) in Potsdam produced 37 vehicles from December 1944. Planned production had been 150 a month, but the disruption to German manufacturing had made this impossible.
The last ‘production’ Jagdpanthers were produced at the factory by German staff just after the end of World War II under the supervision of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) using available components. 9 Panthers and 12 Jagdpanthers were produced and shipped back to Britain for post-war trials. A complete Panther and a complete Jagdpanther produced this way are now at the Bovington Tank Museum, Dorset, with brass plates on them, explaining their history.
Jagdpanther equipped heavy antitank battalions (schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilungen) and served mainly on the Eastern Front. In the West, they were first encountered in very small numbers late in the Battle of Normandy, where the German 654 schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung (“654th Heavy Antitank Battalion”) deployed about 12 Jagdpanthers against British units. Later, significant numbers were concentrated in the West for the Ardennes Offensive.
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|In service||1944–1945 (Germany)
|Mass||45.5 tonnes (100,300 lb)|
|Length||9.87 m (32 ft 5 in)|
|Width||3.42 m (11 ft 3 in)|
|Height||2.71 m (8 ft 11 in)|
|Armor||80 mm (3.14 in) frontal
100 mm (3.93 in) mantlet
50 mm side
40 mm rear
|1 × 8.8 cm Pak 43/3 or 43/4 L/71
|1 × 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34
600 rounds (anti aircraft)
|Engine||Maybach HL230 P30 (V-12 petrol)
700 PS (690 hp, 515 kW)
|Power/weight||15.4 PS (11.3 kW) / tonne|
|Suspension||dual torsion bar|
|200 km (99 miles)|
|Speed||46 km/h (28.6 mph)|
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The Jagdpanther – Hunting Panther was a heavy tank destroyer (Jagdpanzer) based on the Panzerkampfwagen V – Panther chassis, it was equipped with the long-barreled 88mm gun of the Königstiger, the L/71. In this video we look at and into the Jagdpanther of the German Panzermuseum Munster.