Battle of the Bulge Miniatures_German

The Battle of the Bulge represented Germany’s last offensive fling on the Western Front. The Reich’s days were numbered and Hitler had to know it. He decided on a desperate gamble to discourage the Western Allies by launching an offensive that would sever the allies from the Belgian ports that had been recently liberated.

German Infantry with Panzerfaust

The attack was a surprise and it fell on a thin line of American Infantry Divisions that were in the Ardennes for rest and refit. For the offensive the Germans scrapped together a formidable tank force (that was short of gas) as well as much of their remaining good infantry. The King and Country line of military miniatures modeled this battle with excellence in the scope of what they produced. Much of the line is now retired which means there is a limited number of figures produced and available.

This first fellow  represents a typical German Infantryman of the period. To compensate for their lack of numbers in tanks and anti-tank guns the Germans developed the Panzerfaust. The Panzerfaust was a throw away weapon, a one shot deal. This infantryman holds a Panzerfaust in his left hand while his 98K is slung over the right shoulder.

The Panzerschreck on the other hand was similar to the American bazooka in that it was a reusable rocket launcher anti-tank weapon.

Finns training with anti-tank weapons-1944

Panzerfausts were issued in great numbers to the German infantry turning each man into a potential tank-killer.

Like the Bazooka and Panzerschreck the Panzerfaust weapon had to be used in close quarters, thus it required great bravery to get close enough to an enemy tank in order to use the weapon. If memory serves me I think that German soldiers received the Iron Cross for knocking out five tanks with their panzerfausts. I’m sure most were more concerned about surviving than receiving a medal.

In the picture above you can see the difference between the faust and the schreck. The standing Finn is holding the Panzerfaust.

The figure below  represents one of the many SS divisions that were involved in the Battle of the Bulge. In fact the 6th Panzer Armee was largely an SS formation that contained at least 4 SS Panzer Divisions.

SS Scout

By this stage of the war the SS Panzer Divisions served as fire brigades, being shifted about on both fronts where ever there was danger of a breakthrough or where the Germans wanted to counterattack. After the Battle of the Bulge failed the 6th Panzer Armee was withdrawn to Hungry where it was destroyed by the Soviets in the Budapest area.

I think this is the first figure from the Battle of the Bulge range I purchased. What caught my eye was mottled Fall pattern uniform the figure is wearing as well as his weapon. The scout’s weapon is a Sturmgewehr 44 a fully automatic weapon with a thirty round magazine clip.

Sturmgewehr 44

It was first produced in 1943 in order to give the individual German infantryman more firepower per person. The MP 44 has a strikingly modern appearance probably because it resembles the famous AK 47 produced by the Soviets after the war and no doubt inspired by the MP 44.

I have a couple of other German Infantry figures from the range as well as a Sturmgeshutz painted in American colors. One of these days I’ll get out my digital camera and see if it can do them justice. If so, I’ll post the rest.

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