Monday, December 17, 2007



The Problem of recovering heavy tanks had become clear since the commitment of the Tiger in late 1942. In view of the large number of panthers it was intended to deploy in mid 1943,plans were made for a recovery vehicle based on the panther chassis. In June 1943,the first twelve were built by simply providing a turretless tank chassis from the MAN production. Normal production was then under-taken by Henschel from July 1943, and they built 70 before their Panther production ceased in November 1943. The need Berge-panther continued, and in February 1944,Demag converted their entire Panther production to Bergepanther. After an additional 150 Ausf A units,the Ausf G went into production in September 1944. In April 1944. Hitler ordered that Bergepanthers be built from Panthers sent rebuild, and the plan was for thirteen in April,eighteen in May,twenty in June and ten in July this programme did not materialze,and only eight conversions were made in August 1944.

Specific features:

The original twelve Bergepanther were turretless panther Ausf D , but those built by Henschel in 1943 were fully equipped with a 40 ton winch,spade and 1.5 ton derrick. Again the chassis was Ausf D. The Demag vehicles with the "letter-box" MG port in the hull front plate. 2cm KwK38 Mounting was eliminated from this series, and the spade was extended.

Combat sevice:

The panzer Regiment Lauchert had four of the first twelve,so-called Schlepper,at Kursk (the biggest tank battle of ww2) in July 1943, while the 51st and 52nd Panzerabteilungen each had four Bergepanther. The normal establishment of the workshop and recovery company of each tank detachment was from two to four Bergepanther. The workshop and company of the heavy tank detachments was two Bergepanther.

Final thoughts:

My source for information on this subject : Encyclopedia of GERMAN TANKS of world war two(my bible).

The picture: Is of my Bergepanther Ausf D. I used the Italeri kit straight from the box. The only thing not from the kit was a piece of wood I stole from sister doll house. Sorry it's not the greatest picture.

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