Minichamps MIN100052000 German VW-82 Kubelwagen - Reconnaissance Unit, Panzer Grenadier Division 'Grossdeutschland', Eastern Front, 1941 (1:18 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.
Minichamps does the Kubelwagen justice with its own 1:18 scale diecast rendition of Hitler's "bucket car". This extraordinary replica features hinged doors, rubber tires, a highly detailed passenger compartment, and working driveshaft. This particular VW-82 Kubelwagen bears the insignia of a reconnaissance unit from Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland, which served on the eastern front in late 1941. Sold Out!
Length: 8.25 inches
Height: 3.5 inches
Width: 3.5 inches
Release Date: February 2004
Historical Account: "Greater Germany" - On June 23rd, 1943, Infanterie Division "Grossdeutschland" was officially re-classified as a Panzergrenadier Division and its two infantry regiments became known as Panzer Grenadier Regiment Grossdeutschland and Panzer Fusilier Regiment Grossdeutschland respectively. Interestingly, both units retained their white arm-of-service or branch color (waffenfarbe) rather than the new grass-green piping adopted by the panzergrenadiers. Involved in Operation: Zitadelle, Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland was, in actuality, a full-fledged panzer division since it was one of only a handful of units equipped with a battalion of Tiger tanks. After Kursk, the unit fought on the Dniepr Line, and by early 1944 was fighting in the north, retreating into East Prussia and Latvia as the Russian onslaught continued to gather momentum.
In November 1944, the Grossdeutschland Division was still regarded as a Panzergrenadier division, although other units within its 'sphere of influence' were expanded to form the Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland.