Close defence MGs on Jagdpanzer IV

German weapons, vehicles and equipment 1919-1945.

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maschinengewehr42
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Close defence MGs on Jagdpanzer IV

Post by maschinengewehr42 » Sun Jun 11, 2006 2:54 am

This is my first post on the board as a long time reader who just got round to registering.

Most technical info I can find on the Jagdpanzer IV states that it had one MG34/42 fitted for close defence in addition to the main armament. However, I can't find out whether this was internally or externally mounted. After no small amount of research I've still never seen a photo of this vehicle with any visible MG, whereas other German Jagdpanzers and assault guns have obvious mountings.

There is a round bulge on the armour surface to the right of the main gun, but no MG is ever visible. Is this a port for the MG which could be opened when needed, as on the very early Panther Ausf. Ds?

Thanks for any insight on this.

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Post by Paulus II » Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:19 am

Hi MG42,

Welcome to the active users of the forum!

I know of one book (Squadron Signal - Panzerjäger in Action) where it is said that the bulge next to the main gun is indeed a cover that can be opened to allow an MG to be fired through the hole.
Never have I seen a picture of it being used though but it seems the only reasonable explanation (that I can come up with al least), more so since I don't know of any pictures showing an MG being mounted or used in any other way on the vehicle.
I've always found it strange that no remote controlled mount was installed like on the later StuG and JgdPz 38.
Hope this helps even though it's not exactly the answer to end all questions.

regards,
Paul

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Post by maschinengewehr42 » Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:10 am

Thanks for the prompt reply.

That confirms what I suspected. I also find the lack of a remotely controlled external MG somewhat strange considering such a mount was fitted to the JgdPz 38 (t) and very late StuG IIIs, as you said. The lack of one must have been a serious disadvantage without infantry support. I wonder why it was omitted.

If the internal MG was deemed sufficient, then why not a ball mount as on the Jagdpanther, or any German turreted tank? The old fashioned port seems out of place in such a late war vehicle. I suppose it saved time and manufacturing costs though.

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Post by zetazot » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:37 am

maschinengewehr42 wrote:I wonder why it was omitted.
Not all late war StuGs were equipped with the remote controlled MG mount. Often a round plate was bolted on instead of the RC MG mount. As per the norm with late war German industry it was a problem of actually suppling the RC mount in numbers.

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Post by maschinengewehr42 » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:14 am

Thanks for that information. It sounds logical.

However, it begs the question: Why wasn't a simple pintle mounted MG fitted, with or without a shield, as on mid to late war StuG IIIs?

A shortage of remotely controlled mounts explains the absence of such, but I still find the lack of any sort of all-round defence surprising. I suppose other German Jagdpanzers had similar deficiencies though; for example the Elefant/Ferdinand still mounting only a hull MG even after post-Kursk modification. Also the Jagdtiger and Brummbar.

Incidentally, I'd really like to see a picture of the internal mount for the MG used in the Jagdpanzer IV, and the method of operation of the armoured port. Detailed photos of ball mounts seem to be easy to find, but I've never seen one of the manually opened MG port on either the Jagdpanzer IV or Panther Ausf. D.

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Post by Paulus II » Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:10 am

Best I can do is this:

Image

regards,

Paul[/quote]

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Post by maschinengewehr42 » Thu Jun 15, 2006 6:47 am

Excellent! Much appreciated. That's the first picture of the mount I've seen; it's enough to give me an idea of how it looks. By the way, which book is the picture scanned from?

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Post by maschinengewehr42 » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:45 am

Paul - reading your earlier post I've just answered my own question as to which book the picture's from! Thanks again.

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Post by Paulus II » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:39 pm

Hi MG42,

Sorry I didn't mention the source of the picture because I put you on the wrong track. A friend of mine did some digging in his bookshelves (I know I have this, wait a minute.........two hours later: Presto!!) and found a copy of an Oprey publication. It is from their New Vanguard series, nr. 34 'Sturmartillerie & Panzerjäger 1939 - 1945'.

It is the only picture that shows the hatch open. First time I reckoned they originally had two of such openings, never noticed that before. Since the main gun mantlet is in the way that was the only way to have a reasonable coverage to the front by MG's. The one on the right must have a real nuisance to the driver!

Paul

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Post by Paul_9686 » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:39 pm

Hey, MG42--another Paul here ...

That pic which Paulus II posted is not from a Squadron-Signal book. It's from the center color plate of Osprey New Vanguard # 34, Sturmartillerie & Panzerjäger, by Bryan Perrett/Mike Chappell/Mike Badrocke (the color plate in question is Badrocke's work).

Just thought you ought to know before you went to a bookstore and began looking.

Yours,
Paul

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Post by Paulus II » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:39 pm

Ha Ha, beat you to it by a second!! :D

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Post by maschinengewehr42 » Fri Jun 16, 2006 7:10 am

Thanks to both Pauls! It looks like a good book, but then the Osprey series nearly always are.

It must be a very early model in the picture, because all of the pictures of Jagdpanzer IVs that I have in books of mine have only the right hand port. This includes fairly early vehicles with L/48 gun with muzzle brake in Normandy. As you say, perhaps it was because the driver's MG (left side) got in the way that it was deleted.

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Post by Paulus II » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:53 pm

left side it is :wink: :oops:

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Post by Paul_9686 » Sat Jun 17, 2006 7:44 pm

Paulus II wrote:Ha Ha, beat you to it by a second!! :D
Only because I went to the trouble of posting the name of the book in italics, Paulus. ;)

Yours,
Paul

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Post by Paulus II » Sat Jun 17, 2006 10:37 pm

:up:

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