Dragon DRR60590 German Flakpanzer Coelian Anti-Aircraft Vehicle with Side Skirts - Unidentified Unit, Germany, 1945 (1:72 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
The German Flakpanzer Coelian was a prototype for an anti-aircraft tank built by the Rheinmetall company. It was intended to be armed principally with two 3.7 cm FlaK 43 gun in a fully enclosed, rotating turret on the hull of a Panther medium tank.
In the first years of the war, the Wehrmacht had less interest in developing self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, but as the Allies developed air superiority, the need for more mobile and better-armed self-propelled anti-aircraft guns increased. The Wehrmacht had adapted a variety of wheeled and half-track vehicles to serve as mobile forward air defence positions to protect armour and infantry units in the field as well as for temporary forward area positions such as mobile headquarters and logistic points. As Allied ground support planes broadened their ground attack arsenal from simple machine gun strafing and bombing to aerial bazooka launchers and rockets, the air defence positions were even more vulnerable. The answer was to adapt a tank chassis with a specialized turret that would protect the gun crews while they fired upon approaching Allied aircraft. As the consequence, the German Army High Command issued a demand for anti-aircraft tank based on the chassis of the Panther tank design. Rheinmetall developed "Coelian" in various versions, including one with four 20mm MG 151/20 guns, but kept having to revise designs based on changing government requirements (such as demands for more modern guns with longer barrels). Eventually, in May 1944 a turret with a single 5.5 cm gun was developed, together with another model with a double 3.7 cm FlaK 43 gun.
However, this tank never left the drawing board, as it soon became clear that no chassis would be available for Flakpanzers for a variety of reasons, including the Allies' landing in Normandy, the increasing Allied strategic bomber air offensive, and raw material shortages. By mid-February 1945, only a wooden prototype of the desired 5.5 cm turret model on a Panther D hull had been created.
Germany's Luftwaffe was numerically outnumbered as WWII progressed, with the Fatherland and tactical units constantly being bombed and strafed by enemy aircraft. This called for more effective antiaircraft systems than Germany hitherto possessed, which initially were often poorly protected halftracks. New self-propelled AA types were put into service, including the Flakpanzer IV. A new type was also planned the Flakpanzer V Coelian from Rheinmetall. The Coelian featured a special armored turret that would protect the crew inside the vehicle. It used a standard Panther tank chassis upon which were mounted twin 3.7cm FlaK 43 cannons.
Ultimate Armor is now offering a fine 1/72 scale model of this interesting-looking German AA vehicle. It features the dual antiaircraft guns mounted based on a Panther chassis. The fully enclosed turret is a brand new molding, carefully replicating the prototypical structure and the twin-barrel cannons mounted inside. The turret and gun system is made true to scale. The model is finished in a dark yellow painting scheme. While this system never had the requisite time to get off the drawing board, Dragon's engineers are proud to bring this exciting model to collectors! Now in stock!
Length: 4-3/4 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: October 2012