Panther G - Night Fighting Tank
Starting in September 1944, a limited number of Panthers were to be outfitted with an infrared searchlight and scope mounted on the commander’s cupola. The 200 watt screened light, in combination with the infrared receiver/gun sight, had a range of up to 600 meters in clear weather at night. A steel band connected the infrared sight to an internal control for gun elevation.
The following changes were made to a normal Ausf.G to prepare it for mounting the FG 1250 infrared searchlight and scope. A mount was welded on the inner ring for the 12-Uhr-Zeiger that still allowed the free rotation of this ring. A hole for the steel band connecting the infrared scope to the internal elevation control was bored in the turret roof in front of the commander’s cupola. An armored guard for this hole was welded to the turret roof. Four base plates for mounting an armored bin were welded on the right side of the hull rear, replacing the Gepäckkasten (021 St 48399) stowage bin. The stand for the battery and GG 400 electrical generator was mounted inside in the right rear corner of the fighting compartment, replacing the three-round ammunition bin, a section of floor plate and the cover for the rear shock absorber.
Each Panther with an FG 1250 was identified by the letter “F” stamped behind the Fahrgestell Nummer on the serial number plate (not to be confused with the “Panther Ausf.F”). On August 7, 1944, MNH was sent a model of the FG 1250 that was to be installed in the Panther Ausf.G with Fgst.Nr.128520 F. Since it was determined on August 8, 1944 that installation was to be expedited, the model of the FG 1250 was to be mounted in Panther Ausf.G with Fgst.Nr. 128495. On September 4, 1944, MNH reported that, the model of the FG 1250 couldn’t be mounted in Fgst.Nr.128495 due to shipping delays, but MNH intended to mount it in Fgst.Nr.128557 (completed on September 5, 1944).
Also, on August 7, 1944, MNH had received directions to install the FG 1250 infrared sighting equipment in accordance with the following schedule: 50 in September, 70 in October, 80 in November, and 100 in December 1944. MNH countered with a proposal to complete all 120 Panther Ausf.G with FG 1250 in October, instead of 50 in September and 70 in October. On August 8, 1944, due to the military situation, OKH rejected the counterproposal and ordered MNH to mount the FG 1250 on the last 50 Panther Ausf.G completed by MNH in September.
On October 5, 1944, MNH reported that due to the delayed arrival of acceptance specifications, only 20 Panthers were produced mounting the FG 1250 in September. However, the shortage of 30 from September were to be completed in October. MNH was then scheduled to complete a total of 80 Panthers with FG 1250 in October.
On November 18, 1944, MNH noted that based on the latest orders from OKH, FG 1250 were not to be mounted on any Panther completed in November. The Panthers already prepared for installation of the FG 1250 were to be converted back to normal Ausf.G. This included re-mounting the Gepäckkasten stowage bin on the right hull rear, replacing the stand for the GG 400 with the three-round ammunition bin, and removing the mounts for the FG 1250 in the turret, as well as removing the battery and the high voltage transformer. In this same order, MNH was directed to outfit 30 Panthers with FG 1250 in December.
On December 13, 1944, MNH was informed that they were still expected to mount 30 FG 1250 on Panthers in December 1944. Later, MNH was ordered to outfit all of their Panthers with the FG 1250 starting on January 15, 1945.