Merit MIL86001 German Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. E Heavy Tank - Kurland, Eastern Front, 1944 (1:16 Scale)
"The gun and armor of the Tiger were superb, making it in many ways the most formidable tank in service. Even so, it was poor in maneuver, it was slow, and its turret was a slow traverser in action. It was a tank which was, at its best, immobile in ambush, when its killing power was very frightening."
- Douglas Orgill, "German Armor"
The German Waffenamt issued an order to design the VK4501(H) (as the PzKpfw VI Ausf. E was then known) in May 1941, just one month prior to the commencement of Operation Barbarossa. Interestingly, Henschel und Sohn of Kassel was charged with building the heavily armored chassis while Krupp, by far the largest munitionwerks in Germany, was given the task of developing the turret. The PzKpfw VI Ausfuhrung E (type E) was one of the first German tanks to feature a torsion bar with eight interleaved wheels, which was designed to support the weight of the mammoth 57-ton tank. The Ausf. E mounted a huge 8.8cm KwK36 L/56 cannon and featured two MG34 machine guns for close support against enemy infantry. By war's end, 1,354 vehicles had been produced, some rolling off the Wegmann assembly line.
Pictured here is a 1:16 scale replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. E heavy tank that was deployed to Kurland, on the Eastern Front, during 1944. Note: Due to the immense size and weight of this item, it does not qualify for the free UPS ground shipping discount. Special Order!
Length: 25 inches
Width: 9 inches
Height: 7.5 inches
Release Date: December 2011
Historical Account: "The Pocket" - The Courland Pocket referred to the Red Army's blockade or encirclement of Axis forces on the Courland peninsula during the closing months of World War II. Its commander was General Bagramyan (later Marshal Bagramyan).
The pocket was created during the Red Army's Baltic Strategic Offensive Operation, when forces of the 1st Baltic Front reached the Baltic Sea near Memel during its lesser Memel Offensive Operation phases. This action isolated the German Army Group North (German: Heeresgruppe Nord) from the rest of the German forces between Tukums and Liepāja in Latvia. Renamed Army Group Courland (German: Heeresgruppe Kurland) on January 25th, the Army Group remained isolated until the end of the war. When they were ordered to surrender to the Soviet command on May 8th, they were in "blackout" and did not get the official order before May 10th, two days after the capitulation of Germany. It was one of the last German groups to surrender in Europe.