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At first glance, the German Panzer IV tank of WWII doesn’t look like an amphibious tank. That’s because it wasn’t designed as such! However, as Germany contemplated Operation Sea Lion, the invasion of Great Britain, a number of Pz.Kpfw.IV tanks were converted into Tauchpanzer (literally, “diving tank”) mode. The plan was for these watertight tanks to be launched from ships off the coast of England, and to drive along the seabed until they emerged on beaches. Although these “amphibious” tanks weren’t used against Great Britain, they did see combat in the invasion of Russia - for example, the crossing of the River Bug in 1941.
Dragon has previously offered modelers a 1/35 scale model of a Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.D Tauchpanzer, but now the choices available have just doubled. Emerging from Dragon’s design studios is a new Panzer IV Ausf.E Tauchpanzer! While most diving tanks were converted from Ausf.D vehicles, some Ausf.E were similarly treated. This 1/35 scale kit is based on Dragon’s superb Panzer IV E, but it includes all the necessary modifications like sealed openings, snorkel tube and exhaust valve to make it into a swimming tank. For added convenience for modelers, separate parts with and without waterproof covers are provided. Another key aspect of this kit is the addition of a Betriebsstoffanhanger, a fuel trailer. Like the tank itself, this small two-wheel trailer with fuel drums has been reproduced in extremely fine detail. For modelers looking for something a little different, and for those looking for fuel to take their panzer collections further, this interesting combination is the answer! This mix of tank and trailer is sure to cause a splash!