Dragon DRA60474 Russian T-34/76 Mod. 1941 Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, Leningrad, 1942-'43 (1:72 Scale)
"We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down."
- Adolf Hitler, commenting on the imminent German invasion of Russia in 1941
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.
Dragon Armor's newest 1/72 scale miniature vehicle portrays one of the defenders of Leningrad in the 1942-'43 period. The tank is of the type discussed above. Although the unit the tank belongs to hasnt been identified, it carries a most distinctive camouflage scheme. The base green paint is over-painted in white bands and spots designed to help it blend into the background during winter fighting. This paint scheme has been realistically applied. For modelers seeking a model of the famous Russian T-34, this Mod.1941 variant is an outstanding specimen! Now in stock!
Length: 3.5 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: December 2011
Historical Account: "The Longest Siege" - The Defense of Leningrad encompassed an area of some 450 km and involved 517,000 men. The actual battle began on July 10, 1941 and lasted over three years. The Germans, along with the Finnish army, attacked with 38 divisions and were opposed by Soviet units of the Northern and Northwestern Front. On July 10th, the Russian State Committee for Defense combined the two Russian Fronts, forming the Northwest Axis. Immediately, the Northwest Axis fortified the Krasnogvardeisk and Slutsk- Kolpino regions outside the city.
The first phase of the battle lasted from July 10th to late September. Although outmatched, the Russian defenders held their positions. Fighting was continuous through August 8 when the enemy attacked Krasnogvardeisk and broke through to the outskirts of Leningrad. Once again, however, the heart and pride of the Russians held off the Germans. On August 30th, the Germans managed to seize the nearby railroads, which cut Leningrad off from the rest of Russia. By September 8th, the only means of aid available were by air drops or by crossing Lake Ladoga.
Between November 1941 and October 1942 during the seige of Leningrad, 641,803 people died of starvation. Because of the shortages in food and supplies an offensive to break the blockade was impossible. Fortunately, a successful Russian counteroffensive at Stalingrad drained the enemy of resources needed to carry out a new attack on Leningrad that was being planned. Though the Germans would never take Leningrad the defense of the city would be one of the costliest for Russia in the war. Finally, in November 1942, the Soviet of Working People's Deputies laid a roadway across the frozen Lake Ladoga, enabling supplies to be brought in and the evacuation of over 550,000 people. At this point in the war, the Russians were in a favorable position to begin launching huge offensives to push the Germans back.