Hobby Master HG3904 German Opel Blitz Ambulance Truck - Sanitatsabteilung (Medical Detachment), 30.Infanterie Divison, Russia, Autumn 1941 (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
In 1929, GM acquired the engine producer Adam Opel AG, based in Russelsheim, Germany, and with it, one of the most well regarded manufacturing plants in Europe. In the early 1930's, Opel introduced a fast light truck, calling it the Opel Blitz (Lightning) and in 1935 opened a modern truck factory in Brandenburg. Although light in weight, the Blitz design could carry a considerable payload. A proven six-cylinder engine from another GM company, Buick, provided the power. The payload increased in steps from the original 1.93 tons to 2.76 tons, and finally to 3.31 tons, of which the S type could transport cross-country.
The greatest production figures were achieved by the Opel Blitz 3-ton S with 82,356 units produced with the 3.6 liter engine from April 1937 to the beginning of August 1944. This dependable, light 3-ton truck enjoyed great popularity among the units. The simple, yet robust Opel design proved itself in the confusion of war and was superior to many specially-designed vehicles. The 3-ton Blitz was superior to many other 3-ton trucks on account of its low ground pressure which was a result of the vehicle's low weight.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Opel Blitz ambulance that was assigned to the Sanitatsabteilung (Medical Detachment) of the 30.Infanterie Divison, then deployed to Russia during the fall of 1941.
Length: 3.25 inches
Width: 1.25 inches
Release Date: October 2009
Historical Account: "Supply Side Economics" - Opel supplied the 3-ton truck to the Wehrmacht with various standard body types. The Blitz was the towing vehicle for the FlaK 30 and 38 AA guns. It was also as a platform for these weapons. In Deutsche Afrika Korps there was used a special variant with open driver's cabin. Vehicles of this type also served as alcohol tank trucks (B-Stoffwagen) with V2 rocket batteries. The final models of Opel Blitz featured material saving driver's compartment, whose rear wall was made of wood (Einheitz Fahrerkabine).
In order to provide the fighting troops with supplies such as ammunition, fuel and provisions on the extremely hard terrain at the Eastern Front, standard 3 ton (4 x 2) vehicles had the rear axle removed and were equipped with running gear from the Cardan Lloyd chassis. The tracks originated from the armored tank Pz I. This conversion reduced the carrying capacity to 2 ton. This half-tracked vehicle, which was built from 1942 onwards, was known as the "Maultier" or mule.
By war's end, Opel factories had churned out over 100,000 Blitz trucks alone for the German war effort. These took many different forms, such as general-purpose trucks, buses, radio trucks, ambulances, gun carrying platforms and even large limousines for high-ranking officers. The Opel Blitz was one of the main workhorses of the German Army during WWII, carrying troops and supplies in all theatres of German operations. As such, it was the standard, medium-weight, truck used by the German Army throughout WWII.