Dragon DRR60325 German PzKpfw VIII Super Heavy Tank Maus with Testbed - "Testing at Kummersdorf" (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
In June 1942, Porsche of Stuttgart was ordered by Hitler to start designing a super heavy tank, mounting a 12.8cm gun, and having maximum possible armor. Trials were to commence in May 1943, however, many difficulties arose. For example, the air-cooled motor never materialized, and the V1 vehicle had to be fitted with a modified MB509 aircraft engine, the V2 with a MB517 diesel. The Porsche longitudinal torsion bar suspension had to be abandoned as there was insufficient space for the number of stations needed to carry the continually growing weight. Meanwhile, an order had been placed for a production series of 150, but in October 1943, that was cancelled. The V1 prototype was tested with a simulated turret in December 12943, and with a turret and armament in June 1944. The turretless V2 started tests in September 1944, but the engine was destroyed in an accident and was not replaced until April 1945. Both prototypes were eventually blown up at Kummersdorf.
This Dragon 1:72 scale model shows the V2 prototype undergoing testing at Kummersdorf with its impressive turret. It is beautifully painted and finished, and is set in an attractive diorama setting as it descends into a concrete water tank. Interestingly, the Soviets mated the V1 hull and V2 turret at the end of the war and took them back to the USSR for evaluation. This Maus can now be seen at the Kubinka Tank Museum. But for collectors, this Dragon model is a lot more convenient to display than the 188-ton original!
Release Date: July 2007
Historical Account: "The Maus Haus" - The development of the super heavy tank started as early as 1941, when Krupp began studying the Soviet super heavy tanks. In early 1942, Krupp produced designs of the Tiger-Maus (VK7001) and the PzKpfw VII Lowe (VK7201), but on March 6th, an order for an even heavier tank was placed. The Lowe never reached the prototype stage but paved the way for its successor's development. On March 22nd, Porsche received the contract for a new 100-ton Panzer known as VK10001 / Porsche Type 205. The contract later specified that new 100-ton tank must carry at least 100 rounds of ammunition. By personal demand of Adolf Hitler, the VK10001 was to be developed by both Professor Ferdinand Porsche and Dr. Muller (Krupp). He demanded that the 120-ton behemoth be "indestructible" and armed with high performance L/60 or L/72 gun.
The task of producing hulls, turrets and armament was given to Krupp, while Alkett was responsible for its assembly. First specifications indicated that the armament should consist of a 150mm L/40 gun and 20mm MG151/20 heavy machine gun, while usage of a 128mm L/50 was also considered, and that the prototype be made operational before the spring of 1943. On June 23rd, 1942, Porsche provided their design for an improved VK10001 armed with turret mounted 150mm L/37 and 105mm L/70 guns. Porsche promised that the first prototype would be ready by May 1943. In December 1942, other armaments including the 150mm gun, 127mm naval gun, 128mm Flak and the longest version of the 128mm gun were considered. The Waffenamt deemed that the first vehicle was to be ready during the summer of 1943, with production reaching five vehicles per month. The first official names were VK10001 and Porsche Type 205 ("Mammoth") were used in April 1942, followed by Maeuschen (Mousy) in December 1942 and Maus (Mouse) in February 1943. In January 1943, Hitler decided that the Maeuschen was to be fitted with turret mounted 128mm and 75mm guns, while a turret mounted with either the 150mm KwK 44 L/38 or 170mm KwK 44 gun was to be designed for future use. Specification for ammunition storage space were never met and decreased by further modifications.
On May 1st, 1943, a wooden mockup of the Maus was finally presented to Adolf Hitler, who agreed to its production and ordered a batch of 150 vehicles. On November 4th, 1943, further development of the Maus was ceased and only one specimen was completed for evaluation. In October 1943, the original order for 150 vehicles was cancelled by Hitler, thus ending its program.