Merit MIL86002 Russian T-34/85 Medium Tank - Kurland, Eastern Front, 1944 (1:16 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
After the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943, panic began to spread in the ranks of Soviet tank units. They had met the German Panther for the first time on the field of battle, and the mighty Tiger I was being encountered in increasing numbers. The Soviets desperately needed a tank with a 'longer arm' so-to-speak, and the solution offered up by a crash development program was a T-34 with a larger turret and a larger gun. This new tank was known as the T-34/85, which featured an 85mm anti-tank gun (derived from an anti-aircraft gun of the same caliber) mounted in a larger three-man turret. This more powerful tank entered service from March 1944 onwards and it was an immediate 'hit' since it could now stand toe-to-toe with the more powerful tanks being fielded by the Wehrmacht.
Pictured here is a 1:16 scale replica of a Russian T-34/85 medium tank that saw action on the Eastern Front during 1944.
Note: Due to the immense size and weight of this item, it does not qualify for the free UPS ground shipping discount. Special Order!
Length: 25 inches
Width: 9 inches
Height: 7.5 inches
Release Date: December 2011
Historical Account: "The Pocket" - The Courland Pocket referred to the Red Army's blockade or encirclement of Axis forces on the Courland peninsula during the closing months of World War II. Its commander was General Bagramyan (later Marshal Bagramyan).
The pocket was created during the Red Army's Baltic Strategic Offensive Operation, when forces of the 1st Baltic Front reached the Baltic Sea near Memel during its lesser Memel Offensive Operation phases. This action isolated the German Army Group North (German: Heeresgruppe Nord) from the rest of the German forces between Tukums and Liepāja in Latvia. Renamed Army Group Courland (German: Heeresgruppe Kurland) on January 25th, the Army Group remained isolated until the end of the war. When they were ordered to surrender to the Soviet command on May 8th, they were in "blackout" and did not get the official order before May 10th, two days after the capitulation of Germany. It was one of the last German groups to surrender in Europe.