Minichamps MIN350011271 German Sd. Kfz. 251/1 Ausf. D Half-Track - Panzergrenadier Regiment 64, 16.Panzer Division, Stalingrad, Russia, 1942 (1:35 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 Stuka zu Fuss ("Stuka on foot"), 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.
Now Minichamps has created a gorgeous 1:35 scale diecast replica of the all-purpose Sd. Kfz. 251/1 Ausf. D half-track. This stunning replica features real rubber tires, a working independent suspension system, and treads that are made of flexible metal links. Comes equipped with two MG42 machine guns (one for close support against enemy infantry and the other designed to ward off low-flying enemy aircraft), opening doors located at the rear of the vehicle, and fully detailed engine and crew compartment. This particular Sd. Kfz. 251/1 half-track was attached to the Panzergrenadier Regiment 64, 16.Panzer Division, which fought at the Battle of Stalingrad in late 1942. Now in stock!
Length: 6.75 inches
Width: 2.50 inches
Height: 2.25 inches
Release Date: December 2004
Historical Account: "Here is Stalingrad" - Josef Goebbels, Germany's Minister of Propaganda, arrived at the Sportpalast at noon, February 18th, 1943, in his bulletproof Mercedes, more tense than usual. He knew that he had to make the patently impossible sound possible. The German Sixth Army had just suffered a catastrophic defeat at Stalingrad. For the first time, Germans were losing faith in their Fuhrer en masse. All 15,000 seats in the Sportpalast were filled, mainly with party members and functionaries. As Goebbels mounted the podium, his dark eyes glowed with the fanaticism of the born demagogue.
Goebbels called the Stalingrad debacle the "great alarm call of destiny," and a symbol of the heroic struggle against the "storm from the Steppes," that "horrific historic danger," which relegated "all former dangers facing the West to the shadows."
Behind the onrushing Soviet divisions, Goebbels saw "the Jewish liquidation commandos," whom international Jewry were using to plunge the world into chaos.
Again and again during this diatribe, thunderous applause broke out. But Goebbels was just getting warmed up. Terror must be fought with terror, Goebbels cried. There could be no more bourgeois prudishness. Goebbels asked his now hysterical audience whether they believed in their Fuhrer and the total victory of German arms. An ear-splitting Ja! was the reply. "Do you want total war? Do you want it, if necessary, more total and more radical than we could even imagine today?" he screamed, whereupon pandemonium broke out in the Sportpalast. "Now, Volk," Goebbels screeched, "arise and storm; break loose!" The Sportpalast had turned into a raving madhouse, and German radio transmitted the mass hysteria throughout the county. Goebbels rightly ranked the speech as the rhetorical masterpiece of his life. Cynical as always, he wrote in his diary, "This hour of idiocy! If I had said to the people, jump out the fourth floor of Columbushaus, they would have done that too."