- The ability for tanks to advance and cause massive devastation due to the blitzkrieg.
- The beginning of lightning warfare in Poland, creating a less passive feeling towards German movement in Europe.
Tanks over whelming power became useful and apparent in the invasion of Poland in 1939 as they were moved forward with the help on air force tactics and precision infantry. This new type of warfare coin Blitzkrieg or lightning war by the Germans opened the eyes of Europe to the power and devastation now harnessed by communist leaders. Tanks outstanding maneuverability and large firepower desolate anything in its path, with this new technique tanks ability soon became clear.
The 17.3 ton Mk. IV Panzer tank was introduced in 1937 and used throughout WW II. Early in that conflict it was the dominant tank. Its fast firing, short barreled 75mm gun was ideal for supporting infantry and the Mark IV was used with great effectiveness in German Blitzkrieg attacks on Poland, France, the low countries, and initially in the invasion of the USSR. Top speed was 18 MPH.
There were hull and turret mounted machine guns to increase the Mark IV's lethality against enemy infantry. Between 1940 and 1945, Germany produced about 9,000 of these tanks, making the Mk. IV far more numerous on both the Western and Eastern Fronts than the later Panther and Tiger tanks. The Mark IV provided a nice balance of protection, firepower, reliability and maneuverability early in the war.
When it was realized that the original, short barreled 75mm gun lacked the muzzle velocity to penetrate the heavy armor of the newer Soviet T34 tank, a long barreled 75mm gun became standard in the Mark IV. This high velocity weapon served for the rest of the war, keeping the Mk. IV a dangerous foe for all Allied tanks, although by then its 30mm armor could be defeated by the front line Allied tanks.
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