By Markus Klauer
A few days ago I had another opportunity to spend time with other armor enthusiasts on the repair of a historical tracked vehicle. In the Bundeswehr’s Military Technical Service Department 41 historical vehicles are being repaired by volunteers.
At the moment, the group is focused on the restoration of the drive system and installation of assemblies in a Bergepanther, WW2 armored recovery vehicle. The Panther (or Panzerkampfwagen V) chassis served as the basis for the PzKW V battle tank as well as for the Jagdpanther (tank destroyer) and the Bergepanther (recovery vehicle).
Bundeswehr personnel have already fully restored a Panther and a Jagdpanther, which is in excellent condition. Regarding the Bergepanther, most of the parts and assemblies have already been overhauled or rebuilt. Only a few examples of these specialty vehicles were built during the war; and very few have survived to this day.
The photo below, from the beginning of the year, shows the installation of the right front brake.
Additional progress has been made since then, and the next big project is the installation of the gearbox. That will be another big step forward in the restoration project. However, several hundred hours of volunteer labor will still be needed before the Bergepanther is fully functioning.
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