|AAF American Armoured Foundation Tank Museum - German WWII Panzer Mk IV Ausf H Medium Tank
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|01 Panzer Mk IV Ausf H Medium Tank||02 German Panzer Mk IV||03 Panzer Mk IV Side View||04 Panzer Mk IV Side View|
|05 German Panzer Mk IV Front View||05 Panzer Mk IV Ausf H Turret||06 Panzerkamphwagen Mk IV Ausf H Front View||07 German Panzer Mk IV Side View|
|08 Panzer Mk IV Tracks||09 Panzer Mk IV Front View||10 Panzer Mk IV Front View||11 Panzer Mk IV Copula|
Length: 19 feet, 4 inches
Width: 9 feet, 7 inches
Height: 8 feet, 6 inches
Weight: 26 Tons
Max Speed: 25 mph
Range: 130 miles
Armor: 2 " Frontal
Powerplant: Maybach 120 TRM V12 Water Cooled Gasoline engine 320hp
7.5cm Kw. K. 40 L/48
Two 7.62mm Machine Guns
Entered Service: 1943
Unit Cost: $
This vehicle served the German army in either North Africa or the Middle East during WWII. At war's end the Syrians snatched up the salvageable Panzer Mk IVs and whatever parts they could scrounge and continued using them into the 60s. This example was captured by the Israelis during the 6 day war. Not only were they used as mobile tanks, but when hulls or drivetrains were damaged beyond repair the turrets with their excellent guns and optics were removed and placed in static anti tank positions. These were very difficult to see and the Israelis made sure to round up as many as they could at the end of the conflict. The AAF Tank Museum traded one of their vehicles to the Israelis for this Panzer Mk IV. Unfortunately the info card did not list what vehicle it was and the staff members I spoke with did not either. It's in remarkable shape and doesn't appear to have been restored since it's capture.
George wrote me with some more details on the history of the Panzer Mk IV:
As far as the Mark IV goes, here's how I remember its story.
It was captured at the end of W.W.II. Supposedly it was at a factory and was never used in battle. I believe that even though Germany was building the biggies like the Panther, Tiger and King Tiger, they never stopped production if the Mark IV...anyway, my history on Axis production is rust but the story goes that the tank was captured by the Russians, brand new, sitting in the factory yard. It is not a combat veteran.
The Russians put these tanks in I believe Hungary where it was part of that army for some time. Apparently at some point the Russians either gave or sold a bunch of these Mark IVs to Syria . Syria used these tanks as Pillboxes and would fire them into Israel . During the 6 Day War, Israel captured a handful of these tanks and brought them back into their borders. A handful of these tanks then sat in a bone yard for a couple of decades.
The museum owner heard these stories and discovered that Israel really did have a few of these Mark IVs. At the time he contacted a dealer over there, the Israeli Government was in the process of building a museum that celebrated the history of Israeli armor. They were looking for examples of tanks that had been used during the course of their history. The owner asked if they were interested in swapping a Stuart for a Panzer IV. They agreed. The Stuart they took had an exterior restoration. I believe it was complete but was not running. Unfortunately, I never took a look inside and one day it was just gone. They were in the mists of swapping for 2nd Panzer IV when the Israeli's realized that they could get much more for these tanks than they agreed to with the first trade so the deal for the 2nd Mark IV fell apart.
While it never saw any action during the 2nd World War, I think it did manage a pretty colorful history for itself.
I've been inside it. It's not pristine but at the same token, it's in much better shape than many of the more modern examples at the museum. It had leaked a little fluid here and there so it's quite possible that it could be restored to running someday.
Another German Panzer Mk IV Ausf H Medium Tank can be found at the US Army Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Grounds
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