Hobby Master HG4405 US LVT(A)-1 Amtank Amphibious Vehicle with Diorama Base - "Blockbuster", Rhine River, March 22nd, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"Through the travail of the ages, midst the pomp and toil of war, have I fought and strove and perished, countless times upon this star ."
- General George S. Patton, excerpted from, "Through a Glass, Darkly"
The Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) was a class of amphibious vehicles introduced by the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Army during World War II. Originally intended solely as cargo carriers for ship to shore operations, they rapidly evolved into assault troop and fire support vehicles as well. The types were all widely known as amphtrack, amtrak, amtrac etc., a portmanteau of amphibious tractor.
After much deliberation, it was determined that amphibious tracked vehicles were the only solution to this problem. Both the amtrac and the amtank were developed, designed to be able to climb onto a reef from the sea then advance across the rough coral to the beach without exposing the troops inside to small arms fire. The amtracs were responsible for transporting troops ashore where they could continue the assault. The amtanks, on the hand, led the way, firing at the enemy positions the moment naval gunfire and air strikes lifted.
Based on the LVT-2, the LVT(A)-1 fire support version had an armored (6 to 12 mm) hull. It was fitted with a turret nearly identical to that of the Light Tank M3, with a 37 mm Gun M6 in an M44 mount, and also carried two rear-mounted machine guns. 510 units produced.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale US Army LVT(A)-1 amtank amphibious vehicle dubiously known as -"Blockbuster", which comes with a diorama base. Now in stock!
Length: 4-1/4 inches
Width: 1-3/4 inches
Release Date: January 2012
Historical Account: "Race for the Rhine" - On March 22nd, 1945, with a bright moon lighting the late-night sky, elements of the U.S. XII Corps′ 5th Infantry Division began the 3rd Army′s Rhine crossing. At Nierstein assault troops met no resistance. As the first boats reached the east bank, seven startled Germans surrendered and then paddled themselves unescorted to the west bank to be placed in custody. Upstream at Oppenheim, however, the effort did not proceed so casually. The first wave of boats was halfway across when the Germans began pouring machine-gun fire into their midst. An intense exchange of fire lasted for about thirty minutes as assault boats kept pushing across the river and those men who had already made it across mounted attacks against the scattered defensive strongpoints. Finally the Germans surrendered, and by midnight units moved out laterally to consolidate the crossing sites and to attack the first villages beyond the river. German resistance everywhere was sporadic, and the hastily mounted counterattacks invariably burned out quickly, causing few casualties. The Germans lacked both the manpower and the heavy equipment to make a more determined defense.
By midafternoon on March 23rd, all three regiments of the 5th Infantry Division were in the bridgehead, and an attached regiment from the 90th Infantry Division was crossing. Tanks and tank destroyers had been ferried across all morning, and by evening a treadway bridge was open to traffic. By midnight, infantry units had pushed the boundary of the bridgehead more than 5 mi (8.0 km) inland, ensuring the unqualified success of the first modern assault crossing of the Rhine.
Two more 3rd Army crossingsboth by the VIII Corpsquickly followed. In the early morning hours of March 25th, elements of the 87th Infantry Division crossed the Rhine to the north at Boppard, and then some 24 hours later elements of the 89th Infantry Division crossed 8 mi (13 km) south of Boppard at St. Goar. Although the defense of these sites was somewhat more determined than that the XII Corps had faced, the difficulties of the Boppard and St. Goar crossings were compounded more by terrain than by German resistance. The VIII Corps crossing sites were located along the Rhine Gorge, where the river had carved a deep chasm between two mountain ranges, creating precipitous canyon walls over 300 ft (91 m) high on both sides. In addition, the river flowed quickly and with unpredictable currents along this part of its course. Still, despite the terrain and enemy machine-gun and 20 mm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft cannon fire, VIII Corps troops managed to gain control of the east bank′s heights, and by dark on 26 March, with German resistance crumbling all along the Rhine, they were preparing to continue the drive the next morning.