Jagdpanzer 38(t) "Hetzer"
Developed from a demand for a fully armored, meaning including overhead armored protection, light tank destroyer; the Jagdpanzer 38(t) "Hetzer" (foxhound) was one of the Second World War's best tank destroyers. Between April 1944 and May 1945 Skoda and BMM produced some 2,584 Hetzers for use by the Wermacht. Based upon a venerable pre-war Czech designed and built LT Vz 38 light tank (adopted by the German army after Hitler annexed Czechoslovakia and the German army appropriated and renamed the Czech tank the Pz 38(t)) - the Hetzer was the latest in a series of German weapons platforms built using the chassis of the former Czech tank.
With a low silhouette, well-sloped armor, built upon a reliable combat tested chassis, and boasting a potent 7.5cm PaK39 L/48 gun as its primary weapon, the Hetzer was a highly effective and cheaply built anti-tank weapon. For close in defense against enemy infantry the Hetzer also featured a roof mounted remote controlled machine gun. The Hetzer's drawbacks were the same as other assault guns of the era: the lack of a turret meant the entire vehicle needed to pivot to acquire targets. In addition, the crew compartment was extremely small. Nevertheless, the Hetzer represented a marked improvement over the open topped and lightly armored Marder III self-propelled gun it replaced. The Hetzer remained in use after World War II; most notably with the Swiss and Czech armies.
Picture Courtesy of Steven Mercatante