Dragon DRR60080 German Early Production Sd. Kfz. 165 Hummel Self-Propelled Howitzer - PanzerArtillerie Regiment 73, 1.Panzer Division, Greece, Summer 1943 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
To provide armored units with artillery support on an armored fully-tracked chassis, the Waffenamt (Ordnance Department) had proposed that the 10.5cm leFH cannon be mounted on the PzKpfw III and IV chassis. On July 25th, 1942, it was decided to mount the larger 15cm sFH gun on the PzKpfw III and IV chassis, since the PzKpfw II chassis was acceptable as a mount for the leFH cannon. Alkett was entrusted with the development of the vehicle, and subsequently presented a prototype to Hitler in October 1943. The Hummel ("Bumble-Bee") was to be a mere 'Zwischenlosung' (interim solution) until a chassis designed specifically as a self-propelled gun platform could be developed and mass produced. By May 12th 1943, 100 Hummel were to be built for use in the planned summer offensive against the Red Army, code-named Unternehmen Zitadelle (Operation Citadel). Besides the Hummel, 157 Munitions Fahrzeuge (ammunition carriers) were produced to provide ammunition for the Hummel batteries.
Pictured here is an early production German Sd. Kfz. 165 Hummel self-propelled heavy howitzer that was attached to the
PzArtRgt 73, 1. Panzer Division, which saw action in Greece during the summer of 1943. Sold Out!
Release Date: December 2006
Historcial Account: "With a Single, Solitary Voice" - On April 6th, 1941, the German Army invaded northern Greece (Operation Marita), while other elements launched an attack against Yugoslavia. The British and Greek forces operating in the region were unable to present a cohesive front because of poor communication between their respective commands.
The Greeks had been insistent on fighting their battle along the Metaxas Line, a massive line of fortifications that had been built along the Bulgarian border in the late 1930s. This course of action was expected to take advantage of the naturally difficult terrain and the prepared fortifications, while protecting the strategically important port of Thessalonica. However, it disregarded the fact that the forces and equipment available were only adequate for a token resistance, and that the Metaxas Line was vulnerable to flanking through the Vardar Valley, if the neutrality of Yugoslavia was violated. Obsessed with the rivalry against Bulgaria, and being on traditionally good terms with the Yugoslavs, the Greeks had left the Yugoslav border largely undefended.
By contrast, the British preferred to create a main line of resistance along the Kleidi line, running on a roughly southeast direction from the town of Edessa to the delta of the Vardar River. The advantage of this course of action was that it required fewer forces, and that more time would be available for preparing the position. However, it also involved abandoning nearly the whole of Northern Greece, which was unacceptable to the Greeks for political and psychological reasons. Moreover, the left flank of this line too was susceptible to flanking from Germans operating through the Monastir gap in Yugoslavia.
The product of this disagreement was that eventually two distinct lines of resistance were set up, one along the Metaxas Line and one along the Kleidi line, both of which were undermanned. Predictably, both were easily overrun by the Germans, despite occasional acts of heroism.