Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Befehlspanzer mit Panzer IV-turm
Bergepanther with Pzkpfw.IV(H) turret Command tank.
Bergepanther mit aufgesetztem Pzkpfw.IV(H) turm als Befehlspanzer (red arrow) Notice the Tiger (P) VK 4501 in the front railcar.
The vehicle was a combination of SdKfz 179 Bergepanther with early chassis (belonging to the first 12 units in this unit, built from June, 1943). With an adapted turret (screwed permanently) from a cannibalized PzKpfw lV Ausf H in the Bergepanther hull. The purpose of the transformation was "close" the open hull of Bergepanther with a armored turret, in order to better protect of his crew. With the hull closed by a turret, one of these rescue vehicles was converted into Command Car.
The gun was just a dummy and the absence of of the gun breech allowed a larger space on the tower for extraradio and map tables. The result was a command tank with a fixed turret, plus a name that was absolutely mind numbing: Bergepanther mit aufgesetztem Pzkpfw IV(H) turm als Befehlspanzer. The work was done as a field conversion, and only one vehicle is known to have been converted. It served with the Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 653 (equipped with Ferdinand and, later, Jagdtiger vehicles) on the Eastern Front in 1944.