Dragon DRA60470 US M4A3E8 (76W) HVSS Sherman Medium Tank - 8th Infantry Tank Company, 24th Infantry Division, Han River, Korea, 1951 [60th Anniversary of the Korean War] (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 Korean War was fought between June 25th, 1950 and July 27th, 1953, when a shaky ceasefire was signed. This bloody conflagration came hot on the heels of WWII, and it essentially pitted Western countries against communism. Unsurprisingly, the USA employed equipment that dated back to WWII usage. One such 'legacy' tank commonly employed during the Korean War was the M4A3E8 Sherman, often referred to as 'Easy Eight' thanks to its E8 nomenclature. It was distinguished by its Horizontal Volute Spring System (HVSS) and wider tracks. The stronger suspension allowed thicker armor, and it was also armed with a long-barreled 76mm M1A1 gun. The M4A3E8 entered combat in December 1944, and there were still plenty around to fight North Korean and Chinese forces more than five years later.
Following in the tracks of Dragon Armor's first ever 1/72 scale Korean War vehicle comes another tank from this protracted and bloody conflict. Again the vehicle is an M4A3E8 Sherman with improved Horizontal Volute Spring System (HVSS) suspension and wider tracks. This model also has the long-barreled 76mm M1A1 gun, depicting the most common Sherman variant to see combat during the Korean War. The actual tank depicted is from the 5th Infantry Tank Company of the 24th Infantry Division. This particular division was the first US Army formation dispatched after war broke out on the Korean Peninsular. Deployed from Japan, it spent the first 18 months in heavy combat with North Korean troops.
What sets this particular model apart is the colorful set of markings, with the viewer's eye immediately drawn to the striking 'tiger' markings on the nose, turret and hull sides. These markings were applied for Operations Killer and Ripper in February-March 1951, operations that were part of a big push to recapture Seoul and decimate enemy forces. This was the fourth time Seoul had been conquered within the space of a year. The markings applied to tanks were supposed to inspire friendly troops and intimidate superstitious North Korean soldiers who held the tiger in awe! Whether they achieved their purpose is debatable, but they certainly contribute to a dramatic model, as illustrated in this Dragon Armor item. The tiger markings are accurately reproduced in full on this fully built-up model tank, and the detail and well-crafted finish will certainly have collectors purring with contentment! Now in stock!
Length: 3.25 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: May 2011
Historical Account: "Chinese Intervention" - On November 25th, 1951, the Chinese entered the war in defense of North Korea. The People's Liberation Army force, which totaled 260,000 troops, flooded into North Korea and caught the Eighth Army by surprise. Chinese forces crushed the UN and South Korean forces with overwhelming numbers, surrounding and destroying elements of the US 2nd Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Division, and South Korean forces. The 24th Infantry Division, on the west coast of the Korean peninsula, was hit by soldiers from the 50th and 66th Chinese field armies. Amid heavy casualties, the Eighth Army retreated to the Imjin River, south of the 38th parallel, having been devastated by the overwhelming Chinese force.
On January 1st, 1951, 500,000 Chinese troops attacked the Eighth Army's line at the Imjin River, forcing it back 50 miles and allowing the Chinese to capture Seoul. The 24th Infantry Division was then reassigned to IX Corps to replace the 2nd and 25th Infantry Divisions, which had been placed in reserve due to heavy losses. The Chinese eventually advanced too far for their supply lines to adequately support them, and their attack stalled.