If you were already fighting on our battlefields a couple of years ago, you probably know that the Pz.Kpfw. IV is a popular choice in the community. During the evolution of the game, this vehicle has been through significant changes. So, today, get ready for a blast from the past as we delve deep into the history of this German in World of Tanks.
The Journey of the Pz.Kpfw. IV
Just like in real life, in World of Tanks, this vehicle is a real drudge, known for its adaptability. Back in the day, only one Panzer IV model was available in the entire game, and you could basically equip it with many modules now available for its numerous variants. Its top turret used to be the one now featured on the Pz.Kpfw. IV Schmalturm. Two top guns could be fitted: a close-combat howitzer or an accurate 7.5 cm gun.
At the time, only the Soviet KV had such flexibility – it used to be a mix of the KV-1 and KV-2 on Tier V back in the day – but both had to evolve eventually. With Update 8.0, the original Panzer IV became the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H, where it no longer featured the Schmalturm turret. Later, Update 9.0 gave birth to its Ausf. D and Ausf. A variants.
As for the Schmalturm variant, it experienced a different story. Its gun was already available for the Panzer IV when the +/-3 tier battles were still a thing and disappeared briefly because of matchmaking tweaks. Fortunately, it came back to life as a Premium vehicle!
Tier III: the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. A
Funnily enough, the first Panzer IV you can unlock is placed in Tier III. The Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. A is actually the first regular German medium tank you can park in your garage. And if you choose to do so, you better know its strengths and weaknesses.
This tank is a short-range flanker that should pop out, fire some shells and retreat tactically. You have the choice between two guns: a fast-firing 5 cm gun or a devastating 7.5 cm gun. As for the latter, HE shells will be your go-to ammunition, like most derp guns.
Tier IV: the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. D
The Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. D can equip most German guns from lower tiers. In that regard, it might remind you of the options available for the original Panzer IV. However, this vehicle is not about the past, but more about the future!
Moreover, with its top gun, a good crew and the appropriate pieces of equipment, the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. D's 7.5 cm gun already rivals the characteristics of the Tier V equivalents. This medium also moves fast, packs a great penetration and can use its great depression to hide its vulnerable points. Halfway through the Ausf. A and H variants, this vehicle should be played between the front and the supporting line.
Tier V: the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H
With its side and turret skirts, the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H sure looks cool. In a way, it's also the definitive version of the Panzer IV: a very versatile and reliable vehicle, although it has very noticeable drawbacks, like a mediocre armour.
Nevertheless, this Tier V makes up for those with two very different gun options. The most popular choice is the reliable 7.5 cm L/48, turning your tank into a support vehicle attacking from the flanks. You can also mount the fun to play 10.5 cm howitzer for that big boom. In that configuration, the Ausf. H becomes a brawler, but a very fragile one: always look around you and move from cover to cover. And, of course, carry plenty of HE shells with you!
Tier VI: the Pz.Kpfw. IV Schmalturm
As mentioned above, the gun of the Pz.Kpfw. IV Schmalturm comes from one of the options previously available for the Panzer IV. However, the strong turret actually that protects it actually comes from the Panther program!
The Schmalturm is accurate, fires very fast and packs a good penetration. This mix makes a great sniper out of the Schmalturm, and you should play it as such since the overall mobility of this Tier VI is too limited to protect you from flanking. Think about this vehicle as a mix of medium tank and a tank destroyer, and you'll be fine.
That's it for today, Commanders. As you can see, whatever the variant, the Pz.Kpfw. IV remains a reliable and dangerous vehicle. What are your best memories of this legendary tank? Does anyone still have pictures of the old Panzer IV? Tell us everything in the forum.