I don't understand how anyone can think think was a good weapon.
Wouild you buy a car if only 30% were running a year later, the reason 30% were around a year later is probably because they were (Broken Down!) somewhere else and never got a chance to get exterminated on the Kursk battlefield.
Are you kidding? The Hornisse/Nashorn was based on the PanzerIV chassis- a tried and true design that was VERY reliable mechanically. And the Hornissen most certainly weren't 'extermintated' at Kursk- hell, even the Ferdinand wasn't!
The main reason many people believe the Hornisse/Nashorn to be an excellent weapon is that it was a very maneuverable vehicle with a VERY powerful and accurate gun. Sure, the Ferdinand/Elefant and Koenigstiger mounted the same gun, they both suffered from serious power and weight problems- far more debilitating than having light armor. If one can destroy an enemy before he gets within shooting range, what does it matter if one is lightly armored? Unfortunately, when one is faced with hordes of enemy tanks that don't seem to care much for losses, there's the issue of only being able to take out so many before they get close enough to shoot back. THAT probably accounts for the majority of Hornisse/Nashorn losses- that and fuel. I wouldn't be surprised if a fair number had to be blown up because of lack of fuel... or couldn't be recovered because of a Soviet push. I also wouldn't be surprised if a good percentage of losses were due to anti-tank guns and infantry tank-hunters- both attack with surprise and would negate the Hornisse/Nashorn's long reach. But put them against tanks, and they came out on top.
The KwK43 L/71 was capable of destroying tanks at incredible distances- in autumn '44, an Elefant of schwere Heeres-Panzerjaeger Kompanie 614 knocked-out a T34 at 4500m, on 23.7.44 a Ferdinand of sPzJaegAbt 654 knocked-out a 'General Lee' at 3000m and in 11.44 Fw. Kurt Knispel knocked-out a T34 at 3000m in his Koenigstiger- so there's all the reason in the world that Hornisse/Nashorn gunners achieved the same results.
The Nashorn does at least confirm that just because a peice of equipment has a nazi swastika on it or a maltese cross it is not necessarily the "best".
OH please. Sounds like 'weapon envy' to me