Kanonenjagdpanzer (Jagdpanzer Kanone - JPK) Tank Destroyer
The Jagdpanzer Kanone was produced from 1965 to 1990 and served the nations of West Germany and Belgium throughout the Cold War.
Authored By JR Potts, AUS 173d AB; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
In World War 2 the German Army developed tank hunters, the "Panzerjagers" or tank destroyers - a classification of armored vehicle that was specifically designed to counter the presence of enemy tanks through sheer firepower. They first mounted a proven 75mm anti-tank gun on a medium tank chassis and used an open turret configuration that sported a three sided armor shield arrangement for crew protection and maximum operating space. Many designs were based on existing equipment availability and even included using captured equipment from the Polish and French armies
as the war wore on. Most often times, the hulls were of tank systems that had passed their prime as true tank systems and found new life as dedicated tank destroyers
After the war's end in 1945, Germany had no need for their own standing army with the country now divided between the Allies and the Soviet Union in an "East meets West" fashion. At the outbreak of the Korean War
in 1950, the United States called for the rearmament of West Germany in order to help defend Western Europe from a possible Soviet land invasion. The first prototypes of the "Kanonenjagdpanzer" were built in 1960 by Hanomag and Henschel for the West German Army. This tank destroyer was designed with a low profile and high mobility, increasing her battlefield survivability rate in case war would find Europe once more.