Nashorn Factoid!!!

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David C. Clarke
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Nashorn Factoid!!!

Post by David C. Clarke » 17 Mar 2003 03:24

Hi Guys, I understand 494 of these beasts were produced by the end of the war, beginning in February 1943 and with the vehicle being employed as early as the Battle of Kursk. What really impressed me was this tidbit from "Nuts and Bolts Vol. 14" by Tony Greenland and Detlov Terlisten, page 8.

By December 30, 1944, there were 165 Nashorns still in combat service. This represents almost 30% of total production...."


So, let's see, the vehicle was as big as a house, severely underpowered and had minimal armor. And most of them were on the Ostfront. How the heck did that many survive?????
This seems to be the kind of record one would expect for the survival rate of Tiger I's!!!

Cheers,
David

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Xavier
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hi

Post by Xavier » 17 Mar 2003 03:38

hi david.

I think its survival rate has to be with the gun it mounted..the Pak43 L71 was (IMHO) the best tank killer gun at the end of the war.

"Due to the size and weight of the gun with it’s ammunition and the limitations of the chassis, hull side armour was limited to that which would stop a heavy machine gun bullet and the frontal armour wasn’t very much thicker.
As a result of this sacrifice in armour protection the Hornisse was ideally suited for long range ‘Sniping’ at tanks from a well-camouflaged position, however with the immensely powerful gun this was not a problem. In 1944 slight changes were made to the design of the Hornisse and from these was created the ‘Nashorn’ or ‘Rhinoceros’, the design of the frontal armour was changed and a new but indistinguishable version of the gun was used.

The Nashorn/Hornisse was a reasonably successful tank-destroyer despite being lacking in armour and having a high and recognisable silhouette however the production was slowly given over to the smaller and better armoured Panzerjägers.

The Nashorn did have the distinguishing responsibility of destroying the only American M26 Pershing heavy tank that was destroyed in the European campaign. Junior Lieutenant Albert Ernst ‘The tiger of Vitebsk’ who features in the Vitebsk mission in Panzer Front was the only recorded Hornisse ace and destroyed 19 Russian tanks in the engagement the mission is based on." (end quote)

from http://www.geocities.com/panzerfrontuk/TankProfilesGerman.html

regards

Xavier

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 17 Mar 2003 03:44

Hi Xavier, good to read you!! It's hard to believe that Albert Ernst was the ONLY recorded Nashorn Ace. This may bear some investigation. Given the vehicle's role, it's great gun and its early commitment to battle at Kursk, it's really hard to believe that only Ernst got more than five kills!
Best Regards, David

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Post by daveh » 17 Mar 2003 03:46

The Hornisse or Nashorn survived primarily by using the long reach of its 8.8cm Pak 43/1 L/71 gun from ambush positions. Its mobility was very similar to that of the later model Panzer IV and this was used to shift positon if spotted. Given the poorer russian optics in general the Nashorn could expect to take out russian tanks in relative safety and then redeploy as the russians advanced.

Obviously many were lost but by avoiding close combat the Nashorns lack of armour was offset. Its size was offset by picking ambush positions. Though do note it was lower and narrower than a Panther by roughly 30 cm and 55 cm respectively. Even in the open the Nashorn was likelier to hit its opponent before it was itself hit given its longer effective range againsy many russian vehicles. However it would be vulnerable to artillery fire.

Hope this was of interest.

DaveH

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 17 Mar 2003 03:59

Hi DaveH! Yes, it is of interest. But Xavier's quote took me a bit by surprise. My question becomes, not how the vehicle survived, but how well did it do? The booklet I mentioned talked of an incident where a Nashorn once picked off 6 T-34s at 3,500 meters--an incredible range, but entirely posible with the 88 L71. So I would expect there to have been a few very succesful crews out there. Of course, our understanding of the history of most sPz. Jgr. Abts. is still in a most primitive state. Looks like a great region for exploration!

Best Regards,
David

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Xavier
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x

Post by Xavier » 17 Mar 2003 04:05

I think this work is cut for Daniel AKA Charlie Don't surf....are you reading Daniel?

We have work for you!!!

sniping after all, but with a bigger weapon!!!

Xavier

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Nashorn big piece of junk

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 20 Mar 2003 04:02

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.


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".

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Re: Nashorn big piece of junk

Post by Von_Mannteufel » 20 Mar 2003 06:53

ChristopherPerrien wrote: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.


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".


well, my car never been shelled nor been on russian winter or were used for heavy duty. keep a car under most stressfull conditions with almost no porper "manutention" and see how long it lasts. Nashorn managed to survive because it could hit most tanks further than they could hit him. well, that's my opinion.

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Post by David C. Clarke » 22 Mar 2003 03:20

I agree with Von Manntuefel, the amount of abuse a serving Nashorn must have taken on the Ostfront must have been awesome. Imagine dueling with T-34/85s and Su-85s in a vehicle with armor just thick enough to keep off the wind from Siberia!

Cheers,
~D

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Redbaron1908
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Post by Redbaron1908 » 22 Mar 2003 03:36

I have a very realistic panzer simulator and I ve used the Nashorn it has a great gun, very powerful. ChristopherPerrien even though a small number of these veichles survied it was still pretty awsome that that many of them survived and i don t think the russian tanks lasted that long the russians just made more

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Post by Trommelfeuer » 01 Apr 2003 09:41

The most notable Nashorn ace was platoon commander of 1st company of sPzJagAbt 519, Junior Lieutenant Albert Ernst. He later commanded the 1st company of sPzJagAbt 512 (equipped with Jagdtigers). On December 23rd of 1943, he destroyed some 14 Soviet tanks in a single day using only 21 round of ammunition. The engagement took place near Vitebsk and Albert Ernst received a nickname "Tiger of Vitebsk". In December of 1943, Ernst destroyed total of 19 enemy tanks and on January 22nd of 1944, he was awarded the Knight's Cross.

It is reported that in early March of 1945, Lieutenant Beckmann from sPzJagAbt 88 destroyed Soviet IS-2 at the range of 4600 meters near Marzdorf.

Some Nashorn crews reported that they were able to knock out Soviet T-34 tanks at distance as great as 4000 meters. Nashorn crews also reported numerous kills of KV and IS-2 tanks as well as SU-152, ISU-122 and ISU-152 assault guns.


source
http://www.achtungpanzer.com/pz2.htm

The Hornisse / Nashorn was rather high and vulnerable. But when used as a standoff weapon it was very effective...soviet tanks couldn't score hits at such distances as the Hornisse/Nashorn could...(as daveh has already pointed out), and you could also do something against the disadvantage of being "big like a house", use the terrain for your advantage.

With friendly greetings, Sven
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Redbaron1908
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Post by Redbaron1908 » 01 Apr 2003 22:43

Great picture Trommelfeuer. I wonder if the germans used Nashorns for any offensive poerations

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Post by Andy H » 02 Apr 2003 01:42

Kursk

Matt L
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Post by Matt L » 18 Apr 2003 23:19

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.


Huh? 8O 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 :lol:

Matt

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Post by Richard Gordon » 05 Nov 2005 16:40

David C. Clarke wrote:Hi Xavier, good to read you!! It's hard to believe that Albert Ernst was the ONLY recorded Nashorn Ace. This may bear some investigation. Given the vehicle's role, it's great gun and its early commitment to battle at Kursk, it's really hard to believe that only Ernst got more than five kills!
Best Regards, David


Being a recorded Nashorn ace is one thing but the actual numbers is another. They are probably plenty others but here is one in particular:

Uffz. Anton Kreuzberg Pz.Jäg.Abt 525 (Knights Cross 21-9-1944 for actions in Italy in May of that year). Known to have 34 confirmed tank kills at the time he was recommended for the RK.

If you'd like more info on Kreuzberg, let me know.
Regards
Rich

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