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The Drive on Stalingrad (June 1942 - February 1943)

The Drive on Stalingrad (June 1942 - February 1943)

Case Blue (German: Fall Blau) was the German code name used by the German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) for its 1942 strategic summer offensive in southern Russia that lasted between June 28th and August 19th, 1942.

The offensive was so named because German military plans were "cases", or solutions to problems. The operation was a continuation of Unternehmen Barbarossa (Operation Barbarossa) and, in this case, Army Group South (Heeresgruppe Sud) of the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) was sub-divided into Army Groups A and B (Heeresgruppe A and B). The German offensive faced two problems: the continued resistance of the Red Army which now occupied a defensive position west of the Volga river (a significant logistic waterway), and the demand by German dictator Adolf Hitler for securing the Caucasus oil fields.

The operation plan was challenging for the German army groups in that they were required to achieve two goals, in poorly developed area of operations thousands of kilometers from Germany and facing five Soviet Fronts (similar to a German army group). These fronts, from north to south, were: Voronezh, Southwestern, Don, Stalingrad and Transcaucasian. The Baku oil fields had to be reached by crossing the Caucasus mountains.

Initially the German offensive met with spectacular gains. However, the Red Army defeated the German Army at Stalingrad following operations Uranus and Little Saturn. This defeat forced the Axis to retreat from the Caucasus for fear of being trapped themselves. Only Voronezh remained tentatively occupied by Axis troops.

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Soviet M17 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage - Winter Camouflage Soviet M17 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage - Winter Camouflage (1:72 Scale)

First deployed during the end of WWII and then again in the Korean War, the Maxom quadruple .50 caliber AA machine gun mount was called "Meat Chopper" because of its impressive firepower when used against human wave attacks.

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German Sd. Kfz. 142 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. F/8 Assault Gun - StuG Abt. 191, Stalingrad, September 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 142 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. F/8 Assault Gun - StuG Abt. 191, Stalingrad, September 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Five prototype assault guns were built in 1937, mounting the same short-barreled 75mm L/24 howitzer fitted to the PzKpfw IV in a limited traverse mounting on the modified chassis of the PzKpfw III Ausf. B. Constructed of soft steel, these vehicles of the "O" series were unsuitable for combat but helped towards the development of the initial production version, the StuG III Ausf. A.

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Soviet T-34/76 Mod. 1942 Tank - 4th Guards Armored Corps, Moscow Collective Farm, Russia, Winter 1942 Soviet T-34/76 Mod. 1942 Tank - 4th Guards Armored Corps, "Moscow Collective Farm", Russia, Winter 1942 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Steyr 1500/A01 with 2cm FlaK 38 Gun - Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland, Poltawa, Russia, 1943 German Steyr 1500/A01 with 2cm FlaK 38 Gun - Panzer Grenadier Division 'Grossdeutschland', Poltawa, Russia, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

In August 1943, Steyr-Werke indicated to the Waffenamt the possibility of using the RSO as a self-propelled carriage for the PaK40 gun. As a result, a Test Series of fifty was ordered on September 30th, 1943, to be ready within one month. Hitler saw a demonstration of this vehicle early in October, and the fifty were sent for troop trials with Army Group South.

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Soviet BM-13 Katyusha Mobile Rocket Launcher - Stalingrad, 1942 Soviet BM-13 Katyusha Mobile Rocket Launcher - Stalingrad, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Katyusha multiple rocket launchers are a type of rocket artillery first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War II. Multiple rocket launchers such as these deliver a devastating amount of explosives to a target area more quickly than conventional artillery, but with lower accuracy and requiring a longer time to reload.

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German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H Tank Destroyer with PaK36 Anti-Tank Gun - Panzerjager Abteilung 42, 7.Panzer Division, Russia, 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H Tank Destroyer with PaK36 Anti-Tank Gun - Panzerjager Abteilung 42, 7.Panzer Division, Russia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Originally designated the Panzerselbstfahrlafette 2 x 7.62 cm PaK 36, Hitler changed its name to Marder III on February 27th, 1944. Production started on March 24th, 1942 at the Bahmisch-Mahrische Maschinenfabrik AG factory in Prague.

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Soviet Su-122 Assault Gun - 'Red 908', Unidentified Unit, Wolchov Front, Winter 1942-43 Soviet Su-122 Assault Gun - "Red 908", Unidentified Unit, Wolchov Front, Winter 1942-'43 (1:72 Scale)

The Su-122 was an assault gun which used the hull of the T-34 tank and was the result of an April 1942 specification for assault guns aimed with guns of 122mm caliber or higher. The Su-122 was designed by the Uralsky Machine Building factory (UZTM). The first production SU-122s were built at the end of 1942, with a total of 25 vehicles being built.

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German Dicker Max 105mm Tank Destroyer - Panzerjager Abteilung 521, Stalingrad, Russia, 1942 German Dicker Max 105mm Tank Destroyer - Panzerjager Abteilung 521, Stalingrad, Russia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The 10.5 cm K gepanzerte Selbstfahrlafette ("10.5 gun on armored self-propelled mount") was a prototype self-propelled gun used by Nazi Germany during World War II.

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German Sd. Kfz. 142 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. C/D Assault Gun - Russia, Winter 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 142 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. C/D Assault Gun - Russia, Winter 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Five prototype assault guns were built in 1937, mounting the same short-barreled 75mm L/24 howitzer fitted to the PzKpfw IV in a limited traverse mounting on the modified chassis of the PzKpfw III Ausf. B. Constructed of soft steel, these vehicles of the "O" series were unsuitable for combat but helped towards the development of the initial production version, the StuG III Ausf. A.

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German Sd. Kfz. 142 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. E Assault Gun - Sturmgeschutz Abteilung 249, Russia, 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 142 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. E Assault Gun - Sturmgeschutz Abteilung 249, Russia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Five prototype assault guns were built in 1937, mounting the same short-barreled 75mm L/24 howitzer fitted to the PzKpfw IV in a limited traverse mounting on the modified chassis of the PzKpfw III Ausf. B. Constructed of soft steel, these vehicles of the "O" series were unsuitable for combat but helped towards the development of the initial production version, the StuG III Ausf. A.

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Captured German Kliment Voroshilov KV-1B Heavy Tank Captured German Kliment Voroshilov KV-1B Heavy Tank (1:72 Scale)

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.

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Soviet Kliment Voroshilov KV-1 Model 1941 Heavy Tank - Besposhadniy (Merciless), 12th Tank Regiment, 1st Moscow Motor Rifle Division, Western Front, August 1942 Soviet Kliment Voroshilov KV-1 Model 1941 Heavy Tank - "Besposhadniy" (Merciless), 12th Tank Regiment, 1st Moscow Motor Rifle Division, Western Front, August 1942 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Sd. Kfz. 251/2 Ausf. C Half-Track - Rivetted Version, Eastern Front, 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 251/2 Ausf. C Half-Track - Rivetted Version, Eastern Front, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Sonderkraftfahrzeug (Sd. Kfz.) 251 half-track had its origins in the same requirement as the smaller and lighter Sd. Kfz. 250. Intended as an armored personnel carrier, the Sd. Kfz. 251 entered service in 1939, and quickly became the standard means of transport for the panzergrenadiers.

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German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H Tank Destroyer with PaK36 Anti-Tank Gun - Panzerjager Abteilung 19, 19.Panzer Division, Russia, 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H Tank Destroyer with PaK36 Anti-Tank Gun - Panzerjager Abteilung 19, 19.Panzer Division, Russia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Originally designated the Panzerselbstfahrlafette 2 x 7.62 cm PaK 36, Hitler changed its name to Marder III on February 27th, 1944. Production started on March 24th, 1942 at the Bahmisch-Mahrische Maschinenfabrik AG factory in Prague.

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German Sd. Kfz. 251/7 Half Track w/2.8cm sPzB41 Anti-Tank Gun - Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 251/7 Half Track w/2.8cm sPzB41 Anti-Tank Gun - Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The Sonderkraftfahrzeug (Sd. Kfz.) 251 half-track had its origins in the same requirement as the smaller and lighter Sd. Kfz. 250. Intended as an armored personnel carrier, the Sd. Kfz. 251 entered service in 1939, and quickly became the standard means of transport for the panzergrenadiers.

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German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H Tank Destroyer with PaK36 Anti-Tank Gun - Panzerjager Abteilung 42, 7.Panzer Division, Russia, 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H Tank Destroyer with PaK36 Anti-Tank Gun - Panzerjager Abteilung 42, 7.Panzer Division, Russia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Originally designated the Panzerselbstfahrlafette 2 x 7.62 cm PaK 36, Hitler changed its name to Marder III on February 27th, 1944. Production started on March 24th, 1942 at the Bahmisch-Mahrische Maschinenfabrik AG factory in Prague.

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German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. F Light Tank - 6.Panzer Division, Stalingrad, Russia, 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. F Light Tank - 6.Panzer Division, Stalingrad, Russia, 1942 (1:43 Scale)

Originally identified as the '2cm MG Panzerwagen', the PzKpfw II light tank was designed to supplement the PzKpfw I by providing an automatic weapon capable of firing both a high explosive round and an armor piercing round.

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German Steyr RSO/01 Crawling Tractor - Luftwaffe Feld Division, Eastern Front, 1943 German Steyr RSO/01 Crawling Tractor - Luftwaffe Feld Division, Eastern Front, 1943 (1:43 Scale)

Raupenschlepper Ost, literally "Crawling Tractor - East", is more commonly abbreviated to RSO. This fully tracked, lightweight vehicle was conceived in response to the poor performance of wheeled and half-tracked vehicles in the mud and snow during the Wehrmacht's first winter on the Soviet Front.

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Soviet T-40 Amphibious Scout Tank - Stalingrad, 1942 Soviet T-40 Amphibious Scout Tank - Stalingrad, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The T-40 amphibious scout tank was an amphibious light tank used by the Soviet Union during World War II.

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German Dicker Max 105mm Tank Destroyer - Panzerjager Abteilung 521, Stalingrad, Russia, September 1942 German Dicker Max 105mm Tank Destroyer - Panzerjager Abteilung 521, Stalingrad, Russia, September 1942 (1:43 Scale)

The 10.5 cm K gepanzerte Selbstfahrlafette ("10.5 gun on armored self-propelled mount") was a prototype self-propelled gun used by Nazi Germany during World War II. Although it was originally designed as a Schartenbrecher ("bunker buster") for use against the French Maginot Line defenses following the defeat of France it was used as a tank destroyer on the Eastern Front.

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German Initial Production Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. H1 Heavy Tank - 100, schwere Panzer Abteilung 502, Mishkino, Russia, 1942 German Initial Production Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. H1 Heavy Tank - '100', schwere Panzer Abteilung 502, Mishkino, Russia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Sd. Kfz. 161 PzKpfw IV Ausf. F1(F) Medium Tank - Panzer Regiment 31, 5.Panzer Division, Russia, 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 161 PzKpfw IV Ausf. F1(F) Medium Tank - Panzer Regiment 31, 5.Panzer Division, Eastern Front, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Just one month prior to the commencement of "Operation Typhoon" (the German assault on Moscow) the Waffenamt was scheduled to begin installing the long-barreled 7.5cm KwK gun on its new Mark IV Ausf G tanks.

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German 88mm Flak 36/37 Anti-Aircraft Gun - Unidentified Unit, Stalingrad, 1942 German 88mm Flak 36/37 Anti-Aircraft Gun - Unidentified Unit, Stalingrad, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Originally developed as an anti-aircraft gun, the 8.8cm FLugzeugAbwehrKanone ("Flak") was first employed in the anti-tank gun role in 1936, when the German Condor Legion was testing out its equipment during the Spanish Civil War.

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German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H Tank Destroyer with PaK36 Anti-Tank Gun - Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1943 German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H Tank Destroyer with PaK36 Anti-Tank Gun - Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

Originally designated the Panzerselbstfahrlafette 2 x 7.62 cm PaK 36, Hitler changed its name to Marder III on February 27th, 1944. Production started on March 24th, 1942 at the Bahmisch-Mahrische Maschinenfabrik AG factory in Prague.

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German 88mm Flak 36/37 Anti-Aircraft Gun - Unidentified Unit, Stalingrad, Russia, 1942 German 88mm Flak 36/37 Anti-Aircraft Gun - Unidentified Unit, Stalingrad, Russia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Originally developed as an anti-aircraft gun, the 8.8cm FLugzeugAbwehrKanone ("Flak") was first employed in the anti-tank gun role in 1936, when the German Condor Legion was testing out its equipment during the Spanish Civil War.

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German Early Production Sd. Kfz. 171 PzKpfw V Panther Ausf. G Medium Tank with Side Skirts and Zimmerit - Oblt. Ernst von Bauer, 8.Panzer Kompanie, Eastern Front, Autumn 1944 [Black Knight] German Early Production Sd. Kfz. 171 PzKpfw V Panther Ausf. G Medium Tank with Side Skirts and Zimmerit - Oblt. Ernst von Bauer, 8.Panzer Kompanie, Eastern Front, Autumn 1944 [Black Knight] (1:72 Scale)

In many respects, the Panther tank was viewed as the finest armored fighting vehicle of the Second World War. Based in large part upon the Soviet's highly successful T-34 medium tank, the PzKpfw V Ausfuhrung G was built by several manufacturers including MAN, Daimler-Benz and MNH.

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German Panzerkampfwagen VI(P) Heavy Command Tank - Hauptmann Grillenberg, schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, Eastern Front, 1942 German Panzerkampfwagen VI(P) Heavy Command Tank - Hauptmann Grillenberg, schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, Eastern Front, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

As part of a German competition for a new heavy tank, the Tiger (P) was produced by Porsche. The first prototype was ready for viewing by the Fuhrer in April 1942, with initial testing taking place in June. Porsche's design featured a forward-mounted turret that possessed an 8.8cm Flak 36 gun.

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German Early Production Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. E Heavy Tank - Tactical No. 3, schwere Panzer Abteilung 502, Mishkino, Russia, 1943 German Early Production Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. E Heavy Tank - Tactical No. 3, schwere Panzer Abteilung 502, Mishkino, Russia, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Steyr Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO) with Pak 40 Anti-Tank Gun - 8.Panzer Division, Eastern Front, 1942 German Steyr Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO) with Pak 40 Anti-Tank Gun - 8.Panzer Division, Eastern Front, 1942 (1:43 Scale)

Raupenschlepper Ost, literally "Crawling Tractor - East", is more commonly abbreviated to RSO. This fully tracked, lightweight vehicle was conceived in response to the poor performance of wheeled and half-tracked vehicles in the mud and snow during the Wehrmacht's first winter on the Soviet Front.

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German Sd. Kfz. 161 PzKpfw IV Ausf. F1(F) Medium Tank - Panzer Division Grossdeutschland, Eastern Front, 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 161 PzKpfw IV Ausf. F1(F) Medium Tank - Panzer Division Grossdeutschland, Eastern Front, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Just one month prior to the commencement of "Operation Typhoon" (the German assault on Moscow) the Waffenamt was scheduled to begin installing the long-barreled 7.5cm KwK gun on its new Mark IV Ausf G tanks.

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