Dragon DRA60491 German Panzerkampfwagen VI(P) Heavy Command Tank - Hauptmann Grillenberg, schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, Eastern Front, 1942 (1:72 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"
As part of a German competition for a new heavy tank, the Tiger (P) was produced by Porsche. The first prototype was ready for viewing by the Fuhrer in April 1942, with initial testing taking place in June. Porsche's design featured a forward-mounted turret that possessed an 8.8cm Flak 36 gun. Ultimately the VK 4501(P) proved a failure, with its power train subject to constant breakdowns. Instead, the Henschel VK 4501(H) won the heavy tank competition, and it went into production as the Tiger I. Consequently, only five Tiger(P) tanks were produced by Porsche before the 59-tonne design was rejected. Three of these were later converted into Bergepanzer Tiger(P) recovery vehicles in 1943, while only one armed tank saw combat.
This vehicle (chassis no. 150013) served as a command tank under the designation Panzerbefehlswagen VI(P). It fought in s.Pz.Jg.Abt.653 (schwere Heeres Panzerjager Abteilung 653) on the Eastern Front in early-to-mid 1944. The commander of the vehicle was Hauptmann Grillenberg, and it bore the turret number '003'.
This unique schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653 vehicle is precisely the tank that Dragon Armor has just released. The 1/72 scale tank is beautifully finished in an appropriate and striking three-color camouflage scheme. Naturally it wears the correct turret numbers painted in red. The model is fully detailed, and it perfectly adopts the nose-heavy look of the Porsche design. The tank is also weathered realistically, and it is ready for instant display by collectors. Dragon Armor is very pleased to offer this very special replica of a one-of-a-kind German heavy tank. Sold Out!
Length: 4-1/2 inches
Width: 2-1/4 inches
Release Date: June 2011
Historical Account: "The East is Red" - The East Pomeranian Strategic Offensive operation was an offensive by the Red Army in its fight against the German Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front (World War II). It took place in Pomerania and West Prussia, and officially lasted from February 24th, 1945 to April 4th, 1945.
The 2nd Belorussian Front, under Konstantin Rokossovsky, had initially been tasked with advancing westward north of the Vistula River towards Pomerania and the major port city of Danzig, with the primary aim of protecting the right flank of Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front, which was pushing towards Berlin. During the East Prussian Offensive, however, Rokossovsky was ordered to wheel directly north towards Elbing. This left substantial German forces intact in Pomerania, where they threatened the right flank of Zhukov's formations.
As a result, once the initial phase of the East Prussian Offensive was over, the 2nd Belorussian Front was redeployed with the intention of attacking northwards into Pomerania, eliminating the possibility of a German counter-offensive (similarly, the parallel Silesian Offensives of Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front in the south were in part designed to protect the 1st Belorussian Front's left flank). The need to secure the flanks delayed the Soviets' final push towards Berlin, which was originally planned for February, until April.
Stalin's decision to delay the push towards Berlin from February to April has been a subject of some controversy among both the Soviet generals and military historians, with one side arguing that the Soviets had a chance of securing Berlin much quicker and with much lower losses in February, and the other arguing that the danger of leaving large German formations on the flanks could have resulted in a successful German counter-attack and prolonged the war further: the Germans did in fact mount a surprise counter-attack in Pomerania in mid-February, Operation Solstice. The delay did, however, allow the Soviets to occupy significant parts of Austria in the Vienna Offensive.