Dragon DRR60514 German Sd. Kfz. 223 Light Armored Car - 21.Panzer Division, Deutsches Afrika Korps, North Africa, 1941 (1:72 Scale)
"Rommel, you magnificent bastard. I read your book."
- George C. Scott playing the part of General George S. Patton, Jr. from the feature film "Patton"
To support its mobile concept of modern warfare, Germany introduced a wide range of tracked and wheeled armored vehicles. One wheeled family of vehicles introduced in 1936 included 4x4 armored cars known as the, which translates as Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle. Powered by a Horch engine, these vehicles were based on a Horch 801 heavy car chassis to which an armored body was added. Early in WWII it performed well enough as a reconnaissance vehicle for panzer divisions, although its off-road capability let it down. Dragon Armor is introducing a model from the Leichter Panzerspahwagen family - the Sd. Kfz. 222. It is armed with a 2cm KwK.30 L/55 cannon and MG34 machine gun in an open-top turret. A crew of three operated the Sd. Kfz. 222.
A radio car version, armed like the 221 with a 7.92 mm MG34 machine gun. Included additional radio equipment, and had a large "bed-frame" antenna over the vehicle. Over 500 of the Sd. Kfz 223 were produced.
The 1/72 scale Sd. Kfz. 223 is based upon the highly detailed plastic kit Dragon has released earlier. It may be diminutive in size, but this reconnaissance vehicle is brimming with details. The complex angled plates of the hull are accurately depicted, as is the distinctive frame antenna. Adding to the appeal of this Dragon Armor item is a set of jerry cans stowed on the vehicles nose to give it a longer range. The vehicle is finished in a desert sand camouflage pattern. This little armored car is the perfect vehicle to stay in touch with the other reconnaissance assets that collectors already have in their blitzkrieg forces!
Length: 2-1/2 inches
Width: 1-1/4 inches
Release Date: December 2011
Historical Account: "With the Fox" - The Afrika Korps was formed on February 19th, 1941, after the German Armed Forces High Command (OKW) had decided to send an expeditionary force to Libya to support the Italian army, which had been routed by an Allied counteroffensive, Operation Compass. The German expeditionary force, commanded by Erwin Rommel, at first consisted only of the 5.Panzer-Regiment and various other small units. These elements were organized into the 5.Leicht-Division when they arrived in Africa in February.
In the spring, the 5.Leicht-Division was joined by the 15.Panzer Division, though it did not arrive until Rommel had already re-taken most of Cyrenaica and gone back over to the defensive. At this time the
Afrika Korps consisted of the two divisions plus various smaller supporting units, and was officially subordinated to the Italian chain of command in Africa (though Rommel had conducted his offensive without any authorization).
On October 1st, 1941, the 5.Leicht-Division was redesignated as the 21.Panzer Division, although it was still attached to the
Afrika Korps. During the summer of 1941, the OKW invested more command structure in Africa by creating a new headquarters called Panzer Gruppe Afrika. On August 15th, Panzer Gruppe Afrika was formally activated with Rommel in charge, and command of the Afrika Korps was turned over to Ludwig Cruewell. The Panzer Gruppe controlled the Afrika Korps plus some additional German units that were sent to Africa, as well as two corps of Italian units. (A German "group" was approximately the equivalent of an army in other militaries, and in fact Panzer Gruppe Afrika was redesignated as Panzer Armee Afrika on January 30th, 1942.)