Altaya ALT95898 German Sd. Kfz. 233 Reconnaissance Car - Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 999, Rhodes, Greece, 1943 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The Sd. Kfz. 233 was developed to give the armored reconnaissance squadron a weapon capable of engaging enemy armor and area targets. The Sd. Kfz. 233 reconnaissance car mounted a powerful 7.5cm StuK37 L/24 cannon over the driver's compartment and was capable of attaining cross-country speeds in excess of 80 Km/hr. Built by Schichau, 109 vehicles were produced between December 1942 to October 1943.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 233 Reconnaissance Car that was attached to Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 999, then deployed to Rhodes, Greece, during 1943.
Back Order! Ship Date: May 2016.
Length: 3-1/4 inches
Width: 1-1/4 inches
Release Date:February 2014
Historical Account: "The Rhodes to War" - Greece entered World War II on October 28th, 1940, when the Italian army invaded from Albania, beginning the Greco-Italian War. The Greek army was able to halt the invasion temporarily and was able to push the Italians back into Albania. The Greek successes forced Nazi Germany to intervene. The Germans invaded Greece and Yugoslavia on April 6th, 1941, and overran both countries within a month, despite British aid to Greece in the form of an expeditionary corps. The conquest of Greece was completed in May with the capture of Crete from the air, although the Fallschirmjager suffered such extensive casualties in this operation that the Germans abandoned large-scale airborne operations for the remainder of the war. The German diversion of resources in the Balkans is also considered by some historians to have delayed the launch of the invasion of the Soviet Union by a critical month, which proved disastrous when the German army failed to take Moscow. However, other historians (John Keegan) point out that the German timetable depended on the drying of the Soviet Union's dirt roads after an unusually wet Spring and that the German conquest of the Balkans ended much faster than the German Planners had expected.
Greece itself was occupied and divided between Germany, Italy and Bulgaria, while the King and the government fled into exile in Egypt. First attempts at armed resistance in summer 1941 were crushed by the Axis, but the Resistance movement began again in 1942 and grew enormously in 1943 and 1944, liberating large parts of the country's mountainous interior and tying down considerable Axis forces. However, political tensions between the Resistance groups resulted in the outbreak of a civil conflict among them in late 1943, which continued until the spring of 1944. The exiled Greek government also formed armed forces of its own, which served and fought alongside the British in the Middle East, North Africa and Italy. The contribution of the Greek navy and merchant marine in particular was of special importance to the Allied cause.
Mainland Greece was liberated in October 1944 with the German withdrawal in the face of the advancing Red Army, while German garrisons continued to hold out in the Aegean Islands until after the war's end. The country was devastated by war and occupation, and its economy and infrastructure lay in ruins. Greece suffered more than 400,000 casualties during the occupation, and the country's Jewish community was almost completely exterminated in the Holocaust. By 1946, however, a vicious civil war erupted between the British and American-sponsored conservative government and leftist guerrillas, which would last until 1949.