Friday June 14, 2024

Hetzer (starr) - Kampfgruppe Milowitz Prague, April 1945


Item number: 88032

Status: Available

Scale: 1/72

About the model:
* true to scale model made from plastic for highest detail with metal parts
* fully assembled
* markings pad printed for ultimate realistic effect
* accurate painted and marked
* including protective case for display
* package comes with open window display
* limited production!

The design of the Hetzer was planned in December 1943 and already in January 1944 a wooden mock up in 1:1 scale was shown to the HWA. The design based on the undecarriage of the Panzer 38(t) with four slightly bigger roadwheels per side and with a comple new and angled superstructure in which a 7.5cm PaK39 was installed. The Hetzer was armored with 60mm plates at the front and 20mm at the sides. It got the Praga EPA engine with 160hp, which allowed a top speed of 40km/h.
The first prototype was delivered in March 1944 and tested extensively. Several areas needed to be reworked and from May 1944 some items were changed, just as another gun mantlet, different idlers, etc.
In the following months there were frequent changes in the series production - mainly in the appearance of the gun mantlet and idler wheels. The later one had no less then 6 different designs.
The mid production featured also the omission of the heatprotecting mesh around the muffler and from October 1944 on a new designed Flammvernichter-muffler. Also several internal changes were introduced.
In May 1944 a testvehicle of a standard hetzer was converted by BMM to a hetzer (starr) which means that it got a new weapon rigidly mounted where the recoil is not braked by recoil cylinders but directly from the vehicle. The cut out in the front plate could now be much smaller.
The preproduction started in December 1944 by BMM. This new Hetzer had several new features  just as a new enginedeck for the use of a diesel-engine, new rear plate, WZF 2/2 aiming sight, U-shaped towing brackets, etc.
The Hetzer (starr) was around 6.35m long and 2.84m wide. The Tatra Diesel engine produced 207hp and a top speed of 40km/was possible.

Only 14 Hetzer (starr) were produced from December 1944 to April 1945, while on 21st April 1945 Skoda got the urgent order under the "Führernotprogramm" to produce 500 Hetzer (starr). 

The Kampfgruppe Milowitz received some Hetzer (starr) and tried together with four other Kampfgruppen to open Prague for retreat of HGr. Mitte. They fought against Czech uprisers in Prague from 5th to 8th May. They retreated then in the night from 8th to 9th May 1945 back to american lines and the hetzers were used as transport vehicles for soldiers of the Prague garrison. They eventually fought from 11th to 12th May 1945 in Milin against soviet forces.

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