Panzerkampfwagen IV (7,5 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 161)
Ausführung A, B, C, D, E & F






The development of a Panzerkampfwagen - battle tank - which should be armed with a 7.5 cm gun started in 1935 under the cover designation Begleitwagen - escort vehicle - (B.W.). Several trial vehicles were made in 1935 and 1936. The trial vehicle B.W.I from Krupp corresponded widely to the later serial vehicles. From November 1937 to June 1938, 35 vehicles of the Ausführung A (1. Serie B.W.) were made. 42 exemplars of the Ausführung B (2. Serie B.W.) followed from May to October 1938. Additional 134 exemplars of the Ausführung C (3. Serie B.W.) were manufactured from October 1938 to August 1939. Contrary to the Ausführung A, the vehicles of the Ausführung B and C had a streight upper front plate without machine gun ball mount. This battle tank was officially introduced as Panzerkampfwagen IV (7,5 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 161) with the A.H.M. 1939, Blatt 20 from 7th October 1939, No. 685.









248 vehicles of the Ausführung D (4. and 5. Serie B.W.) were made from October 1939 to October 1940. These vehicles had a curved upper front plate with a machine gun ball mount. The 7,5 cm Kw.W. L/24 had now an outer gun shield. The armour was strengthened at all. From October 1940 to April 1941, 200 vehicles of the illustrated Ausführung E (6. Serie B.W.) were finished. Contrary to the Ausführung D,  it had changed drive wheels and a new drivers visor. The commander’s cupola was taken over from the Panzerkampfwagen III Ausführung G. Many vehicles of the Ausführung D and E received later additional frontal and side armour.









First with the Ausführung F (7. Serie B.W.), major changes were introduced. From May 1941 to February 1942, 470 vehicles of this Ausführung were manufactured. Some of these vehicles were used to create ammunition carriers for the heavy morrtar type Karl. The frontal armour of the Ausführung F was organically thickened to 50 mm. As a result, a new straight frontal armour plate with a new machine gun ball mount and a new driver’s visor was developed. The track drive assembly was changed, too. Improved road wheels, a new idler wheel, a broadened drive wheel and a new 400 mm broad track were introduced. The side hatches in the turret were changed to double hatches. The armoured superstructure of the Panzerkampfwagen IV received its final design with the Ausführung F. (Photo: German federal archive via Wikimedia Commons; License: Creative Commons BY-SA-3.0-gb)






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