For this next Build Blog, I received the new Dragon Tiger I Mid-Production with Zimmerit & Borgward IV Ausf A Heavy Demolition Charge Vehicle.
I really look forward to this build, since believe it or not, I have never built a Dragon Tiger I kit.
As you all know the history of the Tiger I, I will bypass the history on it, and give you the background on the Borgward IV.
According to 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 it 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. The Borgward IV was operated by radio and the Goliath was wire guided, 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.
In addition, Three models of the Borgward were produced, Ausführung (abbreviated to Ausf.) A, Ausf. B and Ausf. C, primarily differing in armor, weight and radio equipment.
The Borgward IV Ausf. A, the first model to enter serial production, was equipped with a 49-horsepower 4-cylinder water-cooled gasoline engine. Ausf. A was the most produced model, with approximately 616 produced between May 1942 and June 1943.
In June 1943, production shifted to the similar Borgward IV Ausf. B. The Ausf. B weighed 400 kg (880 lb) more, the radio antenna was moved and better radio equipment was used. From June to November 1943, 260 of this model were produced.
The final Borgward IV to see production, the Ausf. C, saw greater changes. The chassis was lengthened to 4.1 metres (13 ft 5 in) and the weight further increased. The armor on the Ausf. C was thicker than the previous variants, new tracks were used, the driver's seat was moved to the left of the vehicle and a new 78 horsepower six-cylinder engine was used. The Ausf. C was produced from December 1943 to September 1944 when production ended, with 305 examples built.
Near the end of World War II, approximately 56 Ausf. Bs and Cs were converted to the Panzerjäger Wanze, armed with six RPzB 54/1 anti-tank rockets. In the last days of the war, these vehicles fought some minor skirmishes against Soviet armor and saw some action at the Battle of Berlin.
At least one Ausf. B was rebuilt as an amphibious vehicle, and in 1943 one Borgward IV was equipped with a television camera for observation.
Borgward IV production was relatively small: only 1,181 were produced, as compared to the 7,564 of the much smaller Goliath. Like Germany's other remote-controlled demolition vehicles, the Borgward IV was not considered a success; it was unreliable and expensive, although unlike the Goliath and Springer it could be used multiple times.
The following link has interesting information, as well as various pics, of the Borgward IV:
Next up, the instructions and sprue pics, so be on the lookout.
Look forward to your feedback, as always.