As the war between Germany and Russia continued into 1943 the Wehrmacht continued to seek more powerful, more capable weapons to deal with the Soviet masses.
Join me for a look at one of the more successful such designs.
I’ve previously looked at several German tank destroyers. The idea behind such vehicles initially was to mount a larger, more effective gun on an older, smaller tank chassis. The Jagdpanther was a little different, the idea being to mount the ultimate version of the 88 mm Pak43 L71 gun (the same gun used on the very heavy King Tiger tank) on the smaller, but current and modern Panther tank.
This had been tried on other platforms leading to vehicles that were either too heavy (Ferdinand/Elefant) or too light (Nashorn). So the Jagdpanther was meant to be Goldilock’s 88 mm tank destroyer. As far as that goes the design was a complete success. It was a viciously effective anti-tank weapon well suited to defensive, ambush warfare of the sort the Wehrmacht found itself embroiled in during the later part of the war.
But it suffered from all the shortcomings of late war German armor too. Its mechanical reliability was poor and spare parts were always in short supply. A total 415 Jagdpanthers were built from January of 1944; plans called for production of 150 a month but Allied strategic bombing kept that from ever happening.
This example is from the Tamiya kit and represents a vehicle that fought in the Ardennes Offensive (Battle of the Bulge) in December of 1944. It was an easy and fun build as are other models in this series.