Blitz 72 BL18600 German Sd. Kfz. 9 8-Ton Personnel Carrier / Prime Mover - "The Bernhardt Line", XIV Panzer Corps, 10.Armee, Nettuno, Italy, 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 Sd.Kfz. 9 (also known as "Famo" ) was a German half-track that saw widespread use in World War II. Its main roles were as a prime mover for very heavy towed guns such as the 24 cm Kanone 3 and as a tank recovery vehicle. Approximately 2,500 were produced between 1938 and 1945.
The Sd.Kfz. 9 had a ladder frame chassis. Power was provided by a Maybach 12-cylinder, water-cooled, 10.838 litres (661.4 cu in) HL 108 gasoline engine of 270 horsepower (270 PS). It had a syncromesh ZF G 65 VL 230 transmission with four forward and one reverse gears. It had two fuel tanks, one of 90 litres (24 US gal) and the other of 230 litres (61 US gal) capacity.
Both tracks and wheels were used for steering. The steering system was set up so that shallow turns used only the wheels, but brakes would be applied to the tracks the further the steering wheel was turned. The drive sprocket, like all German halftracks, had rollers rather than the more common teeth. The rear suspension consisted of six double sets of interleaved road wheels mounted on swing arms sprung by torsion bars. An idler wheel, mounted at the rear of the vehicle, was used to control track tension. The front wheels had leaf springs and shock absorbers.
The upper body had a crew compartment common to all versions. This had bench seats, one for the driver and his assistant, and another for the crew. The rear portion of the upper body was adapted for the vehicle's intended role. The artillery model had two extra bench seats for the gun's crew and space for its ammunition. The cargo version had just two storage compartments mounted in the front of the cargo compartment, one on each side, that opened to the outside. The windshield could fold forward and was also removable. A convertible canvas top was mounted at the upper part of the rear body. It fastened to the windshield when erected.
The Sd.Kfz. 9 was designed to have a towing capacity of 28 tonnes (28 LT; 31 ST). This was adequate for medium tanks like the Panzer IV, but two or even three or four were necessary for heavier vehicles like the Tiger, Panther or King Tiger. It towed the Sd.Anh 116 low-loader trailers to carry disabled vehicles.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 9 8-Ton Personnel Carrier / Prime Mover that served with the XIV Panzer Corps, 10.Armee, then deployed to Nettuno, Italy, during 1944.
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Release Date: November 2011
Historical Account: "Approaching Rome" - The Bernhardt Line (or Reinhard Line) was a German defensive line in Italy during World War II. Having reached the Bernhardt Line at the start of December 1943, it took until mid-January 1944 for U.S. 5th Army to fight their way to the next line of defenses, the Gustav Line. The line was defended by XIV Panzer Corps (XIV Panzerkorps), part of the German Tenth Army (10.Armee).
Unlike most of the other defensive lines it did not run all the way across Italy but was merely a bulge in front of the main Gustav Line, running over the massif of Monte Camino, enclosing the peaks of Monte Camino (Monastery Hill), Monte la Defensa, Monte la Remetanea and Monte Maggiore, in the territory of Rocca d'Evandro, and Monte Sambcaro, which stands at the border of the three regions (Lazio, Molise and Campania). However, the defenses of the Gustav Line on the Adriatic are sometimes referred to as the Bernhardt Line and the battles for this part of the line are included in this entry.
The Bernhardt line was not as strong as the Gustav Line and was intended only to delay the Allies' arrival at the Gustav Line. Together with the Gustav Line and the Hitler Line, it made up the German Winter Line defenses.