Dragon DRR60459 German RW61 Sturmtiger Rocket Assault Mortar with Loading Crane - Sturmmorser Kompanie 1001, Bonn Area, Germany, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"We must do everything we can to promote anti-tank defense, and work just as hard to guarantee successful counter-attacks through the instrument of powerful tank forces of our own."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
On August 5th, 1943, a self-propelled vehicle was proposed by senior Army officials based on the Tiger I chassis but mounting a 38cm mortar. Alkett was placed in charge of the design. The Company managed to complete a prototype by October 20th, which was run through a series of field tests for approval. Brandenburger Eisenwerke produced the superstructures and Alkett converted the Tiger I and completed the Sturmmorser at their Berlin-Spandau plant. The large mortar was an unusual design because it fired rocket-assisted ammunition and had vents in the gun tube wall to exhaust the propellant gasses forward. By December 1944, Alkett managed to convert 18 Tiger Is into Sturmmorsers.
Need a house demolished? Look no further than the German Sturmtiger! Theres nothing gentle about this vehicle also known as the 38cm RW61 auf Sturmmrser Tiger, for its huge 38cm mortar mounted on a robust Tiger I chassis was designed to destroy buildings and strong-points. Interestingly, the mortar fired rocket-assisted ammunition, with vents in the wall of the gun tube designed to exhaust the gases forward. The 38cm weapon had a creditable maximum range of 4,600m. The turret was replaced with a fixed casemate, and the whole vehicle weighed 65 tons.
Only 18 such Sturmtigers were converted by Alkett at its Berlin-Spandau plant from August to December 1944. They were mainly used in the defense of Germany, and this is the case with Dragon Armors latest 1/72 scale incarnation of the 38cm RW61 auf Sturmmrser Tiger. This Sturmtiger model is based on a vehicle from Sturm-Mrser-Kompanie 1001 that fought in the vicinity of Bonn in 1945. This unit was established on September 23rd, 1944, with its final engagement being on the east bank of the Rhine in early 1945 as German forces retreated. The accurately detailed model wears a three-color camouflage scheme of green and red-brown over a sand-yellow base. Interestingly, the lower parts of the model show traces of white, probably the last vestiges of a hastily applied coat of winter whitewash. The expertly painted and weathered model is fully detailed, and its sure to be a big hit with collectors of German armor!
Release Date: October 2011
Historical Account: "Breech Babies" - The Sturmtiger was intended to serve as a heavy infantry support vehicle, rendering assistance with attacks on heavily fortified or built-up areas. By the time the first Sturmtigers were available, however, the situation for Germany had changed for the worse, with the Wehrmacht being almost exclusively on the defensive rather than the offensive.
Three new Panzer companies were raised to operate the Sturmtiger: Panzer Sturmmrser Kompanien (PzStuMrKp) (Armored Assault Mortar Company) 1000, 1001 and 1002. These originally were supposed to be equipped with fourteen vehicles, but this figure was later reduced to four each, divided into two platoons.
PzStuMrKp 1000 was raised on August 13th, 1944, and fought during the Warsaw Uprising with two vehicles, as did the prototype in a separate action, which may have been the only time the Sturmtiger was used in its intended role. PzStuMrKp 1001 (commanded by captain von Gottberg) and 1002 (commanded by lieutenant Zippel) followed in September and October. Both PzStuMrKp 1000 and 1001 served during the Ardennes Offensive, with a total of seven Sturmtigers.
After this offensive, the Sturmtigers were used in the defence of Germany proper, mainly on the Western front.