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The Panzerjäger I was a tank destroyer that was used by Germany during World War II.

Description

It was based on the Panzer I chassis and it had a Maybach NL 38 TR Engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 40 km/h. The Panzerjäger I had a crew of four men and an armament that consisted of a single 47 mm PaK(t) and no defensive weapons. 

The Panzerjäger I also had a weight of about 6,400 kilograms and a total length of about 4.4 meters. Armor protection on the Panzerjäger I was limited at best with a total thickness of 14mm on its frontal shield.[1] It had a 5 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission and a leaf spring suspension system.

Reliability of the Panzerjäger I was fairly good and combat effectiveness was unusually high despite the fact that its main gun was very bad at dealing with more heavily armored vehicles. Since the Panzerjäger I was used mainly in France and Russia, most of the early tanks it encountered were only lightly armored at best and here is where it truly thrived. Also, those that were heavily armored where limited in number so they didn't have real impacts against Panzerjäger I units.[2]

History

The Panzerjäger I was first developed in 1939 and became operational the next year. They first saw combat during the invasion of France and it was the first self-propelled gun in the German Heer. After France, the Panzerjäger I then served in North Africa and then in the Eastern Front. On the Eastern Front, the Panzerjäger I became almost completely obsolete against the Soviet T-34s and KVs which were impenetrable to many German weapons at the time. In total, about 202 Panzerjäger Is were produced throughout the war. 

References

  1. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/germany/tank-hunters/panzerjaeger.asp
  2. http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/nazi_germany/Panzerjager_I.php


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