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Aufk.Panzer IV J is a German Recon unit in Steel Division II.

Background[]

Main article: Panzer IV

The workhorse of the Nazi war machine, Panzer IV started its long service in 1936 as a fire support tank, equipped with a short-barreled 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 howitzer. In this role, Panzer IV would focus on taking out enemy fortifications, anti-tank emplacements, and infantry from a long range, protecting the lighter, faster Panzer III tanks focusing on taking out enemy armor. However, following Fall Barbarossa and the shock of fighting against superior Soviet tanks, it quickly displaced Panzer III as the primary battle tank. Krupp's design was larger, sturdier, and could readily accept significant armor upgrades and long-barreled guns capable of defeating Soviet armor. The Panzer IV chassis was used as the base for many other fighting vehicles. 8,553 Panzer IVs of all versions were built during World War II, a production run in Axis forces only exceeded by the StuG III assault gun with 10,086 vehicles. A significant number of these tanks was also transferred to Axis allies and continued to used in various militaries worldwide after the War ended.

The Panzer IV Ausf. J was the last production model of the Panzer IV, produced exclusively by Nibelungenwerke. The final modifications included the replacement of the electric traverse with a two-gear manual traverse, with the resulting space used for additional fuel storage. The turret received additional roof armor and auxiliary smoke projectors. This last production version was not so much an improvement as it was a last-ditch effort to ramp up Panzer IV production and replace tank losses. In fact, the Panzer IV J was considered a retrograde from the Panzer IV H.

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