Dragon DRA60320 Limited Edition German Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. E Heavy Tank - Alfred Kurzmaul, "#423", 2/schwere Panzer Abteilung 503, Eastern Front, 1943-44 (1:72 Scale)
"The gun and armor of the Tiger were superb, making it in many ways the most formidable tank in service. Even so, it was poor in maneuver, it was slow, and its turret was a slow traverser in action. It was a tank which was, at its best, immobile in ambush, when its killing power was very frightening."
- Douglas Orgill, "German Armor"
The German Waffenamt issued an order to design the VK4501(H) (as the PzKpfw VI Ausf. E was then known) in May 1941, just one month prior to the commencement of Operation Barbarossa. Interestingly, Henschel und Sohn of Kassel was charged with building the heavily armored chassis while Krupp, by far the largest munitionwerks in Germany, was given the task of developing the turret. The PzKpfw VI Ausfuhrung E (type E) was one of the first German tanks to feature a torsion bar with eight interleaved wheels, which was designed to support the weight of the mammoth 57-ton tank. The Ausf. E mounted a huge 8.8cm KwK36 L/56 cannon and featured two MG34 machine guns for close support against enemy infantry. By war's end, 1,354 vehicles had been produced, some rolling off the Wegmann assembly line.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a limited edition Tiger I was crewed by Alfred Kurzmaul, a luminary scheduled to attend Dragon Expo '07. Now in stock!
Length: 5-1/2 inches
Width: 2-1/4 inches
Release Date: August 2007
Historical Account: "Pouring Fuel on the Fire" - At age 17, Alfred Kurzmaul volunteered for service in the Panzerwaffe so he could choose the branch he wanted to serve in. In the spring of 1941, he received his training as a gunner and loader, which was followed by special driver training for the Panzer III and Panzer IV. When his initial training period ended, he was posted to Panzer-Regiment 25 with the 7.Panzer-Division based at Erlangen.
Mr. Kurzmaul turned 19 on June 23rd, 1941, the day after Germany attacked the Soviet Union.
His unit was transferred east in July where, as part of Panzer-Gruppe 3, it fought continuously in the Central Sector until being transferred back to France in May 1942 for rest and refitting.
During this time, Mr. Kurzmaul was reassigned to sPzAbt 502 for training on the new Tiger tank at Paderborn. He was then assigned to sPzAbt 503 and stayed with the unit until the end of the war except for a brief period of time in the spring of 1944 when he was transferred to Wunsdorf, south of Berlin, to participate in some driving tests being conducted on the Tiger I.
He returned to his unit in the fall of 1944 when it was re-equipped with the new Tiger II. In early October 1944, the unit was entrained and sent to Hungary where, under the command of SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Otto Skorzeny, 2. and 3.Kompanie took part in the occupation of the Burgberg castle, seat of the Hungarian Government, to ensure they would not capitulate to the Russians. After the successful conclusion to this operation, the unit was sent back to the Eastern Front where it continued to fight until the end of the war.
Just before the war ended, however, Mr. Kurzmaul became ill and was sent back to a hospital in Germany near his hometown. He was fortunate to still be there when the war ended.
Mr. Kurzmaul and his family emigrated to Canada in 1956 where they settled down in Montreal. After his retirement, he and his wife moved to Calgary to be close to their son and his family.