Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Plastic Soldier Company Pz III (50mm short)

The Panzer III was designed to be the prime German MBT (although I acknowledge I use this post-war modern term in a historical sense, perhaps "cruiser" would have been better) of the Second World War, but the Pz III found itself compromised right from the outset. Slow to get into production and hence only playing a minor part in the Polish 1939 campaign (A-D versions), it was found lacking in the France 1940 campaign (E) against the better French tanks. Up gunned to the short 50mm (F/G) it optimistically went into the Russian 1941 campaign only to met the shock of the KV I and T34 monsters.

The PSC models (along with the 4 x HaT models I have) nicely finishes off my Panzer Battalion for the early-mid Russian campaign (1041-42) now with a max of seven Pz III F's to field (see below):

As the Pz III tanks were improved via workshop upgrades as well as new factory additions the Panzer battalion was always a mixture of types up until the end of 1942.

The F/G model was the Barbarrossa workhorse as well as being the DAK chariot in the desert (see below):

The PSC models are perfect for company command tanks given their nice commander poses (see below):

Nice to get my hands on so many short Pz III 50mm tanks, as a kid they were nowhere to be seen, bar a broken barrel Matchbox conversion. 

To understand German tank development in WWII IMHO I think you need to know the Pz III story.

The story does not end here as the Pz III gets a final upgrade to the long 50mm gun (L-M)1941(late)-42-43(mid) that takes it to its Kursk swansong on the Eastern Front. Not forgetting the final (N) version as it was demoted from MBT to an anti-infantry "support" tank (notably seen in Tunesia supporting Tigers) with a short 75mm.

My Esci/Italeri/Matchbox/Revell/Fujimi long 50mm models will nicely fill into the final chapter of the Pz III tank battalions (a future post methinks). 

Note: The PSC Pz III's are not their simplest models but still damn good for ease of construction. 

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