WAW008 – Pz. Kpwf. IV Ausf. B

In October 1937, Fried. Krupp-Grusonwerk AG signed a contract for building of 45 pcs of the second version of Panzer IV tank, i.e. Ausf. B. The major modification was the use of more powerful Maybach HL 120 TR engine with power of 265 HP at 2,600 rmp (in version Ausf. A, HL 108 TR engines with power of 230 HP at 2600 rpm wre used), and new six-speed ZF SSG 76 type gearbox (torque: 76 mkg). The most visible from outside modification was the application of a straight front plate of the superstructure protecting the driver’s and the radio operator’s seats (in place of the angled plate of version Ausf. A.) In the 30 mm thick armour plate of the superstructure, a new diver’s visor was installed (Fahrersehklappe 30), over which KFF2 type periscope was installed, simultaneously removing the MG 34 machine gun operated by the radio operator. In its place, a visor for the radio operator and a shooting hole protected with round moving cover were installed. Also the design of the covers of the driver’s and the radio operator’s hatches was changed, and from now on, they were one-piece hatches with openings for launching flares. These covers could be locked from outside with a socket wrench and with levers from the inside. Also the turret has undergone external modifications. The commander’s turret was comprehensively redesigned. He could observe the perimeter through five visors protected Funkerswith 90 mm thick armour glass. The design of the visors in the front plate of the turret was modified. Shooting holes were introduced in the covers of the gunner’s and the loader’s hatches. The observation slot in the gunner’s side visor (Sehklappe) was removed. The square covers (of version Ausf. A) at the back of the turret adapted to fire MG 34 were replaced with round covers with two shooting holes protected with small covers. On the top plate of the turret, the left cover of the flare launching hole was replaced with a steel dome shielding the signal lamp. In total, from May to October 1938, Fried. Krupp – Grusonwerk AG in Magdeburg (works code bgo) manufactured 42 Panzer IV Ausf. B tanks with factory numbers 80201-80242. The first five of the twelve Panzer IV Ausf. B tanks were built on the hull tubs of Panzer IV Ausf. A tanks, and the last thirty on the hull tubs of Panzer IV Ausf. C. The combat weight of the tank was 18,800 kg.