Forces of Valor 85034 German Sd. Kfz. 7/2 Halftrack with FlaK36 37mm Gun - Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1943 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The basic Zgkw 8t was built by Krauss-Maffei, Borgward, and from 1943, Saurer. The FlaK vehicle was built with a special superstructure which formed an adequate platform for all-around traverse if the sides were folded down. Ammunition was carried in a special single-axle trailer. The 3.7cm FlaK36 gun was mounted on the Zgkw 8t from 1943, after production of the 5t Zgkw ceased.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 7/2 Halftrack w/ FlaK36 37mm Gun then deployed to the Eastern Front during 1943.
Length: 3-3/4 inches
Width: 1-1/4 inches
Release Date: June 2012
Historical Account: "The Eastern Bulge" - The Battle of Kursk, also called Unternehmen Zitadelle by the German Army (Operation Citadel), took place from July 4th, 1943 to August 23rd, 1943, represented a significant defensive battle strategy on the Soviets' part during World War II. Having good intelligence on Hitler's intentions, the Soviets established and managed to conceal elaborate layered defense works, mine fields, and stage and disguise large reserve forces poised for a tactical and strategic counter-attack end game typical of defensive battle plans. Overall, the campaign, which included the famous sub-battle at and for Prokhorovka, remains the largest armored engagement of all time, and included the most costly single day of aerial warfare in history.
Though the Germans planned and initiated an offensive strike, the well planned Soviet defense not only managed to frustrate their ambitions but also launched a successful counter-offensive and exhausted the German abilities in the theatre thereby seizing the initiative for the remainder of the war. In that sense it may be seen as phase II of the turning point in the front that began with the German defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad, which aftermath set the table by establishing the 'Kursk Salient', the reduction of which was the objective of the German armies entering July. The subsequent counter attacks retook Oryol (August 5th), Belgorod (August 5th) and Kharkov (August 23rd), pushing back the Germans across a broad front, the first successful major Soviet Summer offensive of the War.
Kursk further demonstrated that the conflict in the East contained the largest scale of warfare in history, in terms of manpower involved. So well designed was the Soviet defensive planning, that when entering the archetypical counterattack phase, the Soviets were able to attack along four separate axes of advance, and execute a planned stop at a phase line, thus avoiding the pitfalls of over-extending during the counter attack and earning this battle's deserved place as a model campaign in war college curricula.