Forces of Valor 80317 German Sd. Kfz. 161/1 PzKpfw IV Ausf. F1 Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1941 (1:32 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
Just one month prior to the commencement of "Operation Typhoon" (the German assault on Moscow) the Waffenamt was scheduled to begin installing the long-barreled 7.5cm KwK gun on its new Mark IV Ausf G tanks. However, when the Wehrmacht encountered the superior Russian KV-1 and T-34 tanks during the summer campaigning season, a decision was made to mount the 7.5cm KwK40 L/43 gun onto as many existing Mark IVs as possible. Since the new gun fired larger rounds than the short-barreled gun mounted on the F1 tanks, ammunition storage capacity had to be increased and the crew compartment had to be re-arranged to accommodate the modifications.
Pictured here is a 1:32 scale diecast replica of a German PzKpfw IV Ausf. F1 medium tank which saw action on the eastern front with an unidentified unit during late 1941.
Length: 7 inches
Width: 3 inches
Height: 3.25 inches
Release Date: July 2007
Historical Account: "Typhoon" - The Battle of Moscow encompassed the Soviet defense of Moscow and the subsequent Soviet counter-offensive that occurred between October 1941 and January 1942 on the Eastern Front of World War II against Nazi Germany forces. Adolf Hitler considered Moscow, which was the capital of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the largest Soviet city, to be the primary military and political objective for the Axis forces in their invasion of the Soviet Union. A separate German plan was codenamed Operation Wotan.
The original blitzkrieg invasion plan, which the Axis called Operation Barbarossa, had called for the capture of Moscow within three to four months. However, despite large initial advances, the Wehrmacht was soon slowed by Soviet resistance (in particular during the Battle of Smolensk, which lasted from July through September 1941 and delayed the German offensive towards Moscow for two months).
Having secured Smolensk, the Wehrmacht was forced to consolidate its lines around Leningrad and Kiev, further delaying the drive towards Moscow. The Axis advance was finally renewed on September 30th, 1941, with an offensive codenamed Operation Typhoon, the goal of which was the capture of Moscow before the onset of winter.
After a successful initial advance leading to the encirclement and destruction of several Soviet armies, the German offensive was stopped by Soviet resistance at the Mozhaisk defensive line, just 120 km (75 mi) from the capital. Having penetrated the Soviet defenses, the Wehrmacht offensive was slowed by weather conditions, with autumn rains turning roads and fields into thick mud that significantly impeded Axis vehicles, horses, and soldiers. Although the onset of colder weather and the freezing of the ground allowed the Axis advance to continue, it continued to struggle in the face of the severe cold and stiffening Soviet resistance.
By early December, the lead German Panzer Groups stood less than 30 kilometers (19 mi) from the Kremlin, and Wehrmacht officers were able to see some of Moscow's buildings with binoculars; but, handicapped by cold and exhausted troops, the Axis forces were unable to make further advances. On December 5th, 1941, fresh Soviet Siberian troops, prepared for winter warfare, attacked the German forces in front of Moscow; by January 1942, the Wehrmacht had been driven back 100 to 250 km (60 to 150 mi), ending the immediate threat to Moscow and marking the closest that Axis forces ever got to capturing the Soviet capital.
The Battle of Moscow is usually considered one of the most important battles in the war between the Axis Powers and the USSR, primarily because the Soviets were able to successfully prevent the most serious attempt to capture their capital. The battle was also one of the largest during World War II, with more than a million total casualties. It marked a turning point as it was the first time since the Wehrmacht began its conquests in 1939 that it had been forced into a major retreat. The Wehrmacht had been forced to retreat earlier during the Yelnya Offensive in September 1941 and at the Battle of Rostov (1941) (which led to von Rundstedt losing command of German forces in the East), but these retreats were minor compared to the one at Moscow. (courtesy: Wikipedia)