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Hetzer
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"Those who drive the Hetzer, come out!!"
―Panther and Jagdpanther Commander

The Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer (ordnance inventory designation Sd.Kfz. 138/2) was a German tank destroyer based on the chassis of the Panzer 38(t), which was produced in large numbers during the last phase of WWII. 

Background

The program that would eventually lead to the Jagdpanzer 38t was started in March 1943, it was intended as a more cost-effective and effective tank destroyer than others, heavier designs. It was designed by combined a modified chassis of the Czech-built Panzer 38(t) with a 7.5 cm Pak 39 L/48 gun (a modification of the StuK 40 used on the StuG III ausf F). The frontal armor was not very thick (60 mm) but heavily sloped. Flaws included strained mechanics and suspension (due to the heavier load), thin side armor and limited ammo load. Almost 3'000 were built until 1945.
Hetzer tank destroyers 1945

Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer

The Hetzer proved to be a success; its small dimension made it perfectly suitable for defensive warfare, namely ambushes, where its good firepower and frontal armor enable it to damage or destroy bigger opponents.

Girls Und Panzer

Ooarai Girls High School has a Hetzer in their team, operated by Turtle Team, as an active ambush tank and dedicated tank destroyer along with Hippo Team's StuG III. Since Ooarai didn't have enough money to bolster its lineup with new tanks, it was decided to employ the funds available to improve the available tanks; most importantly, it was chosen to convert with a kit their Panzer 38(t) into a more powerful and useful Hetzer.

In the finals against Kuromorimine it performed very well (also thanks to the fact that Anzu had taken over the gunner position from Momo); operating alone, it immobilized two enemy tanks with an ambush (especially the fearsome Jagdpanther), then (after immobilizing the Jagdpanther again) by driving among Kuromorimine's line it destroyed its formation, allowing the other Ooarai tanks to break through and regroup. When faced with the super-heavy Maus tank, the Hetzer proved critical for taking it down, by driving itself under its frontal plate and serving as a ramp for Duck Team's Type 89B. After that, such a huge strain proved too much for its structures, and it broke down, unable to continue the match. Therefore, while not taking out any tanks, it made quite a contribution to Ooarai's victory.

Tank basic characteristics

Ooarai has a standard Hetzer.

  • Armament
  1. Main Gun : 7.5 cm PaK 39 L/48
  2. Other : 1x 7.92 mm MG 34
  • Armor
  1. Front : 60 mm (60° angled)
  2. Sides : 20 mm (40° angled)
  3. Rear : 8 mm (15° angled)
  • Speed : 42 km/h (26 mp/h) on road

More about the Hetzer

Trivia

  • While it is still uncertain the degree with which the Hetzer was called as such during the war, the name was popularized during the post war years.
  • Despite seemingly requiring only a change of the superstructure in the anime, the Hetzer actually employed a somewhat different chassis than the Panzer 38(t), meaning that it wouldn't be possible in real life to convert a Panzer 38(t) into a Hetzer without at least major modifications.
  • The Turtle Team version of the tank was featured in the game World of Tanks Blitz.
  • Due to their manner of battle, Turtle team, and in turn the Hetzer, is despised among some commanders of Kuromorimine.

Gallery

Tanks ☰ 
Light Tanks and Tankettes Poland7TPFranceAMR-35FinlandBT-42UKCrusaderItalyCV L3/33FranceFT-17UKHarry HopkinsUnited StatesM22 LocustUnited StatesM24 ChaffeeUKMark VIGermanyPanzerkampfwagen IICzechoslovakiaPanzer 38(t)FranceR35SovietT-70UKTetrarchPolandTK TanketteJapan2Type 95 Ha-GoJapan2Type 97 Te-Ke
Medium Tanks UK Centurion Mark IGermanyPanzerkampfwagen IIIGermanyPanzerkampfwagen IVGermanyPanzerkampfwagen V "Panther"United StatesM3 LeeUnited StatesM4 ShermanItalyM13/40UKMatilda IIItalyCarro Armato P26/40FranceSomua S35SovietT-34SovietT-44Japan2Type 89 I-Go/Chi-RoJapan2Type 3 Chi-NuJapan2Type 97 Chi-Ha
Heavy Tanks FranceARL 44FranceRenault B1 BisUKBlack PrinceUKChurchill Mark VIISovietIS-2SovietKV-2United StatesM26 PershingCarro Armato P26/40UKMark IVGermanyPanzerkampfwagen VI "Tiger"GermanyPanzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B "Tiger II"GermanyPanzerkampfwagen VIII "Maus"GermanyVK45.01 Porsche Tiger
Tank Destroyers GermanyElefantGermanyJagdpanzer 38(t) "Hetzer"GermanyJagdpanzer IVGermanyJagdpantherGermanyJagdtigerItalySemovente da 75/18GermanySturmgeschütz IIIUnited StatesT28 Super Heavy Tank
Self-Propelled Artillery GermanyKarl-Gerät Mortar
Main Battle Tank Japan2Type 10