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Set 7203

German WWI Infantry with Tank Crew

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2000
Contents 48 figures
Poses 12 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)


Ask people to describe the typical German soldier and most will describe the uniform usually seen in war films, which would be the early World War II uniform. However it is fair to say that 'look' was created half way through World War I, and it is these soldiers that are depicted here.

The poses in this set are very good, and all the infantry are in useful and realistic attitudes. Several of the figures are simply advancing with their rifles, and there is a nice pose of a soldier in the act of throwing a grenade, though his slung rifle looks like it will impede his throwing action. The man lying down and using a semi-automatic pistol is a particularly believable pose for this conflict, and the private with the flame-thrower is an important addition. The three officers are also very nice, though having three is rather excessive when there are only 12 poses in total. However there are two obvious omissions. Firstly, there is no marching/walking figure, which is a pity, and far more importantly there is no figure actually firing their rifle. In fact two such poses are included in the set 7204, but it is strange that at least one could not have been moved into this set, perhaps swapped for one of the advancing poses.

All the men wear the instantly recognisable Stahlhelm, which was first worn on the battlefield of Verdun in early 1916, thus making these troops appropriate only for the second half of the War. In most cases the helmet is missing the characteristic lugs on either side that fitted the extra shield, whereas the corresponding Revell set includes them. The uniform is also later war vintage, with the Bluse and varying amounts of personal equipment. Many of the figures are suitable for Sturm Battalions, specialist assault troops that carried out raids on enemy lines. The man crawling and the grenade-thrower are perfect for this, as both are well armed with grenades (a favourite weapon). Another man wears a greatcoat and gas mask, two very common items that are usually overlooked in Great War sets.

Equipment is right in all cases, with the majority of men carrying their Mauser rifles. The third man in the top row holds an MP 18 submachine gun, a weapon that only appeared during 1918, and unfortunately here there is no magazine loaded (which would have been impossible to mould as a single piece anyway). The prone man is firing a Mauser C96 Broomhandle semi-automatic pistol with shoulder stock.

Two of the figures are clearly the tank crew mentioned in the title. Both men are holding tools, and are clearly involved in maintenance or repair rather than combat. Germany was very slow to develop tanks, and the tiny numbers produced could not hope to influence the outcome of the war - a mistake she was not to repeat twenty years later. The figures are OK as they stand, but they are not the crew that would actually be inside the tank doing the fighting; rather they are mechanics who would be constantly trying to keep the tank - German-built or captured British - mechanically reliable. Both seem to wear overalls with a belt, and one wears a peaked cap (which could merely mean he is an NCO by this stage of the war), while the kneeling man wears a captured British leather or fibre tankers helmet! One has a pistol as a sidearm, which suggests he actually is in the front line, and the other a gas mask canister. Apart from 'decorating' the fine A7V tank model also produced by this company they have no real purpose, though they too are well done.

The standard of sculpting is excellent, with good proportions and detail that is both accurate and sharp, but the moulds are slightly misaligned in places, leaving a ridge that is tricky to remove. Take away the tank crew and the officers, plus the specialised weapons like the flamethrower, and you are not left with many ordinary riflemen. So this set is better as an overview than for building solid units of ordinary soldiers, but still a welcome addition to the range of Great War figures, and to date the only set with any sort of German tank personnel for this conflict.


Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 9
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 10
Mould 9

Further Reading
"German Soldier on the Western Front 1914-1918" - Concord (Warrior Series No.6529) - Robert Kirchubel - 9789623611664
"German Stormtrooper 1914-1918" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.12) - Ian Drury - 9781855323728
"Tank and AFV Crew Uniforms Since 1916" - Patrick Stephens - Martin Windrow - 9780850593624
"The German Army 1914-18" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.80) - D Fosten & R Marrion - 9780850452839
"The German Army in World War I (2)" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.407) - Nigel Thomas - 9781841765662
"The German Army in World War I (3)" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.419) - Nigel Thomas - 9781841765679
"Uniforms and Equipment of the Central Powers in World War I: Germany & Ottoman Turkey" - Schiffer - Spencer Anthony Coil - 9780764327827
"World War I Infantry" - Windrow & Greene (Europa Militaria Series No.3) - Laurent Mirouze - 9781872004259
"World War One German Army" - Brassey (History of Uniforms Series) - Stephen Bull - 9781857532715

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