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COMBAT MISSIONS : Unit Research - Hetzer


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So what do you think about the Hetzer and it's tactical usage in CM?. Again, comments on the pro's & con's of 'buying' this unit would be much appreciated.

btw - Info gathered over the past few days on the Sherman will be posted on the COMBAT MISSIONS site sometime over the weekend.

TIA

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COMBAT MISSIONS - CM News, Supplies & Resources

WWW.COMBATMISSIONS.CO.UK

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The Hetzer shares the same tactical limitations as all other turretless AFVs. It's primarily a medium-long range defensive ambush weapon, although it can be useful for overwatching a sector of an attack. It needs to keep the enemy to its front. It's best used in at least pairs so they can guard each other's flanks. It needs some form of covering terrain to hide behind or shield its flanks, and something to channelize the enemy advance into its kill zone.

If you accept these limitations, it's a question of what JPz is the best buy. When considering buying Hetzers, you're already thinking in terms of a light-medium vehicle, so don't consider JPanthers and JTigers. Also exclude the PzIV L/70 (s/b JPzIV L/70?) because it's a special case. This leaves you comparing the Hetzer to the StuGs, Marders, and early JPzIVs.

All members of this group have exactly the same gun and very nearly the same speed and ground pressure, so the only real differences are size, armor, ammo capacity, and cost. On these criteria, the Hetzer has the best over-all score. It's the smallest and has the best frontal armor. It's also the cheapest fully enclosed JPz, not costing much more than a Marder. However, its ammo capacity is the lowest next to the Marders, being about 1/2 - 2/3 that of JPzIVs and StuGs. Still, the Hetzer's got enough for a small or a short battle, which is mostly what you play, so at the bottom line it's the best bang for the buck in this group.

The only other medium JPz is the PzIV L/70. This thing packs the Panther's awesome gun with plenty of ammo and has frontal armor a bit better than the Hetzer's. OTOH, it's about 20% slower than the Hetzer, has a 25% higher ground pressure, and costs nearly twice as much. In effect, it's really a cheaper heavy JPz instead of a medium, so you should use it differently than the Hetzer. This leaves the Hetzer still supreme in its class.

NOTE: I can't prove this, but I believe I recall BTS mentioning 1 drawback of the Hetzer not covered above. That is, due to cramping of the crew compartment caused by small size and heavily sloped armor, the Hetzer's ROF is somewhat lower than that of a StuG or JPzIV. However, I can't tell the difference in the game.

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-Bullethead

In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bullethead:

NOTE: I can't prove this, but I believe I recall BTS mentioning 1 drawback of the Hetzer not covered above. That is, due to cramping of the crew compartment caused by small size and heavily sloped armor, the Hetzer's ROF is somewhat lower than that of a StuG or JPzIV. However, I can't tell the difference in the game.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

IIRC, Last time I used a hetzer it did show the slow ROF in the info screen. I have noticed that they certainly don't bang out shots like a Stuart. I tend to go for the Pz IV/70 over the hetzer, but given the beating I've been taking from hetzers lately I might be making the wrong choice.

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Slayer of the Original Cesspool Thread.

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The hetzer is a nice ambush weapon, it would be situates almost like a AT, but with the advantage of forntal armor, and i some cases mobility to ambush again. It also can be used to guard a flank. The only big problem of this baby is that it can be put out of order by a side o rear shot of a .50 caliber machine gun. Something to rember when you move this baby

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I haven't really noticed that slow ROF with it but I'll keep an eye on it later. Anyhow, I've just really recently played with the Hetzer. For roughly 80+ points it provides a lot of value. Medium range attacks are good enough. Short ranges are problematic due to a lack of a turret. But on a short range ambush in terrain like bocage, forested areas, to ambush armor the gun provides more than enough power to knock out the Allied "heavies."

Recently though I've had decent success using it as a poor man's version of an escort for a heavy like the Tiger I/II. Send it into positions to cover the flanks/rear of the heavies. Even fair success as a support weapon for infantry. Just keep it well back naturally since it isn't thick skinned like a Tiger. For 84 points at the Regular experience level, IMO it's a very good buy. The aging PzKpfw IV series costs 45-50% more. So with the price of one Mark IV you can almost get two Hetzers. Sounds good enough for me with that 75mm gun. Just as long as you don't treat it like the powerful/uparmored Jagdpanthers/Jagdtigers/or even JgdPz IV's, and treat them carefully, you'd be quite surprised with the results.

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"Uncommon valor was a common virtue"-Adm.Chester Nimitz of the Marines on Iwo Jima

[This message has been edited by Warmaker (edited 01-06-2001).]

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bullethead:

the Hetzer's ROF is somewhat lower than that of a StuG or JPzIV. However, I can't tell the difference in the game.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just tested it. With regular crews:

JPzIV and JPzIV/70: 6.5 shots per minute average.

Hetzer: 5 shots per minute average.

Off the top of my head I think the StuG is the same as the JPzIVs.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Aposotol:

The only big problem of this baby is that it can be put out of order by a side o rear shot of a .50 caliber machine gun.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I thought I read somewhere that the .50 can only penetrate up to 27mm of armor, so I just assumed the Hetzer was safe with 30mm on the side. Anyone seen a .50 take out a Hetzer from the side?

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You've never heard music until you've heard the bleating of a gut-shot cesspooler. -Mark IV

[This message has been edited by Vanir (edited 01-06-2001).]

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Vanir:

I thought I read somewhere that the .50 can only penetrate up to 27mm of armor, so I just assumed the Hetzer was safe with 30mm on the side. Anyone seen a .50 take out a Hetzer from the side?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've never seen a hetzer be knocked out by a .50 cal round. Heh I tried desperately on a few occassions and it had no effect.

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There was a long silence of rememberance for the dead, to which I added these names:

Ernst Neubach, Lensen, Wiener, Wesreidau, Prinz, Solma, Hoth, Olensheim, Sperlovski, Smellens, Dunde, Kellerman, Freivitch, Ballers, Frosch, Woortenbeck, Siemenlies...

I refuse to add Paula to that list, and I shall never forget the names of Hals, or Lindberg, or Pferham, or Wollers. Their memory lves within me.

There is another man, whom I must forget. He was called Guy Sajer.

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The Jagdpanzer 38 (Sdkfz 138/2) nicknamed "Hetzer" was designed in a record time of 2 months to help provide the Whermacht with a anti-tank vehicle which would be issued to the organic Panzerjager Komp's of Infantry, Jäger and PzG, Kavallerie and Volksgrenadier divisions. This was to complement the towed Pak guns of these formations whilst providing a mobile fully armoured weapon to combat tank attacks on the infantry units.

Usually only one Komp would receive the Hetzer , official unit strenght being 14 Hetzers...but this declined to 10 Hetzer's due to severe shortages experienced by the German war industry.

There were a number of Heer Panzerjager Abteliung's issued with 45 Hetzer's , the most notable being HPJA 731 and HPJA 743 , these were the first units to see action with the Hetzer on the Ost front in July 1944.

The doctrine for the effective employment of panzerjagers states that due to the limitations of the fixed gun carefully chosen ambush sites with mutal fields of fire allows the best chance of success by defeating the enemy tank formations through the use of mass firepower.

The Hetzer should not be employed as a "tank hunter" as it is at a severe disadvantage when facing tanks who using speed can get into position for a flank shot. Enemy AT units ( Piat/Bazooka) also pose a lethal threat to the Hetzer which should ALWAYs be accompanied by friendly Infantry units to help guard its flanks.

On the defensive a well placed Hetzer in a "Hull Down " position with attendent infantry can play havoc with the enemys plan of attack.

When facing infantry i have found that if and when you have 2+ Hetzers being attacked by Infantry

the remote MG is very effective IF the 2+ Hetzers are close together( less than 100m).

The Hetzer is well worth the points....the only thing to ask it NOT to do is to take on the Churchill.

Regards

Måkjager

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Once an Ubërcabbage

Always an Ubërcabbage

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oops nearly forgot... Hilary Doyle will have a New Vanguard book Number 36 all about the Hetzer published on the 25th January by Osprey Publishing.

It will include all the usual technical and Combat Records of this great wee AFV.

regards

Måkjager

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Once an Ubërcabbage

Always an Ubërcabbage

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I do not really consider it, tactically speaking, a tank.

If you treat it as a mobile gun with excellent forward protection and almost nothing on the sides and rears, then it is superb, the best ATG in the game, IMHO.

I hate the little bastards when I have to face them.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Vanir:

Anyone seen a .50 take out a Hetzer from the side?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yep. Had an M8 HMC dispatch one with its .50cal. Didn't even have to waste a hollow core charge on it. Have also taken out a PzIV from the rear with a M3A1 Scout car. Ma Deuce is a great gun. smile.gif

- Chris

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