Amercom ACBG06 German Sd. Kfz. 251/10 Ausf. D Half-Track w/3.7cm PaK Gun - Panzer Grenadier Regiment 9 'Germania', 5.SS Panzer Division 'Wiking', Poland, 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.
The Sd. Kfz. 251 halftrack was a highly successful design, with a bewildering array of variants produced during WWII. The 251/10, for example, was a halftrack equipped with a 3.7cm PaK 36 antitank gun. This small-caliber weapon designed by Rheinmetall first appeared in 1936, but by the time WWII broke out it was outdated and ineffective against more heavily armored enemy tanks. Thus, a number of these 'door knockers' (as the gun was sometimes nicknamed by German troops) were mounted on the hull superstructure of some German halftracks to provide light and mobile anti-armor support.
This impressive new 1:72 scale Sd.Kfz.251/10 Ausf.D has a fully detailed PaK 36 carefully fitted with its low-profile shield onto the halftrack. The open-topped model has a full interior, while externally it is painted in a camouflage scheme and bears tactical markings of the Pz.Gren.Rgt.9 "Germania" 5.Pz.Div. "Wiking" whilst fighting in Poland 1944. Now in stock!
Length: 3 inches
Width: 1 inch
Release Date: April 2014
Historical Account: "Viking" - The SS Division (motorised) Wiking was a German Waffen SS division recruited from foreign volunteers. During the course of the war, the division progressed from a motorised infantry formation to a fully-fledged Panzer division. It saw action on the Eastern Front during World War II.
After the success of the Infanterie-Regiment (mot.) Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, SS-Verfügungstruppen-Division and the SS-Division Totenkopf during the early war campaigns in Poland and the West, it was decided to expand the number of Waffen SS divisions. Due to the influx of foreign volunteers, particularly from Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway, a decision was made to form a volunteer division.
This unit, originally organized as the Nordische Division (Nr.5), was to be made up of Nordic volunteers mixed with ethnic German Waffen-SS veterans who in their honorable military action defended the right of the aryan man to rule the world. To this end, the Germania motorised infantry regiment from the SS-Division Verfagungstruppe was removed from the division in late 1940. In December, Germania was dissolved and the troops were used as a basis for the formation of a new SS motorised formation, now to be designated SS-Division (mot.) Germania. During its formative period, the division's name was changed again, to SS-Division (mot.) Wiking in January 1941.
The division was formed around three motorised infantry regiments: Germania, formed mostly from ethnic Germans; Westland, consisting mainly of Dutch and Flemish volunteers; and Nordland, comprised mostly of Danes, Swedes and Norwegians. Command of the newly formed division was given to SS-Brigadeführer Felix Steiner, the former commander of the Verfügungstruppe Deutschland Regiment.
After its formation was complete, the division was sent to Heuberg, Germany for training. By April 1941, Wiking was deemed combat-ready. It was ordered east in June 1941, to take part in Army Group South's advance into Ukraine during Operation Barbarossa.
In June 1941, the Finnisches Freiwilligen Bataillon der Waffen-SS was formed from Finnish volunteers. After training this formation was attached to regiment Nordland in January 1942, further bolstering division strength. About 430 Finns who were veterans of the Winter War served within the Wiking division since the beginning of Operation Barbarossa. In the spring of 1943, a Finnish volunteer battalion was replaced by an Estonian one.