RIO MMROM01 German 1938 770K Grand Mercedes Staff Car - Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, Deutsches Afrika Korps (1:43 Scale)
"The peril of the hour moved the British to tremendous exertions, just as always in a moment of extreme danger things can be done which had previously been thought impossible. Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas."
- Generalfeldmarschal Erwin Rommel
In 1930, German car maker Mercedes decided to produce a limousine "fit for a king." Forever known as the 'Grand Mercedes', the 770K Mercedes Limousine was eventually pressed into service by noneother than Adolf Hitler, soon after he became Reich Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Its engineering and appointments were of a standard equal to none and even featured a handhold attached to the middle windshield so that dignitaries seated in the back of the vehicle could stand and wave to the crowd. The 8-cylinder engine could produce 150 horsepower, but was increased to 200 horsepower when the optional supercharger was engaged. In 1938, substantial improvements were made to the chassis and engine, which could now attain an impressive 230 horsepower.
The Grand Mercedes was used extensively by the Fuhrer whenever he attended special rallies, visited with the troops, or drove through the streets of Germany's cities.
This particular 1:43 scale replica of a Grand Mercedes was used by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, better known as 'The Desert Fox", who stands in the rear passenger compartment. Sold Out!
Length: 4 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Historical Account: "With the Fox" - The Afrika Korps was formed on February 19th, 1941, after the German Armed Forces High Command (OKW) had decided to send an expeditionary force to Libya to support the Italian army, which had been routed by an Allied counteroffensive, Operation Compass. The German expeditionary force, commanded by Erwin Rommel, at first consisted only of the 5.Panzer-Regiment and various other small units. These elements were organized into the 5.Leicht-Division when they arrived in Africa in February.
In the spring, the 5.Leicht-Division was joined by the 15.Panzer Division, though it did not arrive until Rommel had already re-taken most of Cyrenaica and gone back over to the defensive. At this time the Afrika Korps consisted of the two divisions plus various smaller supporting units, and was officially subordinated to the Italian chain of command in Africa (though Rommel had conducted his offensive without any authorization).
On October 1st, 1941, the 5.Leicht-Division was redesignated as the 21.Panzer Division, although it was still attached to the Afrika Korps. During the summer of 1941, the OKW invested more command structure in Africa by creating a new headquarters called Panzer Gruppe Afrika. On August 15th, Panzer Gruppe Afrika was formally activated with Rommel in charge, and command of the Afrika Korps was turned over to Ludwig Cruewell. The Panzer Gruppe controlled the Afrika Korps plus some additional German units that were sent to Africa, as well as two corps of Italian units. (A German "group" was approximately the equivalent of an army in other militaries, and in fact Panzer Gruppe Afrika was redesignated as Panzer Armee Afrika on January 30th, 1942.)