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Bow MG on all panthers in CMBB???

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All Panthers had bow mgs. On the initial D model they used a 'letterbox' opening -- literally a plug that opened up and you shoved a mg through!

Perhaps you're mistaking the bow mg for the bow driver's shutter (or whatever its called) which did disappear on later variants.

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I've got a copy of Jentz' "Germany's Panther Tank". Looking at the Panther D in all its minutiae, indeed, it had a bow MG34. Although, it wasn't a fixed mount. It had a "Letterbox" opening. An open port in the glacis.

The radio operator, who sat at the right front corner of the hull, had a rectangular opening in the glacis. It appears to be about 6" wide by about 12" tall. Those are VERY rough approximations derived by scaling it to personnel near the opening in various pictures. The opening is hinged on the top and swings up and out. The radio operator was expected to manually position his MG34 through this opening and use it.

There is NO indication that, amongst the MANY production changes introduced, the bow MG port was ever modified or deleted in any of the 842 Panther D produced.

Initial Ausf. A production (which followed Ausf. D - go figure!) used the same drawings for the chassis. The main improvements were turret-based. It wasn't until late Novermber/early December 1943 that the ball mount (Kugleblende) for the hull machinegun was introduced. Looking through the production tables, 2,200 total Ausf A. were produced. Of that, about 520 were produced PRIOR to the Kugelblende being introduced. (That's a rough estimate.) Therefore, about 1,700 of the 2,200 Ausf A had the ball mount. The rest were produced with the Ausf. D "letterbox" machinegun port.

Just for the sake of completeness, the Ausf. G basically kept the Ausf. A turret but made many chassis modifications. It retained the ball mount. Total production of Ausf. G seems to be 2,953 vehicles.

So, initially the Ausf. D came along. They decided to modify the turret and called it the Ausf. A. Then they decided the new turret design was good, but they needed to modify the hull, presto!, along came the Ausf. G.



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It didn't have a mg ball mount, I'll give ya that! ;)

I was surprised by c3k's statement reminding us there were only 842 Panthers produced. What a tiny number. Hell, I believe between CMBO and CMBB I must've blowed-up 2/3rds of them myself! I guess I'll use the Italian campaign in CMAK to blow-up the remaining third :D

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Thanks for the comment. However, the 842 only referred to the Panther D variant. I put all the production numbers for each of the D, A, and G in different parts of my post. The total Panther production figures come to about 6,000.

Of course, I've managed to lead about twice that number to their destruction!


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