Forces of Valor 82101 German VW-166 Schwimmwagen Diorama - 716.Infanterie Division, "Retreat from Malmedy, Normandy, 1944" (1:32 Scale)
"I do not doubt that the outstanding ability of the designer and at a later date the economic acumen of manufacturers, will make it possible to make available to the German people a car which is low priced and cheap in operation, similar to what American people have enjoyed for a long time..."
- German Chancellor Adolf Hitler at the 26th International Berlin Automobile Show, 1936
Built by Volkswagen, the simple yet reliable Kubelwagen ("bucket car") was the German equivalent of the American Jeep. This nimble four-seater, based on Ferdinand Porsche's original "People's Car" design of the 1930's, used the same rear-mounted, aircooled engine to drive the rear wheels. Some models mounted an MG 42 machine gun behind the front passenger seat, giving the Kubelwagen a nasty bite. Other variants included an amphibious vehicle, called the Schwimmwagen, as well as radio communications, maintenance, ambulance, and survey variants.
This 1:32 scale vignette -- "Retreat from Malmedy, Normandy, 1944" -- depicts a VW-166 Schwimmwagen withdrawing from a blown up town. Sold Out!
Dimensions of Diorama:
Length: 8.25 inches
Width: 6 inches
Height: 6 inches
Release Date: December 2003
Historical Account: The 716.Infanterie-Division was formed as an occupation unit from units of the Replacement Army on May 2nd, 1941. After formation and transfer to Occupied France, it took part in coastal defense operations, security duties, training, air raid protection, construction of defensive fortifications, and alert exercises along the coast of France and Belgium, mainly in the regions of Saint-Lo, later at Soissons, and still later in and around Caen where it was stationed when the Allied forces invaded the Normandy Coast on June 6th, 1944.
The 716.Infanterie-Division first fought against the Allied air drops at Breville, Ranville and Bavent, and took part in the defense of the artillery batteries at Merville. The 716.Infanterie-Division also fought in fierce defensive combat at Villers Bocage, along the Caen-Bayeux road, and in the region of Caen. After being heavily engaged for the duration of the Allied invasion, the 716.Infanterie-Division suffered very high losses, which forced it, along with the rest of the German forces in the region, to withdraw.
Moving into southern France, the Division took up coastal security positions in the region of Salses-Perpignan-Elne to the French-Spanish border. Thereafter, the 716. Infanterie-Division retreated through Languedoc, over the Cevennen, and through the Rhonental to the region of Lyon. After this movement, the Division was engaged by French partisan units before later arriving in the area of Schlettstadt.
In October of 1944, the 716.Infanterie-Division was in the region of Oberrhein near Kolmar where it fought at Neunkirch-Obenhein, very nearly getting destroyed in very heavy fighting. The remains of the Division became "Kampfgruppe 716.Infanterie-Division" near Todtmoos and withdrew through the southern portion of the Schwarzwald before surrendering to American units at Kempten.