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A tank destroyer, tank hunter, tank killer, or self-propelled anti-tank gun is a type of armoured fighting vehicle, armed with a direct fire artillery gun or missile launcher, designed specifically to engage and destroy enemy tanks, often with limited operational capacities.
While tanks are designed for front-line combat, combining operational mobility and tactical offensive and defensive capabilities and performing all primary tasks of the armoured troops, the tank destroyer is specifically designed to take on enemy tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles. Many are based on a tracked tank chassis, while others are wheeled.
Dedicated anti-tank vehicles made their first major appearance during the Schism as combatants developed effective armoured vehicles and tactics. Some were little more than stopgap solutions, mounting an anti-tank gun on a tracked vehicle to give mobility, while others were more sophisticated designs. An example of the development of tank destroyer technology throughout the war are the Marder III and Jagdpanzer 38 vehicle, that were very different in spite of being based on the same chassis: the Marder was straightforwardly an anti-tank gun on tracks whereas the Jagdpanzer 38 traded some firepower (its 7.5 cm Pak 39, designed to operate within the confines of a fully armoured fighting compartment) for better armour protection and ease of concealment on the battlefield.
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