Dragon DRA60464 German Early Production Sd. Kfz. 142 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. G Assault Gun - StuG. Abteilung 2, 2.SS Panzer Division 'Das Reich', Kursk, Russia, 1943 (1:72 Scale)
"We must do everything we can to promote anti-tank defense, and work just as hard to guarantee successful counter-attacks through the instrument of powerful tank forces of our own."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The German Sturmgeschutz (StuG) was one of the most successful armored fighting vehicles of the Second World War. It arose from an original concept of the pre-war panzer divisions, whereby a special vehicle for infantry support work was planned. During the war years, the Sturmgeschutz was rapidly developed and upgunned, and was used both in its original role as an assault gun and also as a tank destroyer.
Dragon Armor has issued a fine 1:72 scale model of an armored vehicle from the 2.SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" fighting in 1943. The model portrays a StuG.III Ausf.G Early Production variant from the division's Sturmgeschutz (Assault Gun) Battalion. This particular battalion was composed of an HQ and three batteries containing six StuG.III assault guns each. As is the norm for Dragon Armor items, the model is extremely accurate dimensionally, and even the smallest detail is fully represented. It is painted in a summer camouflage scheme of sand covered in wavy green lines. The balkenkreuze is clearly emblazoned on the superstructure sides, as well as the division's famous 'helmet' insignia. The finish is topped off by judicious dry-brushing, resulting in an extremely attractive and realistic-looking vehicle. This is a fine StuG.III Ausf.G model from the StuG. Abteilung 2, 2.SS Panzer Division "Das Reich", then deployed to Kursk, Russia, during the summer of 1943.
Length: 3-1/2 inches
Width: 1-1/2 inches
Release Date: May 2012
Historical Account: "Das Reich" - 2.SS Panzer Division Das Reich was formed in October 1939 from the Deutschland, Germania, and Der Fuhrer regiments. It took part in the 1940 campaign in the west and, after spending some time guarding the border with Vichy France, was transferred to The Netherlands. Das Reich participated in the Balkans campaign where a small detachment, led by SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Klingenberg, forced the surrender of Belgrade without a fight.
Das Reich was involved in the invasion of Russia and fought until August when it was finally withdrawn for rest and refit. It returned to the front the following month, which enabled it to take part in the failed offensive against Moscow in December. In March 1942, the bulk of the division was transferred to France, where it was upgraded to a panzergrenadier division. It was sent back to the Eastern front in January 1943, helping to recapture the city of Kharkov and participate in the battle for Kursk. Afterwards, it was transferred to France for a second time, where it was upgraded to a full panzer division. The Division was sent to Normandy in June 1944 when the Allies invaded, earning a reputation for unbridled ruthlessness at Oradour sur Glane. In late 1944 and 1945, Das Reich fought in the Ardennes, Hungary, and Austria, before finally surrendering to the US Army in mid-1945.