For firing, high-explosive shells with a mass of 9,14 kg could be used (while the firing range was 15,3 thousand meters), armor-piercing tracer, sub-caliber and cumulative projectiles. An armor-piercing projectile from a distance of 1000 meters at an angle of 30 degrees to the normal is able to penetrate 165-mm armor, and sub-caliber armor with a thickness of 193 millimeter. In this regard, the installation "Nashorn" was very dangerous for all enemy tanks in the event of fighting at long distances. At the same time, the self-propelled gun lost its advantage in close combat — insufficient booking had an effect. Serial production of the Nashorn self-propelled unit began in February 1943 and lasted until the end of the war. It was made about 500 self-propelled guns. These self-propelled guns were part of the heavy anti-tank units.
After the invasion of Soviet territory and the collision of German tank units with domestic tanks KB and T-34, even the most optimistic German leaders realized that the mat. Part of the previously unbeatable Pancervaffe is largely inferior to the new Soviet-made tanks. Roughly sometimes worked, but having excellent armor and powerful weapons, equipped with a B-2 diesel engine, Soviet armored vehicles in 1941 reigned on the battlefields. When the last hopes of a blitzkrieg were scattered, German engineers had to take up work to bring the experimental machines to mass production.
The development of new medium and heavy German tanks was delayed. In addition, it was required to launch completely original designs into mass production. It was obvious that the tanks "Panther" and "Tiger" will not soon become really massive among the troops. The following was suggested. The solution is to use the tank bases that are widespread in the army to install powerful artillery systems on them capable of solving various tactical tasks. Thus, the troops received a whole family of various self-propelled artillery mounts, which belonged to the "class of field systems on a mobile gun carriage." This technique was characterized by placing tools in a half-open cabin. The felling armor defended the calculation of the self-propelled gun only from splinters and bullets. According to this scheme, they assembled and built an anti-tank artillery installation, which later received the designation Sd.Kfz.164.
The unified self-propelled gun carriage (tracked base) of the new self-propelled artillery mount was developed in 1942 by Deutsche Aienenke. The base widely used standard units of the undercarriage of tanks PzKpfw III and IV, which were widely distributed among the troops. This chassis, called "Geschutzwagen III / IV", was developed as a multipurpose base for a whole family of self-propelled units: anti-aircraft, anti-tank, artillery fire support systems, etc. A special feature of this design was the location in front of the transmission housing and the engine near the drive wheel. The fighting compartment was shifted to the stern and was spacious. This made it possible to install a large-caliber artillery system in the cockpit, including a powerful anti-tank gun. But the anti-tank gun for the ACS had to be designed for a new one.
The first ideas of creating a self-propelled "tracked carrier" for the Rak43 were also expressed by 28.04. 1942 at an arms management meeting. Since the development of a completely original design would have taken a lot of time, during the discussion the idea was put forward that it was possible to develop some kind of intermediate sample using units of mass-produced machines that could be put into production at the beginning of 1943. The design contract was signed with Alkett-Borzingwalde ". In turn, the company took advantage of the development of Deutsche Eisenwerke to create a unified self-propelled gun carriage from the nodes of the chassis PzKpfw III and IV. A prototype demonstration was scheduled for 20.10.1942.
A column of German armored vehicles is moving along a glade north of Lepel to support German units in the fight against partisans. For ZSU on the basis of the tractor moves ACS "Rhino" (Nashorn). Behind him are two captured light tanks T-26. Photo taken at the end of April - beginning of May 1944
October 02 1942 at a meeting with the participation of the Reich Minister of Weapons Speer and Hitler reviewed the finished project of the chassis from the company "Alkett-Borzingvalde." This chassis in German documents is traditionally the long name "Zwischenloesung Selbstfahr-lafette". Inspired by the rapid pace of structural design, the Fuhrer began to make plans that, with 12.05.1943, the industry could produce 100 self-propelled guns monthly.
The company "Alkett-Borzingvalde" at the request of the management of weapons was developed hull, having the same width as the tank PzKpfw III. The components and assemblies of the new self-propelled artillery, including drive wheels, differentials and transmissions, were taken from the PzKpfw III. An engine with a cooling system, radiators, a silencer - from the middle PzKpfw IV modification F. Supporting and support rollers, tracks of caterpillars sloths, were also borrowed from the "four". The Maybach engine HL120TRM (12-cylinder, volume 11867 cm3, V-shaped, camber 60 degrees, four-stroke, carburetor, power at 3 thous. Rpm 300 hp) was installed in the central part of the body. "Flooring" above the engine as much as possible to place the artillery system around the center of gravity of the self-propelled gun.
However, due to the new designation of the projected self-propelled guns, some units had to be re-designed. Structural differences were described in the manual for the self-propelled artillery.
Air duct ("Kuehllufifuehrung"): for cooling the engine, air is drawn in through the intake window made in the left side and bypassing the radiator and the engine itself sloping on the left side of the engine through the hole made in the right side. The air supply is carried out by two fans located on the right side of the engine. The ACS mechanic driver adjusted the air inlet opening.
An inertial starter ("Schwung-kraftanlasser") mounted to the left of the engine was connected to the shaft through a device ("Andrehklaue") mounted on the rear wall of the fire partition. Inertia starter was designed to start the engine SAU in emergency situations. The inertial starter was actuated by the muscular strength of the crew by means of a kickstarter placed in the combat compartment.
Fuel (gasoline, leaded, octane number of at least 74) was in two tanks with a total capacity of 600 liters. The tanks were located under the bottom of the fighting compartment, and the filling necks of the tanks went inwards in such a way that refueling could be carried out even under fire. In addition, special drain holes were made on the bottom of the hull, through which fuel spilled from the housing of the self-propelled gun "was removed". Such devices were closed only when forcing self-propelled artillery installations water obstacles ford.
The cooling device of the water heater "Fuchs" ("Kuehlwas-serheizegerat Fauart Fuehs") was installed on the left side of the ACS hull.
The original was the reservation of a gun shield and cabin. The thickness of the armor plates in the stern and sides was 10 millimeters, which gave the self-propelled gun crew protection from small fragments and non-armor-piercing bullets. Initially, the cuttings in the stern and on the sides were to be made of 20-millimeter, and in the frontal part of 50-millimeter steel "SM-Stahl". However, to save mass, 30-millimeter hardened armor plates were used only in the frontal part of the self-propelled gun body.
The 88-millimeter artillery system "Renzerjaegerkanone" 43 / 1, whose barrel length was 71 caliber (88 cm Рak43 / 1 - L / 71) was mounted in the deck of the ACS with the top of the gun carriage. Structurally, this artillery system was identical to the towed 88-mm PTP Rak43 / 41. However, the gun shield had a rounded shape, which ensured the rotation of the system inside the wheelhouse. The recuperator was installed above the barrel, and the knurler was below. On the sides of the gun were located counterbalancing cylinders. The vertical guidance sector is from -5 to + 20 degrees. The horizontal pointing angle was 30 degrees (in each direction 15 degrees).
In 1944-1945 On these self-propelled anti-tank guns were installed 88-mm trunks from PTP Rak43 on a crucian carriage made by Wercherhtte. However, these samples were made relatively little - 100 pcs.
The standard ammunition 88-millimeter anti-tank guns Cancer 43 / 1 and Cancer 43:
- Pz.Gr.Patr39 / 1 - armor-piercing tracer;
- Pz.Gr.Patr.39 / 43 - armor-piercing tracer;
- Spr.Gr. Flak 41 - frag grenade (old model);
- Spr.Gr.Patr.43 - frag grenade;
- Gr.39 HL - cumulative projectile;
- Gr.39 / 43 HL - cumulative projectile.
Thus, in a short time, with the wide use of serial tank units, a tank destroyer was created, for the first time for German tank building (together with Ferdinand) equipped with a long-barreled (71 caliber) 88-mm artillery system. This machine could hit all the heavy and medium Anglo-American and Soviet tanks from a distance of more than 2,5 thousand, but due to lightly armored and open logging, it was vulnerable during close combat, and in the middle distance, domestic KBs and T-34s left This design has very little chance of survival. Such a self-propelled gun was a kind of "ersatz" who was able to successfully operate only from ambush highly distant positions. As it turned out later, a truly effective tank destroyer should have powerful weapons, be well armored and have a low silhouette, which makes it difficult to defeat such a machine. This self-propelled gun did not possess the last two virtues.
The production plan for the fourth fiscal year was approved by 4 in May of 1944. According to this document, Alkett was completely exempt from the Sd.Kfz.164 ACS assembly. Thus, Stalindustry became the lead contractor for the production of these self-propelled guns. The enterprises of this company were supposed to hand over 1944 machines in 100: in April - 30, in May - 30 and in June last 40.
This program 14 June 1944 was corrected: in April 1944 - 14 SAU Sd.Kfz.l64, in May - 24, in June - 5, in July - 30, in August - 30 and in September - 29. A total of 130 machines should have been manufactured.
88-mm heavy anti-tank self-propelled gun "Hornisse" (Hornet) with its own name "Puma" (Puma). It belongs to the 519-th tank destruction division. Belarus, district of Vitebsk
It should be noted that in parallel with the production, an epic unfolded to rename this ACS, turning Sd.Kfz.164 from Hornisse (The Hornet) into Nashorn (Rhinoceros).
For the first time, the idea to rename Sd.Kfz.l64 to Hitler visited 29 in November 1943. The new name of the February 1 self-propelled guns 1944 was already mentioned in the OKW documents (Wehrmacht Chief Command), and February 27 in the orders of the OKH (Army Commander-in-Chief).
However, in the official correspondence dated 1944 in the summer, the old name is still present - "Hornisse" ("Hornet") and only starting from September 1944, the new - most specific - designation "Nashorn" was introduced into the document flow.
The motivation for such a renaming remains unclear. Probably, “Rhino” in German sounds more threatening than “Hornet”; Probably, the pedantic Germans wanted to identify the entire "subclass" of new types of ACS (tank-firing self-propelled guns) and tanks with mammals (although in this case there are exceptions - the Pz IV / 70 fighter tanks never received the name). Perhaps there is a third option: the self-propelled artillery "Hornisse" should have been equipped with a 43 X-gun of the caliber 88 mm, but in practice this did not happen. But in any case, the "reincarnation" was completed and in September 1944 in the Wehrmacht appeared a "new-old" SAU - Sd.Kfz.164 "Nashorn" ("Rhino").
Serial production of self-propelled guns of this type was delayed (in total it was planned to release 500 self-propelled guns "Hornissa" and "Nashorn"). But since Anglo-American aviation, following the principles of General Douai - the theoretician of air strikes, continued to systematically destroy weapons German factories, according to the next program for the production of armored vehicles, dated January 30.01.1945, 1945, the Stalindustri company was ordered to deliver 9 vehicles in January XNUMX, and the last two in February.
14 March 1945 at a meeting with the inspector general of tank forces discussed production issues, including the difficulty of starting the mass production of new 88 mm SAU "Waffentraeger" and 150 millimeter SAU artillery support "Hummel" ("Bumblebee"), the same with "Nashorny" on track base.
At this meeting, documented the cessation of production "Nashornov." In addition, the German industry tried to start large-scale production of its "successor" Sd.Kfz.164 - the "Waffentraeger" tracked conveyor equipped with an 88-millimeter artillery system Rak43.
560-th heavy division of tank destroyers, took part in the Forty-second Army Corps in the operation "Citadel" and did not lose irretrievably any ACS. The batteries of the division supported the 282, 161, and 39 infantry divisions of the Wehrmacht. However, in August, the 560-th separate division lost 14 machines, of which several self-propelled guns went to the Soviet troops as trophies. To compensate for the losses of 3 September, five cars arrived, October 31 - five and the same number of November 28. The last replenishment of the material part - four ACS - was held 03.02.1944.
According to the 560 Division Headquarters, by the end of 1943, the self-propelled gun crews destroyed the 251 tank during the fighting.
4 February The 1944 division received an order in the shortest time possible to move to the rear, from where it was to be transferred to Milau to re-equip the new “Yagdpanther” self-propelled guns. According to the report from 01.03. 1944 combat losses of the unit during the operation as part of the Fifty-seventh Tank Corps amounted to 16 SAU "Hornisse." The 560 Division at the end of April was completely re-equipped with Jagdpanther tank destroyers.
From 11.07.1943 to 27.07.1943, the 521-I battery of the 655 division of tank destroyers participated in defensive battles east of Orel. 27 August 1943, the combat experience of the unit was summarized in spec. report.
At the beginning of the battle, the battery had 188 soldiers, 28 non-commissioned officers, 4 officer, 13 heavy self-propelled guns Sd.Kfz.l64 "Horniss", 3 anti-aircraft installations "Flak-Vierling". This unit was part of the Thirty-fourth Army Corps of Army Group Center. The 521 battery in combat participated from 11 to 27 in July.
Self-propelled guns in two weeks of fighting destroyed one KV-2, 1 М3 "General Lee" of American production, 1 MLRS on tracked chassis, 1 tank T-60, 3 truck, 5 tanks T-70, 19 tanks, XVUMX 30, one tank MKII "Matilda II" out of action.
German losses mat. the units consisted of one Kfz.l and “Maultir”, two tank destroyers “Hornisse”. Killed - one gunner and one car commander; missing one commander of the vehicle; injured - 20 soldiers, six non-commissioned officers and two officers.
For self-propelled guns "Horniss" in battle the most effective was the following tactical method: self-propelled artillery installations Sd.Kfz.164 must operate from disguised positions, reflecting the onset of enemy armored vehicles.
A good example is the battle conducted on July 13 1943, a platoon of SAU 521-th battery. Then the platoon "Hornisse" with a well-disguised position knocked out four tanks T-34 and 12 KB. The platoon of casualties did not suffer, even though the Soviet troops attacked with support from the air.
When the stationary tanks were used as artillery firing points, success could only be achieved after careful on-foot reconnaissance and only with sudden fire from a short distance to which the Horniss self-propelled gun went out secretly. Self-propelled gun after high-speed "fire raid" again departed to the shelter.
An example of such an action was a battery bout, conducted on July 23. During the extremely dangerous advance of infantry and enemy tanks to the rear and flank of the grenadier regiment, the battery moved into the hollow and after a foot reconnaissance took firing positions. From the new position, one T-34 and KB tank was hit. Thus, the Soviet troops at the time were stopped.
In total, in the period from 1943 to 1945. According to German data, 500 machines were made from 494 machines planned for construction. We can say that the release program "Nashornov" almost fulfilled. The 01 February 1945 was still a 141 machine of this type in the troops, but by April 10 only the 85 SAU Sd.Kfz.164 was left. Nashorn.
Tactical and technical characteristics of self-propelled artillery installation "Hornisse" / "Nashorn" ("Hornet" / "Rhino"):
Combat weight - 24 t;
Crew - 5 man (commander, radio operator, loader, gunner, driver);
- full length - mm 8440;
- length without barrel - 6200 mm;
- width - 2950 mm;
- height - mm 2940;
- The height of the line of fire - 2360 mm;
- Base tracks - mm 2520;
- the length of the track surface - 3520 mm;
- clearance - 400 mm;
Specific pressure per pound - 0,85 kg / cm2;
- on the country road - 130 km;
- on the highway - 260 km;
- maximum - 40 km / h;
- cruising on the highway - 25 km / h;
- on the country road - from 15 to 28 km / h;
- slope - 30 degrees;
- trench width - 2,2 m;
- wall height - 0,6 m;
- Wade depth - 1 m;
Engine - "Maybach" ("Maybach") HL120TRM, power at 2,6 thousand rpm 265 hp;
Fuel stock - 600 l;
Transmission (early / remaining):
- speeds forward - 10 / 6;
- back - 1 / 1;
Control - differentials;
Chassis (for one side):
- drive wheels located in front;
- 8 double rubber coated rollers assembled into four bogies with a diameter of 470 mm;
Suspension of road wheels - leaf springs;
Track width - 400 mm;
The number of tracks - 104 in the caterpillar;
- for linear machines radio station Fu.Spg.Ger. "f" or FuG5;
- for SAU battery commanders - FuG5 and FuG8;
- gun shield - 10 mm (since May 1943 g. - 15 mm);
- forehead felling - 15 mm;
- cutting deck - 10 mm;
-6opta enclosures - mm 20;
- The forehead of the body - 30 mm;
- housing roof - 10 mm;
- body feed - 20 mm;
- the bottom of the case - 15 mm;
- 88-mm cannon Rak43 / 1 (L / 71);
MG-34 machine gun caliber 7,92 mm;
two MP-40 submachine gun caliber 9-mm;
- shots - 40 units;
- cartridges of caliber 7,92 mm - pcs 600;
- cartridges of caliber 9 mm - 384 pcs.
German anti-tank self-propelled gun "Rhino" (Panzerjäger "Nashorn", Sd.Kfz. 164). The photo was taken on the Soviet-German front at the beginning of 1944.
Canadian soldier on captured German self-propelled gun "Nashorn." Summer 1944 of the year
Soldiers of the Westminster Regiment of the 5 of the Canadian Tank Brigade (Westminster Regiment, 5th Canadian Armored Brigade) in the combat detachment of the German SAU Nashorn (Sd.Kfz. 164 "Nashorn"), shot down from the PIAT anti-tank grenade launcher of the village of the village of the village of the village of the village of the village of the village of the village of the city of a village of a village of Italian, in the village of a village of the Italian anti-tank gang. Pontecorvo)
Sending ACS Sd.Kfz.164 to the front. It is clear that these are modernized self-propelled guns: the barrel-shaped muffler is no longer there, but the fixers of the guns of the old design. Most likely these are the machines with which the 650 has been equipped with a heavy tank destroyer. May 1943 of the year.
Disguised SAU Sd.Kfz.164 "Hornisse" in the original combat position. Most likely this is Italy, the 525 heavy tank division, 1944 year
After installing the sight SflZFIa gunner exposes the cylinder sighting system ZE 37. Italy, 525 Division of tank destroyers, summer 1944 of the year
The self-propelled gun "Horniss" of the early type in anticipation of the attack of Soviet tanks The bracket is folded up, on the barrel of the mark on the 9 or 10 of the enemy tanks that were shot down. Army Group Center, 655 Division Tank Fighters, summer 1943 of the year.
A snapshot of one of the early ACS "Hornisse"
Self-propelled gun Sd.Kfz.164 "Hornisse" early type. The steering wheel-gate of the rear lock of the 8В-mm gun is clearly visible in the opening of the cabin; there is a barrel-shaped muffler at the rear of the hull. The armored antenna input is located in the rear right upper corner of the wheelhouse - such antenna inputs were only available on commander vehicles equipped with a FuG 8 radio station. Summer 1943 of the year
The first series of Sd.Kfz.164 vehicles assembled by Alkett in February-March 1943 of the year and received in the 560-i separate heavy tank destroyer division. One can see the characteristic differences of the early-generation ACS: driving wheels from Pz.Kpfw.m Ausf.H, two front headlights, an external bracket for the gun barrel (early type), a barrel-shaped silencer, TIPS, toolboxes, and fastening of the sections of the banniki. Spring 1943 of the year