Hornisse/ Nashorn / 8.8cm Pak43/1 (L/71) auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen III/IV (Sf)

The Hornisse (hornet) or Nashorn (Rhino) was a lightly armoured self-propelled mount for the 8.8cm Pak43 anti-tank gun. It was based on the same hybrid gun carriage based on elements of the Panzer III and Panzer IV as the Hummel, and differed from that vehicle mainly in the choice of its gun.

The Hornisse was designed during 1942. In October of that year it was decided to have 100 built by 12 May 1943, after which production would be reduced to a rate of 20 per month, with priority going to the Hummel. 500 of the Hornisse were ordered, of which 494 were completed before the end of the war. The name of the vehicle was changed from Hornisse to Nashorn by Hitler on 27 January 1944.

The Hornisse can be distinguished easily from the Hummel by two features of the gun – the 15cm gun on the Hummel had no muzzle break, and had short tube-like features above and below the barrel as it entered the superstructure, while the 8.8cm gunon the Hornisse had a muzzle break and a single metal support below the gun at the superstructure. Otherwise the two vehicles were identical, with the same open topped superstructure, chassis and hull.

The Hornisse was issued to schwere Panzerjäger detachments, independent units attached at Korps or Armee level to provide their commander with a mobile anti-tank force. It entered service with the 655th schwere Panzerjägerabteilung on the eastern front in the summer of 1943 and eventually equipped six detachments, serving on the eastern, western and Italian fronts.

Hornisse from the right
Hornisse from the right


Number produced:  494
Produced: February 1943-March 1945
Length: 8.44m
Hull Width: 2.86m
Height: 2.65m
Crew: 4
Weight: 24 tons   
Engine: Maybach HL120TRM
Max Speed: 42km/hr
Max Range:  215km
Armament: One 8.8cm PaK43/1 L/71 and one 7.92mm MG34






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10mm/ 0.4in

10mm/ 0.4in

10mm/ 0.4in



30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

20mm/ 0.8in

15mm/ 0.6in

Gun mantlet

10mm/ 0.4in




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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 August 2008), Hornisse/ Nashorn / 8.8cm Pak43/1 (L/71) auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen III/IV (Sf) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hornisse.html

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