Dragon DRA60499 US LVT-(A)1 Amtank Amphibious Vehicle - "Crazy Legs", 708th Amphibious Tank Battalion, "Yellow Beach Two", Saipan, Marianas Islands, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"I have always considered Saipan the decisive battle of the Pacific offensive (it was) the naval and military heart and brain of the Japanese defense strategy."
- Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith, Commander of the US Fleet Marine Force in the Pacific, July 1944
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.
Dragon Armor is offering a fully built-up 1/72 scale model of an LVT(A)-1. The vehicle is finely detailed, including the complicated suspension system. Details such as weld seams and a hollow gun muzzle are present. The pre-painted miniature is finished in a striking ocean gray shade, a color that unfortunately provided little camouflage when fighting on land. The models markings identify 'Crazy Legs' as coming from C Company of the 708th Amphibious Tank Battalion at the time of the Saipan landings. This US Army battalion with 68 LVTs was among the initial assault wave that landed there on June 15th, 1944. The two yellow stripes on the pontoon sides denote its designated landing area of 'Yellow Beach Two'. Sold Out!
Length: 4-1/4 inches
Width: 1-3/4 inches
Release Date: June 2011
Historical Account: "Stepping Stones" - The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from June 16th - July 9th, 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on June 5th, 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was launched. The U.S. 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith, defeated the 43rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito.