Wednesday, April 6

Preview: Freedom Model Kits Sdkfz 302 Goliath Demolition Vehicle with Cart in 16th scale

Freedom Model Kits has already released a 16th scale Goliath with their Kettenkrad kit of last year. Today they gave us some images of another release of the Goliath. One with the trailer of the device included and sold as a simple set of two. We look at the Goliath, trailer & the kit in our preview...


Preview: Freedom Model Kits Sdkfz 302 Goliath Demolition Vehicle with Cart in 16th scale

WWII German Sdkfz 302 Goliath Demolition Vehicle with Cart
From Freedom Model Kits
1/16th  Scale 
Item No: 16003
Release date: End of April 2022
This new 1/16th scale model from Freedom Models recreates the tracked remote-controlled mine used by the Germans in WWII called the "Goliath". It was a diminutive tracked vehicle about 1.5m long that could carry up to 60kg of light explosives and was remotely controlled via 3 cables that spooled out of its rear. Some 7,564 were produced in all, split between 12V battery and gas engine-powered variants. They were largely deployed by assault pioneer (Sturmpionier) units and were hoped to give the advantage of surprise. They were used on all fronts including German counters to the allied invasions in Normandy.

The Goliath in history.
In late 1940, inspired by a French miniature tracked vehicle prototype it recovered from the Seine, the Wehrmacht Ordnance Bureau ordered Bremen-based automaker Carl F.W. Borgward to develop a similar vehicle, capable of delivering at least 100 pounds of high explosive to a target by remote control.

The features of the Goliath to help the uninitiated. ( this is the petrol-powered Sd.Kfz 302.a version not in this kit, but you get the idea)
In spring 1942 Borgward rolled out its Sd.Kfz. 302, nicknamed Goliath, powered by two 2.5-kilowatt Bosch electric motors. Its limited range (less than a mile on flat surfaces) and high cost eventually led to its discontinuance. 

An artist's depiction of the Goliath in action with its crew directing it to the target
In late 1942 Borgward introduced the SdKfz. 303a, powered by a Zundapp two-cylinder gasoline engine with an improved street range of more than seven miles. Two years later it produced the slightly larger 303b, which could carry a 220-pound payload.

A view from above showing the motor and the control wire drum on the petrol-driven Goliath.
 The open side shows internal guidance parts and battery on this version of the electrically powered version Sd.Kfz 303 we are looking at in this kit.
A Goliath Sd.Kfz 303 out "in the wild"
Goliaths were used on all fronts where the Wehrmacht fought, beginning in early 1942. They were used principally by specialized Panzer and combat engineer units. Goliaths were used at Anzio in Italy in April 1944, and against the Polish resistance during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. A few Goliaths were also seen on the beaches of Normandy during D-Day, though most were rendered inoperative due to artillery blasts severing their command cables. Allied troops also encountered a small number of Goliaths in the Maritime Alps following the landings in southern France in August 1944, with at least one being used successfully against a vehicle of the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion.
Although a total of 7,564 Goliaths were produced, the single-use weapon was not considered a success due to high unit cost, low speed (just above 7 miles per hour 11 km/h), poor ground clearance (just 11.4 centimetres), the vulnerable control cable, and thin armour which could not protect the vehicle from small-arms fire. The Goliath was also too big and heavy to be easily man-portable and a trailer was used to pull the goliath along. Mostly, they failed to reach their target although the effect was considerable when they did.
Operators used a joystick control box connected to the vehicle by a 2,145-foot triple-strand control cable—two strands for steering, one for detonation. Issued to combat engineers and special armoured units, the Goliath was designed to disable enemy tanks, disrupt infantry units or demolish strongpoints. Its control cable proved vulnerable to cutting, however, most notably when the Germans deployed it against the Polish Home Army during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Though the Goliath saw little use, it did serve as the precursor of the modern radio-controlled robotic vehicles.
The Allies called it the “beetle tank.” Large numbers of Goliaths were captured by the Allies. Although they were examined with interest by Allied intelligence, they were seen as having little military value. Some were used by the United States Army Air Force as aircraft tugs, although they quickly broke down as the disposable vehicles were not designed for sustained use.
The Goliath did help lay the foundation for post-war advances in remote-controlled vehicle technologies.

Yee-haa Grand-ma
The trolley unit for the Goliath:
A special trolley should was designed to be used with the Goliath. It was to be used to move the equipment tracked vehicles into a staging position before operational deployment. The Y-shaped design with two wheels was supposed to run into the vehicle from above and engage it. When you click on the long handle of the cart, the blasting machine rose above the ground, after which it could be delivered to the starting position. To get to the goal she had already under its own power.

Warsaw Uprising German units on Piaskowa Street, prepare Goliaths for attack - view from PowÄ…zkowska street.
Transportation of the product to the starting position.

The kit from Freedom:
Freedom Model Kits has already released this kit in a different form in 1/16th scale. It was released as a part of the Kettenkrad, Goliath and trailer kit of last year called "German Sd.Kfz.2 Kettenkraftrad with Cart & Sdkfz 302 Goliath Demolition Vehicle".

Released last year, this kit was an instant success. The new kit features just the Goliath and trailer...
This new kit is again in 16th scale, the trailer and Goliath can of course be used together or separately. 
We have several CAD images of the Goliath, including the internal cable reel structure. The control box to remotely control the demolition device is included. It looks like you only need to make some twisted cable connection between the two.
You can of course mount the trailer to be towed by a suitable vehicle if you like, a small truck or passenger vehicle in 16th scale like a Kubelwagen.
Goliaths came in a single colour scheme, often they were painted in the field.
Due to be released at the end of April, 2022, you can see more about these kits and Freedom Models other works on their Website...