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Armor/AFV: Early Armor
WWI and other early tanks and armored cars.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Questions on the German Panther D-G
New Hampshire, United States
Joined: June 06, 2002
KitMaker: 1,225 posts
AeroScale: 55 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 06:33 AM UTC
I'm having a senior moment now so bear with me. I would like to know what is the difference between the German Panther D and the G models?
Is there a (big)or(small)difference?
Can someone for lack of a better phrase,spot the difference a mile away?
I know stupid question but for some reason I just can't think tonight. lol.
Thank you.
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 09, 2015
KitMaker: 1,062 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 07:18 AM UTC
The two most visible differences are raised fan on the rear deck and the squared off mantle to eliminate the shot trap, although I can't remember if these appeared on early or just late Gs. I'm sure others will chime in.
Wales, United Kingdom
Joined: May 07, 2013
KitMaker: 242 posts
AeroScale: 2 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 07:30 AM UTC
The D has a dustbin cupola, letter box machine gun opening on the front plate, driver's vision opening and the level sponson side with the kink towards the rear. G has the lower cast cupola, ball mount machine gun, driver's periscope and the upper hull sloping to the rear.
Arizona, United States
Joined: January 11, 2002
KitMaker: 247 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 08:01 AM UTC
As the D was actually the first production version, followed by the A, and the (late) G was the last prod version there are quite a few differences. Suggest you pick
the war period you want to model, then go with the version of Panther to build
Saitama-ken, Japan / 日本
Joined: February 12, 2016
KitMaker: 128 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 08:36 AM UTC
Early D's road-wheels also had twice as many bolts as later ausfs.
New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
KitMaker: 2,864 posts
AeroScale: 64 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 01:34 PM UTC
And so far everybody has been off.
From first to last production the basic features:
Ausf.D *Kursk): dustbin cupola, hull visor and machine gun visor. Ports on side of turret half as many bolts on rims of road wheels, jack mounted under single pipe exhaust stacks. Binocular gunners sight. Zimmerit appears late 1943.
Late Ausf D. cast cupola all rest same. Telescopic gunner's sight.
Ausf A: machine gun in hull, single and triple pipe exhaust and jack between exhausts. All turret side ports eliminated.
Early Ausf G: angled rear hull, single exhausts, hinged driver's hatches, driver's periscope. Tool storage changed on hull sides. Driver's visor eliminated.
As production of G continued raised rear deck fan, flameless exhausts and chinned gun mantle introduced, as is close defence weapon and pilzen mounts on turret top. Zimmerit discontinued Sept1944.

However, chinned mantle not universal on late production tanks as existing parts were used. You could even see a chinless mantle with raised engine deck fan and earlier exhausts. Panthers varied according to factory and time produced.

It should be mentioned that older tanks were kept in service so an early Ausf D was encountered in Italy in 1945 along side a last production Ausf G.

That's just the bare outlines but it should be a start. I'd advise getting any number of books on Panthers or even a basic reference on German tanks. Just something simple like an Osprey vanguard to help you tell things apart.
Michigan, United States
Joined: October 28, 2002
KitMaker: 4,021 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 04:58 PM UTC
I believe the transition between D and A was the cupola, not the MG slot to kugelblende. And yes, you can spot the main differences a mile away
Florida, United States
Joined: March 30, 2006
KitMaker: 3,733 posts
AeroScale: 1 posts
Posted: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 04:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Early D's road-wheels also had twice as many bolts as later ausfs.

Not exactly. The original production wheels had 16 rim bolts. These failed too often, so the wheels were modified to have an additional fastener (either a rivet or a bolt) added in between the existing bolts, raising the total to 32. Many Ausf. D tanks had mixed sets of these wheels.

The revised production wheels (from summer, 1943) had 24 bolts per wheel. These were seen on late D's, Ausf. A's and Ausf. G versions.
Vermont, United States
Joined: July 21, 2002
KitMaker: 3,569 posts
AeroScale: 419 posts
Posted: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 05:15 AM UTC
Hey Jody,
Mike from the Upper Valley Club, coming late to the conversation.
Looks like folks have pretty well covered it.
If you are around this summer, you're welcome to borrow any of the Panther library I've accumulated. Shoot me an email address and I can send pics from the Achtung Panzer volume.

Yeah, the difference is pretty big.

Visually, the letter box mg and vision flaps, turret cupola, the extra facet on the rear of the hull sides, and exhaust pipe differences tell the tale pretty quickly. The tool layout is somewhat different as well.

What have you got planned, Panther-wise?
United Kingdom
Joined: September 06, 2013
KitMaker: 1,111 posts
AeroScale: 20 posts
Posted: Friday, July 28, 2017 - 12:21 AM UTC
If you are only concerned about D/G, the hull is the easiest way to differentiate, although the turret construction was different so the sides of the internal mantlet differed. The A and G used the same turret (although it evolved over time) as one can tell because both used the same drawing numbers.

The D and A hull had a hinged port for the driver in the glacis, the G didn't. The D (and A) hull upper side plates changed angle at the lower rear to vertical, whereas the G upper hull sides were made from a single plate.

Most of the other point mentioned are clues but not necessarily diagnostic.