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The Jagdpanzer 38 (Sd.Kfz. 138/2), later known as the Hetzer ("pursuer/hunter"), was a German light tank destroyer, based on a modified Czechoslovakian Panzer 38(t) chassis, inspired by the Romanian "Mareşal" tank destroyer.
The Jagdpanzer 38 was a common late-war German tank destroyer. It was produced in relatively large numbers and was for the most part mechanically reliable. The tank first entered service in July 1944. Armed with the 7.5cm PaK 39 L48 main gun with limited traverse and featured sloped armor on its very low profile. An MG34 was mounted to the vehicle roof. It was well-liked by crews, fairly reliable and concealable. Drawbacks were that it was very cramped inside the tank, had limited ammo and very thin armor. It was first used in the field in July of 1944 and would go on to serve on both fronts. Approximately 2,800 were built. The name Hetzer was unofficial and used by German troops in the field, then adopted by post-war publications.
Due to the large number produced, the Jagdpanzer 38 is probably the most abundant WWII German tank destroyer remaining today.