Dragon DRA60188 German Sd. Kfz. 164 Nashorn Self-Propelled Heavy Howitzer - "Red Heart", 3./schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 88, Eastern Front, Autumn 1944 (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 served with the 3./sPzJgAbt. 88, then deployed to the Eastern Front in the autumn of 1944. Sold Out!
Length: 4.5 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: December 2006
Historical Account: "Affairs of the Heart" - The closing months of 1944 were not kind to the German Army nor the eastern states. As the Red Army approached the Polish frontier, the Polish Home Army launched Operation Tempest. However, during the subsequent Warsaw Uprising, the Soviet Army halted at the Vistula River, unable or unwilling to come to the aid of the Polish resistance. An attempt by the communist controlled 1st Polish Army to relieve the city was unsupported by the Red Army, which was thrown back in September with heavy losses. Despite aiding the Soviet Union during their struggle in the east, Polish Home Army forces were, by and large, treated with contempt. In fact, in territories taken over by the Soviet NKVD, Polish units who followed behind would either be shot or sent to gulags. Most Polish officers and soldiers who could not or would not join the Red Army were summarily executed.
Further south, in Slovakia, the Slovak National Uprising started as an armed struggle between the German Wehrmacht and rebel Slovak troops from August to October 1944. It was centered at Banska Bystrica. On September 8th, 1944, the Red Army began an attack on the Dukla Pass on the Slovak-Polish border. Two months later, the Russians won the battle and entered Slovakia. The toll, however, was high: 85,000 Red Army soldiers lay dead, plus several thousand Germans, Slovaks and Czechs. The war would last one more year...