In the beginning of 1942, in order to fight against the T-34, the German military ordered a new tank from Dymler-Benz and M.A.N. companies with the following specifications:
Weight- 35 tons; speed- 60 km/h; armament 75mm long gun and armour, 60mm thick in front hull, 35mm thick in the rear and 100 mm at the front of the gun turret.
Lastly, it was specified that the tank be equipped with a Maiback HL210, water-cooled, V-type 12 cylinder engine. In May of the same year, M.A.N.'s model was chosen without waiting for completion of a prototype tank. However, there were 2 important modifications. First, in order to meet the military's demand, considerably more than the original 35 ton weight was needed. Second, the military ordered a change in the thickness of the frontal armour from 60mm to 80mm.
Because of these changes, the engine type had to be chanded from HL210 to HL230. Then, in order to accommodate this engine, a much better gear was needed, but mass production began without this last change, which resulted in frequent gear malfunctions and related trouble. This became the Panther's greatest defect. In the same year, Dymler-Benz and Henschel were ordered to produce the Panther. Therefore, production was greatly increased and a total of 6283 Panther Tanks were produced, second only to P2KW-4 in number.
The first mass produced Panther type D was not equipped with a machine gun but after the experience of close battle. A 7.92mm MG 34 was added to the Panther's right front hull armament beginning with its type A. The special feature of the Panther was the left and right driving mechanism. This created an interchangeability of movements, using the torsion bar system. By 1944, the Panther was further improved from Type A to Type G with a change in its side shape.
The Panther continued its activities against the Allied Forces