Dragon DRA60158 Limited Edition Russian T-34/76 Medium Tank - 116th Tank Brigade, Autumn 1942 (1:72 Scale)
"By powerful artillery fire, air strikes, and a wave of attacking tanks, we're supposed to swiftly crush the enemy."
- Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov
The first generation T-34 medium tank made its debut in combat during the summer of 1941, when the Wehrmacht launched its invasion of the Soviet Union. The T-34 easily outclassed the German PzKpfw III and IV models, thanks to its hard-hitting 76.2mm main gun, thick frontal armor, wide tracks, and overall superior mobility. The first T-34s were assembled at Kharkov, Leningrad, and Stalingrad, then moved behind the Ural mountains when the German advance encircled Leningrad, overran Kharkov, and invested the "City of Stalin". Legend has it that some T-34s rolled off the Stalingrad assembly line unpainted and even unfinished to prevent the Nazi invaders from capturing the city.
Pictured here is a T-34/76 mod 1941 medium tank that was attached to the Russian 116th Tank Brigade, which saw action in southern Russia during the autumn of 1942. Vehicle sits atop a real grass diorama and bears the insignia of the elite 116th Tank Brigade. Comes packed in an attractive display tin complete with numbered certificate of authenticity. Sold Out!
Length: 3.5 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: May 2005
Historical Account: "Solace" - As 1942 dawned, the German Army no longer had the strength nor the resources for a renewed offensive all along the Russian Front. Hitler, however, was unwilling to remain on the defensive and consolidate his gains. He therefore searched for a solution that, with limited means, might offer more than a limited result. After much deliberation, he decided to concentrate much of his remaining offensive power on the southern part of Russia, with the aim of capturing the Caucasus oil fields at the extreme southern part of European Russia. The German General Staff believed that if they could gain the oil, they then might be able to turn north and perhaps immobilize the Russian armies covering Moscow, or strike east at Russia's newly established war-industries withdrawn to the Urals.
On paper, the plan seemed sound although the 1942 offensive was a greater gamble than that of the previous year. If it could be checked, the long southern flank would be exposed to a counterstroke anywhere along its thousand-mile stretch. Initially, the German Blitzkrieg scored remarkable results - its fifth success since the conquest of Poland in 1939. A swift break-through was made on the Kursk-Kharkov sector, and then General Ewald von Kleist's 1st Panzer Army swept like a torrent along the corridor between the Don and the Donetz rivers. Surging across the Lower Don, gateway to the Caucasus, it gained the more westerly oilfields around Maikop in just six weeks and stood at the doorstep to Stalingrad, Stalin's namesake city, and pride of the Soviet Premier.