Dragon DRA60231 German Sd. Kfz. 162/1 Jagdpanzer IV L/70 Tank Destroyer - "L01", Unidentified Unit, Hungary, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The Jagdpanzer IV L/70 (A) Zwischenlosung was the last tank to enter service with the Wehrmacht in September 1944. Essentially, German tank designers placed a Jagdpanzer IV turret on a Panzer IV chassis then fitted it with a powerful 75mm L/70(A) gun. The Zwischenlosung proved to be an excellent tank killer even though only 278 vehicles were built by war's end.
Seen here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Jagdpanzer IV cloaked in a special winter camouflage scheme of white with splotches of yellow paint. This particular tank-hunter was rushed into combat to try and stem the tide of the Red Army tanks closing in on Hungary in 1945. Sold Out!
Length: 4.5 inches
Width: 1.75 inches
Release Date: July 2006
Historical Account: "Death Throes" - At the end of 1944, Hungary remained Germany's only satellite state, and was therefore necessary both in a political and economical sense - German industry needed the Hungarian oil wells located around the lake Balaton. On October 16th, 1944, Hungarian leader Miklos Horthy was destitute by the local nationalist party, Crossed Arrows. Any hope of a peaceful outcome for Hungary was lost - the battle would be a fight for death.
In late October, the Red Army started its offensive on Budapest. More than 1,000,000 men split into two operating maneuver groups rushing towards the city, planning to cut it off from the rest of the German and Hungarian troops.
On November 7th, 1944, Soviet troops entered Budapest's eastern suburbs, 20 kilometers from the city's old town. Curiously, very few inhabitants wanted to leave the city. On December 19th, after a necessary break in the action, the Red Army resumed its offensive. By December 26th, the road linking Budapest to Vienna was seized by the Soviet Troops, therefore encircling the city.
Budapest was a major target for Stalin. Indeed, the Yalta Conference was approaching and Stalin wanted to display his full strength to Churchill and Roosevelt. Therefore, he issued a directive to General Rodion Malinovsky, ordering him to seize the city as quickly as possible.
On December 29th, 1944, Rodion Malinovsky sent two emissaries in order to negotiate the city's capitulation. The emissaries never came back. This particular point is widely disputed by the Soviet Union, with some German and Hungarian historians arguing that the emissaries were deliberately shot down. Others believe that they were in fact shot by mistake on their way back. In any case, Soviet commanders considered this act as a refusal and ordered the start of the siege.