Nashorn and Sturmgeschutz III Tank Destroyers

Nashorn (left) and Sturmgeschutz III ausf F (right), part of a mechanized column in the Soviet Union. The Nashorn was the last of the interim tank destroyers; 494 were built in 1942-1943 and served throughout the rest of the war. They were built on a hybrid Panzer III/IV chassis. Nashorns (rhinoceros) made their combat debut at the Battle of Kursk. Their 88mm (3.46 inch) gun could defeat Soviet armor at 4,000 meters (2.5 miles), allowing the lightly armored, open-topped Nashorns to engage while remaining out of range of Red Army T-34s. Sturmgeschutz IIIs were originally attached to infantry divisions as assault guns; as their combat flexibility became apparent, they were transferred to panzer divisions in 1943. They could engage either bunkers or tanks. Nicknamed the "StuG" and mounting a 75mm (3 inch) gun, they became potent tank killers as well. Distracted by many different tank designs that took up production time and scarce resources, the Germans could not out-produce either the Soviets or the Americans. Still, German tank destroyers accounted for 20,000 Allied tanks through 1944.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Saturday, January 1, 1944
Soviet Union