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For the Steel Division II unit see SD2:Panther G

Panther G was a medium German tank fielded by the Germans from 1944 onwards. The tank was developed in response to the Germans encountering the Soviet T-34 tank, which in 1941 and 1942 outclassed the then available German tanks, the panzer IIIs and panzer IVs. The Panther tank was considered by many to be the best medium tank in the Second World War, combining good mobility with effective frontal sloping armour and a lethal anti-tank gun. It can penetrate the front armour of nearly all Allied tanks it encounters in long-range engagements, the only exception being the sherman jumbo.

The Panther G is the apex tank and the final result of costly battle experience gained by previous versions of the Panther tank. For 280 points, the player gets to field a tank with armour impervious to all Allied field guns save for the 17-pdr and armed with an accurate gun capable of decimating Allied armour.

Background[]

Main article: Panther

A completely new medium tank design, the Panther was the result of a rapid development program meant to reestablish tank parity on the Eastern Front. Although initial work started in 1938, it wasn't until the superior T-34 and KV series tanks demonstrated the need for a new tank capable of fighting them on equal terms. Two competing designs were submitted by Daimler-Benz and MAN, with the contract eventually awarded to the latter. The prototype was completed in September 1942, with the first Panthers rolling off the assembly line in January 1943.

The Panther was conceived in order to counter the Soviet T-34 and to replace the Panzer III and Panzer IV. Nevertheless, it served alongside the Panzer IV and the heavier Tiger I until the end of the war. It is considered one of the best tanks of World War II for its excellent firepower and protection, although its reliability was less impressive due to the tank being rushed in service. Indeed, many early Panthers broke down on their way to the battlefield and mechanical reliability would continue to plague the vehicle until the end of the war.

The characteristics of the Panther was such that the Allies classified the Panther as a heavy tank, while the German designers considered it a medium tank. Mistakenly thought to be only available in little numbers in France, the big cat was not considered to be a real threat to the Americans, and as a result the US Army did not adequately equip their tanks and tank destroyers with guns capable of facing the panther head-on. They preferred to rely on their mainstay Sherman tank, as it had performed well in earlier engagements and introducing a new Sherman variant would complicate logistics (another problem was that the American 76 mm gun was not as effective against soft targets as the 75 mm was). This decision soon proved to be a mistake, as Panthers were produced in much bigger numbers than first anticipated, and Shermans with 76 mm guns had to be hurriedly brought in. The British were better prepared for fighting the Panther, as they readily had 17-pdrs and Fireflies available in the first months after the Normandy invasion.

On the Eastern Front, the Panther's initial performance was abysmal. Operation Zitadelle at Kursk was delayed by two months in order to deploy the first batch of 200 Panthers, allowing the Soviet Union to prepare an intricate system of defenses in depth. Mechanical failures also resulted in a fraction of them being actually committed, which contributed to the dismal failure of the Nazi offensive and forever crippled their ability to conduct strategic offensives. However, once the teething problems were resolved, the Panther became a respectable adversary: Its excellent options and powerful gun enabled it to fight Soviet tanks even while outnumbered and seemingly outgunned.

The Panther Ausf. G was introduced in March 1944. It was the most powerful variant of the Panther, featuring a revised hull, a modified turret that eliminated the shot trap present in earlier models, and modified hatches for the entire crew. Over 2 900 Panther Gs were produced, making it the most numerous Panther variant in German service, respected by friend and foe alike.

Ironically, when it came to formulating a response, the Soviets responded by simply upgunning their T-34s to use 85mm guns, bridging the firepower gap cheaply and efficiently.

Real order of battle[]

The 1. SS-Panzer and 12. SS-Panzer had Panthers in their Panzer Regiments while the 116. Panzer's Pathers were still in training so  I./PzRgt. 24 from 24. Panzer Division was attached to 116. Panzer.

Panthers from the 1. SS-Panzer and 12. SS-Panzer was in Paris when General der Infanterie Dietrich von Choltitz took command of Festung Groß-Paris falling under his authority

Strategy[]

The Panther G is the most powerful Panther variant, clad in heavy armor and sporting an extremely lethal gun with impressive accuracy. Available in Phase B and C, its deadly accuracy at makes it one of Germany's most potent units. Its presence on the battlefield tilts the odds in favour of the Germans, as it turns open ground into killing zones.

It is, like all Panthers, vulnerable on the sides and is best suited for long-range engagements where its armour is rather hard to penetrate even with the 17-pdr. The Panther's Kwk 43 L/70 gun is not very effective against soft units, making it even more vulnerable to infantry anti-tank weapons.



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