Hobby Master HG4304 German Sd. Kfz. 234/3 8-Wheeled Armored Car - Aufklarungs Abteilung 226, 116.Panzer Division 'Windhund', Normandy, 1944 (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!"
On August 5th, 1940, an order was given to design an eight-wheeled armored car similar in design to the Sd. Kfz. 231. Unlike the previous design, where the armored body was bolted to the chassis, the Sd. Kfz. 234 armored hull was to serve as the chassis, thereby strengthening the overall integrity of the vehicle. Furthermore, the armored car was to have heavier armor and a 12-cylinder air-cooled diesel engine that would enable it to operate in the hot climate of North Africa as well as the cold steppes of western Russia. Two trial versions were built and an initial order was made for 500 vehicles, which was later increased to 1,500. The initial requirement was for a vehicle equipped with the 5cm KwK 39/1 gun (Sd. Kfz. 234/2). In January 1944, the order was cut to limit the Puma production to 100 vehicles so that two new variants could be created, one mounting a 2cm KwK gun and the other a more powerful 7.5cm KwK gun.
The 234/3 variant featured one 7.5cm K51 L/24 gun in an open-topped superstructure replacing the turret. 88 were built between June and December 1944.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 234/3 8-wheeled armored car that was attached to the 116.Panzer Division, then serving in Normandy during 1944. Now in stock!
Length: 3-1/4 inches
Width: 1-1/4 inches
Release Date: October 2011
Historical Account: "Sacrificial Lambs" - Nicknamed Windhund ("Greyhound") and originally based upon the 16.Infanterie Division, the 16.Motorized Infanterie Division participated in the Balkans campaign (1941) and later joined Army Group South during Operation Barbarossa. The unit advanced on the Caucasus, with elements coming to within 20 miles of Astrakhan - the most easterly point reached by any German unit during the war (1942). It later participated in defensive operations after the Soviets broke up the front within the southern sector. Upgraded to the 16.Panzergrenadier Division in 1943, it suffered heavily in the continuing retreats, and was eventually transferred to France for rest and refitting. Reorganized as the 116.Panzer Division, the formation absorbed the 179.Reserve Panzer Division in 1944.
The unit fought in the Battle for Normandy, and was almost completely destroyed while attempting to withdraw through the Falaise Gap. It helped to defend the Siegfried Line at Aachen but failed to save the city, resulting in its second withdrawal for refitting. It later participated in the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest and then again in the Battle of the Bulge, sustaining heavy casualties in the process. It was caught in the Wesel Pocket, but managed to escape across the Rhine in early 1945. It finally surrendered when it was trapped in the Ruhr Pocket during April 1945.