The Hull Machinegun Returns
The spring of 1938 was rocky for the PzIV. The 6th Waffenprüfamt wanted to get rid of Krupp's tank from the production lineup. A proposal was made to built a support tank on the PzIII chassis, joining both medium tanks into one.
On one hand, the idea was solid. However, the PzIII wasn't doing so well at the moment, but production of the PzIV went on, if not without hiccups. Krupp's engineers also managed to meet the weight requirements on the first try.
When Erich Wolfert, Krupp's chief engineer, criticized the idea of uniting both tank into one, he was victorious. The 6th Waffenprüfamt had to retreat, since Wolfert was supported not only by the arms giant, but by common sense.
However, the lesson wasn't learned, and the 6th Waffenprüfamt would struggle with the idea of one chassis for two types of tanks for the entire war. This obsession, initiated by Heinrich Ernst Kniepkamp, among others, hit the same walls every time. Seemingly, no lessons were learned.
- The armour of the T-IV can be penetrated by artillery of all calibers.
- The tank's turret, observation hatches, and the radio operator's machinegun mount are vulnerable to high caliber machineguns.