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Panzer IV/70 Zwischenlösung Tank Destroyer

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In July 1944 Hitler had decided that the Panzerkampfwagen IV tank should be scrapped in favour of increased production of the Panzer IV/70 tank destroyer. However, by August 1944 only small numbers of the Panzer IV/70 had reached the battlefields and Hitler demanded that the program of gradual conversion from PzKpfw IV production to that of the Panzer IV/70 should be scrapped and that only the Panzer IV/70 should be produced from then on. Since this was not possible immediately it was suggested that an interim vehicle could be built, consisting of a standard PzKpfw IV chassis mounting a modified Panzer IV/70 superstructure. This resulted in the Panzer IV/70 Zwischenlösung (Interim), of which 300 were ordered. Small numbers were produced by Nibelungenwerke of St. Valentin, Austria, from the end of 1944.
Vomag produced a prototype that had the driver’s plate of the PzKpfw IV chassis extended to the full width of the vehicle, and vertical side plates of the same height were added. A suitably shortened Panzer IV/70 superstructure was mounted on top. This prototype was fitted with the same Schürzen skirt armour as used on the standard Panzer IV/70. Alkett designed the vehicle that actually went into production, based upon their design for the Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär. This vehicle was higher and the sub-superstructure was eliminated by using one-piece side plates sloped at 70 degrees.
Since the regular PzKpfw IV Ausf J chassis was used it retained certain features that were not needed, such as the radio antenna bracket on the left rear of the engine compartment. During 1944 the PzKpfw IV was to have been built on a unified PzKpfw III/IV chassis and some of its features appeared on the Zwischenlösung. These included replacing the front cast towing lugs with ones cut from the extended hull side armour, and reducing the number of return rollers each side from four to three. Other features were typical of the late production PzKpfw IV Ausf J, such as the vertical exhaust silencers and the use of Thoma wire mesh Schürzen armour on production vehicles.
The superstructure was the same as that of the Panzer IV/70 apart from the changes to the side and rear armour, and the replacement of the cast conical MG mounting cover with an irregularly shaped piece of flat armour plate. Armour plates were fitted on the Panzer IV/70 on the rear sides of the superstructure to protect the engine air intakes but these were dispensed with on the Zwischenlösung. The nose-heavy problems of the Panzer IV/70 were more severe on the Zwischenlösung and so both the front two bogies were fitted with steel rimmed roadwheels. A travel rest was fitted for the StuK 42 similar to that on the Panzer IV/70, but longer in order to reach the higher gun.

Model Id:217
Manufacture:Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG, Nibelungen, Sankt Valentin, Austria (Sole manufacturer of Alkett design 1944-5)

1) Museé Des Blindés, Saumur, France

Number of Photos: 2
Sample Photo from Album Number 206

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Unique ID: 206
Serial Number:
Other Identification:

This is the only surviving model of this model of tank destroyer left in the world, of the very small number built. It is an early production type, with standard PzKpfw IV Ausf J features. It has some shell holes in the right-hand side of its front plate, one of which still has the projectile lodged in it. The right-hand side of its superstructure is severely cracked. It was captured by French forces shortly before the end of the war. [Preserved Tanks in France: Number 71].