Dragon DRA60314 German Sd. Kfz. 251/7 Ausf. C Half-Track - Panzer Lehr Division, St. Lo, France, 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!"
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.
This half-track was one of the specialist vehicles that were involved in Operation Barbarossa - massive German invasion of the Soviet Union that involved an estimated 2.6 million German soldiers on the opening day alone, including Pioneers and combat engineers.
Befitting its elite status, Panzer Lehr was equipped with the best tanks and armored vehicles available. One example is Dragon Armor's Sd. Kfz. 251/7, which is fielded in an attractive three-color camouflage scheme. The 251/7 was designed as a specialist version for pionier assault engineers, and was thus equipped with a pair of assault bridge elements. It is an Ausf. D variant, and the chassis has been made in die-cast metal to give it a pleasing weight and robustness. This finely detailed 1:72 scale model has accurately scaled machine guns fitted front and rear, each of which is designed to rotate. Lehr means 'demonstration', and this Sd. Kfz. 251/7 is the ideal accessory for demonstration and display by collectors. Sold Out!
Length: 3 inches
Width: 1 inch
Release Date: June 2007
Historical Account: The Panzer Lehr Division was formed at Potsdam in November 1943, comprised principally of demonstration units from the various Panzer schools. It was transferred to France in February 1944, then to Hungary in April, where it absorbed Infanterie-Lehr Regiment 901. The division returned to France shortly thereafter where it opposed the Allied landings in June. Panzer Lehr suffered heavy losses at Caen during a massive carpet bombing attack and additional losses as it withdrew across France. It was sent to the Saar for refitting and later saw action in the Ardennes during Operation "Wacht am Rhein". After the winter counteroffensive, the division was trapped in the Ruhr pocket in early 1945 and forced to surrender to the US Army in April.