- For the Steel Division II unit see SD2:Panzer IV J
Panzer IV J is a German Tank unit. The last Panzer IV production version, it was a simplified model for mass production, in order to make up for the tank losses suffered by Nazi-Germany and saw service in the twillight years of Nazi-Germany. This retrograde development is reflected in the game stats: compared to the Panzer IV H, the Panzer IV J fires less accurately (4 acc) and is deployed more cheaply.
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.
- The Panzer IV J fulfills a strange role in 12.SS-Panzer's battlegroup. While it may constitute the cheapest phase B tank, it is much less effective at destroying targets since its main gun is rather inaccurate.
- Large quantities of the tank are available as they come in packs of 5x Panzer IV J. Unfortunately, they're all inexperienced and their performance pales in comparison to other phase B tanks available to the division.
- Division Bell update (end of August 2017): Its recent price buff (130 points -> 125 points) likely does not warrant picking the rookie tank over the experienced (bef.) Panzer IV H or the veteran / elite big cats. Its main assets, relative cheapness and numbers, are unfortunately of lesser importance in Steel division Normandy 1944 than veterancy is.
- Its gun, however, is no less lethal than that of the Panzer IV H. It may be of situational use in close combat with enemy tanks, where accuracy is less important and losses are more acceptable. It is also useful in suppressing and pinning down enemy infantry.
- Like most 1000m range tanks, it is especially vulnerable to 1200m tank & anti-tank units: dedicated tank destroyers like the Wolverine, anti-tank guns and high-end tanks such as the Firefly.