- "Jesus Christ, that's a big fucking dog."
- ―B.J. Blazkowicz upon seeing the Panzerhund in Castle Wolfenstein[src]
A Panzerhund (German for "Tank/Armored Dog"), is a Nazi robotic hound enemy that appears in Wolfenstein: The New Order, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Panzerhund is singular, while Panzerhunde is plural.
The Panzerhund was one of the first prototype robots to come out of General Deathshead's workshop. According to a newspaper article found in-game, it was first deployed on the Eastern Front, creating chaos along the Russian ranks as it tore through the battlefield.
Initially despite the introduction of the Panzerhund, the most common German canine unit to be seen on the battlefield in the Western theaters during the late 40s was the Kampfhund; the Panzerhunde encountered in 1946 by B.J. Blazkowicz appeared during the crash landing upon the beaches of Deathshead's Compound, before he and the other remaining Allied troops scaled the castle walls. Despite their appearance and apparent invulnerability to most attacks, they are taken out by B.J. using an anti-aircraft gun. Upon exiting the bunkers surrounding Deathshead's castle, B.J. is attacked and nearly killed by a Panzerhund, but is saved when Private Probst Wyatt III tricks the beast into catching a live grenade in its mouth, destroying it.
However this was actually not the first time Blazkowicz had personally encountered a Panzerhund. During the events of the Old Blood, B.J. had twice encountered a prototype of the Panzerhund. It is first encountered after B.J. sees Rudi Jäger take Wesley to be interrogated. It walks out of two sliding doors and B.J. must hide from it to avoid being killed. The same one that is encountered that time is seen again trying to jump up and kill B.J. very similar to how another one did in the New Order. It is seen again during a shootout at Paderborn Bridge, and B.J. must kill it to advance.
Alongside Deathshead, a key figure in the creation of the Panzerhund was a certain Dr. Ernst Brandt who designed the Artificial Intelligence system used in the robot.
The Panzerhund 1960 is the evolution of the first prototypes and production model created by General Deathshead during the war. As envisioned by the General in one of his fevered visionary dreams, it is a super-efficient murder machine encased in titanium steel armor and fitted with bone-crushing metal jaws that can cut through the thickest of body armor.
The new, far more deadly Panzerhund can be seen several times during the campaign, each time posing a lethal threat to the player. A 1960s Panzerhund requires far more firepower to bring it down than its 1940s counterpart.
B.J. first encounters the 1960 Panzerhund while infiltrating the Eisenwald Prison in Berlin. it chases you through pipes but later while escaping you will eventually incapacitate it in electrified water if B.J. chose to save Fergus, or run past it while it's distracted if B.J. chose to save Wyatt. Following Bobby Bram's suicide bombing of the London Nautica, B.J. evades and kills another Panzerhund as he makes his way into the building. Later, B.J. fights and destroys two more Panzerhunde while escaping the raid on the Kreisau Circle's hideout.
The Panzerhund makes a comeback in Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, this time in the 1961 Nazi-occupied United States. This model features an upgraded body and has a flamethrower in its mouth, and having more protective armor. A Panzerhund appears as the titular deuteragonist of the in-game film Liesel. The main character Peggy summons Liesel with a whistle and orders her to save a sheriff from his overturned truck. Liesel does so, but also destroys the truck, to Peggy's disappointment.
At some point, Horton's resistance cell captured and reprogrammed a Panzerhund to fight its former masters. B.J. himself rides the Panzerhund, killing as many Nazis as possible, in order to buy Horton and other survivors of the New Orleans ghetto time to escape.
Also Joseph Stallion had managed to steal a Panzerhund during his escape from a prison in Chicago in his adventures. In his second volume, a Panzerhund and Super Soldier appear, but can be avoided if the player jumps on top of the containers. One Panzerhund appears in Jessica Valiant's story on the Moon to assassinate Gerhardt Dunkel.
Panzerhund returns in Wolfenstein: Youngblood. It appears to function much the same way as their counterparts in America during the 1960s; this time they are deployed to patrol the whole country of France to crush the rebellion where ever it can be found. They also are painted a deeper shade of black and marked with red instead of yellow.
In New Paris, there is a Panzerhund assembly plant in the underground zone of Victory Boulevard. The Blazkowicz sisters destroy the assembly console of said assembly plant, effectively halting the production of the Panzerhund in that region. During the mission, they also have an encounter with a new, experimental model of the Panzerhund, called the Protohund, painted red rather than black. The model's exceptional characteristic that stands out from the ordinary Panzerhund is that their sides, and fuel tanks, are armored. Thanks to that reinforcement, the Protohund can no longer be downed or damaged by shooting its sides. Nonetheless, the Protohund is still destroyed by the Terror Twins.
The New Order
- The Panzerhund in Eisenwald cannot be killed conventionally, as it is impervious to the laser cutter and all of the weapons the player has access to at this point in the campaign.
- On a repeat playthrough of Eisenwald Prison, it is possible to kill the Panzerhund with the eight (8) rockets that are granted upon collection of an AR60. This is not recommended, however, as it will probably kill you as well. In the Wyatt timeline you will be meters away from the Panzerhund, and it will maul you to death if the splash damage does not kill you first. In the Fergus timeline, however, this strategy is still not advised even though the Panzerhund is stunned in electrified water. If you kill the Panzerhund before shutting off the power flow, you will lose the option to do so, Fergus will jump down as if the power has been shut down, soft-locking you, and you will me forced to kill yourself.
- The Panzerhund in Kreisau Circle HQ can be killed with eight direct hits from an Assault Rifle 1960's rocket launcher.
- This Panzerhund can also be destroyed with the LaserKraftWerk. If the battery runs out, there are charging stations around the arena, though you will probably be caught during the animation at the start of the charging process. The scoped upgrade is useable, but not advised, as you may deplete your battery before you can kill it.
- If the player does not have any decent LKW upgrades, or used all of their rockets in the previous arena (although there are two rocket pickups, each giving four rockets, in that area), than twin AR Marksmen with the Blaster attachment can be used, but should be a last resort - as dual-wielding slows the player down, and this fight is about speed
- You do not have to use one weapon for the whole fight, after, one rocket is better than none. Changing weapons takes time and unlike Wolf 2 and DOOM, the weapon wheel does not slow down time, so try to stick with one pair of weapons, unless know the key bindings of another (4 for AR60, 5 for ARMksmn, 7 for LKW).
- The Panzerhund damages the player by locking them into an animation, much like the kampfhund. To get out of the animation, you must shoot the Panzerhund until it releases you. It is most ammo efficient to do this with the AR60's primary fire
- Armour only matters if you are in the Wyatt timeline, as there are a group of heavy soldiers to the players left. The Robots that Caroline kills do drop armour that can be collected during the cutscene. The Panzerhund will drain heath at the same rate no matter how much armour you have.
- The Panzerhund is trying to catch Fergus/Wyatt and will only notice you if you get to close or shoot it. Upon detecting the player it will hesitate for a second before turning. Try hitting it with a rocket or with a salvo from the scoped LKW if you are feeling lucky.
- When the Panzerhund starts to chase you, you can fire another rocket before you need to start running. It would be advisable to run and turn to fire a rocket before running again.
- If the player sprint-slides underneath the small arches between the generators, the Panzerhund will follow and become stuck for a few seconds. If the player is low on health then they should carry on running and get some distance between the Panzerhund and themselves. If the player has the majority of their health, than they should backpedal away from the Panzerhund while firing. This will give you one rocket hit or two LKW shots (3/4 if you have the auto mod) before the creature gets free. You can take another shot before you have to sprint. It should be noted that the Panzerhund will destroy an arch when it escapes, meaning that you can't slide under it again.
- The Panzerhund has amazing control, intercepting you if you try to run past it head on, but it takes a second for it to turn 180o around. When doing such a turn, it will stay almost completely still until the manoeuvre is complete and will take a second to get up to full speed while running. This is enough time to empty half of an automatic LKW's charge or fire off three rockets.
- The quickest way, in my experience, to kill the Panzerhund is to move to the location of the soldiers in the Wyatt timeline, fire ~two x three rockets from duel AR60s, than put one away while while backpedalling away while firing. If it isn't dead then sprint to your right, under the arch, and empty the rest of your rocket clip, while backpedalling, because it does explode when it dies.
The Old Blood
The New Colossus
- The LaserKraftWerk with the supercharge upgrade will easily take care of Panzerhunde with two shots. This is helpful as charging stations are usually near them. Aiming for the head or body is the best way to destroy them quickly.
- The player can sneak past them or skip fighting them. The first one encountered in the Manhattan Bunker can be snuck past and the one in New Orleans can be avoided if the player runs and uses their contraption to leave.
- The Panzerhund has visible red fuel tanks on the upper body/back, destroying them stuns them briefly. Throwing a Handgranate with a electromagnetic upgrade will stun them like all robotic enemies encountered.
- They also have fuel tanks on both of their legs (similar to the Zitadelle), seen when standing still. The tanks will close when walking, seen with yellow and black striped metal. The player can destroy both fuel tanks before fighting one head on.
- Using heavy weapons to destroy their fuel tanks such as the Dieselgewehr is useful; this is especially helpful for the Panzerhund in The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe.
The New Colossus/The Freedom Chronicles (Riding a Panzerhund)
- It's best to sway from left to right with the Panzerhund and it's flame to clear more enemies and spread the fire. In addition, it's best to move fast to get to the end of the level; best to do so in the Panzerhund section in The New Colossus.
- The Panzerhund can collect armor from dead enemies if low. However, if the Panzerhund is destroyed, the player can use this to backup if low on armor themselves.
- It's definitely useful to destroy red tanks and canisters along the way, as soldiers can shoot them and damage the Panzerhund. To stop this, destroy the tanks with the Panzerhund's flame before moving forward. This will also cause enemies to run to that area.
- Standing the Panzerhund behind cover will grant the player protection and funnel the enemies to your position. This is best for both The New Colossus and The Freedom Chronicles Panzerhund sections.
- Be careful when going to small spaces, as the Panzerhund can get stuck and the player will be force to walk their way through the section.
- Due to the cloak ability, they (along with areas) can be avoided.
- Like in the previous installment, a charged shot of the LaserKraftWerk will kill them.
- Also like in The New Colossus, their red tanks on the sides are their weak points.
- With the dash ability, the player can move quickly from their flames and avoid damage.
- Be wary when killing one, as they explode upon death after their animation, and damage the player.
- Their leg tanks are no longer able to be destroyed.
- It's best for co-op players to distract it, and let the other player shoot the red tanks.
- 'Dr. Ernst Brandt' is a direct call out to Ernst Blofeld, and indirectly Helga Brandt, from the James Bond universe.
- Name "Panzerhund" it wasn't invented by Bethesda. The name is used in episode 15 Generał Italia (published 23 january 2011 on YouTube) - polish satirical series mocking Adolf Hitler and NSDAP ideologies, except season 4 which is happening in modern times.
- A special limited edition of 'Wolfenstein: The New Order' called the Panzerhund Edition was announced in March 2014 with a range of accessories including a 8-inch hand painted statue of a 1960 Panzerhund but not, rather controversially, including a copy of the game itself. The production run was limited to 5,000 units across all platforms and could only be bought new from Bethesda's online store.
- The 1946 Panzerhunde bear the symbol used by Deathshead consisting of two snakes coiled like a DNA helix. This appears to indicate that the structure of DNA as a helix with 'steps' was known to Strasse as early as 1946 (possibly thanks at least in part to stolen Da'at Yichud knowledge).
- Even though the Panzerhunde are machines, they show canine traits when Wyatt tricks one into catching a live grenade in its mouth (suggesting that they contain brains from dogs).
- The idea that Panzerhunde are in fact canine cyborgs rather than true robots is further supported by the fact that they are described in some articles in-game as actually eating people, though this could in theory be programmed in by Deatshead to further help fullfill the Panzerhund's role as a psychological weapon to terrify enemies.
|Humans||Soldier · Riot Guard · Commander · Deathshead's Commando · Fire Trooper · Rocket Trooper · Space Marine · Space Trooper|
|Machines||Drone · Guard Robot · Panzerhund · Heavy Robot · Baltisches Auge · Herr Faust · Zeppelin|
|Creatures||Kampfhund · Supersoldaten|
|Bosses||London Monitor · Prototype Robot · Deathshead(Mechanical Powered Armor)|
|Humans||Soldier · Commander · Heavy Soldier · Marksman|
|Machines||Drone · Panzerhund · Laderoboter|
|Creatures||Kampfhund · Supersoldaten · Shambler|
|Bosses||Rudi Jäger · The Monstrosity|
|Humans||Soldier (Atom Elites · Venus Soldiers) · Commander (Übercommander)|
|Machines||Railway Turret · UberSoldat · Drone · Laserhund · Panzerhund|
|Creatures||Kampfhund · Supersoldaten · Crocodile|
|Bosses||Irene Engel · Zerstörer· Zitadelle|
|Vehicles||APC · Ausmerzer · Eva's Hammer · Haunebu-V · Horten Ho 229 · Monocycle · Panzerhund · Rover · Silberfish · Supply Zeppelin|
|Humans||Soldier · Commander (Übercommander) · Elite Guard · Sniper|
|Machines||Drone · Robotersoldaten ・ Laserhund · Panzerhund ・ Düsenjäger・ Düsenjäger (Fighter)|
|Creatures||Bombenhund · Supersoldaten · Zerstörer · Zitadelle|
|Bosses||Winkler · Brüder Übergarde · Lothar Brandt|