Forces of Valor FOV801065A German Sd. Kfz. 186 Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger Heavy Tank Destroyer with Porsche Suspension - "314", 3.Kompanie, schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, Germany, March 1945 [Bonus Maybach V-12 HL 230 P30 Engine] (1:32 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!"
Early in 1943, orders were given to design a heavy, self-propelled anti-tank gun, which would mate a 12.8cm gun with a Tiger II chassis. On October 20th, 1943 a wooden mock-up of the enormous vehicle was shown to the OKH planners who authorized that a prototype be finished by April 1944. Two Jagdtigers were built with the Porsche-designed longitudinal torsion-bar suspension. During field testing, this arrangement proved entirely unsatisfactory, which further delayed production of the tank destroyer. The initial series was set at 150 vehicles, but an order issued in October 1944 stipulated that when these had been completed, production capacity was to be switched over to the Panther. This mandate was reversed in January 1945, and assembly of the Jagdtiger was to be resumed as fast as possible. By March 1945, only 77 examples were produced, all assigned to either Panzerjagerabteilung 653 or schwere Panzerabteilung 512.
Pictured here is a 1:32 scale replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 186 Jagdpanzer IV Jagdtiger heavy tank destroyer with a Porsche suspension that was attached to 3.Kompanie, schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, then deployed to Germany during March 1945. Comes with a bonus Maybach V-12 HL 230 P30 engine.
Pre-order! Ship Date: September 2020.
Release Date: ?
Historical Account: "In Defense of the Reich" - Formed on April 1st, 1943, after first being designated the 197th Sturmgeschutz Battalion, Schwere Panzerjager-Abteilung 653 (653 Heavy Panzerjager Battalion) was a specially created tank destroyer unit of the Wehrmacht designed to take on some of the larger and more destructive allied armor being fielded by both the western and eastern Allied powers. It was originally equipped with the Ferdinand and later the more capable Jagdtiger tank destroyer, perhaps the most powerful anti-tank gun of the Second World War. Elements of the battalion served on the Eastern, Western, and Italian fronts between 1943 and 1945, thereby making it one of the most traveled, and dare we say, deadliest units in the German army.
After bitter fighting in the east, the 3rd Company of Schwere Panzerjager-Abteilung 653, returned west to rejoin the 1st Company, which had withdrawn to Vienna with only four operational Elefants. In September, both companies were issued with newly-fielded Jagdtiger heavy tank destroyers. The Jagdtiger was the heaviest armored fighting vehicle produced during the war, mounting a 128 mm main gun inside a 72-tonne chassis. However, it was severely underpowered, having been equipped with an engine (Maybach HL230) originally designed for the 57-tonne Tiger I and which had already been found significantly inadequate even for that vehicle. It was only produced in very small numbers - around 80 were ever built - and the few manufactured would only be issued to two units, the 653rd and the 512th Heavy Panzerjager Battalion.
Once re-equipped, the battalion was again split up, with the 1st Company assigned to the 15th Army on the northern flank of the German Ardennes Offensive and the 3rd assigned to the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division Gotz von Berlichingen to the south, where it would fight in Operation Nordwind in January. By February, the two companies had reunited at Landau in the Palatinate, and by the end of the month, they were reinforced to a strength of 41 Jagdtigers. In April, it fell back to Austria, from where it was to receive new vehicles from the Nibelungenwerk Factory, and finally reached its conclusion in the war under the command of Army Group Ostmark near Linz.