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Panther II
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:31 am
Post subject: Panther II

This in one of the 'premiere' exhibited vehicles of the Patton Museum that will be moved to Ft Benning at some point in the future.

It was operationally restored back in the late 70's and was exhibited as a 'runner' during occasional demonstrations. At some point it was decided to not continue any further useage and it was parked in the museum, where it has been on display.



As most people know it is the only surviving Panther II. when captured, it had the non-standard Panther Ausf G turret, which is currently on it.

I climbed into the turret thru the escape hatch on the back of the turret.








The loaders periscope...


The view looking thru it...


The big surprize was locating the Data Plate for the turret, mounted on the turret rear ring area near the escape hatch:


Luckily I happened to write down this info. It says
Panther Ausf 'G'
Turm Nr: 121455
Fahrgestell : 121455

I assume this is merely the turret data plate, and not the plate for the tank itself,....interesting still

Regards
Don
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piney
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:46 am
Post subject: Re: Panther II

Thank you so much Don for all your efforts. It's gives folks like me who never got a chance to visit Fort Knox and will have even less chance of ever getting to Benning a chance to see all these great vehicles that otherwise we would never get to see. It's not said often enough, but truly, Thank you very much

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JWB2
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:00 am
Post subject: Re: Panther II

I second Piney's post. What an absolute treasure that vehicle is and how truly lucky we are to have you here and post info that I personally would never have the opportunity to discover for myself.

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L.Delsing
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:01 am
Post subject: Re: Panther II

Very interesting, is the other Panther still there? (fahrgestellnummer 121455).

Regards,
Lesley
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:48 pm
Post subject: Re: Panther II

- L.Delsing
Very interesting, is the other Panther still there? (fahrgestellnummer 121455).

Regards,
Lesley


Lesley

We 'only' have two Panthers here. The Panther II and a Panther Ausf G. Both have the Panther 'G' turret, so no Panther hulls, just sitting around.

I have located a number of photos of the Panther II getting its operational rebuild at the 'Boatwright' Maint Facility. It was an 'ground up' restoration.

There was a siginificant amount of parts taken off the Panther 'G' to restore the Panther II. This is why the Panther 'G' appears to be incomplete. All the remaining parts removed from that tank are cataloged and crated up in one of the storage buildings in RMP.

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Don
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Koluchiy
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:53 pm
Post subject: Re: Panther II

Thank you for photos.

Can you say, what is the engine in this tank?
Was it installed during the restoration in USA, or by Germans?
Are there some serial numbers at the hull, at the left wall from the driver seat?

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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:15 pm
Post subject: Re: Panther II

Thanks for sharing Don,

Now at the risk of being a downer, I wish they had restored the Panther G instead. At least she is a "Real" tank used in combat. I think of what Mr. Littlefield went through to restore his Panther and seen a much better starting point with the "G" you have before being cannibalized. Maybe someday they'll get some funds to rebuild the "G" or at least turn her over to someone who will. I think of all the excitement for potential restoration when we hear a "Panther" is found in pieces and horrible shape these days and the one at RMP is just waiting to be restored. But at least she wasn't scrapped way back when.

Keep posting those insider images.

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Dontos
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:12 pm
Post subject: Re: Panther II

- Koluchiy
Thank you for photos.

Can you say, what is the engine in this tank?
Was it installed during the restoration in USA, or by Germans?
Are there some serial numbers at the hull, at the left wall from the driver seat?


It is my understanding that the engine, although rebuilt during the restoration, is the original engine that was found in the Panther II when she was captured. I'm not sure of the exact model engine.

I was not able to crawl into the drivers position to find any possible data plate there, however I will see about that if I have more time, on my next museum visit.

Regards
Don
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Koluchiy
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:24 pm
Post subject: Re: Panther II

Thank you for answer.
Do you have (or can make) some engine photos?

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Looking for Pz.IV manuals D 653/2 Erzatsteilliste(pictures), D 653/10, D 653/25 (Handbuch fur den Panzerfahrer), D 653/50b, D 653/50c, D653/51
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:16 am
Post subject: Re: Panther II

- Joe_D
Thanks for sharing Don,

Now at the risk of being a downer, I wish they had restored the Panther G instead. At least she is a "Real" tank used in combat. I think of what Mr. Littlefield went through to restore his Panther and seen a much better starting point with the "G" you have before being cannibalized. Maybe someday they'll get some funds to rebuild the "G" or at least turn her over to someone who will. I think of all the excitement for potential restoration when we hear a "Panther" is found in pieces and horrible shape these days and the one at RMP is just waiting to be restored. But at least she wasn't scrapped way back when.

Keep posting those insider images.


Joe

You are so right, we are in total agreement, on that.

I'll keep trying to record what I can. It is abit frustrating that I can't spend much more time than I do. Between maintaining a 'real' job, family, and the myriad of projects I'm involved with, I just don't have the time to get everything done. For now, I have to balance working on CK and getting all the different tanks photographed in detail.

So much to do, and so little time left to get it done.....
Regards
Don
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Smashy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:52 am
Post subject: Re: Panther II

A small series of 24 Ausf G were produced in 1944 fitted with the steel road wheels and I think this was one of them.



The 'Panther II' designation may actually be a mistake?

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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:56 am
Post subject: Re: Panther II

No, it's not a mistake. There is plenty of literature on the topic. A recap is available on Wikipedia:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...Panther_II

Massimo
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:29 pm
Post subject: Re: Panther II

- Massimo_Foti
No, it's not a mistake. There is plenty of literature on the topic. A recap is available on Wikipedia:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...Panther_II

Massimo


It is more accurate to say there is plenty of literature that all boils back to one publication.

I tend to agree with Smashy (to a certain extent) mainly because of some recently discovered documents in the Bundearchive. The chassis number of this vehicle is 121047 a really late chassis number which would make it one of the vehicles of the march/april 1945 production run that were being built with the steel rim road wheels not a vehicle that was originally built in 1943.

There are also some cosmetic differences - in 1944/45 production the single panther headlight was located on the front left mudguard, unlike previous production that had the headlight located higher up on the actual glacis plate.

If it was the Panther 2 prototype then it should have had the Maybach HL 234 engine (fitted in August 1944) but we know that was missing and was replaced by the one from the Ausf G at Patton so we cannot really check that.

However we now know that the P2p had the increased armour thickness so to confirm it we need someone to take a tape measure and reconfirm the armour thickness of the glacis, side & top plates.

BTW if anyone is interested I proof-read a book on the Panther about a month ago. It is mind-bogglingly thick and packed with documents & images many of which are new (would you believe 67 pages alone of a Panther G being built). It is due out in March 2011 and I would advise you to start saving now, sell the wife children etc so you can afford this.

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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:27 pm
Post subject: Re: Panther II

I was referring to the literature on Panther II, not on the identification of Ft Knox's tank.
I also was assuming the tank was identified based on armour thickness, because that's the most/only logic thing to do.

I am away from home and my library, does anybody out there has a copy of Panzer Tracts 5-4 to check? Jent's book on Panther (Schiffer Publications) would be another good one to check.

Massimo
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Garry_Redmon
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:45 pm
Post subject: Re: Panther II

Did late Panther Gs have a rotating periscope for the RO? From what I have read, the Panther G models did away with the forward looking RO periscope, leaving the side-angled periscope and forward vision through the MG sights. The Panther II hull has a rotating periscope in the Ro position. Would this be an indication that it is a prototype Panther II hull?

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