Forces of Valor 80013 German 88mm Flak 36/37 Anti-Aircraft Gun with Trailer - Unidentified Unit, Stalingrad, 1942 (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' 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: February 2012
Historical Account: "Here is Stalingrad" - Josef Goebbels, Germany's Minister of Propaganda, arrived at the Sportpalast at noon, February 18th, 1943, in his bulletproof Mercedes, more tense than usual. He knew that he had to make the patently impossible sound possible. The German Sixth Army had just suffered a catastrophic defeat at Stalingrad. For the first time, Germans were losing faith in their Fuhrer en masse. All 15,000 seats in the Sportpalast were filled, mainly with party members and functionaries. As Goebbels mounted the podium, his dark eyes glowed with the fanaticism of the born demagogue.
Goebbels called the Stalingrad debacle the "great alarm call of destiny," and a symbol of the heroic struggle against the "storm from the Steppes," that "horrific historic danger," which relegated "all former dangers facing the West to the shadows."
Behind the onrushing Soviet divisions, Goebbels saw "the Jewish liquidation commandos," whom international Jewry were using to plunge the world into chaos.
Again and again during this diatribe, thunderous applause broke out. But Goebbels was just getting warmed up. Terror must be fought with terror, Goebbels cried. There could be no more bourgeois prudishness. Goebbels asked his now hysterical audience whether they believed in their Fuhrer and the total victory of German arms. An ear-splitting Ja! was the reply. "Do you want total war? Do you want it, if necessary, more total and more radical than we could even imagine today?" he screamed, whereupon pandemonium broke out in the
Sportpalast. "Now, Volk," Goebbels screeched, "arise and storm; break loose!" The Sportpalast had turned into a raving madhouse, and German radio transmitted the mass hysteria throughout the county. Goebbels rightly ranked the speech as the rhetorical masterpiece of his life. Cynical as always, he wrote in his diary, "This hour of idiocy! If I had said to the people, jump out the fourth floor of Columbushaus, they would have done that too."