War Master WMTK016 German Sd. Kfz. 4/1 Opel Maultier Nebelwerfer 42 Rocket Launcher - 1.SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte 'LSSAH', Normandy, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
During the first winter in Russia it became evident that wheeled vehicles were unable to deal with the primitive ground conditions. A low cost solution was sought whereby Opel and Daimler-Benz could be converted to half-tracks. These vehicles were taken out of production, had their rear axles removed, which were then replaced with tracked assemblies taken from inoperable or obsolete PzKpfw II tanks.
The 15cm Panzerwerfer 42 auf Sf (SdKfz 4/1) was created in 1943 as a response to the Russian Katyusha rocket launchers and developed as an armored transport for the 15cm Nebelwerfer. The basic truck was altered to have a fully armored cab while a 150mm Panzerwerfer 42 was placed on the hull roof. It had 10 barrels, and could traverse 270 and elevate as much as 80. Some models were adapted to carry the 24 rail 8cm R-Vielfachwerfer used by the Waffen SS.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 4/1 Opel Maultier Nebelwerfer 42 Rocket Launcher that was attached to the 1.SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte 'LSSAH', then deployed to Normandy during 1944.
Length: 3-1/4 inches
Width: 1-1/4 inches
Release Date: May 2012
Historical Account: "Normandiefront" - SS-Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH) was formed on March 17th, 1933, by Josef "Sepp" Dietrich, Hitler's bodyguard, on the order of der Fuhrer who wanted a full-time armed force that was completely loyal to him. It was attached to Heeresgruppe Sud during the invasion of Poland and later took part in the invasion of France and the Low Countries. For the most part LAH was held in reserve although it was employed against retreating British troops trapped at Dunkirk. After the British capitulation, it was attached to XIV Armeekorps during the second and final phase of the invasion of France.
Following the armistice, LAH was upgraded to a brigade and began training for the planned invasion of Britain (Operation
Seelowe). When the invasion was cancelled, LAH was transferred to Romania for the Balkan invasion.
It fought its way through Yugoslavia and Greece chasing Allied troops to Kalamata, where they were evacuated by sea to Crete. LAH was attached to
Heeresgruppe Sud during the initial stages of Operation Barbarossa, seeing action at Kiev and again at the Black Sea port of Rostov. It was transferred to France for refitting in 1942 and was upgraded again, this time to a Panzergrenadier Division. It returned to the Eastern front the following year, fighting at Kharkov and then at Kursk during Operation Zitadelle. After Kursk, LAH was sent to Italy to perform anti-partisan duties but was soon returned to the Eastern front, this time as a full-fledged Panzer Division. Following the debacle at Kamenets-Podolsk, it was sent to France for rest and refit.
LAH fought in Normandy following the Allied invasion and saw action at Caen, Falaise, and Aachen as it fell back on the German frontier. It participated in the Ardennes counteroffensive (Operation "
Wacht am Rhein") where it was attached to I SS Panzerkorps. Later on, LAH was sent back to the Eastern front to help break the siege of Budapest (Unternehmen Margarethe). Afterwards, it was transferred to Austria where it surrendered to American troops at war's end.