U.S. Army Anti-Tank Team
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

Dragon Models Limited

The bazooka was a unique American invention for fighting tanks and enemy soldiers concealed in buildings or bunkers. It inspired the Germans to develop their own version, the Raketenpanzerbüsche, according to George Forty in The U.S. Army Handbook 1939-1945. Over a half million bazookas were made during the war. The first version, the M1, was a one-piece affair with a solid wooden shoulder stock. The M9 could be broken down to two parts was distinguished by its metal shoulder brace.

This welcome set is reminiscent of DML's previous German and Russian sniper team offerings. Two pairs of GIs stalk enemy tanks. The first duo are posed with one man shouldering an M1 bazooka, loaded and ready to fire, while his companion leans away from the weapon, a second rocket ready if needed. They wear the 1941 khaki combat jackets and canvas leggings, suitable for North Africa, Italy, and on into the winter of the European campaign.

The second team is doing a bit of multitasking, as we'd say these days. While one GI stands with his loaded M9 waiting for a target, his teammate in on one knee with his M1 Garand fitted with an M7 grenade launcher and an M9A1 anti-tank grenade, which could penetrate 3-4 inches of armor at ranges up to 250 yards. These soldiers wear the M1943 olive drab jacket and trousers with the M1943 buckle combat boots. They'd be appropriate for settings from the fall of 1944 onward.

The sculpting on these figures is up to DML's usual high standards, and they should go together easily. There are two bags for carrying the rockets, which might require a bit of paper or lead foil to run the straps from the bags to the figure's torsos. This set marks the first appearance in styrene of the lightweight canvas gas mask carrier (Verlinden offers one in resin in their U.S. Infantry Field Gear WWII accessory set).

You also get an amazing array of weapons from past DML sets. I was initially perplexed when I pulled the figure sprue, sealed in plastic, from the box. Inside was a sprue of American weapons, including the Garand with the grenade, and a sprue of German weapons - but no bazookas! I turned the bag repeatedly to see if someone had slit it open and purloined the rocket launchers, but it was intact. I figured it for a rare packaging error and was about to slide the bagged sprues back into the box for a return ride to the hobby store when I noticed another little bag still in the box. And therein the weapons set from the Iwo Jima Marines, including both style bazookas, a flame thrower, a couple Garands with bayonets, a BAR, an M1 carbine, a Tommy gun - and a shotgun (which I'll save for a French Resistance fighter). A mother lode of weapons you can use to replace those out-of-scale Verlinden items!

Once again DML comes through with a great set of figures and a true arsenal of democracy!



Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2007 Timothy S. Streeter