|Germany||Medium Tank||Tier VIII|
The vehicle was conceived in 1943. Two prototypes with the existing Panther I turrets were ordered in 1944. By 1945 only one of them had been built by the MAN company.
A step-up in the world from the Pz.Kpfw. V Panther, it is best to understand you are still in the same role. While being more powerful and maneuverable than the Pz.Kpfw. V Panther, a M26 Pershing will definitely beat you in a close-quarters fight. Knowing this, it is best to take advantage of your long-range accuracy and stay just behind, or alongside, your team's heavies to avoid close-quarters combat. If you get in a dogfight ramming is a viable tactic because of your tank's weight, so you can potentially do a lot of damage. Consider this option a last resort however, as your tank is relatively slow to turn and unwieldy. A Panther II has a higher profile than its counterparts, the M26 Pershing and the T-44, which means you are easier to spot, so position yourself on the battlefield very carefully. The Panther II is like a Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger but one Tier higher and more mobile.
The Panther II leads to the E-50.
|Guns compatible with this Turret:|
|Guns compatible with this Turret:|
Pros and Cons
- Decent acceleration and top speed
- Decent sloped front plate
- Good weight for ramming
- Poorly armored lower glacis plate
- Large silhouette for a medium
- Engine can get damaged and lit on fire from frontal penetrations
The Panther II is a solid and capable tank in the right hands; understanding it's strengths and weaknesses are the key to sucess. The Panther II isn't a brawler. It lacks both the speed and the agility to do so with any large amount of success. However, it can be a very successful flanker, so long as you pick and choose your targets. Sniping is always preferential in the Panther II over direct engagement, but don't discount scrapping entirely; the Panther II can take some decent hits, but only risk it if you have support. The Panther II works best in a pack, just like any other medium. Going out on your own will often result in finding yourself a smoldering wreck.
If possible, try only to expose your turret to the enemy. Like most German tanks, the lower glacis plate is a large weakness, one which smart opponents will exploit readily if given the chance. Shots through the lower glacis will often find your engine broken and often lit on fire.
Must-have equipment for this tank are the Tank Gun Rammer and the Vertical Stabilizer to reduce reload time and drastically improve gun performance. The third equipment choice is preferential; a Gun Laying Drive will reduce aim time when stopped and help snipe more quickly, Coated Optics increase view range by 10% constantly, and Binocular Telescopes will help spot even camouflaged tanks very well, but only when the tank is stationary. Play style will determine which of these is the best for you.
The first thing to upgrade is the turret, which gives extra view range and armor and gives more improvement than the suspension. Then research the suspension, so that you can then research and mount the L/71 or L/100. The engine does not give a very large improvement to this heavy medium, so research this last.
In a meeting on February 10, 1943, further design changes were proposed, including changes to the steering gears and final drives. Another meeting on February 17, 1943 focused on sharing and standardizing parts between the Tiger II tank and the Panther 2, such as the transmission, all-steel roadwheels, and running gear. No plans were made to include the 8.8 cm L/71 as the turret diameter was too small. In March 1943, MAN indicated that the first prototype would be completed by August 1943. A number of engines were under consideration, among them the new Maybach HL 234 fuel-injected engine (900 hp operated by an 8-speed hydraulic transmission).
Thus, plans to replace the original Panther design with the Panther II were already underway before the first Panther had even seen combat. But, from May to June 1943, work on the Panther II ceased, as the focus was shifted to expanding production of the original Panther tank. It is not clear if there was ever an official cancellation; this may have been because the Panther II upgrade path was originally started at Hitler's insistence. The direction that the design was headed would not have been consistent with Germany's need for a mass-produced tank, which was the goal of the Reich Ministry of Armament and War Production. Additionally, many of the problems the Panther II was made to address had been resolved, such as the weak side armor.
One Panther II chassis was completed and eventually captured by the U.S. It is now on display at the Patton Museum in Fort Knox. The turret from a Panther (I) Ausf G is mounted on this chassis.