Dragon DRA60229 German Sd. Kfz. 251 Ausf. C Half-Track - 6.Panzer Division, Eastern Front, 1941 (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 particular 1:72 scale replica of a Sd. Kfz. 251 half-track is painted in the standard feldgrau (field grey) color scheme and was attached to the 6.Panzer Division, then serving along the Eastern Front during the opening months of the 1941 campaign. Sold Out!
Length: 3 inches
Width: 1 inch
Release Date: July 2006
Original Issue Price: $15.99
Historical Account: "Pan's Enchantment" - The German 1st Light Brigade was a mechanized unit established in October 1937 along the lines of the French Division Légère Mécanique, intended to take on the roles of army-level reconnaissance and security that had traditionally been the responsibility of cavalry. It included mechanized recon units, motorized infantry, and a battalion of tanks. In 1938 it was enlarged to become the 1st Light Division (sometimes described as Light Mechanized or Light Panzer to distinguish it from the later Light infantry divisions). In 1939 the division fought in the invasion of Poland. Due to shortcomings that the campaign revealed in the organization of the Light divisions it was reorganized as the 6. Panzer Division in October 1939.
As the 6. Panzer Division it participated in the 1940 Battle of France, then transferred east for the rest of the year. In June 1941 it joined Operation Barbarossa, fighting at first under Army Group North but soon transferred to Army Group Center, where it fought in the Battle of Moscow and the Rzhev-Vyazma Salient. By May 1942, it had suffered such losses that it was withdrawn to France for rehabilitation. It returned to the Russian Front at the end of the year and participated in the failed attempt to relieve the Sixth Army at the Battle of Stalingrad. Thereafter it fought in the battles at Kharkov and Kursk, and the defensive battles back across the Ukraine and White Russia. In early 1945 it was used in the attempts to relieve Budapest, then driven back into Austria, where it surrenedred to the Soviets at the end of the war.