The Panzerkampfwagen IV aka PzKpfw IV was a medium tank produced by the Germans in the late 1930s and used extensively during World War 2.
This tank was the brainchild of Heinz Guderian, a German general and armored warfare theorist. He thought it would be a good support tank to use against anti-tank guns and fortifications used by the enemy.
The tank would require a five man crew; a driver, radio operator, tank commander, gunner, and loader.
This version of the Panzer was the most popular that were produced in Germany, a total of 8,500 were made. The Germans used this tank as a base for many of their other vehicles designed to fight, such as the Jagdpanzer IV tank destroyer, the Brummbar self-propelled gun, and the Sturmgeschutz IV Assault Gun.
The Panzer IV was the only German tank that was to remain in production continuously throughout World War 2. It made up 30% of the tank strength of the Wehrmacht.
It was constantly modified, using upgrades and special adaptions so it could extend its life in service. These modifications tended to focus on weapons and armor, however, towards the end of the War the focus was on trying to get the tanks to move quicker.
A total of 8,553 Panzer IV tanks were produced during World War 2. The only other armored vehicles that were more popular than this (of those favored by the Nazis) was the StuG III assault gun/tank destroyer, of which 10.086 vehicles were produced.
The Panzer IV was the most exportedGerman tank in World War 2. Throughout the War approximately 297 Panzer IVs were exported to allies of Germany.
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