After the German surrender in 1945 the tensions between the USSR and the west nearly came to war. This tension continued into the cold war and lasted well into the 70s. The western power recognized the need for more forces and began rearming the German army. With the swift rebuilding of the Wehrmacht into the new Bundeswehr the need for armor outpaced the supply. So began the refurbishment of former German tanks. The panther was selected as the tank with the most potential for future development.
Due to the delay in the Leopard to counter the Soviet threat. The new German army decided to upgrade an existing vehicle. So Panther H tanks across Germany were returned to depots and upgraded. The final upgrade (H1) was the installation of the British 105mm gun. These tanks were transferred to reserve units in 1964. The last Panther H was retired from active service in 1973.
Little update, I was able to get a few things done between over time and sleep.
Still looking through my junk box for a loaders hatch.