Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Panzers: Jagdpanzer 38t Hetzer

The Panzerkampfwagen 38t had so many variants that I shall not be able to concentrate on them all. So, I have decided to write about one of the last variants, the Jagdpanzer 38t. This was a small, low tank destroyer armed with a 75mm gun and a radio operated machine gun. Originally designated as an artillery vehicle, the Jagdpanzer (tank hunter) branch of the German army took over the project, the first vehicles rolling out of the factory in spring 1944. They were well protected with all sides being sloped above the tracks, although the front plate was thicker than the rear and sides. They were probably the most effective German tank destroyer of the war. Thankfully, they arrived too little and too late to do any real damage to the Allied war effort. After the war, many more were produced for the Swiss, Czechoslovak and Swedish armies, some of which were used into the 1960s.

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