German Panzerkampfwagen IV tank hiding in an ambush position ,The Panzerkampfwagen IV (Pz.Kpfw. IV), commonly known as the Panzer IV, was a medium tank developed in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s and used extensively during the Second World War.
Designed as an infantry-support tank, the Panzer IV was not originally intended to engage enemy armor: that role was presumed for the lighter Panzer III. However, after shocking experiences when facing T-34 and KV tanks on the eastern front, the Panzer IV soon assumed the anti-tank role of its increasingly obsolete cousin. The most widely manufactured and deployed German tank of the Second World War, the Panzer IV was used as the base for many other fighting vehicles, including tank destroyers and self-propelled guns. Robust, reliable, and relativly simple to produce, it saw service in all combat theaters involving Germany, and has the distinction of being the only German tank to remain in continuous production throughout the war, with over 8,800 produced between 1936 and 1945. Upgrades and design modifications, often made in response to the appearance of new Allied designs, extended its service life. Generally, these involved increasing the Panzer IV's armor protection or upgrading its weapons, although during the last months of the war with Germanys pressing need for rapid replacement of losses, design changes also included retrograde measures to simplify and speed manufacture.