Minichamps MIN350019021 German Late Version Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer - Fuhrer-Begleit-Brigade, Ardennes, 1944 (1:35 Scale)
"We must do everything we can to promote anti-tank defense, and work just as hard to guarantee successful counter-attacks through the instrument of powerful tank forces of our own."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
In the fall of 1942, the German Waffenant issued an order to develop a heavy assault gun to combat the growing menace posed by Russian armored forces all along the "ostfrontier" or eastern front. What resulted was the Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther tank destroyer, arguably the best long-range tank destroyer of the war. The Jagdpanther mounted a powerful 8.8cm Pak L/71 cannon within a fixed turret, which was situated atop a standard Panther V chassis. Although production of the tank was begun at MIAG in January 1944, it took another ten months before the larger NMH plant could expand the production run in time for the "Wacht am Rhein" counteroffensive. By war's end only 392 vehicles had entered service with the Wehrmacht, but these had a telling effect on the prosecution of the war.
Now Minichamps has come out with an absolutely breathtaking replica of the famed Jagdpanther, complete right down to the tow cables lining the side deck. This particular version, replicating a vehicle serving with the Fuhrer-Begleit-Brigade, is painted in a whitewashed camouflage scheme, which was used with great effect by the Wehrmacht during the "Wacht am Rhein" winter counteroffensive in December 1944. Like the other vehicles in the series, the Jagdpanther sports an elevating gun, metal linked treads, and a realistic suspension system!
Length: 11 inches
Width: 4 inches
Height: 2.50 inches
Release Date: February 2002
Original Issue Price: $99.99
Historical Account: "For the Fuhrer" - The Fuhrer-Begleit-Brigade was a German armored brigade, later an armored division (Panzer-Fuhrer Begleit-Division), in World War II. It was formed in November 1944 and subsequently destroyed some five months later in April 1945.
Radically upgraded for the Ardennes Offensive (Operation Wacht am Rhein) to provide
General der Panzertruppe Hasso von Manteuffel's 5.Panzerarmee with additional firepower, the Fuhrer Begleit Brigade was formed from elements of the Fuhrer Begleit Abteilung, Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland, Adolf Hitler's personal Army guard detail, and the mobile artillery from Hitler's Wolfschanze (Wolf's Lair) Headquarters. This unit was placed under the command of Oberst (Colonel) Otto Remer as a reward for successfully foiling a critical part in the July assassination plot aimed at Hitler and the Nazi Leadership.
The new brigade was essentially a restructured Panzer Brigade, with units created from whatever excess personnel were at hand. Its combat strength was limited to the presence of Sturmgeschutz-Abteilung 200, two organic panzergrenadier (mechanized infantry) battalions, the 928th bicyclist battalion and a self-propelled artillery battalion (with 105-millimeter Wespe and 155-millimeter Hummel artillery pieces).
Committed to the front on December 18th, 1944 as part of 5.Panzerarmee's XLVII. Panzerkorps, the FBB saw action against the elite US Army 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne. On January 26th, 1945, the Fuhrer Begleit Brigade was ordered to expand and form the Fuhrer Begleit-Division.