Forces of Valor 82201 German VW-166 Schwimmwagen - SS-Panzer Aufklarung Abteilung 12, Battle of the Bulge, 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 particular 1:32 scale replica of a German VW-166 Schwimmwagen was attached to the SS-Panzer Aufklarung Abteilung 12 (reconnaissance battalion)and used during the Battle of the Bulge counteroffensive. Sold Out!
Length: 4.69 inches
Width: 1.88 inches
Height: 1.88 inches
Release Date: July 2004
Historical Account: After the British and Canadian forces had liberated Caen, the HJ SS Panzer Grenadier Division was one of 24 German combat divisions which became encircled in the so-called "Falaise Pocket." At this time, the HJ SS Panzer Grenadier Division was ordered to hold open the northern shoulder of the pocket so that the trapped divisions could escape as best they could. The HJ SS Panzer Grenadier Division escaped being encircled as did about 20,000 other German troops - but more than 50,000 German soldiers remained trapped and forced to surrender to the advancing Allies.
Although the survivors of the Normandy campaign fought with just as much determination and dedication as they had during the summer months, in the long run, they were fighting a losing battle. By September 1944, only 1,500-3,500+ troopers of the Hiter Jugend Division survived. They had lost over 9,000 of their comrades in Normandy and in the ensuing Battle for the Falaise Gap. The 12th SS Panzer Grenadier Division had also lost most of its armor, much of their equipment and the bulk of their heavy weapons, so the formation was withdrawn for refitting and replacements.
In December of 1944, the now re-organized HJ SS Panzer Division participated in the Battle of the Bulge taking place in the Ardennes forest. Afterwards, the Hitler Jugend SS Panzer Division was sent to Hungary where it was supposed to assist in recapturing Budapest.
On May 8th, approximately 10,000 survivors of the 12.SS Panzer Division surrendered to the American 65th Infantry Division, 7th Army, near Enns in Austria. One surviving tank belonging to the division also surrendered to the Americans, marking an end to the unit's fighting career.