25 February 2016
Nashorn: the German ‘Rhinoceros’
The Nashorn self-propelled gun is a variant of a mobile tank destroyer with a threatening 88 mm cannon – new to War Thunder 1.57.
The Sd.Kfz. 164 Nashorn (German: Rhinoceros) is a continuation of the German idea of self-propelled guns with an open cabin that were designed to destroy enemy tanks from ambush and camouflaged positions. This time, the engineers created a unified self-propelled gun carriage based on the Panzerkampfwagen III and IV, equipping it with a lightly armoured cabin. The chief advantage of this self-propelled gun was the famous 88 mm Pak43 cannon, which could destroy any Soviet or Allied tank of the time.
Hitler approved of the vehicle, but after it began to be mass produced, he renamed the vehicle by special command – initially, it bore the name Hornisse (Hornet). This change may have been because the German army already had one ‘hornet’ – the Me 410 heavy fighter (well known to all War Thunder pilots), while there was not yet a ‘rhinoceros’. The Hornet / Rhinoceros fought on the Eastern and Western fronts and in Italy, it went on to be produced practically until the end of the war.
The Nashorn is a famous representative of Germany’s SPG line with an open cabin. The Nashorn’s self-propelled carriage was created by engineers from the Alkett-Borsingwalde company, and it later became the basis for the Hummel self-propelled gun. The chassis was built with components and units of the modified Panzerkampfwagen III and IV tanks, and the most significant difference from the Panzer chassis was the increased length of the hull and the placement of the engine almost in the very center of the SPG. This was done to correct the vehicle’s centre of gravity relative to the placement of the cannon. It is clearly noticeable on the model that the radiator grill is now located in the center of the hull.
The crew compartment of the open cabin was designed for three crew members. The cabin also housed the Nashorn’s ammunition complement of 40 shells.
The 88 mm Pak43 gun is one of the best in the history of the Second World War. War Thunder players know this gun from other German armoured vehicle models – the Tiger II, the Jagdpanther and the Ferdinand. This incredibly accurate, long-range and destructive weapon is capable of destroying any vehicle at its rank, even with a frontal strike against. It’s a true sniper rifle among tank cannons!
The Nashorn will appear in the game at rank III in the German tech tree. The weak armour of the cabin will require careful consideration when positioning and control over the situation on the battlefield – any shell or an aerial cannon burst that lands in the cabin is almost guaranteed to deal critical damage or even destroy the SPG. However, the excellent Pak43 cannon, available to tanks and heavy SPGs only at rank IV, makes up for the paper-thin armour. Any opponent it encounters can be destroyed without difficulty, often with a single shot. Meet the German ‘Rhinoceros’ in War Thunder update 1.57. See you on the battlefields!
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