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Why Hitler's Sniper Tanks Were Something Truly to Be Feared

War Is Boring
By Alan Wilson from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs, UK - Nashorn ‘131 red’ – Patriot Museum, Kubinka, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63970280

War Is Boring

Security, Europe

Or were they a waste of money?

Why Hitler's Sniper Tanks Were Something Truly to Be Feared

The Nashorn’s gun and open-top superstructure sat high, which was a disadvantage, but the machine was designed to ambush tanks from thousands of yards away in a hull-down position, and then move quickly. So provided that field commanders used them appropriately, they remained deadly.

German tanks during World War II were often outmatched by superior Red Army designs beginning with the T-34. Armor, reliability and firepower were all—at various times—serious shortcomings.

To counteract the Soviet beasts, Germany rushed ahead with tank destroyers—armored vehicles designed to inflict long-range firepower from concealed positions—but these also had a mixed record. The introduction of the Ferdinand during the 1943 Battle of Kursk turned into a disaster as the vehicles broke down from mechanical failures.

But Germany managed to produce practical and satisfactory tank destroyers, the Nashorn being one of the more successful designs.

Manufacturer Alkett completed the 24-ton, nearly nine-foot-high tracked vehicle by combining a modified Panzer III/IV chassis with an 88-millimeter gun—one of the deadliest German weapons in the war.

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