Forces of Valor 80098 German Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. E Heavy Tank with Zimmerit - 3/schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Eastern Front, 1944 (1:32 Scale)
"The gun and armor of the Tiger were superb, making it in many ways the most formidable tank in service. Even so, it was poor in maneuver, it was slow, and its turret was a slow traverser in action. It was a tank which was, at its best, immobile in ambush, when its killing power was very frightening."
- Douglas Orgill, "German Armor"
The German Waffenamt issued an order to design the VK4501(H) (as the PzKpfw VI Ausf. E was then known) in May 1941, just one month prior to the commencement of Operation Barbarossa. Interestingly, Henschel und Sohn of Kassel was charged with building the heavily armored chassis while Krupp, by far the largest munitionwerks in Germany, was given the task of developing the turret. The PzKpfw VI Ausfuhrung E (type E) was one of the first German tanks to feature a torsion bar with eight interleaved wheels, which was designed to support the weight of the mammoth 57-ton tank. The Ausf. E mounted a huge 8.8cm KwK36 L/56 cannon and featured two MG34 machine guns for close support against enemy infantry. By war's end, 1,354 vehicles had been produced, some rolling off the Wegmann assembly line.
Pictured here is a 1:32 scale replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. E Heavy Tank that was attached to 3/schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, then deployed to the Eastern Front during 1944.
Pre-order! Ship Date: October 2014.
Length: 10.25 inches
Width: 4.5 inches
Height: 3.5 inches
Release Date: ?
Historical Account: "Trooping the Colors" - Today dis-used and strewn with shells and other military scrap, the military training ground at Ohrdruf in the Alsace region of northeast France is a large, rugged area of upland that can trace its roots to Imperial times. From 1936-'38, an Army underground telephone/telex exchange known as Amt 10 was built into the limestone strata below the Ohrdruf Truppenuebungsplatz (TUP). Its entrances were disguised as chalets and a bunker was created 50 feet down that spanned approximately 70 x 20 meters. Both floors had a central corridor measuring 3 meters in width with rooms on either side. End-doors were gas-proofed, the installation had central heating, air was supplied under pressure, and water was drawn from a spring 600 feet below. A 475 hp ship's diesel was on hand as the emergency electrical generator, and this piece of equipment plays an important role in understanding the Ohrdruf mystery.
One of the three full-time Reichpost maintenance engineers employed there from 1938-1945 stated that Amt 10 was never used until the last few months of the war when it was "more than it seemed" and "its clandestine purpose was fairly obvious."
Col Robert S Allen, a Staff officer with General Patton's Third Army described in his book "Lucky Forward - The History of Patton's Third Army," a completed, underground, reinforced-concrete metropolis 50 feet down intended "to house the High Command." It was on two or three levels and consisted of galleries several miles in length and "extending like the spokes of a wheel." The location of Hitler's FHQ was not stated and Amt 10 was described misleadingly as "a two-floor deep concrete shelter."
In 1944, however, a witness stated that there was an installation below the TUP which created an electro-magnetic field capable of stopping the engines of a conventional aircraft at seven miles. During the war, the Allies never photographed Ohrdruf from the air, nor bombed it, even though their spies must have assured them it was crawling with SS and scientific groups.