The Elefant Panzerjager

by Daniel Russ on June 25, 2016

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Began as the Ferdinand named after Mr. Porsche the famous car designer. The Germans built 91 of these tank destroyers. It featured the famous 88mm PaK gun and no external machine gun. Later versions featured a 7.62 MG-34 machine gun. This particular 88 mm gun was designed to fire a longer, longer range and far more powerful round. Its 200 mm of armor made it rather tough on the battlefield and thus it could go head to head with most Allied tanks. It was installed on the Panzer Mark VI Tiger One chassis.

 

It weighed in at 65 tons and had a profile almost ten feet tall. It was an easy target for anti tank guns in Italy and at the Battle of Kursk. Russian infantry that could get close enough actually destroyed many of these guns by swarming over them with charges and incendiaries. The first versions lacked a machine gun for self defense.

 

One Ferdinand of the 653 Heavy Tank Destroyer Battalion traded with Soviets and counted for 320 armored vehicle hits for the loss of just over a dozen Ferdinands.

 

Like the Jadgtiger and the Nashorn, these guns were very heavy and plagued with mechanical problems. Most that were destroyed were scuttled by their own crews.

 

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The Jagdtiger.

by Daniel Russ on June 20, 2016

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Abandoned Jagdtiger number 323 of the schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653

 

.This monster German tank destroyer featured a 128mm gun that could stop any armored vehicle on the battlefield and penetrate almost any bunker. The Germans made 88 of them and deployed them as fast as possible. All of them had to be transported by rail because they were 128,000 ponds and few bridges could hold them.

 

On the battlefield they performed quite well. Its 250 mm of front glacis armor was almost impenetrable. Once, three Jadgtigers took out a dozen US armored vehicles in just a few minutes from a hidden hull down position in 1945 fighting in the Ruhr pocket. A few Jadgtigers were destroyed by Shermans when they exposed their thinly armored sides.

 

Maintaining these Juggernauts was a nightmare. The gun needed to be recalibrated after driving for along time. A crewmember had to leave the vehicle and unlock the barrel ring. The huge 128 mm gun had to be loaded in two pieces, the shell and the firing charge. The gun was casemate style so traversing the barrel had to be done my steering. Most Jadgtigers were destroyed by their own crews when they ran out of gas, or ammo. Many just broke down and couldn’t be repaired in time.

 

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On June 15 1955, 800 US Marines invaded Saipan and began offensive operations against the Japanese troops firmly ensconced in hidden redoubts all over the island. When troops pushed the population into a corner, 8000 of them jumped off these 800 foot cliffs in suicidal falls. Entire families lined up and they pushed each other […]

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  One of the many tube launched multiple rocket launchers developed late in World War II was the T34 Calliope. The musical instrument calliope looked a lot like the weapon and hence the name. This configuration was almost always used on a Sherman M4A3 tank. It fired 60 107mm and was used in the Normandy […]

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