Forces of Valor 82002 German VW-166 Schwimmwagen - Unidentified Unit, Normandy, 1944 [D-Day Commemorative Packaging] (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 particular 1:32 scale replica of a VW-166 Schwimmwagen was used during the Battle for Normandy in the summer of 1944. Now in stock!
Length: 4.69 inches
Width: 1.88 inches
Height: 1.88 inches
Release Date: June 2012
Historical Account: "Normandiefront" - SS-Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH) was formed on March 17th, 1933, by Josef "Sepp" Dietrich, Hitler's bodyguard, on the order of der Fuhrer who wanted a full-time armed force that was completely loyal to him. It was attached to Heeresgruppe Sud during the invasion of Poland and later took part in the invasion of France and the Low Countries. For the most part LAH was held in reserve although it was employed against retreating British troops trapped at Dunkirk. After the British capitulation, it was attached to XIV Armeekorps during the second and final phase of the invasion of France.
Following the armistice, LAH was upgraded to a brigade and began training for the planned invasion of Britain (Operation Seelowe). When the invasion was cancelled, LAH was transferred to Romania for the Balkan invasion.
It fought its way through Yugoslavia and Greece chasing Allied troops to Kalamata, where they were evacuated by sea to Crete. LAH was attached to Heeresgruppe Sud during the initial stages of Operation Barbarossa, seeing action at Kiev and again at the Black Sea port of Rostov. It was transferred to France for refitting in 1942 and was upgraded again, this time to a Panzergrenadier Division. It returned to the Eastern front the following year, fighting at Kharkov and then at Kursk during Operation Zitadelle. After Kursk, LAH was sent to Italy to perform anti-partisan duties but was soon returned to the Eastern front, this time as a full-fledged Panzer Division. Following the debacle at Kamenets-Podolsk, it was sent to France for rest and refit.
LAH fought in Normandy following the Allied invasion and saw action at Caen, Falaise, and Aachen as it fell back on the German frontier. It participated in the Ardennes counteroffensive (Operation "Wacht am Rhein") where it was attached to I SS Panzerkorps. Later on, LAH was sent back to the Eastern front to help break the siege of Budapest (Unternehmen Margarethe). Afterwards, it was transferred to Austria where it surrendered to American troops at war's end.