3774 Panzer IV Ausf. H were built between April l943 and July l944. The chassis was also used for the initial batch of Stug IV (30) and Brumbar (130).
During the production run, frontal armour protection evolved from a basic 50mm + 30mm bolted-on, to 80mm basic and finally 80mm interlocked with the hull sides.
A new drive sprocket was followed by a new rear idler and eventually, by steel return rollers. The side vision ports for both the driver and radio operator were deleted and a new cupola with a single piece hatch was added to the turret. However, the most visible change was the addition of side-skirts as protection initially against Russian anti-tank rifles. Those on the turret were a permanent fixture, but the hull plates were just loosely hung on rails.
On D-day, most of the 748 Panzer IVs available to the nine Panzer Divisions in France were Ausf. H.
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