AMUSING HOBBY PRODUCTS ARE INELIGIBLE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL DISCOUNTS INCLUDING THE FIRST TIME BUYER BONUS
Hastily built in anticipation of the German offensive towards the Soviet Union, the first specimens had to face many technical problems, which military engineers were unable to solve. However, the Ferdinand was deployed on the eastern front and is particularly effective against Soviet tanks. Despite these successes, he did not at that time have a close anti-infantry defense weapon, and many Soviet infantrymen managed to destroy SdKfz 184 tanks, notably during the Battle of Kursk, where the “Ferdinands” was engaged for the first time.
A very serious design flaw was the lack of a machinegun for close protection against advancing infantry. It was overlooked because the vehicle was meant to operate behind the front line and take out enemy units at over 2km distance and not come in contact with enemy soldiers.
The reality of a mobile battlefield meant that courageous brave soviet troops could run forward and attach a sticky mine or throw on a Molotov cocktail without fear of being machine-gunned by the tank destroyer crew.
Following the proving ground of the Battle of Kursk, the remaining Ferdinands were temporarily withdrawn from service for revamping. In late 1943, 48 Ferdinands were each fitted with an anti-infantry ball-mounted MG-34, anti-magnetic Zimmerit paste (a hull texturing to prevent the attachment of magnetic mines), and a commander’s cupola which provided better visibility. These additions, plus some extra armor, increased the weight of the machine to 70 tonnes (second in weight only to the Jagdtiger tank destroyer). The improved and further beefed up Ferdinands were nicknamed Elefants, and a May Day 1944 order from Hitler made the new moniker official.