Sd.Kfz.171 Panther D (Kursk Offensive, July 1943)
Unassembled plastic model kit
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This model kit requires assembly. Cement, paint and other construction materials not included unless specifically stated in the description.
After a study had been made of the Russian T-34, Hitler ordered the development of a similar vehicle in the 30 ton class. MAN and Daimler-Benz received orders to develop the chassis while the turret was being developed by Rheinmetall-Borsig. After reviewing the preliminary drawings, Hitler ordered preparations to be made for the development of the series of Daimler-Benz Panthers, and gave Daimler-Benz an order to produce 200. He though that the Daimler-Benz Panther was better than the MAN design, and that it would be approved for production. On 14 May 1942, after comparing the prints and statistics of the MAN and Daimler-Benz designs, Hitler decided that the MAN version was superior and would go into production, since under no circumstances were two different designs to be produced at the same time. Production was to start in December 1942, with 250 to be built by 12 May 1943, in time for the summer offensive.
The Panther suspension consisted of eight pairs of large road-wheels sprung on torsion bars, a rear idler and a front drive sprocket. The plates making up a hull were welol angled to increase protection. The only vertical pate was the lower hull side plate. Direct vision was provided for the driver by an armoured flap. When this was closed the driver had to use the two periscopes mounted in the hull rood. No hull machine-gun mount was provided. A narrow port covered by a flap, was provided in the hull front through which, the hull machine-gun could be fired. A decision had been made in the autumn of 1942 to increase the armour thickness of the upper hull front plate from 60mm to 80mm, but the first 20 Panthers produced by MAN still had 60mm frontal armour on the upper hull. The long 7.5cm KwK42 L/70 was mounted in an external, curved gun mantlet accompanied by a coaxial machine-gun. Pistol ports were provided in both turret sides and in the turret sides and the turret rear, and through the cupola hatch. In addition, there was a small round hatch in the left turret side in the original turret design.
Production of the Ausf D began in January 1943, and the first vehicles were issued during the following month. In April 1943, all issue was halted, and those that had been issued were recalled for major modifications. Finally, in May 1943, the 51st and 52nd Panzerabteilungen received the Panthers which were the first to go n to action at Kursk in July 1943. Most of the Ausf D production was issued to these two independent units, plus the 23rd and 26th Independent Panzer Regiments, and the Panzer Regiments Das Reich and Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler.
This kit comes with separate track links.
Markings for: 52nd Battalion, 39th Pz Regiment, Kursk July 1943; 51st Pz Battalion, Panzergrenadier Division 'Groedeutschland', Karachev, July/August 1943.