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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Elastolin motorcycle infantry soldier with BMW motorcycle and sidecar with LMG

In the 1930s BMW were producing a number of popular and highly effective motorcycles for German Army. In 1938 development of the R75 model started in response to a request from the German Army. During the military campaigns that spread across Europe and into the Soviet Union, German motorcycle troopers served a variety of functions including chauffeuring officers, delivering dispatches and even hot meals, and scouting on patrol. Motorcycles also were point vehicles taking the brunt of battle, sometimes as specially equipped tank destroyers. As with all motorcyclists, there was a kinship among these soldiers who called themselves “kradfahrer.” They rode exposed without the armor plating of the Panzers, without the safety of hundreds of foot soldiers beside them—moving targets, as it were, or sniper magnets. And then there were minefields, artillery fire, and strafing aircraft to contend with. To follow this growing use of military motorcycles, Elastolin started its own production of tinplate BMW motocycles models for its composition soldiers (Scale 1/24) (Catalog models 591/4 and 591/1).

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