Book Alert: Panther

Osprey has released a new book by German author Thomas Anderson on the Panther tank, simply titled Panther.  This is a 224 page hardcover with photographs and illustrations.  Anderson has written several books on German WWII armor, including volumes on the Tiger, the Ferdinand and the Sturmgeschutz.  Oddly enough, this is the second hardcover that Osprey has released in the past few years on the Panther, in 2012 they published Panther: Germany’s quest for combat dominance by Michael Green.

Publisher’s Description:

The German Panther is one of the most famous, and greatest, tanks of World War II. Often considered the most elegant tank design of the war, it embodied a balance of firepower, armour protection, and mobility unmatched by any other tank of the period. This new study by German armour expert Thomas Anderson draws upon original German archival material to tell the story of the birth of the Panther in response to the Soviet tanks encountered in 1941. He then analyzes its success on the battlefield and the many modifications and variants that also came into play. Illustrated throughout with rare photographs and drawings, many of which have never been published in English before, this is a unique history of one of the most famous tanks of World War II.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: Panther Part 1

Tank Chats #16 Panther

From the Vault: British Motion Studies on German Tanks

20131231_092550Today we present a British study from December of 1947 on ‘Motion Studies of German Tanks.”  This report examines the ergonomics of late WW2 German tanks Tiger, Tiger II an Panther.  The report focuses on crew comfort and efficiency, looking at each crew position and providing analysis.  Detailed charts of gun loading times are included in the report, as are diagrams of the ammo storage layout.  This report was photographed at a archive by a friend of the site.  We have put the report into a PDF and posted it on Internet Archive.  The quality of the photos varies, although the report is legible.  Due to the way it was photographed, many of the pages are at a bit of an angle.

Download the report here.

More on the basement dwelling Panther

Since we first reported on this story, several new articles have appeared on the topic.  We are posting as many pictures here as we can find.  The name of the 78 year old owner of the tank has not been released.  It seems that his villa had previously been searched as part of an investigation in stolen Nazi art.  Prosecutors in Kiel had been alerted to the presence of the Panther and other military equipment by authorities from this previous investigation.  It has been noted that almost 20 soldiers struggled to remove the tank from the villa, taking nine hours and the use of two modern AFVs to haul the tank out of it’s storage area.  Ulrich Burchardi, an army spokesman, described the difficult task of removing the tank without damaging the house as “precision work”, requiring the soldiers to build a wooden ramp in order to free the tank.  The other notable items found in the villa were an 88mm Flak cannon and a large torpedo.

Peter Gramsch, lawyer for the villa’s owner, claimed that the tank and the anti-aircraft gun could no longer fire their weapons and were therefore not breaking any law.  The lawyer noted that there was even a note from the responsible district office from 2005 stating that the tank had lost its weapons capability.  Mr Gramsch now wants to take legal action against the seizure and also for compensation for his client, stating that “I assume that the tank was damaged in the process.“  The mayor of Heikendorf, Alexander Orth, who was present at the tank’s removal, said the discovery came as no surprise. “The Mayor noted that the owner of the tank “was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978”.

From the Vault: Panther Videos

Today we present for your viewing pleasure various videos about the German Pz. V Panther.

We will start with this Youtube playlist of clips of Panther restoration.  For those interested in seeing various components of the Panther up close, these should prove satisfying.  There are 20 clips in the playlist, click here to view.

Next is a playlist of five clips of Panther tanks moving around.  These are nice in that they give the viewer an idea of what this vehicle actually sounded like.

Below is a clip called “Panther Graveyard” showing damaged and destroyed Panther tanks filmed at the end of the war.


[Read more…]

From the Editor: Panther Reliability

(This piece was originally posted on my old blog on Feb 18, 2014. We are slowly in the process of migrating the popular material from the blog over to here.)

Panther_tank_42Over at the World of Tanks forum, there have been quite a few debates over the merits of the German WWII medium tank “Panther.”  No vehicles seems to illicit the range of opinions as the Panther does, and judging from how heated the debate often becomes, people are emotionally invested to a surprising degree in this particular piece of military equipment.

One of the more interesting posts on the topic is in the “Chieftains Hatch” section of the forum, it details a postwar report by the French in regards to the Panther tanks they used in the late forties.  This report [Read more…]

From the Editor: German “Cats” Influential?

This article was originally the very first post on the “Tank and AFV Blog” published back in November of 2012.   This is a slightly edited version.  


Royal TigerOne thing I was thinking about lately is how many times I have read books or internet posts that describe the late war German tanks, particularly the Panther and the Tiger 2 as having a great deal of influence on post-war tank design.  The more I have thought about this, the less I agree with it.  In fact, I would argue that the Panther and Tiger 2 were pretty much developmental dead ends with few aspects of their design being adopted in post war vehicles.   These two vehicles were influential  only in the very general sense that they raised the bar in terms of what a medium or a heavy tank could weigh.  Their existence prompted the allied countries to develop heavier vehicles with the appropriate armor and firepower to match the late war German “cats”, but they did not actually borrow many design features from them.  [Read more…]