Dragon DRA60061 German Sd. Kfz. 164 Nashorn Self-Propelled Heavy Howitzer - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 560, Germany, 1943 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
In an effort to get sizeable numbers of tank destroyers into service along the Eastern Front, the Waffenant embarked upon a series of hurried improvizations throughout 1942-43. Eventually, a special weapons-carrier vehicle based on the PzKpfw IV chassis was developed, which was adapted to take the 8.8cm PaK 43 gun. The first of these so-called Nashorns ("Rhinocerous") entered service in 1943. The Nashorn had an unusually high profile that was difficult to conceal, a problem increased by poor armor with only the driver being fully protected. It was therefore used as a long-range weapon, in contrast to most other tank destroyers. The powerful gun made the Nashorn a potent battlefield weapon, but it was too bulky for its prescribed role and only the lack of anything better kept it on the production line as long as it did. Some 433 were built before production ceased in 1944.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a Nashorn self-propelled gun was attached to the sPzJgAbt. 560, then training in Germany during 1943. Sold Out!
Length: 4.5 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: November 2006
Historical Account: "Sword of Orion" - Panzertruppenschule I (Armoured Troops School No. 1) was the first of two major schools set up by the German Panzerwaffe in World War II to train German armour officers to operate Panzers. It was based in Munster, Germany.
The Panzertruppenschule was a 'branch school', where officer candidates were sent after 12-16 weeks spent in basic training, and having successfully undertaken an 8 week course at a Kriegsschule. Prospective panzer troops, known as Fahnrich undertook a 16 week training course which aimed to familiarize the officer candidates with the nuances and workings of a Panzer, and also with the tactics to be used when commanding panzers in the field.
Upon graduation, the recruit was promoted to Oberfähnrich and sent on field probation. The Instructors were chosen because of their skill, and many had seen action and received decorations.
In June 1943, the only known flame-throwing versions of the StuG III, designated StuG III (Flamm) were delivered to the school, but were shortly thereafter destroyed by a fire started by a faulty flamethrower. In late 1943, the school was stripped of its experienced instructors, who were used to form the elite Panzer-Lehr-Division. The Panzertruppenschule I is still in use today, as the Panzer Museum Munster. (courtesy: Wikipedia)