This releases sees the German infantry entering in force. Reinforcements include an officer team, Panzerschreck team, rifle and SMG armed infantry and forward observer team. As well as the foot sloggers, AT capability is provided by the Panzerschreck and the PaK 97/38 medium anti-tank gun. Armoured support comes in the form of the PzII Flammpanzer flamethrower tank, with a motorcycle and sidecar mounting an MMG. Transport is provided by the Citreon CV11 staff car, and the radio back variant of the Maultier truck. Existing support and transportation is already available with the FlaK 38 88mm AA gun and various vehicles.
In addition, we also offer a German infantry platoon bundle of the above infantry and a SdKfz 222 armoured car. This is available at a very reasonable discounted price and free UK shipping. This is the fifth of our platoon bundles, in addition to the Japanese, Italian, British and Soviet platoons already released.
As always, here’s a little background on the various units…..
During the war, the Heer infantry formed the largest part of the German army and saw action across Europe and the Eastern Front. Constant recruitment along with some infantry being in combat since 1939 meant that quality levels and experience could vary wildly. Some units were veteran grenadiers while others were recently recruited rear-echelon troops with only basic infantry training.
This unit consists of 10 men (1 NCO, 1 MG, 1 MG loader and 7 soldiers with rifles), or 5 men (1 NCO, 4 soldiers with SMG)
The Panzerschreck was the German equivalent of the US Bazooka and British PIAT. It was a reloadable shoulder fired anti-tank weapon and a development of the one-shot Panzerfausts. Within its most effective range (50-60m) the hollow charge warhead could penetrate up to 160mm of armour – higher than the frontal armour of a Churchill VII.
German officers were generally well trained and capable leaders. Some had gained experience during the Spanish Civil War and some even in WWI. Officers were also trained to step up immediately if their superior were killed or incapacitated, and continue to fight under their own initiative.
Trained in liaising with artillery batteries or Luftwaffe squadrons, forward observer teams can coordinate devastating barrages of fire or close air support to cover the advance of troops or soften an enemy position before an assault.
All of the German armed forces made use of motorcycles, and many had additional sidecars. Often armed with an MG34 for close support, these light vehicles were used extensively for reconnaissance. Unlike similar motorcycles of other nations, many of the German sidecars had powered wheels, enabling them to traverse difficult terrain more easily.
The PaK 97/38 was a hybrid AT gun manufactured using captured French components and used during WWII. In addition to the Germans, it was also fielded by Italy, Finland, Hungary and Romania, as well being fitted to the chassis of the Soviet T-26 to make an interim mobile AT platform. It performed acceptably, despite being based on a late 19th century gun, but suffered from a low effective range, violent recoil and difficulty in hitting small, mobile targets.
The PzII Flammpanzer (or “Flamingo”) was an adapted PzII tank equipped with two limited traverse flamethrowers and a turret mounted MG34. Initially delivered to units in 1940, over 150 were before production ended in 1942. The Flamingo was used by two battalions and both were deployed in the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa. Heavy losses on the Eastern Front saw both battalions re-equipped as standard panzer units and the remaining Flamingos converted to Marder II tank destroyers.
The SdKfz 222 was a German armoured car developed from the 221, and was fitted with a 20mm automatic cannon and co-axial MG. It had a top speed of 50mph and up to 30mm of armour. Additionally, the open-topped design of the turret also allowed for limited AA capability. Nearly 1000 were produced in total and it saw service on the Eastern Front, North Africa and Europe.
At the start of WWII France had more vehicles per person than any country in the world except the US. Germany however did not have such a mechanised population, and so after occupying France, utilised many French vehicles. As well as the armoured vehicles that would be converted into ammunition carriers and tank destroyers, there were also many normal cars. Among these was the CV11, a civilian car that first entered production in 1934.
The sedan model was a popular staff car in both the French and German armies and many were exported from France, seeing action in North Africa and the Eastern Front.
The Maultier was a half-tracked truck of the German army in WWII developed as it was found that wheeled trucks were insufficiently capable of navigating the mud of Russian roads in bad weather. Mostly based on the Opel Blitz chassis and utilising redundant Pz. I track assemblies, some were also made using a Mercedes, Ford and Alfa-Romeo chassis and Pz. II tracks.
In addition to the standard cargo and troop carrying trucks, some were also fitted out as radio trucks. These were used as forward command positions as well as communication relays and hubs.
Hopefully you found this bit of background history interesting and our models will be reinforcing your German armies – Vorauszahlung!