Dragon DRA60120 Limited Edition German Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. E Heavy Tank - SS-Obersturmbanfuhrer Otto Carius, schwere Panzer Abteilung 511, Malinava, Russia, 1944 (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 German Tiger I Ausf. E heavy tank is painted in a summer camouflage pattern and was commanded by legendary Tiger ace, Otto Carius, during the Battle for Malinava, Latvia in 1944. Comes packed in an attractive display tin. Sold Out!
Length: 4-1/2 inches
Width: 2-1/4 inches
Release Date: October 2004
Historical Account: "Lunge of the Tigers" - On July 22nd, 1944, Obersturmbanfuhrer Otto Carius, along with his company of eight Tiger tanks, advanced towards the Russian village of Malinava to stymie a Soviet advance. After ordering his column to halt on the outskirts of town, Carius, together with Obersturmbanfuhrer Kerscher, decided to reconnoiter the small hamlet with the help of a commandeered Kubelwagen. They quickly discovered that the village was already in Russian hands so they turned tail before they were spotted by the enemy.
Upon returning to his company, Carius explained the situation to his men. Realizing he had little time to lose, Carius decided to attack the village before additional Russian armor could link up with the occupying force. He elected to storm the village with only two Tigers instead of the entire company since only one unimproved road led into town and he felt that the column could be exposed to enemy fire if the entire company advanced. While the rest of his company was held in reserve, Carius and Kerscher's Tigers sped towards the village of Malinava, itching for a fight.
Two T-34/85 tanks occupying Malinava saw the Tigers and immediately took aim against Carius' Tiger (No. 217). Fortunately for Carius, Kerscher's Tiger (No. 213), which trailed Carius by some 150-meters, fired quickly, knocking out both Russian targets before they had a chance to shoot.
As he entered the village, Carius soon came face-to-face with the latest Russian behemoth to enter the fray: the huge JS-I heavy tank, which was armed with the long-barreled 122mm gun. Confused at first, because the tank's silhouette resembled a King Tiger tank, Carius eventually ordered his gunner to fire, claiming yet another victim in the cauldron of battle.
Together with Kerscher's tank, the two Tigers would eventually knock out a further 14 Russian tanks before calling it a day, breaking the back of the Russian onslaught without loss to his own troop.