Nashorn in Soviet Union, March 1944.

Nashorn – History

History of the German armored vehicle Sd.Kfz. 164 “Nashorn”, used during the Second World War as a very effective anti-tank weapon.

Here's a brief overview about the history of the Nashorn ("rhinoceros"), a powerful German tank destroyer of the Secnd World War. Its official designation was Sd.Kfz. 164, but it had initially the nickname Hornisse ("hornet"), gaining the final one only in 1944. Its design was an interim solution to face the Soviet tanks T-34 and those of the KV series.


Built from the hull of the prototype tank Geschützwagen III/IV, it had an open-top superstructure, housing the very powerful 88 mm (3.46 in) PaK 43/1 antitank gun. This weapon was capable of destroying every enemy tank far beyond their own range. The crew of 4 or 5 was protected on the front by the gun shield, and on the other sides by steel plates.

The armor was capable only to protect from shrapnels and small arms fire, whereas it could not stop armor-piercing rounds. This, and the lacking of a rotating turret, made the vehicle not suited to face enemy tanks in close range engagements. On the other hand, it excelled in hitting them from a long distance.


This vehicle was designed from February to October 1942, and its production started in early 1943. Soon after, it changed its name from "Hornisse" to "Nashorn". Starting from January 1944, the production of the better armored tank destroyer Jagdpanzer IV was preferred, but the Nashorn continued to be built until 1945, though at a slower rate. A total of 473 vehicles was built.

The Nashorn saw action for the first time during the Battle of Kursk, in July 1943, being employed in all fronts until the end of the war. On the Western front, in particular, a Nashorn was one of the few vehicles that managed to knock out an American M-26 Pershing heavy tank, in March 1945.

Currently only three Nashorns still exist, on display in museums in Russia, Great Britain and United States.

From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

history nashorn

One of the three remaining Nashorns on display at the museum of Kubinka, Russia.

Image sources: 1, 2

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