The Elefant (Elephant) stemmed from the Porsche design for the PzKpfw VI Tiger. Henschel was awarded the contract for the new tank, but it was decided to use the Porsche design as a tank destroyer. Hitler demanded that the new vehicle be ready for the 1943 offensive on the Russian front, so development was rather hurried. As a result, many broke down to their first action at the Battle of Kursk, and the lack of proper armor and ponderous mobility made them easy targets for Soviet gunners in the battle. In addition, the lack of machine guns meant that there was no defense against Soviet troops disabling them with explosive charges in close-quarter combat. The survivors were withdrawn to Italy, where unreliabilty and lack of spares ensured their continued ineffectiveness.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a German Elefant tank destroyer was attached to an unidentified unit then serving in Poland during 1944.
Length: 4 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: July 2009
Historical Account: Ninety Elefanten were manufactured in just a few months during mid-1943. It was first deployed during the Battle of Kursk and, though destroying 320 Russian tanks, performed very poorly in other respects: many units broke down and they proved dangerously vulnerable to infantry, lacking a machine gun. They went on to serve in Italy in 1944 and the final units were involved in the Battle of Berlin.