Early Panther Ausf A of 1.Abteilung/4.Panzerregiment in Rome

Early Panzerkampfwagen V Panther ausf A of 1.Abteilung/4.Panzerregiment (1st Battalion, 4th Tank Regiment) of the LXXVI Panzer Korps on the move through Rome to the battlefront. The Schurzen (skirting) has been partially removed. 76 Panther ausf As arrived with the 1st Battalion in early February 1944, in time to take part in Operation Fischfang (Fish Trap) against the Anzio Beachhead on February 16, 1944. However, because of the lack of mechanical reliability of the early Panther ausf As, and the muddy conditions of the Italian roads in the Anzio/Nettuno area, the Germans were concerned that the Panther ausf A's tactical debut would be marred by an example of the new tank falling into the hands of the Allies. The LXXVI Panzer Corps commander, General der Panzertruppe Traugott Herr (September 16, 1890 - April 13, 1976) was ordered to use the Panthers as long range anti-tank artillery, for which their 75mm (3 inch) KwK 42 L/70 gun excelled everyone's expectations, especially the Allies. An example of the Panther did not fall into Allied hands until the Germans were routed and raced for Rome in May 1944. After the loss of Rome, 4.panzerregiment was folded into the 26th Panzer Division. Some of these early Panther ausf As were still fighting in Italy in May 1945, but it is unclear if they wre part of the original contingent or replacements or repairs scraped together as the war progressed.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Tuesday, February 1, 1944