In 1934, Germany ordered some of its most prominent vehicle designers to make their prototypes for a medium support tank armed with a 75mm howitzer. The winner of this competition was Krupp, whose vehicle after a few experimental models was put into production as the Panzer IV ausf. B. These were to serve with distinction in the Polish, French and Desert campaigns, along with the Ausf. C and other short barreled models. The short-barreled models seemed just the thing for combat, and yet when they were put into action in the western desert, and particularly Russia, it was discovered that their armament was to small. So, Germany was forced to start work on a new Panzer IV with a longer gun.
TO BE CONTINUED.