- For the Steel Division II unit see SD2:Bef. Panzer IV H
Bef. Panzer IV H is a German Tank unit. The Panzer IV series represented Nazi-Germany's mainstay medium tank line in the Second World War, seeing service on all fronts. It was the second most-produced German armoured fighting vehicle, the first place occupied by the Stug assault gun. The Panzer IV H is the culmination of years of hard-won experience and the result of continuous upgrading of its armour, gun, engine and other parts. It sports an incredibly powerful gun for its cost, but its armour is rather lacking and the tank can be penetrated by most forms of Allied anti-tank weaponry.
The Befehlspanzer IV H is a command tank outfitted with communication equipment. It provides a leadership boost to nearby units, giving them veterancy and increasing their combat capacities.
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. H entered production in June 1943 and featured several upgrades, including a single plate glacis, reinforced final drive with higher gear rations, factory-applied Zimmerit magnetic coating, and pre-mounted Schurzen on the turret and sides of the vehicle to act as protection against HEAT warheads and anti-tank rifles. A total of 3774 Panzer IV H tanks were produced, seeing combat on all fronts of the war.
Each Panzer Division should be equipped with a Panzer IV Abteilungen along with a Panther Abteilungen.
116. Panzer's Panzer IV was the II./Panzer Regiment 16
12. SS-Panzer's Panzer IV served in the II./ SS Panzer Regiment 12
21. Panzer's Panzer Regiment 100 which was renamed to Panzer Regiment 22 was equipped with Panzer IV
Panzer-Lehr's II./Panzer-Lehr-Regiment 130 were equipped with Panzer IV.
The Bef. Panzer IV H is basically a panzer IV H with a leadership ability, retaining all stats. Command tanks usually possess good veterancy, making the Bef. Panzer IV H a good investment in most battlegroup compositions. They are available in fewer numbers than normal Panzer IV H's, but in reality it doesn't happen often that a player fields all his tanks in a fight due to income restraints.
The Bef. Panzer IV H is a rather squishy yet hard-hitting command tank. It can be employed as a regular Panzer IV H (see strategy section Panzer IV H), but the player could also take full advantage of its leadership ability and use it in concert with other supporting units.