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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Hornisse ("hornet"), Nashorn ("rhinoceros")

Photos

Dragon Armor
60060:
Dragon Armor 1/72 Diecast 60060 German Hornisse

60061:
Dragon Armor 1/72 Diecast Armor 60061, German Nashorn

60159:
Dragon Armor 1/72 Diecast 60159 German Hornisse

60188:
Dragon Diecast 1/72 Armor, 60188 German Nashorn

Design

Based on the fighting on the Eastern Front, an easier way to move the 88 mm PaK 43/1 L/71 guns was needed.9 In February 1942 a contract was issued for the vehicles.5 By November 1942, they were being issued to the Army's heavy antitank units.5,8 It was initially nicknamed the Hornisse (hornet) but it was changed to Nashorn (rhinoceros) by order of Hitler.

Was rather high and vulnerable.3 When used at ranges of 2,000 m it was less vulnerable and very effective.3

Two different driver's hatches were used during production.8

Chassis

The chassis was called the Geschützwagen III/IV (gun carriage), which was a hybrid.5 In early 1942 Alkett and Deutsche Eisenwerke developed the chassis from PzKpfw III and PzKpfw IV chassis.5 The engine was moved forward allowing for a larger rear compartment.5,8

Armor

Because of a shortage of hardened armor plate the hull was protected by unhardened armor plate. This superstructure armor was supplied by Witkowitzer Bergbauund Eisenhütten. The chassis was supplied by Werk Duisburg and it was assembled by Deutsche Eisenwerke at Teplitz-Schönau. Only the front and sides were armored.3 There was a canvas cover to protect the crew from the weather.3

Main Armament

The AP round weighed 22.4 lbs. and had a muzzle velocity of 3,281'/sec.6 The HE shell had a maximum range of 11,925 yards.6 The muzzle of the barrel was 2.24 m high.4

Rounds were stored in lockers on the sides.3

There were direct sites for the 88 mm gun for direct fire and dual sites to allow for the 88 mm to be used as artillery.3

Initially the 8.8 cm Pak 43 was used when the 8.8 cm Pak 43/41 was substituted as it was quicker to manufacture.3

The gun was placed over the engine in an armored superstructure.8

Production

500 were ordered and 100 were to be delivered by May 12, 1943, in time for the Kursk offensive.

  • Hornisse, Nashorn: 4339, 4733,8, 4942,4
    • Production: February 1943 - March 19452, 19443
    • Manufacturer: Deutsche-Eisenwerke2,3,5
      • Chassis: Krupp, Alkett6
      • Location: Teplitz-Schönau3, Duisburg3

Variants

  • Nashorn:
    • Also known as:
      • 8.8 cm Pak 43/1 auf GW IV, SdKfz 164
      • 8.8cm Pak 43/1 (L/71) auf Fgst PzKpfw III/IV (Sf), SdKfz 164
      • Panzerjäger III/IV Nashorn frueher Hornisse
      • 8.8cm Pak 43/1 L/71 auf GW III/IV

Usage

Issued to schwere Panzerjäger detachments that were independent units attached to a Corps or Army. The first unit to receive them was the 655th schwere Panzerjägerabteilung in the summer of 1943.4 Five other detachments were formed.

Specifications

  Hornisse, Nashorn
Crew 41,2,4, 53,5,6,7,8,9
Driver3, gun crew (4)3
Radio FuG Spr d2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 53,793 lb3, 53,680 lb9
24,000 kg1, 24,400 kg3,9
23.62 tons1,7, 24 tons2,5, 26.5 tons6,8
Length w/gun 27' 8"5,7, 27' 8.3"1,3,9
8.44 m1,2,3,5,9
Length w/o gun 19'7, 19' 0.3"3, 19' 2"5, 20.3'6
5.8 m3,5
Height 8' 8"5,7, 8' 8.3"1,3,9, 9.65'6
2.65 m1,2,3,5,9, 2.954
Width 9' 4.6"1,3,9, 9.6'6, 9' 8"5,7
2.86 m1,2,3,9, 2.95 m5
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.8"6
40 cm
Ground contact length 149.6"6
3.52 m
Ground pressure 11.3 psi6
0.85 kg/cm2
Armament  
Main 1: 8.8 cm1
1: 8.8 cm PaK 43/1 L/712,5,6,7
1: 8.8 cm PaK 433,9
Secondary  
MG 1: 7.92 mm MG1
1: 7.92 mm MG342,9
Side arms 2: sub machine guns3
Quantity  
Main 38, 403,5, 48
Secondary  
MG 6002
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 10 - 309, 301,7
Front 2"6
Side 1.2"6
Hull Front, Upper 30@12°, 10@37°2, 30@35°5
Hull Front, Lower 10@30°, 30@20°2, 30@78°5
Hull Sides, Upper 10@16°2, 20@90°5
Hull Sides, Lower 20@0°2
Hull Rear 10@10°2 & 20@10°2, 20@80°5
Hull Top open2
Hull Bottom 17, 15@90°2
Superstructure Front 10@60°5, 308
Gun shield: 10@37°2
Superstructure Sides 10@74°5, 208
Superstructure Rear 10@80°5
Superstructure Top Open
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach7
Maybach HL 120 TRM1,2,4,5,6
Maybach HL 1203,9
Bore / stroke 4 cycle6
Cooling Water4,6
Cylinders V-124,5,6
Capacity  
Net HP 2653,9, 3005,7, 300@3,000 rpm4,6
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.5:16
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh6, ZF SSG 76
6 forward, 1 reverse2,6
Steering Clutch brake6
Steering ratio  
Starter Hand inertia and electric6
Electrical system Starting: 24-volt6
Normal: 12-volt6
Ignition Magneto6
Fuel (Type) Gasoline3,4,5,6,9
Octane  
Quantity 103 gallons5, 159 gallons (in 2 tanks) 6
470 liters5
Road consumption 0.8 mpg6
Cross country consumption 0.5 mpg6
Performance  
Traverse 15°6, 15° each way4,5, 30° each way
Speed - Road 24 mph7, 24.8 mph3,9, 25 mph5,6, 26 mph1
40 kph3,4,5,9, 42 kph1,2
Speed - Cross Country 15 mph5, 16 mph6
24 kph4,5
Range - Road 124 miles5,7, 130.5 miles3,9, 133 miles6, 133.6 miles1
200 km4,5, 210 km3,9, 215 km1,2
Range - Cross Country 81 miles5,6
130 km5
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -5° to +20°4,6
-10° to +25°
Fording depth 2' 7.5"3,6,9
0.8 m3,9
Trench crossing 7.6'6, 7' 6.6"3,9
2.3 m3,4,9
Vertical obstacle 1' 11.6"3,6,9
0.6 m3,4,9
Climbing ability 30°4 (57%) slope6
Suspension (Type) Sprung in pairs on 1/4 elliptic springs6
Wheels each side 86
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type) Dry pin6
Length  
Width 15.75"6
Diameter  
Number of links 1036
Pitch 4.9"6
Tires  
Track centers/tread 8.3'6

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. New Vanguard 88 mm PaK 43/36/37/41 and PaK 43 1936-45, John Norris, 2002
  5. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  6. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  7. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  8. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H.L. Doyle, 1973
  9. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site