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Blitzkrieg in the West (April 1940 - June 1940)

Blitzkrieg in the West (April 1940 - June 1940)

In World War II, the Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, executed from May 10th, 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), German armored units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and surround the Allied units that had advanced into Belgium. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and many French soldiers were evacuated from Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo. In the second operation, Fall Rot (Case Red), executed from June 5th, German forces outflanked the Maginot Line to attack the greater French territory. Italy declared war on France on June 10th. The French government fled to the city of Bordeaux, and France's main city of Paris was occupied by the German Wehrmacht on June 14th. On June 17th, Petain publicly announced France would ask for an armistice. On June 22nd, an armistice was signed between France and Germany, going into effect on June 25th. For the Axis Powers, the campaign was a spectacular victory.

France was divided into a German occupation zone in the north and west, a small Italian occupation zone in the southeast, and an unoccupied zone, the zone libre, in the south. A rump state, Vichy France, administered all three zones according to the terms laid out in the armistice. In November 1942, the Axis forces also occupied the zone libre, and metropolitan France remained under Axis occupation until after the Allied landings in 1944; while the Low Countries remained under German occupation until 1944 and 1945.

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French Char B-1 Heavy Tank - "Verdun" French Char B-1 Heavy Tank - "Verdun" (1:72 Scale)

The Char B1 had its origins in the concept of a Char de Bataille conceived by General Jean-Baptiste Eugene Estienne in the twenties. On January 27th, 1926 it was decided to build three prototypes of a Char B, based on four earlier experimental vehicles (a FAMH-model, the FCM 21, the SRA and the SRB).

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French Char B-1 Heavy Tank - "Bourrasque," 15th Battalion Tank Corps, Battle of France, Spring 1940 French Char B-1 Heavy Tank - "Bourrasque," 15th Battalion Tank Corps, Battle of France, Spring 1940 (1:72 Scale)

The Char B1 had its origins in the concept of a Char de Bataille conceived by General Jean-Baptiste Eugene Estienne in the twenties. On January 27th, 1926 it was decided to build three prototypes of a Char B, based on four earlier experimental vehicles (a FAMH-model, the FCM 21, the SRA and the SRB).

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French Somua S-35 Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, France, 1940 French Somua S-35 Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, France, 1940 (1:72 Scale)

The Somua S-35 was one of the first tanks used to mechanize the French cavalry in the mid-1930s. It was a very advanced vehicle for its time and many of its features were to become standard for future tank designs, such as cast, rather than rivetted armor.

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German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. C Light Tank - 6.Panzer Division, XIX Corps, France, 1940 German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. C Light Tank - 6.Panzer Division, XIX Corps, France, 1940 (1:72 Scale)

Originally identified as the '2cm MG Panzerwagen', the PzKpfw II light tank was designed to supplement the PzKpfw I by providing an automatic weapon capable of firing both a high explosive round and an armor piercing round.

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French Somua S-35 Medium Tank - 1re DLM, Quesnoy, France, 1940 French Somua S-35 Medium Tank - 1re DLM, Quesnoy, France, 1940 (1:43 Scale)

The Somua S-35 was one of the first tanks used to mechanize the French cavalry in the mid-1930s. It was a very advanced vehicle for its time and many of its features were to become standard for future tank designs, such as cast, rather than rivetted armor.

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French AMC Schneider P16 (M29) Halftrack - 1er Groupe de Reconnaissance de Division D'Infanterie, Mettet, Belgium, 1940 French AMC Schneider P16 (M29) Halftrack - 1er Groupe de Reconnaissance de Division D'Infanterie, Mettet, Belgium, 1940 (1:43 Scale)

The AMC Schneider P 16, also known as the AMC Citron-Kgresse Modle 1929 or the Panhard-Schneider P16, was a half-track that was designed for the French Army before World War II.

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French AMD 35 Panhard 178 Armored Car - 6me Cuirassiers 1re DLM, Netherlands, 1940 French AMD 35 Panhard 178 Armored Car - 6me Cuirassiers 1re DLM, Netherlands, 1940 (1:43 Scale)

The Panhard 178 was a 4x4 armored car which entered service with the French Army shortly before World War II. Many of these vehicles were later captured by the Germans after the invasion of France.

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German Panzerkampfwagen 35-S 739(f) Medium Tank - Panzer Regiment 204 22.Panzer Division, Crimea, Russia, 1942 German Panzerkampfwagen 35-S 739(f) Medium Tank - Panzer Regiment 204 22.Panzer Division, Crimea, Russia, 1942 (1:43 Scale)

The Somua S-35 was one of the first tanks used to mechanize the French cavalry in the mid-1930s. It was a very advanced vehicle for its time and many of its features were to become standard for future tank designs, such as cast, rather than rivetted armor.

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Altaya French Char B-1 Heavy Tank - "Indochine", 15e Batallion, France, 1940 French Char B-1 Heavy Tank - "Indochine", 15e Batallion, France, 1940 (1:43 Scale)

The Char B1 had its origins in the concept of a Char de Bataille conceived by General Jean-Baptiste Eugene Estienne in the twenties. On January 27th, 1926 it was decided to build three prototypes of a Char B, based on four earlier experimental vehicles (a FAMH-model, the FCM 21, the SRA and the SRB).

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German Neubaufahrzeug Heavy Tank - Nr. 3-5, Versuchsfahrzeuge, Germany, 1940 German Neubaufahrzeug Heavy Tank - Nr. 3-5, Versuchsfahrzeuge, Germany, 1940 (1:43 Scale)

The German Neubaufahrzeug series of tank prototypes were a first attempt to create a heavy tank for the Wehrmacht after Adolf Hitler had come to power. Multi-turreted, heavy and slow, they did not fit in with the Blitzkrieg tactics and therefore only five were made. These were primarily used for propaganda purposes, though three took part in the Battle of Norway in 1940.

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German Opel Blitz Cargo Truck - 1.Panzer Division, XIX Corps, France 1940 German Opel Blitz Cargo Truck - 1.Panzer Division, XIX Corps, France 1940 (1:72 Scale)

The 3-ton Opel "Blitz" truck was the Wehrmacht's principal general-purpose truck during the Second World War. The engine was a water-cooled, straight-six OHV gasoline unit of 3.6 liters that was fueled by a 21.6 gallon gasoline tank situated under the driver's seat.

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German Kfz. 70 Krupp Protze 6x4 Cargo Truck - Winter Camouflage German Kfz. 70 Krupp Protze 6x4 Cargo Truck - Winter Camouflage (1:72 Scale)

The Krupp Protze Kfz. 69 was a light cross-country truck that was developed by Krupp AG in 1930. Delivered to the German national defence forces in 1933, it helped form the concept of motorized units for both the army and the air force and was very popular with the troops due to its good driving characteristics.

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German Kfz. 70 Krupp Protze 6x4 Cargo Truck - Unidentified Unit, European Theatre of Operations German Kfz. 70 Krupp Protze 6x4 Cargo Truck - Unidentified Unit, European Theatre of Operations (1:72 Scale)

The Krupp Protze Kfz. 69 was a light cross-country truck that was developed by Krupp AG in 1930. Delivered to the German national defence forces in 1933, it helped form the concept of motorized units for both the army and the air force and was very popular with the troops due to its good driving characteristics.

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Sepp Dietrich - 1.SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte LSSAH Sepp Dietrich - 1.SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte 'LSSAH' (1:30 Scale)

The Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (SS-LAH) founded in September 1933 was Adolf Hitler's personal Bodyguard Regiment. In 1939 the SS-LAH became a separate unit of the Waffen-SS aside the SS-TV and the SS-VT.

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German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. C Light Tank - Unknown Unit, Caucasus, Russia, 1941 German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. C Light Tank - Unknown Unit, Caucasus, Russia, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

Originally identified as the '2cm MG Panzerwagen', the PzKpfw II light tank was designed to supplement the PzKpfw I by providing an automatic weapon capable of firing both a high explosive round and an armor piercing round.

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German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. C Light Tank - Panzer Regiment 31, 5.Panzer Division, Eastern Front, 1941 German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. C Light Tank - Panzer Regiment 31, 5.Panzer Division, Eastern Front, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

Originally identified as the '2cm MG Panzerwagen', the PzKpfw II light tank was designed to supplement the PzKpfw I by providing an automatic weapon capable of firing both a high explosive round and an armor piercing round.

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German Sd. Kfz. 222 Light Armored Car - Unidentified Unit, France, 1940 German Sd. Kfz. 222 Light Armored Car - Unidentified Unit, France, 1940 (1:72 Scale)

The Leichter Panzerspahwagen (roughly "Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle") were a series of light 4 x 4 armored cars produced by Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1944.

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German Sd. Kfz. 223 Light Armored Car - Unidentified Unit, France, 1940 German Sd. Kfz. 223 Light Armored Car - Unidentified Unit, France, 1940 (1:72 Scale)

The Leichter Panzerspahwagen (roughly "Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle") were a series of light 4 x 4 armored cars produced by Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1944.

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German Sd. Kfz. 161 PzKpfw IV Ausf. D Medium Tank - 3.Kompainie, Panzer-Regiment 3, 2.Panzer Division, Western Front, 1940 German Sd. Kfz. 161 PzKpfw IV Ausf. D Medium Tank - 3.Kompainie, Panzer-Regiment 3, 2.Panzer Division, Western Front, 1940 (1:72 Scale)

Just one month prior to the commencement of "Operation Typhoon" (the German assault on Moscow) the Waffenamt was scheduled to begin installing the long-barreled 7.5cm KwK gun on its new Mark IV Ausf G tanks.

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German Sd. Kfz. 161 PzKpfw IV Ausf. D Medium Tank - 4.Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 7, 10.Panzer Division, France, 1940 German Sd. Kfz. 161 PzKpfw IV Ausf. D Medium Tank - 4.Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 7, 10.Panzer Division, France, 1940 (1:72 Scale)

Just one month prior to the commencement of "Operation Typhoon" (the German assault on Moscow) the Waffenamt was scheduled to begin installing the long-barreled 7.5cm KwK gun on its new Mark IV Ausf G tanks.

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Hitler Youth: Flagbearer Hitler Youth: Flagbearer (1:28 Scale)

The Hitler Youth (German: Hitler-Jugend, abbreviated HJ) was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It existed from 1922 to 1945. The HJ was the second oldest paramilitary Nazi group, founded one year after its adult counterpart, the Sturmabteilung (the SA).

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German Flag Bearer - 1.SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte LSSAH German Flag Bearer - 1.SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte 'LSSAH' (1:30 Scale)

The Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (SS-LAH) founded in September 1933 was Adolf Hitler's personal Bodyguard Regiment. In 1939 the SS-LAH became a separate unit of the Waffen-SS aside the SS-TV and the SS-VT.

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Berlin 1938 - Adolf Hitler Berlin 1938 - Adolf Hitler (1:30 Scale)

The Collectors Showcase presents the beginning of our new series: Berlin 1938. A series meant to chronicle, in miniature, Berlin at the height of the Third Reich's pre-war power.

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Berlin 1938 - Hermann Goering Berlin 1938 - Hermann Goering (1:30 Scale)

The Collectors Showcase presents the beginning of our new series: Berlin 1938. A series meant to chronicle, in miniature, Berlin at the height of the Third Reich's pre-war power.

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Berlin 1938 - Reinhardt Heydrich Berlin 1938 - Reinhardt Heydrich (1:30 Scale)

The Collectors Showcase presents the beginning of our new series: Berlin 1938. A series meant to chronicle, in miniature, Berlin at the height of the Third Reich's pre-war power.

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Berlin 1938 - Heinrich Himmler Berlin 1938 - Heinrich Himmler (1:30 Scale)

The Collectors Showcase presents the beginning of our new series: Berlin 1938. A series meant to chronicle, in miniature, Berlin at the height of the Third Reich's pre-war power.

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Berlin 1938 - Adolf Galland Berlin 1938 - Adolf Galland (1:30 Scale)

The Collectors Showcase presents the beginning of our new series: Berlin 1938. A series meant to chronicle, in miniature, Berlin at the height of the Third Reich's pre-war power.

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Berlin 1938 - Sepp Dietrich Berlin 1938 - Sepp Dietrich (1:30 Scale)

The Collectors Showcase presents the beginning of our new series: Berlin 1938. A series meant to chronicle, in miniature, Berlin at the height of the Third Reich's pre-war power.

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Berlin 1938 - Erich von Manstein Berlin 1938 - Erich von Manstein (1:30 Scale)

The Collectors Showcase presents the beginning of our new series: Berlin 1938. A series meant to chronicle, in miniature, Berlin at the height of the Third Reich's pre-war power.

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LAH Blood Flag Bearer LSSAH Blood Flag Bearer (1:30 Scale)

The Waffen-SS (German for "Armed SS", literally "Weapons SS") was the combat arm of the Schutzstaffel. It was founded in Germany in 1939 after the SS was split into 2 organisations: Allgemeine-SS and the Waffen-SS. The title of Waffen-SS became official on March 2, 1940.

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