The Panther Ausführung G was the last version of the Panther to be mass produced. It featured a number of improvement over the earlier A model. Characteristic for this model are the lack of a driver’s hatch in the glacis plate as well as the simplified (one piece) side armour plates. The vehicle at the Oorlogsmuseum Overloon was hit by a British PIAT during the battles around Overloon, the Netherlands which lasted from September till October 1944. As a result of the encounter two pairs of road wheels were knocked off leaving the vehicle immobile. Initial attempts to restore the vehicle to running order were ceased and the engine was sold to the SDKFZ foundation (renamed to Weald foundation) to use in their Jagdpanther. Nowadays, however, the tank is accompanied by a display case with a static Maybach HL 230 P30 engine.
The panther was restored from 1999-2005 after which it was exhibited at the museum’s entrance hall. At the time the tracks were mostly missing due to the fact they were mostly rusted together and the process of loosening them up was painfully slow. The applied camouflage scheme and Zimmerit patterns were poorly researched and quite unrealistic.
When the museum changed its name and chose to focus more on the battle of Overloon, the Panther was ‘tackled’ once again. The Zimmerit layer was removed and the vehicle repainted to a dark yellow colour, matching the colour of factory new Panthers at the end of the war; Dunkelgelb nach Muster. The photos below were taken during the Militracks event held on the museum’s premises in 2016.
The vehicle carries Fahrgestell Nummer 128427 which identifies this as the 327th produced Panther Ausführung G assembled by the M.N.H. firm in Hannover in early August 1944. It had served on the eastern front after which it was re-stationed to the west to see action in the battle of Eindhoven. It was eventually lost on either the 12th or 13th of October 1944 in the battle of Overloon after being hit by a PIAT. The crew was killed after bailing the vehicle.
A colour photograph assumed to be taken in 1946, shows the Panther in its original colour. On the photo it can be clearly seen that the barrel – which was probably replaced during the war – carries a glossy coat of heat resistant lacquer. Note that the image is mirrored horizontally. The image below shows the Panther after it was knocked out. Note the two Balkenkreuze next to each other on the turret side.