Collectors Showcase CS00571 German Sd. Kfz. 232 Armored Car - Winter 1944 (1:30 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The term Schwerer Panzersphwagen (Heavy armored reconnaissance vehicle), covers the 6 and 8 wheeled armoured cars Germany used during the Second World War.
In the German Army, armoured cars were intended for the traditional cavalry missions of reconnaissance and screening. They scouted ahead of mechanized units to assess enemy strength and location. Their primary role was to observe rather than fight enemy units, although they were expected to fight enemy reconnaissance elements when required.
Loosely based on the hull of the Sd.Kfz 231/6-Rad vehicle. The hull was modified to swap the main driver & reverse driver/radio operator positions in order to place the engine at the rear and the 3 axle truck chassis replaced with a pair of 2 axle 4 wheel trucks, for an eight-wheeled, all wheel drive, all wheel steering chassis to improve off road capabilities and maneuverability. The turret was also altered to a hexagonal shape for increased internal volume. Armament was unchanged.
Pictured here is a 1:30 scale replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 232 armored car that served in the Battle of the Bulge during the winter of 1944.
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Release Date: March 2012
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.