Panzerstahl PS89001 German Flakpanther Ausf. D Anti-Aircraft Gun - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653 (1:72 Scale)
"[Hitler overestimated] the importance of [technology]. As a result, he would count on a mere handful of assault-gun detachments or the new Tiger tanks to restore situations where only large bodies of troops could have any prospect of success."
- German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein
The Wirbelwind and Ostwind were successors to the Flakpanzer IV Mobelwagen (armed with 37mm Flak 43 L/89) - "interim solution" produced before the introduction of real Flakpanzer. In July of 1944, prototype of Ostwind (Eastwind) - an air defense armored vehicle build on Panzer IV's proven chassis was produced. Its design was very similar to that of Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind (Whirlwind) which prototype was build in May of 1944 and was to become the first true Flakpanzer. Both vehicles were build on retired or battle damaged Panzer IV (mainly Ausf F/G) chassis/components returned from the front for major repairs. The concept of Wirbelwind was that of Karl Wilhelm Krause, an officer of 12th SS Panzer Division "Hitler Jugend", who in summer of 1944, proposed to mount four barrelled 20mm Flak 38 L/112.5 gun on PzKpfw IV's chassis.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Flakpanther Ausf. D anti-aircraft gun that was attached to schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653. Now in stock!
Length: 4-3/4 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: December 2012
Historical Account: "The East is Red" - The East Pomeranian Strategic Offensive operation was an offensive by the Red Army in its fight against the German Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front (World War II). It took place in Pomerania and West Prussia, and officially lasted from February 24th, 1945 to April 4th, 1945.
The 2nd Belorussian Front, under Konstantin Rokossovsky, had initially been tasked with advancing westward north of the Vistula River towards Pomerania and the major port city of Danzig, with the primary aim of protecting the right flank of Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front, which was pushing towards Berlin. During the East Prussian Offensive, however, Rokossovsky was ordered to wheel directly north towards Elbing. This left substantial German forces intact in Pomerania, where they threatened the right flank of Zhukov's formations.
As a result, once the initial phase of the East Prussian Offensive was over, the 2nd Belorussian Front was redeployed with the intention of attacking northwards into Pomerania, eliminating the possibility of a German counter-offensive (similarly, the parallel Silesian Offensives of Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front in the south were in part designed to protect the 1st Belorussian Front's left flank). The need to secure the flanks delayed the Soviets' final push towards Berlin, which was originally planned for February, until April.
Stalin's decision to delay the push towards Berlin from February to April has been a subject of some controversy among both the Soviet generals and military historians, with one side arguing that the Soviets had a chance of securing Berlin much quicker and with much lower losses in February, and the other arguing that the danger of leaving large German formations on the flanks could have resulted in a successful German counter-attack and prolonged the war further: the Germans did in fact mount a surprise counter-attack in Pomerania in mid-February, Operation Solstice. The delay did, however, allow the Soviets to occupy significant parts of Austria in the Vienna Offensive.