Dragon DRA60637 German Sd. Kfz. 251 Ausf. C Half-Track and 3.7cm PaK 35/36 Anti-Tank Gun - Grenadier Regiment 12. 4.Panzer Division, Kurland, Latvia, 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.
Dragon Armor released a 1/72 scale model of an Sd.Kfz.251/1 Schtzenpanzerwagen towing a 3.7cm PaK 35/36 anti-tank gun earlier. Now this fantastic combination is being re-offered, but this time the model portrays a different unit. Armed with a 7.92mm machine gun, the Sd.Kfz.251/1 transported and supported German panzer-grenadiers in battle. More than 15,000 examples of the Sd.Kfz.251 halftrack were produced during WWII, and this Dragon Armor item depicts an Ausf.C type, which appeared in mid-1940. Production of the Ausf.C featured a simplified forward engine armored plate, although its many angled plates still made it difficult to manufacture efficiently.
This 1/72 scale model features a halftrack and anti-tank cannon combination from Panzergrenadier-Regiment 12 of 4.Panzer-Division. The 4th Panzer Division fought on the Eastern Front before being trapped as part of Heeresgruppe Nord at Kurland on the Latvian coast in late 1944. The Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.C is finished in an attractive three-color camouflage scheme while the PaK 35/36 wears a plain sand yellow coat. It is interesting that this weak 3.7cm anti-tank gun was still being used at this late point of the war, and perhaps reflects those desperate days. With this release, Dragon Armor has come up with yet another inspirational military combination! Sold Out!
Length: 3 inches
Width: 1 inch
Release Date: December 2012
Historical Account: "The Pocket" - The Courland Pocket referred to the Red Army's blockade or encirclement of Axis forces on the Courland peninsula during the closing months of World War II. Its commander was General Bagramyan (later Marshal Bagramyan).
The pocket was created during the Red Army's Baltic Strategic Offensive Operation, when forces of the 1st Baltic Front reached the Baltic Sea near Memel during its lesser Memel Offensive Operation phases. This action isolated the German Army Group North (German: Heeresgruppe Nord) from the rest of the German forces between Tukums and Liepāja in Latvia. Renamed Army Group Courland (German: Heeresgruppe Kurland) on January 25th, the Army Group remained isolated until the end of the war. When they were ordered to surrender to the Soviet command on May 8th, they were in "blackout" and did not get the official order before May 10th, two days after the capitulation of Germany. It was one of the last German groups to surrender in Europe.