GBX71 - Hetzer Platoon
The Jagdpanzer 38(t) was intended to provide the German infantry divisions with a tank-hunter with better survivability. It was better armored than the earlier Panzerjäger and Marder designs with a armoured front plate of 60mm sloped back at 60 degrees from the vertical. It carried a reasonably powerful gun, was mechanically reliable and small and easily concealed.
It was also cheap to build utilising the Skoda factory and much of the production facilities previously used to make the Panzer 38(t) and much of the Marder III series.
The Jagdpanzer 38(t) succeeded the Marder III in production from April 1944; about 2584 were built until the end of the war. The older Marder III Panzerjager series retained the same chassis as Panzer 38(t). The Hetzer was 5-tons heavier than the Marder III due to the enclosed fighting compartment and increased armour. To compensate for the increased weight, track width was increased from 293mm to 350mm and the overall vehicle width was also increased.
The Hetzer equipped the Panzerjägerabteilungen (tank-hunter battalions) of the infantry divisions, giving them some mobile anti-armour capability.
The 7.5cm PaK39 gun of the Hetzer was the same gun fitted to StuGs and similar to those fitted to Panzer IV tanks. It could destroy nearly all Allied tanks in service at long ranges and its enclosed armour protection made it a safer vehicle to crew than the Marder II or Marder III series.
The Hetzer mounted a remote-control machine-gun mount that could be fired from within the vehicle. However, to reload the crew needed to open the hatch and expose themselves to enemy fire.
|The Hetzer in Flames Of War|
- five Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer Tank Destroyers with Flammpanzer 38 option
Design by Evan Allen
Painted by Jeremy Painter & Blake Coster
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