Forces of Valor 81019 German Sd. Kfz. 251/1 Ausf. D Half-Track - Panzer Division 'Grossdeutschland', Lithuania, 1944 (1:32 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 Sonderkraftfahrzeug (Sd. Kfz.) 251 half-track had its origins in the same requirement as the smaller and lighter Sd. Kfz. 250. Intended as an armored personnel carrier, the Sd. Kfz. 251 entered service in 1939, and quickly became the standard means of transport for the panzergrenadiers. As it turned out, the Sd. Kfz. 251 was an especially useful vehicle, not only capable of keeping up with the newly formed panzer divisions but also providing invaluable support as well. All told, there were 22 special-purpose variants built, including the menacing-looking Stukavoss ("infantry Stuka"), which mounted a series of rocket launchers on the outer sides of the vehicle. Other variants included a flame-thrower, anti-tank, and communications vehicle, as well as an observation post, ambulance, and infra-red searchlight carrier. Despite suffering from early reliability problems, the Sd. Kfz. 251 was produced by the thousands, eventually becoming a trademark of the German panzertruppe on all fronts.
Pictured here is a 1:32 scale diecast replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 251/1 Ausf. D half-track that was attached to Panzer Division 'Grossdeutschland', then serving in Lithuania during 1944.
Now in stock!
Length: 7 inches
Width: 2.25 inches
Height: 2 inches
Release Date: February 2013
Historical Account: "Greater Germany" - On June 23rd, 1943, Infanterie Division "Grossdeutschland" was officially re-classified as a Panzergrenadier Division. The two infantry regiments became known as Panzer Grenadier Regiment Grossdeutschland and Panzer Fusilier Regiment Grossdeutschland. Interestingly, both units retained their white arm-of-service or branch color (waffenfarbe) rather than the new grassgreen piping adopted by the panzergrenadiers. Involved in Operation: Zitadelle, Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland was, in actuality, a full-fledged panzer division since it was one of only a handful of units equipped with a battalion of Tiger tanks.
After Kursk, the unit fought on the Dniepr Line, and by early 1944 was fighting in the north, retreating into East Prussia and Latvia as the Russian onslaught continue to gather momentum.
In November 1944, the
Grossdeutschland Division was still regarded as a Panzergrenadier division, although other units within its 'sphere of influence' were expanded to form the Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland.