Collectors Showcase CS00444 German Steyr 1500A/01 Kommandeurwagen Command Vehicle - Rommel's Command Car, Deutsches Afrika Korps (1:30 Scale)
"Rommel, you magnificent bastard. I read your book."
- George C. Scott playing the part of General George S. Patton, Jr. from the feature film "Patton"
First produced in 1941, the Steyr Type 1500A/01 was a light truck design used to carry military personnel. It was chosen to be one of the vehicles to be produced under the Schell Plan, which sought to standardize German vehicle production to increase efficiency. The Steyr was powered by an air-cooled 8-cylinder engine with 85hp, and could carry up to 8 passengers. With its rugged suspension and 4WD, the truck had excellent off-road capabilities and could also travel at up to 100km/h on-road. A total of 12,450 were produced until 1944 and served on every front that the German army fought in.
Pictured here is a 1:30 scale replica of a German Steyr 1500A/01 Kommandeurwagen Command Vehicle used by Erwin Rommel as a command car when he led the Afrika Korps. Sold Out!
Length: 4.25 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: September 2010
Historical Account: "With the Fox" - The Afrika Korps was formed on February 19th, 1941, after the German Armed Forces High Command (OKW) had decided to send an expeditionary force to Libya to support the Italian army, which had been routed by an Allied counteroffensive, Operation Compass. The German expeditionary force, commanded by Erwin Rommel, at first consisted only of the 5.Panzer-Regiment and various other small units. These elements were organized into the 5.Leicht-Division when they arrived in Africa in February.
In the spring, the 5.Leicht-Division was joined by the 15.Panzer Division, though it did not arrive until Rommel had already re-taken most of Cyrenaica and gone back over to the defensive. At this time the Afrika Korps consisted of the two divisions plus various smaller supporting units, and was officially subordinated to the Italian chain of command in Africa (though Rommel had conducted his offensive without any authorization).
On October 1st, 1941, the 5.Leicht-Division was redesignated as the 21.Panzer Division, although it was still attached to the Afrika Korps. During the summer of 1941, the OKW invested more command structure in Africa by creating a new headquarters called Panzer Gruppe Afrika. On August 15th, Panzer Gruppe Afrika was formally activated with Rommel in charge, and command of the Afrika Korps was turned over to Ludwig Cruewell. The Panzer Gruppe controlled the Afrika Korps plus some additional German units that were sent to Africa, as well as two corps of Italian units. (A German "group" was approximately the equivalent of an army in other militaries, and in fact Panzer Gruppe Afrika was redesignated as Panzer Armee Afrika on January 30th, 1942.)