Hobby Master HG4604 German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. C Light Tank - Unknown Unit, Caucasus, Russia, 1941 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
Originally identified as the '2cm MG Panzerwagen', the PzKpfw II light tank was designed to supplement the PzKpfw I by providing an automatic weapon capable of firing both a high explosive round and an armor piercing round. The design period was very short: the initial order for a tank design in the 10-ton class was issued by the Waffenamt in July 1934, and the first complete soft steel prototype was put through its paces in October 1935. Unfortunately, many of the teething problems had not been worked out when rapid expansion of the panzerwaffe and international politics forced the decision to order a comparatively large number of PzKpfw IIs. First issued to Panzer units in the spring of 1936, the PzKpfw II was armed with a 2cm KwK L/55 gun and was crewed by three men.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. C light tank that was attached to an unidentified unit then deployed to the Caucasus Region in Russia during 1941.
Length: 2-1/2 inches
Width: 1-1/4 inches
Release Date: November 2011
Historical Account: "Drive into the Caucasus" - The Sinyavin Offensive was an operation planned by the Soviet Union with the aim of breaking the German blockade and establish a reliable supply line to Leningrad which was under siege for almost a year. At the same time, German forces were planning Operation Northern Light (German: Nordlicht) to capture the city and link up with Finnish forces. To achieve that heavy reinforcements were arriving from Sevastopol, which the German forces captured in July 1942. Both sides were unaware of the other's preparations, and this made the battle unfold in an unanticipated manner for both sides.
The Soviet offensive began first in two stages. The Leningrad Front began the offensive on August 19th and the Volkhov Front launched the main offensive on August 27th. From August 28th, the German side shifted the forces which were building up for their own offensive to gradually halt the Soviet offensive. Initial German counterattacks have failed, but the Soviet forces could not advance either. After a ten day stalemate, the significantly reinforced Germans launched a counterattack against the Soviet forces on September 21st. After five days of heavy fighting, the German forces linked up and cut off the bulge formed by the Soviet offensive. By October 10th, the front line returned to the position before this battle; heavy fighting continued until October 15th, as the last pockets of Soviet resistance were destroyed or broke out.
In the end, the Soviet offensive failed, but heavy casualties caused the Germans to order their forces to assume a defensive stance. In November, the German reinforcements and other units were stripped from Army Group North to deal with the major Soviet offensive at Stalingrad and Operation Northern Light was aborted.