Collectors Showcase CS00524 German Late Production Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Heavy Tank with Zimmerit - "232", Winter 1944 (1:30 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
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 1:30 scale replica of a Tiger I Ausf. E heavy tank in a whitewashed winter camouflage pattern. Sold Out!
Length: 10.25 inches
Width: 4.5 inches
Release Date: July 2011
Historical Account: "Autumn Mist" - The Ardennes Offensive (December 16th, 1944 - January 25th, 1945) was a major German offensive launched towards the end of World War II through the forested Ardennes Mountains region of Belgium (and more specifically of Wallonia: hence its French name, Bataille des Ardennes), France and Luxembourg on the Western Front. The offensive was called Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (translated as Operation The Guard on the Rhine or Operation "Watch on the Rhine") by the German armed forces (Wehrmacht). This German offensive was officially named the Ardennes-Alsace campaign by the U.S. Army, but it is known to the general public simply as the Battle of the Bulge. The 'bulge' was the initial incursion the Germans put into the Allies' line of advance, as seen in maps presented in contemporary newspapers.
The German offensive was supported by subordinate operations known as Unternehmen Bodenplatte, Unternehmen Greif, and Unternehmen Wahrung. Germany's planned goal for these operations was to split the British and American Allied line in half, capturing Antwerp, Belgium, and then proceeding to encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers' favor.
The offensive was planned with the utmost secrecy, minimizing radio traffic and conducting the movement of troops and equipment under cover of darkness. Although ULTRA suggested a possible attack and the Third U.S. Army's intelligence staff predicted a major German offensive, the offensive still caught the Allies by surprise. This was achieved by a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with their own offensive plans, poor aerial reconnaissance, and the relative lack of combat contact by the First U.S. Army in an area considered a "quiet sector". Almost complete surprise against a weak section of the Allies' line was achieved during heavy overcast weather, when the Allies' strong air forces would be grounded.
The objectives for the offensive were not realized. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment, as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line. With over 800,000 men committed and over 19,000 killed, the Battle of the Bulge became the single biggest and bloodiest battle that American forces experienced in World War II.