Forces of Valor 80234 German 88mm Flak 36/37 Anti-Aircraft Gun with Trailer - Unidentified Unit, Normandy, 1944 [D-Day Commemorative Packaging] (1:32 Scale)
"In the East, the vastness of space will... permit a loss of territory... without suffering a mortal blow to Germany's chance for survival. Not so in the West! If the enemy here succeeds, consequences of staggering proportions will follow within a short time."
- Adolf Hitler, commenting on the defense of Fortress Europa in the days leading up to D-Day
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.
Unimax' 1:32 scale rendition of the flak gun comes with four wheels and a tow hook so that it can be attached to the recently announced Sd. Kfz. 7/1 prime mover with FlaK gun. 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. Also comes with five crewmen.
Length: 8 inches
Width: 3 inches
Release Date: December 2008
Historical Account: "Hedgerows" - The Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944 between Nazi Germany in Western Europe and the invading Allied forces as part of the larger conflict of World War II. Over sixty years later, the Normandy invasion, codenamed Operation Overlord, still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history, involving almost three million troops crossing the English Channel from England to Normandy in then German-occupied France. It is most commonly known by the name D-Day.
The primary Allied formations that saw combat in Normandy came from the United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada.
Substantial Free French and Polish forces also participated in the battle after the assault phase, and there were also contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, and Norway.
The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks, naval bombardments, and an early morning amphibious phase began on June 6. The 'D-Day' forces deployed from bases along the south coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth. The battle for Normandy continued for more than two months, with campaigns to establish, expand, and eventually break out of the Allied beachheads, and concluded with the liberation of Paris and the fall of the Falaise pocket in late August 1944.
The Battle of Normandy was described thus by Adolf Hitler: "In the East, the vastness of space will... permit a loss of territory... without suffering a mortal blow to Germany's chance for survival. Not so in the West! If the enemy here succeeds, consequences of staggering proportions will follow within a short time."