The Panzerkampfwagen IV was the most important tank in Germany during the Second World War, with more than 8000 copies produced.
This tank remained in mass production throughout the war and more than 8,000 units were produced, that's more than 1/3 of Germany's total tank production during the war. It was the backbone of the armored divisions and he was often referred to as the "workhorse." The Pz.Kpfw. IV underwent constant improvement during his long career. As an example, the original 7.5 cm cannon with short barrel was replaced by the 7.5 cm KwK40 L / 43 cannon with long barrel, starting with the 'Ausf.F2 version. The further improved 7.5 cm KwK40 L / 48 gun was used for the first time on the Ausf.H. However, in 1944, after the introduction of the new Panther and Tiger tanks, the main role was the Pz.Kpfw. IV and he was mainly used for defensive purposes. There was a strong need to simplify construction and increase productivity, partly as a result of the growing scarcity of raw materials. The last of the series, the Ausf.J, therefore had a much simpler construction and the auxiliary engine / generator was replaced by an additional fuel tank. The increased range from 210 km to 320 km was welcomed by the German troops because they had difficulties in supplying, but it was achieved at the expense of the electric current for the now slower rotating dome. The steel side plates known as Schurzen (skirts / skirts), first introduced on the Ausf.G, were sometimes replaced by heavy mesh or even completely omitted.