Sturmgeschütz mit 8.8cm PaK43/2 (Sd Kfz 184)
The Ferdinand was designed to fulfil Hitler’s wishes for a heavy Sturmgeschütz armed with the new long KwK L/71 8.8cm gun.
It was built on the Tiger (P) hull, which had come second in the selection process for the design of the Tiger IE.
|Even before full testing could be done Hitler ordered 90 to be made for use on the Russian front. All 90 were quickly manufactured at Nibelungenwerke between April and May 1943. The first models saw action on the Russian front during the Battle of Kursk where the long range of their 8.8cm gun proved devastating, but unfortunately they were also used like tanks in the close support role where their complex drive train and lack of a hull machine-gun proved a problem.|
|After Kursk they were used in various parts of the Russian front to plug gaps, but in late 1943 they were returned to Germany for a refit. During their refit and overhaul they underwent a physical as well as a name change.|
A hull machine-gun was added for close support and fending off infantry and a StuG style cupola was added to the commanders hatch. The addition of zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste also added an element of protection from infantry attacks.
The newly modified vehicle was now christened the Elefant, and a total of 48 were converted.
|Like the Ferdinand, the Elefant had 200mm of front armour, 80mm on the sides and rear and 30mm on the top. It was very hard to knock out with conventional anti-tank guns, and now with the added visibility of the commander and the hull machine-gun infantry could be seen off.|
They served both on the Russian and Italian fronts.
|In Flames Of War|
It has lots of armour; Front 15, Side 8 and Top 2. The front armour makes it invulnerable to any enemy gun available from the front and its side and top armours give it pretty good protection from other angles. It is slow though, being Overloaded give it a movement of 8”/20cm. It also bogs down on a roll of 2 or less rather than the normal 1, so it pays not to go driving through any difficult terrain.
|Remember because of its lack of speed it can easily be out-flanked by speedy troops, the US M18 Hellcat in particular is one to watch as its 16”/40cm move and its 76mm gun with a AT 12 can easily go through the side armour.|
M10s should also be watched, but these are not as fast but still have the advantage of the US Tank Destroyer special rules. Generally I shoot any jeep I see.
|The long 8.8cm tank gun has an AT of 16 and a range of 40”/100cm, so if you can see it you can kill it.|
It is also one of the more expensive late war vehicles, but, I think, well worth the points.
Designed by Evan Allen
Painted by Wayne Turner