MBI Profiles Series #12

Hetzer - Jagdpanzer 38

reviewed by Neville Lord


As WWII progressed and the German army increasingly found itself on the defensive, tank destroyers such as the Hetzer became increasingly important. With their low profile and relatively cheap production costs, they were well suited to the rear guard actions that the Wehrmacht fought as it retreated towards Germany. Originally developed to as an expedient that addressed the loss of Sturmgeschutz production due to Allied bombing, while utilising existing production lines, the Hetzer went on to have long service career. First seeing
service in the Summer of 1944 on the Eastern Front, the Hetzer later saw service with the post war Czech and Swiss armies where modified versions were known as the ST-1 and G-13 respectively.


“Jadgpanzer 38 Hetzer” provides a comprehensive history of the Hetzer and its variants during WWII and the post-war period. Like other titles in Kliment and Francev’s series on WWII Czech produced military vehicles, the full text is in both English and Czech. While the English text is very readable and informative, the occasional quaint expression slips in.

At a hefty 112 glossy A4 pages this title has numerous photos, colour profiles, scale plans and line drawings. In the technical section large clear photos from several angles are included for each phase of the Hetzer’s production run as well as for all variants. These photos and the accompanying line drawings that show the detail of key features and production changes (e.g. different idlers, tow hooks and mantlets) are very useful for modelling and also the dating of war time photos.

Five pages of colour side profiles provide a good coverage of the different camouflage scheme worn by the Hetzer family. A further three pages have four 1/35 four view colour profiles of the post war Czech St-1 and two Fall 1944 Hetzers with the “Ambush” scheme. These two pages show how this well known camouflage schemes varied between factories. Most of the color profiles are justified by the text and accompanying photos.

The book is well laid out and systematically covers each major aspect of the Hetzer’s history. Content includes:

* Detailed coverage of the Hetzer’s production history during WWII which is well supported by illustrations including four sets of 1/35 scale plans (4 view).
* Wartime variants including the Bergpanzer 38 recovery vehicle, prototype of mounting the 38 sIG 33/2 (3 view scale plans), Flammpanzer and Jagdpanzer 38 Starr, with line drawings of each variants key features.

* Post war use of the tank destroyer by the Czech and Swiss Armies. This section is well illustrated with photos and line drawings that would be useful for modellers wishing to convert the Dragon kit.

* Post-war derivates such as the ST-III driver trainer, PM-1 flamethrower and varying artillery tractors.

* Overview of the Hetzer’s camouflage schemes and front-line deployment including the combat use of the Jagdpanzer 38 Starr.

* Systematic technical description of the Hetzer, which includes detailed internal photos and a cross-sectional plans.


Kliment and Francev’s “Jadgpanzer 38 Hetzer” provides a superb all in one coverage of the Hetzer, not only during WWII and also in the often
overlooked post-war period. Being well researched and amply illustrated this title is ideal for modellers and other military vehicle enthusiasts.

Highly recommended.


Dragon/DML produce the best 1/35 scale models of the Hetzer.

* Hetzer Early (kit 6030). This is typical of Hetzers built around May

*Hetzer “Command” version (6060). This is typical of a September
1944 Hetzer and includes four and a half crew figures and the crow’s
foot commander’s aerial.

* Jadgpanzer 38 "mid"/Flammpanzer (6037). This can be built as either
the Flamethrower version or a standard Hetzer typical of many built
from October 1944 onwards.


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I'm sorry, but since the review has been published that product appears to have gone out of production.