Panzer V Panther Ausf. A
Overlord Museum, Colleville-sur-Mer
Location and info
Overlord Museum, 60 Rue des Chemins de la Liberte, 14710 Colleville-sur-Mer
Near to the entrance to American Normandy Cemetery and behind Omaha Beach, you can't miss the Overlord Museum and its vehicles on the roundabout on the D514 road west of Colleville.
The Panzer V or Panther as it were known was arguably the best German tank produced during the last years of the war with the later variants exhibiting a good mix of the qualities needed for a successful tank - powerful armament, thick armour, and good speed matched with a good fuel range.
Early versions were not so accomplished. Developed in a hurry following the arrival of the Russian T34 tank in 1941 on the Eastern Front, the Panther initially suffered from unreliability problems with transmission, fuel pumps, engine fires, road wheels, hatches and tracks. It had not been fully tested before it entered into service.
Over 6,000 examples were produced by MAN, MNH (Hannover), Daimler-Benz and Henschel with around 650 type A and G Panthers involved in the Battle of Normandy in 1944. Most of these tanks were abandoned in Normandy and did not retreat back across the river Seine.
This ‘Ausf. A’ version was armed with a powerful KwK 42 L/70 calibre 75mm cannon and two MG34 machine guns. According to the museum it carries the hull number of 152451 which indicates it was built by Daimler-Benz in April/May 1944. The current turret is not original to the hull as that was used to restore a different Panther at the French armour museum at Samur.
This rare tank is on display inside the Overlord Museum at Colleville-sur-Mer, near Omaha Beach in Normandy.