THE CONDOR LEGION
THE WEHRMACHT’S TRAINING GROUND
Condor Legion was the expeditionary force of soldiers and
airmen sent by Hitler to aid Franco’s Nationalists in the
Spanish Civil War. The Germans used the war as an
opportunity to develop equipment and tactics, and their
force included not only instructors, but also combat units
of artillery, aircraft, and tanks. These units tested
guns, planes and tanks, and perfected techniques that were
used in the 1940 Blitzkreig.
Many of the officers prominent in the
early campaigns of WW2 won their first successes in Spain.
In October 1936, 2 German ships arrived
in Spain loaded with a Panzer 1 Company, and all the
services and personnel to establish Franco’s army’s first
armoured unit. The so called PANZER-GRUPPE DROHNE.
Oberstleutnant Willhelm Ritter Von
Thoma was to command the contingent.
Two versions of the
Panzerkampfwagen 1 were shipped to Spain, the A and B.
The design was pioneered by Krupp in the early 1930’s.
The PzKpfw 1 A had a two man crew, and was armed with
two 7.92mm MG13s.
Battle experience in the SCW
indicated that the Pzkpfw had several weaknesses. Its
0.5inch armour offered little protection against even
the smallest anti-tank guns possessed by the
Republicans. Its weapons were also far to lightweight to
take on enemy tanks and the vehicle lacked the endurance
to participate in prolonged action, often leaving the 2
man crew working in its cramped condition quickly
exhausted. These invaluable practical lessons
added impetus to new tank designs, although the Pzkpfw 1
itself continued to see service in Poland and France
during 1939 and 1940.
Figures will be sold separately,
and will be usable with several different models.