Collectors Showcase CS00411 German Sd. Kfz. 124 Wespe 105mm Tank Destroyer - Winter Camouflage (1:30 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The Wespe was designed by Alkett early in 1942, and was chosen as the most practical self-propelled mount for the leFH18 cannon, using the PzKpfw II chassis instead of the PzKpfw III or PzKpfw IV. As an interim measure, the Wespe proved a great success and in February 1943, all further PzKpfw II chassis were ordered to be used for its production. The initial order for 1,000 vehicles was, however, cut back to 835 in late 1943. Furthermore, this total included 159 pieces (without the leFH18/2) designated Munitions-Sf auf Fgst PzKpfw II (Ammunition-SP on chassis of AFV II) which carried 90 rounds with a crew of three.
This particular Wespe is painted in a stunning winter camouflage pattern.
Length: 9 inches
Width: 4-1/2 inches
Height: 4 inches
Release Date: September 2010
Historical Account: "The Bulge" - The Battle of the Bulge (also known as the Ardennes Offensive and the Von Runstedt Offensive) (December 16th, 1944 - January 25th, 1945) was a major German offensive (German: die Ardennenoffensive), launched towards the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes Mountains region of Belgium (and more specifically of Wallonia: hence its French name, Bataille des Ardennes), France and Luxembourg on the Western Front. The Wehrmacht's code name for the offensive was Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (in English: "Operation Watch on the Rhine"), after the German patriotic hymn Die Wacht am Rhein. This German offensive was officially named the Ardennes-Alsace campaign by the U.S. Army, but it is known to the English-speaking general public simply as the Battle of the Bulge, the "bulge" being the initial incursion the Germans put into the Allies' line of advance, as seen in maps presented in contemporary newspapers.
The German offensive was supported by several subordinate operations known as
Unternehmen Bodenplatte, Unternehmen Greif, and Unternehmen Wahrung. Germany's planned goal for these operations was to split the British and American Allied line in half, capturing Antwerp, Belgium, and then proceed to encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers' favor.
The offensive was planned with the utmost secrecy, minimizing radio traffic and moving of troops and equipment under cover of darkness. Although ULTRA suggested a possible attack, and the Third U.S. Army's intelligence staff predicted a major German offensive, the offensive still caught the Allies by surprise. This was achieved by a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with their own offensive plans, poor aerial reconnaissance, and the relative lack of combat contact by the First U.S. Army in what was considered a "quiet sector". Almost complete surprise against a weakly-defended section of the Allied line was achieved during heavy overcast weather, which grounded the Allies' strong air forces.
The objectives for the offensive were not realized. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line. For the Americans, with about 500,000 to 840,000 men committed and some 70,000 to 89,000 casualties, including 19,000 killed, the Battle of the Bulge was the single largest and bloodiest battle that American forces fought in World War II.