Oryon Collection ORY2008 WWII Soldiers 4-Figure Set - German 15.Panzer Division "Afrika Korps" (1:35 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The 15.Panzer Division was raised from the 33.Infanterie Division in 1936. It mobilized in 1939, but did not take part in the invasion of Poland. In 1940, it participated in the invasions of Belgium and France. It was then reorganized as the 15.Panzer Division in August 1940 at Darmstadt and Landau by incorporating the 8.Panzer Regiment from the 10.Panzer Division and giving up its 110.Infanterie Regiment to the 112.Infanterie Division.
In April 1941, the division began transport to Libya, joining General Erwin Rommel's Deutsches Afrika Korps (DAK) with the 21.Panzer Division and the 90.Leicht Division. By June 15th, the division was deployed in reserve to the south of Bardia, and fought in the successful defense during Operation Battleaxe at Halfaya Pass.
On November 18th, British forces began Operation Crusader with the objective of relieving the besieged forces at Tobruk. The 15th was situated to the east of Tobruk, and by November 20th they joined the 21.Panzer Division to battle the armored forces of the British XXX Corps.
With the XXX Corps situated on the approaches to Tobruk, Erwin Rommel sent his panzer divisions on a rapid advance to the east, threatening the British rear. However the British continued to advance on Tobruk and by November 27th they had linked up with the fortress. The Axis forces were forced to withdraw.
By December 31st, 1941, Rommel's forces halted at the line at El Agheila for refitting his depleted forces. By January 21st he was ready to advance again, and the DAK and Italian forces began another march to the east.
This 4-piece figure set consists of four German grenadiers from the German 15.Panzer Division "Afrika Korps". Sold Out!
Height: 2 inches
Release Date: June 2007
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.)