Dragon DRA60312 German Early Production Sd. Kfz. 142 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. G Assault Gun - 3.SS Panzer Division 'Totenkopf', Ukraine, 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 German Sturmgeschutz (StuG) was one of the most successful armored fighting vehicles of the Second World War. It arose from an original concept of the pre-war panzer divisions, whereby a special vehicle for infantry support work was planned. During the war years, the Sturmgeschutz was rapidly developed and upgunned, and was used both in its original role as an assault gun and also as a tank destroyer.
The most common variant was the Ausf. G, which also happens to be the subject of a new release from Dragon Armor. Item no. 60312 represents an Early Production Ausf. G of the 3.SS Panzer Division 'Totenkopf' (the name translates as 'death's head' or 'skull') Panzer Division. Sold Out!
Length: 3-1/2 inches
Width: 1-1/2 inches
Release Date: November 2007
Historical Account: "Death's Head" - Totenkopf (Plural: Totenkopfe) is the German word for "death head" or "death's head" and is used to describe a military insignia featuring a skull above crossed bones. It is distinguished from the similar traditions of the skull and crossbones and the Jolly Roger by the positioning of the bones directly behind the skull. For a long time in widespread use in several countries, its association with aspects of Nazi Germany has led to its decline.
In the early days of the NSDAP, Julius Schreck, the leader of the Stabswache (Adolf Hitler's bodyguard unit), adopted the Totenkopf for his unit.
This later grew into the Schutzstaffel (SS), which continued to use the Totenkopf as insignia throughout their brief history. As they had done with the Swastika, the Nazis simply adopted the Totenkopf from the historical tradition and used it for their own purposes, leaving it marked with a stigma that has continued to the present.
It is important to note that the SS "Death's Head" symbol is markedly different from the original German (Prussian) "Totenkopf", the original being much more "cartoonlike" in appearance, with the SS version appearing more "realistic." In short, they are two very different symbols.