Hobby Master HG3001 Russian Kliment Voroshilov KV-1E 'Ehkranami' Heavy Tank - "Crush the Fascist Vipers", 86th Tank Battalion, Leningrad Front, September 1941 (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
Design on the KV-1 heavy tank began in 1938, with the intention that it should be the successor to the T-35 heavy tank. The first models of the KV-1 were field-tested during the Red Army's disastrous 1940 campaign in Finland. Despite the military setback, the KV-1 set the standard for Soviet tank design for several years to come, regularly used to spearhead breakthroughs or accompany infantry on the assault. While it was certainly a formidable vehicle, the KV-1 was not particularly mobile, routinely suffering from a number of automotive problems. It was also uparmored progressively without any concomittant changes made to the power plant, which resulted in a poor power-to-weight ratio and continual degradation in performance. Nevertheless, many historians view the KV series as an important achievement for the Russian military-industrial complex because it paved the way for more successful designs, including the "Josef Stalin" tanks.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale Russian Kliment Voroshilov KV-1E 'Ehkranami' heavy tank that is bearing the slogan "Crush the Fascist Vipers" on its turret sides and was attached to the 86th Tank Battalion, then deployed to the Leningrad Front during September 1941.
Length: 3.5 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: May 2007
Historical Account: "Grey Skies Nearing" - Throughout the months of September and October 1942, bitter fighting raged in Stalingrad. The battle had now devolved into savage street by street and house by house fighting. The Soviet Red Army fought and died for every inch of the city suffering intolerable losses in the process. As a result, the 62nd Army, commanded by General Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov, was holding on by a thin thread. The Germans had taken 80% of the city and were pushing the Red Army to the Volga River. Nevertheless, the 62nd Army held the German advance in check at Stalingrad.
During this time, Marshal Zhukov and General Vasilevsky devised a brilliant plan called Operation Uranus. They saw that the German's flanks were protected by weak Axis forces, which the Red Army could overpower with fresh units held in reserve. The Red Army secretly began to mobilize one million troops, 14,000 heavy guns, 979 tanks, and 1,350 aircraft to attack the German's flanks.
On November 19th, Soviet forces from the Southwestern Front and Don Front attacked Romanian, Italian, and Hungarian positions defending the overstretched flanks. The front collapsed as fast moving Soviet troops began encircling German Army Group B from the north and south. This created a panic among the German soldiers, trying frantically to break out of the encirclement. Within four days, the two Soviet armies met 60 miles west of Stalingrad, deep within the rear of the Axis advance. The German 6th and 4th Panzer Armies were completely surrounded, a total of 330,000 men trapped within Stalin's namesake city. The Armies tried to break out but failed. The only alternative was to have supplies airlifted from German held territory into Stalingrad and wait for the siege to be lifted by troops that would never come.