1943, the Wehrmacht were experiencing a dire shortage of StuG III tank
destroyers because the joint U.S.A.-U.K. air raids caused considerable
damage to the Alkett company’s factory that produced these vehicles.
December 1943, a decision was made to utilize the working capacities of
the BMM company in Prague to start production of tank destroyers.
Components of the Pz.Kpfw. 38(t) tank were widely used in the new
vehicle. The first prototypes were produced in March 1944. More than
2,800 vehicles were built by May 1945.
It is a very different
tank from its predecessor, the Marder II. Initially, its poor speed and
restricted arc of fire seem to be a downgrade from the long-range
firepower of the Marder II; a point that provokes a lot of mixed
opinions from players. It takes some time, and a few upgrades, to unlock
the Hetzer’s true potential and to allow its excellent sloped armour,
low profile, and powerful guns to come to the fore. Tier IV and under
tanks will fear the Hetzer due to the extremely powerful 105 mm gun that
can one-shot all Tier III and most Tier IV tanks.