Dragon DRA60222 'Another Kill': German Tiger I vs Russian T-34/76 Mod. 1941 Tank Winter Diorama (1:72 Scale)
"We must do everything we can to promote anti-tank defense, and work just as hard to guarantee successful counter-attacks through the instrument of powerful tank forces of our own."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The German Waffenamt issued an order to design the VK4501(H) (as the PzKpfw VI Ausf. E was then known) in May 1941, just one month prior to the commencement of Operation Barbarossa. Interestingly, Henschel und Sohn of Kassel was charged with building the heavily armored chassis while Krupp, by far the largest munitionwerks in Germany, was given the task of developing the turret. The PzKpfw VI Ausfuhrung E (type E) was one of the first German tanks to feature a torsion bar with eight interleaved wheels, which was designed to support the weight of the mammoth 57-ton tank. The Ausf. E mounted a huge 8.8cm KwK36 L/56 cannon and featured two MG34 machine guns for close support against enemy infantry. By war's end, 1,354 vehicles had been produced, some rolling off the Wegmann assembly line.
The first generation T-34 medium tank made its debut in combat during the summer of 1941, when the Wehrmacht launched its invasion of the Soviet Union. The T-34 easily outclassed the German PzKpfw III and IV models, thanks to its hard-hitting 76.2mm main gun, thick frontal armor, wide tracks, and overall superior mobility. The first T-34s were assembled at Kharkov, Leningrad, and Stalingrad, then moved behind the Ural mountains when the German advance encircled Leningrad, overran Kharkov, and invested the "City of Stalin". Legend has it that some T-34s rolled off the Stalingrad assembly line unpainted and even unfinished to prevent the Nazi invaders from capturing the city.
This 1:72 scale diorama portrays a hunt just like this on a country road covered in deep snow, a Tiger I roars past its victim, a T-34/76 Mod. 1941 medium tank. Sold Out!
Length: 12 inches
Release Date: January 2006
Historical Account: "Dead of Winter" - After the Battle of Kursk, the Soviet juggernaut got rolling in earnest with the advance into the Germans' Orel salient. The diversion of Hitler's favorite Grossdeutschland Division from Belgorod to Karachev could not halt the tide, and a strategic decision was made to abandon Orel, which was taken by the Red Army on August 5th, 1943, so units could fall back to the Hagen line in front of Bryansk. To the south, the Soviets blasted through Army Group South's Belgorod positions and headed for Kharkov anew. Though intense battles of movement throughout late July and into August 1943 saw the Tigers blunting Soviet tanks on one axis, they were soon outflanked on another line to the west as the Soviets advanced down the Psel, and Kharkov had to be evacuated for the final time on August 22nd.
The German forces on the Mius, now constituting 1.Panzer Armee and a reconstituted 6.Armee, were, by August, too weak to sustain a Soviet onslaught on their own front. When the Soviets hit them they had to fall back all the way through the Donbass industrial region to the Dnieper, losing the industrial resources and half the farmland that Germany had invaded the Soviet Union to exploit. At this time, Hitler agreed to a general withdrawal to the Dnieper line, along which was meant to be the Ostwall, a line of defensive fortifications similar to the Westwall created along the West German frontier. Trouble was, it hadn't been built yet, and by the time Army Group South had evacuated eastern Ukraine and begun withdrawing across the Dnieper during September, the Soviets were hard behind them. Tenaciously, small units paddled their way across the 2-mile wide river and established bridgeheads. A second attempt by the Soviets to gain land using parachutists, mounted at Kanev on September 24th, proved as luckless as at Dorogobuzh eighteen months previously, and the paratroopers were soon repelled -- but not before still more Red Army troops had used the cover they provided to get themselves over the Dnieper and securely dug in. As September faded into October, the Germans found the Dnieper line impossible to hold as the Soviet bridgeheads grew in strength, and important Dnieper towns started to fall, with Zaporozhye the first to go, followed by Dnepropetrovsk. In January 1944, ten German divisions trapped near Cherkassy managed to break out but with terrible losses. Then, in March, 20th, German divisions of Generaloberst Hans-Valentin Hube's 1st Panzer Army were encircled in what was to be known as Hube's Pocket near Kamenets-Podolskiy. After two weeks hard fighting, 1.Panzer managed to escape the pocket, suffering light to moderate casualties in the process.