Panzerstahl 1/72 – Flammhetzer – 17.SS Panzer Division – Operation Nordwind – 88038
About the model:
* true to scale model made from plastic for highest detail and metal parts
* fully assembled
* markings pad printed for ultimate realistic effect
* historically accurate painted and marked
* including protective case for display
* package comes with open window display
* limited production!
The design of the Hetzer was planned in December 1943 and already in January 1944 a wooden mock up in 1:1 scale was shown to the HWA. The design based on the undecarriage of the Panzer 38(t) with four slightly bigger roadwheels per side and with a comple new and angled superstructure in which a 7.5cm PaK39 was installed. The Hetzer was armored with 60mm plates at the front and 20mm at the sides. It got the Praga EPA engine with 160hp, which allowed a top speed of 40km/h.
The first prototype was delivered in March 1944 and tested extensively. Several areas needed to be reworked and from May 1944 some items were changed, just as another gun mantlet, different idlers, etc.
In the following months there were frequent changes in the series production – mainly in the appearance of the gun mantlet and idler wheels. The later one had no less then 6 different designs.
Late in 1944 20 Hetzer were converted to flamethrowing vehicles. The 7.5cm PaK was replaced by a 14mm flamethrower with a protection cover. Additionally they got an additional sight on top of the gun-housing for the flamethrower operator. The Hetzer got a 700 liter tank inside for the flame oil.
The Hetzer was 6.27m long, 2.63m wide and 2.10m high. It had 35cm wide tracks with a ground pressure of 0.78kg/cm².
Late in autumn 1943 the 17.SS Pz.Gren.Div. “Götz von Berlichingen” was raised in south-west France by concentrating men and material from SS-Panzergrenadier Brigaden 49 und 51 as well as several smaller units.
In December 1943 it was transferred to the Balkans where it fought against partisans. Early in 1944 they were pulled back again to southern France as reserve.
In June 1944 it was sent to Normandy to stop allied troops at Saint-Lo. After heavy battles it was pulled back in July 1944 into the Champagne for reorganisation. In September 1944 it was transferred to the area of Metz to hold the frontline against allied attacks. They held Metz until November 1944 and then pulled back to the german border.
In January 1945 it joined the Operation Nordwind and attacked on the right wing of the 1. Deutsche Armee in direction of Zabern but failed at the Maginot line and began their retreat in February 1945 back to Baden and Bavaria. Further they went to Mannheim and fought successfully against their encirclement. They finally surrendered on 30.April 1945 in the area of Munich.