Hobby Master HG3606 US M24 Chaffee Light Tank - 18th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Group, Petit Tiers, Belgium, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"The only way you can win a war is to attack and keep on attacking, and after you have done that, keep attacking some more."
- General George S. Patton Jr., January 1945
The M24 Chaffee - arguably the best light tank of World War II - was a fast, lightly armored vehicle with the ability to deliver relatively large caliber direct fire thanks to its excellent 75 mm M6 gun. More than 4,000 vehicles were produced by Cadillac and Massey-Harris from 1943-45. The first vehicles reached Europe in late 1944, where they proved very effective and highly reliable. At the outset of the Korean War, however, American forces equipped with the M24 Chaffees performed poorly against the enemy's T-34/85s, and these US units were soon augmented with M26 Pershings and M46 Pattons, along with M4A3E8 Shermans armed with the long 76mm gun. The Chaffee remained in American service until 1953, at which time it was eventually replaced by the M41 Bulldog.
After 1945 the M24 Chaffee was used by many American allies. The French army used them in Indo-China, including at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Though obsolete by the mid-1960's, it remains in service in some client nations.
This particular 1:72 scale tank comes in a winter camouflage pattern and was attached to the 18th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Group, then deployed to Petit Tiers, Belgium, during early 1945. Sold Out!
Length: 4 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: August 2009
Historical Account: "Erasing the Bulge" - While the German offensive had ground to a halt, they still controlled a dangerous salient in the Allied line. Patton's Third Army in the south, centered around Bastogne, would attack north, Montgomery's forces in the north would strike south, and the two forces planned to meet at Houffalize.
The temperature during January 1945 was unseasonably low. Trucks had to be run every half hour or the oil in them would freeze, and weapons would freeze. The offensive went forward regardless.
Eisenhower wanted Montgomery to go on the offensive on January 1st, with the aim of meeting up with Patton's advancing Third Army and cutting off most of the attacking Germans, trapping them in a pocket. However, refusing to risk underprepared infantry in a snowstorm for a strategically unimportant area, Montgomery did not launch the attack until January 3rd, by which time substantial numbers of German troops had already managed to successfully disengage, albeit with the loss of their heavy equipment.
At the start of the offensive, the two armies were separated by about 25 miles (40 km). American progress in the south was also restricted to about a kilometer a day. The majority of the German force executed a successful fighting withdrawal and escaped the battle area, although the fuel situation had become so dire that most of the German armor had to be abandoned. On January 7th, 1945, Hitler agreed to withdraw forces from the Ardennes, including the SS panzer divisions, thus ending all offensive operations.