Minichamps MIN350011081 German 88mm Flak 36/37 Anti-Aircraft Gun w/ Trailer - Heers Flakabteilung 314, 3.Panzer Division, Kharkov, Russia, 1943 (1:35 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
Originally developed as an anti-aircraft gun, the 8.8cm FLugzeugAbwehrKanone ("Flak") was first employed in the anti-tank gun role in 1936, when the German Condor Legion was testing out its equipment during the Spanish Civil War. Amazingly, German war planners had designed the gun as an AA weapon with a heavy cruciform platform and central fire control operation, not as a multi-purpose anti-tank gun with proper anti-tank sights. Nevertheless, its capability was seen and quietly noted by commanders operating in the field. While the gun was occassionally used in the anti-tank gun role during the Polish and French campaigns, it wasn't until the Afrika Korps joined battle in Cyrenaica with the British Eighth Army that the "88" really showed its prowess as a tank killer. Here the tactical situation was such that it was possible to deploy the guns in their anti-aircraft role in positions that would allow them to be re-trained as anti-tank guns. Moreover their range and penetrating power enabled their crews to dispose of British tanks long before the enemy was close enough to engage the guns with their own two- or six-pounder guns.
Now Minichamps has faithfully recreated the German 88mm flak 36/37 anti-aircraft gun in exquisite detail. The flak gun comes with four wheels and a tow hook so that it can be attached to the Sd. Kfz. 7 prime mover that was recently released. Both sets of wheels can be removed so that the gun, mounted on a cruciform platform, can be set up in a firing position. Gun elevates and fully traverses. This particular version is painted in a mottled grey camouflage scheme used at the Battle of Kharkov in 1943.
Note: This is a very delicate instrument of war so please be careful attaching and detaching the wheel assemblies.
Length: 7.50 inches
Width: 3 inches
Height: 3.50 inches
Release Date: June 2004
Historical Account: "The First and the Last" - 3.Panzer Division was formed in October 1935 at Wunsdorf, Berlin. The Division saw it's first action during the Polish campaign of 1939. In December, it was transferred to the Upper Rhine area. Following the French campaign of 1940, the divison returned to Germany for refitting. In October 1940, the Division supplied its Panzer Regiment 5 and cadres to raise the 5.Leichte Motorized Division, which would later become the 21.Panzer Divison. Soon thereafter, 3.Panzer Division would be fleshed out with Panzergrenadier Regiment 3, and subsequently sent to central Germany where it remained until June 1941.
When the Russian Campaign kicked off, 3.Panzer became an integral component of Army Group Centre. Later it was transferred to the south and advanced through the Caucusus In November/December 1942, it suffered heavy losses in the area of Mozdok.
During the summer months of 1943, the Divison was heavily engaged near Kharkov and in September moved into the Dniepr bend where they were cited for distinguished action. Later they were involved in defensive fighting in Ukraine. In January 1945, they were transferred to Hungary where they fought constantly until April at which time they moved to Austria and eventually surrendered to the Americans at Steyr in May 1945.