Friday, October 07, 2011

1/144 VK501 Series “Katzchen” - KG144

1/144  VK501 Series “Katzchen”  - Kampfgruppe144
The next KG144 release is an item  subject to many a debate and conflicting texts on the Internet, in part due to a number of companies being commissioned to produce designs, and also evolving those designs.

The configuration presented is based on various sources, and critically a British Military Intelligence report that reflects some of the texts available and backs it up with measurements and photographs.

In January 1943 the lesser known company “Weserhutte” was asked to design an armoured ammunition carrier (VK 501) for the Wehrmacht. It was planned that mass production should start in 1944, however conflicting demand for resources on the German industrial war machine caused this to be delayed.

Designed to have a weigh 6 tons, it utilised the proven 6-Cylinder Maybach HL42 providing 100HP and a speed of 65 Kilometres per hour, transverse mounted. The armour thickness was specified at 20 millimetres, and was capable of stopping a 7.63 round.

Although derived from the requirement specification issued for the VK501 Munitionsschlepper, the final design was somewhat different:
 - The chassis was lengthened
 - The engine was repositioned to the side
-  Installation of a rear door:
     - Allowing for ease loading/unloading
     -  Allowing rear access  for Troops.
 - Removal of the side loading hatches
 - Max Speed reduced to 30 KPH
 - Payload was increased to 2,000 kg

This version of the vehicle could therefore carry increased loads and was also suited to acting as a light armoured personnel carrier for the transport of up to 6 soldiers, and is also able to retrieve stretcher based casualties.

Self-defence was provided by the MG-42 machine gun(s).

Fact or Fiction?

While this does verge on being a paper project at least one vehicle was found out “in the wild”, and became the subject of a British Army Intelligence Report submitted on 19th May 1945.
-- Click to download British Army Intelligence Report in PDF format. --

No further records have been discovered to reveal how many of these vehicles were completed, and as it does not appear that this example made it past the scrap merchant and into a museum...?

Available: October 2011  from KG144@CGD eBay Store
Price: $17.90

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