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If you were looking for the Panzer Elite's version of this vehicle, see Panzer IV Infantry Support Tank. For the Company of Heroes II tank, see Panzer IV Medium Tank.

Panzer IV
Axis sdkfz 161 panzer iv
Panzerkampfwagen IV
Army Wehrmacht
Role Medium Tank
Unit Cost 410Icon Manpower Small 410
80Icon Fuel Small 80
8Icon PopCap Small 8
Upkeep per Minute -10.752Icon Manpower Small −10.752
Prereq. None
Produced By Panzer Command
Primary armament 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48
Secondary armament 3× 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34
Health 600Icon Health Small 600
Armor Medium
Max. Speed 5 m/s

Panzer IV is a medium vehicle unit featured in Company of Heroes, where it is the standard Medium Tank of the Wehrmacht.


The Panzerkampfwagen IV (Inventory Designation Sd.Kfz 161), shortened to the PzKpfw IV or simply Panzer IV, was created in 1936. The concept was born from the theories of Heinz Guderian, who called for a Universal Tank, which became the Panzer III, accompanied by an Infantry Support Tank, which was the earliest version of the Panzer IV. It was armed with a cheap, plentiful, short 75mm howitzer, meant only for engagements against Infantry and other unarmored targets rather than enemy tanks, and designed to be as cheap and easy to build as possible.

While in its Infantry Support Tank incarnation, the Panzer IV proved to be a moderate success once early issues mostly surrounding its armor were addressed. However, after shocking encounters with the T-34 on the Eastern Front, which were resistant to even the late-model Panzer III upgraded with a version of the PaK 38, it was decided that a Tank carrying the equivalent of the PaK 40 Anti-Tank gun was necessary to take on this threat.

When the Panzer III proved unsuitable for this modification, it was discovered that the Panzer IV's turret- already holding a weapon of the same caliber, after all- could use this gun, so long as a counterweight was present. With very few changes to the rest of the design, the Panzer IV quickly took over the "Universal Panzer" role, and served with the Wehrmacht until the end of the war, becoming their second most common armored vehicle produced and most common turreted tank, with just shy of 9000 produced.

When the "F1" version of the Panzer IV was introduced, it had a very large impact on both sides of the war. On the Eastern Front, in what was almost a vision of things to come, the Panzer IV's main gun was far superior to the T-34's, allowing it to penetrate and ultimately destroy Russian armor at far longer ranges than the reverse was true. However, the design's armor remained relatively light, especially at sides and back, meaning that if a Soviet tank was able to close the gap, the Panzer IV was in grave danger, with its meager mobility providing little recourse.

Against the British and exiled French armies in Africa, however, the Panzer IV proved handily superior to any British counterpart save for the rare Churchill. Even the lend leased American tanks such as the M3 Light and M3 Medium tanks proved massively inferior to the German model, which paniced the Allies into making a response. Soon after joining the War, the US would replace their M3 Lee medium tanks with M4 Shermans, superior to the Panzer IV in every way but its main gun, and add the M10 Tank Destroyer to the stockpile, while the British medium tank program would stall for a few years until finally producing the Cromwell in time for D-Day.

By the time of the Invasion of Normandy, however, the Panzer IV had lost its edge. The 76mm gun version of the Shermans had finally bridged the gap between the two vehicles' performance, the Cromwell had already been similarly armed and better armored while being considerably faster, and vehicles like the Firefly or Hellcat emerged to better tackle German armor. Worse yet, many Panzer IVs were now of the substandard "Ausf. J" version, a model with many substantial quality cuts to bring down cost.

However, despite all of these facts, the Panzer IV's main gun was still very accurate and possessed good penetration ability, and it still had access to well-mounted Machine Guns and High Explosive ammunition to make it strong against Infantry. When Allied Armor was on the approach, it made a good supporting compliment to slower, heavier vehicles like its nominal successor the Panther or unturreted models like the Hetzer, and when it was not, it was more than capable of handling infantry, light vehicles, and emplacements in support of its own.

The model present in Company of Heroes is most likely the Panzer IV Ausführung (or Ausf., meaning Variant) H, the last model of it designed as a main-line tank and the most common variant present in the invasion of Normandy.


In Company of Heroes, the Panzer IV is a Medium Tank available from the Panzer Command after upgrade to the Battle Phase. It is armed with the 75mm Kwk 40 L/48 gun high velocity gun, and mounted MG 34 machine guns in the hull and turret. As with its allied counterparts, the M4 Sherman and Cromwell Tank, the Panzer IV is a balanced, all-rounder design with a slightly increased focus on firepower comparitively. Its proven and reliable chassis is the basis of many variants, including the Ostwind and Wirbelwind Flakpanzers and the StuG IV.

The Panzer IV's main gun will make short work of any light vehicles, including M8 Armored Cars and Stuart Light Tanks, killing them with just a few shots. Enemy tank destroyers and medium tanks will prove to be more challenging foes, able to challenge the Panzer IV on nearly equal terms, making positioning, support, and veterancy an important part of using this tank.

Given that it is very likely that the Panzer Command is the last tiered base building constructed in a standard game and that the StuG IV is more than capable of ending uncompetitive matches before that point, the Panzer IVs produced by the Wehrmacht will generally be participating in late-game battles against primarily Shermans, Cromwells or Kangaroo Carriers with PIAT-equipped Sappers, and either M10 or M18 Tank Destroyers. At the very least it'll beat most Doctrinal heavy tanks to the field outside of the Churchill, and should also be present before the Firefly or the 76mm Gun upgrade are available. The Panzer IV without veterancy will beat the Tanks and Carrier at longer ranges, but will find itself at a disadvantage against the Tank Destroyers alone.

This means that the Panzer IV lives in a world of many dangers. In addition to the aforementioned vehicles, in most games against the US Army and in all games against the British, Anti-Tank infantry will be on the field already. 57mm and 17 Pounder Anti-Tank Guns will also be in position, necessitating care when using the Panzer IV on the offensive. As a result, the Panzer IV is far better suited to combined-arms operations than independent operations.

In that capacity, however, the Panzer IV is very flexible. It can form a fine center piece for a small battle group, so long as it is properly spotted for with a reconnaissance unit like the Puma. On the other hand, however, it can be a great support unit for a more valuable and deadly unit like a Tiger, providing fire from the flanks and dealing with lower-priority targets that more valuable vehicles can then ignore. Though this is a dangerous job for a vehicle of only modest armor and HP, unless things go horribly wrong, even encounters against nasty opponents like Pershings will be survivable. If not, at the very least, the Panzer IV drawing the threat's attention may get an even more valuable Allied unit killed, a more than fair trade.

On one hand, this means that the Panzer IV has a hypothetical niche to fill and role to play in every single scenario and every single game. Indeed, producing and using a Panzer IV, especially with veterancy, is almost never an explicitly bad move for a Wehrmacht commander, especially on maps with more players and typically more diverse strategies. A Panther with no tanks to fight is accomplishing very little, an Ostwind with no threatening Infantry is mere target practice for enemy vehicles, but a Panzer IV always has something to offer. Be it spearheading an assault while backed by Grenadiers or scaring the Rangers away from a King Tiger, expect to see at least one Panzer IV in most Wehrmacht games.


75mm KwK 40 L/48[]

The Panzer IV's main weapon is the 75mm Kwk 40 L/48, a variant of the PaK 40 Anti-Tank Gun specifically designed for use in turrets. A shot from this weapon will do 87.5 health worth of damage, with a short reload time in the range of 4.5 to 5.5 seconds. Shots that ricochet will only do 13.13 damage, however. As with most German guns, the big focus is on accuracy and penetration, and the KwK 40 has no shortage of either- except against Infantry, where a lower accuracy and lack of High Explosive rounds make it just an average weapon.

The weapon's range is 40 units, over which distance its accuracy and the vast majority of its penetrative capabilities are maintained, except at the weapon's literal max extent. In addition, though the gun's base penetration value is theoretically lower than most of its Allied counterparts, it has comparative bonuses (less maluses) against their vehicles. Without any upgrades (including Veterancy), a Sherman will penetrate a Panzer IV around 54% of the time, a Panzer IV will penetrate a Sherman about 60% of the time.

Despite the poor accuracy against infantry and comparatively low damage against structures and buildings compared to most tank guns, the KwK 40's fairly fast firing rate does mean that shots will be made and damage done at least once in a while, giving it true all-rounder capabilities.

7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34[]

The Panzer IV's secondary weapon is the direct predecessor of the feared Maschinengewehr 42, the Maschinengewehr 34. By default, two machine guns are present, one in the hull (which has a very narrow of cone of fire in front of the vehicle) and one in the coaxial position in the turret. The MG will fire 15-25 rounds dealing 3 damage per shot to unarmored targets up to 25m away before reloading for 3-4 seconds. Like many other machine guns, most infantry will take reduced damage by default. Unlike most other machine guns, the Wehrmacht's Hull and Turret MGs have reduced accuracy when enemy Infantry is too close to the vehicle, meaning the best possible result (roughly 10% accuracy before cover reductions) is in the middle of its range.

With such poor damage and accuracy, the MG34s on the Panzer IV are only even noticeable when working in tandem with each other, and even then are not the most effective and reliable weapons. Worse, they lack suppression almost entirely, having comparable amounts to most SMGs. As a result, they are a good supplement to existing anti-infantry weaponry, and will help tilt battles in favor of Axis infantry if the hull is properly positioned, but are not sufficient at the job by themselves.

7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 42[]

The Panzer IV's MG42 is statistically very similar to those used on top of the turrets or hulls of other Wehrmacht vehicles. Manned only once the vehicle reaches Veterancy 2, It fires bullets that do 5 damage against unarmored targets (though this number is reduced by most Infantry armor in most situations), in bursts of 15 to 30, followed by a 6 to 6.5 second reload. Its range of 35m is just shy of the main gun's range, and has a full degree of rotation independent of the turret, with a very negligible turn speed.

For a rapid fire weapon, the Panzer IV's MG42 is actually rather accurate, with a base 45% accuracy outside of its absolute maximum range. Most British Infantry and a few American units, most notably Airborne, do have innate reductions against this, however. As with its statistically near-identical contemporaries, the Panzer IV's MG42 is almost useless against infantry in any real degree of cover, with fairly substantial maluses to both accuracy and damage to units therein. However, units in negative cover, water, or even simply the open are more directly effected, and likely to be suppressed.

Once the Panzer IV unlocks this top-mount MG42, it has finally become a quite capable infantry killer. The three MGs firing on one target still have quite poor suppression by MG standards, but will very quickly rack up kills, especially in the open, and especially making the vehicle deadly against low-HP targets like support weapons or Snipers. The Ostwind and StuH 42 are still better Anti-Infantry options, especially with Veterancy 2 themselves, but this amount of firepower will be sufficient in most Infantry encounters.


The Panzer IV is classified as a heavy vehicle, and gains veterancy through researching Tank veterancy upgrades available at the Kampfkraft Center. These bonuses are cumulative and effect both new and existing units.

No Veterancy:
  • Unit is at normal combat efficiency.
Level 1 Veterancy:
  • Damage received decreased by 15%.
Level 2 Veterancy:
  • MG42 on the turret becomes active.
Level 3 Veterancy:

A commander using a strategy involving even minor use of the Panzer IV would be well advised getting at least the first level of Veterancy, to give it an edge over enemy Tanks in combat. The second and third levels are most useful in dealing with a lot of enemy Infantry-based Anti Tank weapons, but are not as essential unless you plan on making heavy use of this vehicle.


  • With no Veterancy bonuses, the Panzer IV will fight on nearly equal terms with a 75mm Sherman. These battles will almost always come down to positioning and support from other units. The Panzer IV matches favorably against the Cromwell, easily penetrating its armor at all ranges, but may struggle to hit one on the move.
  • The Sherman Firefly can quickly destroy the Panzer IV at long range, but its reload time is greatly increased at close range, while the speed of the Panzer IV's Kwk 40 is unaffected by distance.
  • Though well suited to work alongside Infantry, this vehicle is far faster than most foot soldiers. On larger maps, utilize the SdKfz 251 Halftrack to help your Infantry keep pace and stay at full strength.
  • Friendly Snipers are particularly well suited to working with the Panzer IV. They're able to spot for the Panzer if no better option is available, will help whittle down stronger infantry, and can help disable Anti-Tank Guns at range. Meanwhile, the Panzer IV's two/three MGs do heavy damage against enemy snipers and its main gun can cull light vehicles like Jeeps easily to keep the Sniper alive.


Generally, the Panzer IV struggles the most against its own counterparts. Though the Veterancy 1 upgrade will allow it to take out the 75mm Gun version of Shermans and un-commanded Cromwells with ease, even outmatching M10s and M18s in a pure 1 on 1 situation, the 76mm upgrade and the Cromwell Command Tank will mean both of the Allied Medium Tanks will be able to reliably take out the Panzer in a 1v1. In any kind of unfair situation, such as the all-too-likely situation of a Panzer IV versus both a Sherman and a Tank Destroyer or a Sherman and Rangers, the Panzer IV will find itself at a major disadvantage, which the vehicle's middling mobility will not likely help much with.

Of course, in addition, as usual, the regular anti-vehicle measures also apply. Anti-Tank Guns of all varieties will easily bring down the Panzer IV (though a Panzer with Veterancy 2 could knock one out before it could respond with a good flanking action), Infantry-based AT weapons will be a headache until Veterancy 3, and Mines will pretty much always knock out the engine or treads. The Pershing and Churchill will make short work of the vehicle, and so will the Firefly unless the Panzer IV exploits the Firefly's quirk of having longer reloading times when enemies are too close.

Fuel is very precious for a Wehrmacht commander, and while a Panzer IV is never the wrong answer, it is also rarely the explicitly correct answer, and often taking the lower-investment Ostwind and supporting it with Anti-Tank capabilities or going for the higher-return Panther and accompanying it with solutions to enemy Infantry and AT guns will give better results. The Panzer IV is lower risk than either option, though lower return as well.