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Opel Blitz 3t Model 1944
Price: 15,79 EUR
Manufacturer: MAC Distribution
Family: AFV 1/72
Approximate weight: 0.20 kg - 0.44 lb
Description: Opel Blitz 3t Model 1944
The 1920s was the expansion era for the General Motors Company. In 1929, GM acquired the engine producer Adam Opel AG, based in Russelsheim, Germany, and with it, one of the most well regarded manufacturing plants in Europe. In early 1930's, Opel introduced a fast light truck and called it Opel Blitz (lightning) and in 1935 opened the best and most modern truck factory in the world in Brandenburg. Although light in weight, the Blitz design could carry a considerable payload. A proven six-cylinder engine from another GM company, Buick, provided the power. The payload increased in steps from the original 1.75 tonnes (1.93 tons) to 2.5 tonnes (2.76 tons), and finally to the three tonnes (3.31 tons) that the S type could transport cross-country.
The greatest production figures were achieved by the Opel Blitz 3-ton S with 82356 units produced with the 3.6 liter engine from April 1937 to the beginning of August 1944. This dependable, light 3-ton truck enjoyed great popularity among the units. The simple, yet robust Opel design proved itself in the confusion of war and was superior to many specially-designed vehicles. The 3-ton Blitz was superior to many other 3-ton trucks on account of its low ground pressure which was a result of the vehicle's low weight.
Opel supplied the 3-ton to the Wehrmacht with various standard body types. The Blitz was towing vehicle of the FlaK 30 and 38 AA guns. It was also as a platform for these weapons. In Deutsche Afrika Korps there was used a special variant with open driver's cabin. Vehicles of this type also served as alcohol tank trucks (B-Stoffwagen) with V2 rocket batteries. The final models of Opel Blitz featured material saving driver's compartment, whose rear wall was made of wood (Einheitz Fahrerkabine).
In order to provide the fighting troops with supplies such as ammunition, fuel and provisions on the extremely hard terrain at the Eastern Front, standard 3 ton (4 x 2) vehicles had the rear axle removed and were equipped with running gear from the Cardan Lloyd chassis. The tracks originated from the armored tank Pz I. This conversion reduced the carrying capacity to 2 ton. This half-tracked vehicle, which was built from 1942 onwards, was known as the "Maultier" or mule.
By the war's end, Opel factories had churned out over 100,000 Blitz trucks alone for the German war effort. These took many different forms, such as general-purpose trucks, buses, radio trucks, ambulances, gun carrying platforms and even large limousines for high-ranking officers. The Opel Blitz was one of the main workhorses of the German Army during WWII, carrying troops and supplies in all theatres of German operations. It was the standard, medium weight, truck used by the German Army all through WWII.