The Sturer Emil ("Stubborn Emil") was a tank destroyer used by the German army during the Second World War. Only two of them were produced. In this article I will talk briefly about its history.
Formally known as 12,8 cm Selbstfahrlafette auf VK3001(H), it was conceived as a vehicle capable of effectively engaging enemy tanks. Thus, the designers chose two hulls of the medium tank prototype VK3001(H), never put in production. On them, they mounted a 128 mm (5.04 in) cannon in an open-top casemate.
This weapon, derived from the 12,8 cm FlaK 40 anti-aircraft gun, was the most powerful anti-tank gun used in the Second World War. It could pierce a 30° inclined steel plate with a thickness of 120-180 mm (4.72-7.09 in) from a distance of 2000 m (2187 yd). Thus, it was capable of destroying enemy tanks well beyond their range.
The two vehicles, named Max and Moritz after the characters of a popular German illustrated story, were sent to the Eastern Front in mid-1942. One of them will be eventually destroyed in combat, the other one will be captured intact by the Soviets in January 1943 near Stalingrad. The latter is still on display in the Kubinka Tank Museum, near Moskow.
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