Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dragon: Borgward IV Ausf. A (6101)

From Wikipedia:
During World War II, the Wehrmacht used three remotely operated demolition tanks: the light Goliath (Sd.Kfz. 302/303a/303b), the medium Springer (Sd.Kfz. 304) and the heavy Borgward IV (Sd.Kfz. 301). The Borgward IV was the largest of the vehicles and the only one capable of releasing its explosives before detonating; the two smaller vehicles were destroyed when their explosive charges detonated. Borgward originally developed the B IV as an ammunition carrier, but was found unsuitable. It was also tested as a remote minesweeper, but was too vulnerable to mines and too expensive. During the Battle of France, German engineers from the 1st Panzer Division converted 10 Panzer I Ausf Bs into demolition and mine clearing vehicles, using them to place timed charges on bunkers or minefields without losing the vehicle. The Waffenamt found the idea valuable, and ordered the B IV's development as a remote-controlled demolition vehicle. The first vehicles were delivered in 1942. The Borgward IV was much heavier than the Goliath, and carried a much larger payload. Both the Borgward IV and the Goliath were operated by radio, but due to the Borgward IV's much longer range a driver in the vehicle would bring it independently to its destination before dismounting and conducting it to its target by radio. When it reached the target, the vehicle would drop the charge and leave the danger area. This put Borgward IV operators in great danger. While the Borgward IV was armored, its armor was inadequate by 1942-43, and its larger size than the Goliath made it much easier to spot.

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