The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.
A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

Opel Blitz 1 tonner Schnellastwagen 1935 towing Panzernest - case report

Drivers !!!
      Today, the case report is about this little huge beast: the Opel Blitz 1 tonner Schnellastwagen (fast truck) 1935. 
Opel Blitz fast truck 1935.
      I decided to show this case because I did an up-grade in the kit to use it towing a Panzernest bunker, which builds on the M31 project. Although the illustration below shows an Opel 1.5 tonne, the vehicles were very similar. In addition, the image inspired me to make better use of my small 1 ton truck.
Opel Blitz 1,5 tonne towing a Panzernest
      I repainted the kit and made new markings to fit the model in the new historical moment. But let's see the Opel's saga:

Opel 1 tonner History:
      In 1930s, during the rearmament of Germany, several factories were called to supply the German Army with military vehicles. When refitting, the German Army no longer possessed the old equipment and weapons, because of the restrictions of the Versailles Treaty. The lessons learned in the fields of Europe during WW I and the absence of old material allowed a total reconstruction in quantity, quality and philosophy, and the seeds of rapid mobility and displacement of a modern war were planted in this period.
      At the end of the 20s, the firm Adam Opel AG, based in Rüsselsheim, Germany, was acquired by GM, starting to produce vehicles derived from this automaker.
Opel logo '20s
      Opel has made its debut in the truck market in 1931, with the Opel Schnell-Leichtlastwagen (fast light truck). This initial version had a carrying capacity of 2 tons.
Opel Schnell-Leichtlastwagen 2 tonner 1931
     In 1935, Opel opened in Brandeburg the then most modern vehicle plant in the world and released a compact truck model in the market, with 1 ton load capacity, adapted to the characteristics and the needs of Germany.
Roll-out of first Opel Blitz 1 tonner, in Brandenburg, 1935
      The new vehicle received the name Blitz (lightning) after a public call for great success, when were sent almost 1.5 million proposals of names.. This small truck was called Opel Blitz 1 tonner Leichtlastwagen. She had an engine Olympia with 4 cylinders (gasoline) in line, 1300 cc and 24 HP of power, with side valves. The cabin was spacious and well sized.
Opel Blitz 1 tonner cabin
Opel Blitz 1 tonner from Opel's portfolio
      The name Blitz (lightning) has great importance for Opel because the Blitz connected the name with the jingoism to the Count Zeppelin (great pride to the Germans at the time), generated a change in the Opel's logo. The new symbol remembered a lightning and at the same time, the Z of Zeppelin:
New Opel's logo
      This tribute to Count Zeppelin would be repeated later in the hood ornaments of the largest capacity versions of the Blitz line with 2 and 3 tons, which was the most widely used truck by Germany in WWII, becoming the standard German truck of the conflict. The hood symbols of these trucks was a stylized Zeppelin:
Engine hood ornament. Note the photo detail ...
      Versions 2 and 3 tons consolidated the Opel as leader of the German truck market, with more than 70,000 built until the end of its production in 1944. The Opel Blitz Schnellastwagen 1 tonner was produced until 1937, with several versions: cargo, ambulance, firefighter and van.
Brandeburg plant - Opels 1 tonner under construction - 1936
Opel's portfolio when the release of the '37 new line
Opel 1 tonner ambulance (red arrow)
Opel Blitz 1 tonner - Firefighter truck - Civil Defense.
Opel Blitz 1 tonner cargo and van - civil plates  - HH- Hamburg license plate
with WH military markings 
      Although small, the Blitz 1 tonner was extremely robust for its size, because the chassis was very well sized and reinforced.  She served in all theaters of operation at the beginning of the war, being found in France, Poland and Russia.
      With the prolongation of the conflict and the entry into service of his older sisters, was being delegated to second-line services, but it was still seen at the end of WWII,
Opel Blitz 1 tonner - France - 1940 (note the censored plate)
Opel 1 tonner in Russia
Another Opel ' tonner ambulance cargo in Russia
Notice the diferent cabin...
Opel Blitz 1 tonner -  cívil plate of Turíngia (Th)
requested vehicle with civil license plate and military markings
Another requested vehicle with WH markings
 cívil plate from Saxony (IM)
Opel Blitz 1 tonner 
Cargo light truck/transport vehicle
Place of origin
1.3 t
4,165 mm
1,575 mm
1,920 mm

Main armament
Second. armament
Olympia 4-cylinder 1300 cc 24 hp
Fuel capacity
wheels, leaf springs,  4x2
50 liters
400 km
75 km/h

Panzernest History:
      In Italy the Germans have been using a mobile steel pillbox, nicknamed the "Armored Crab," which made its first appearance on the Russian front in 1943. These prefabricated bunkers, without rotation, had an armored casting carapace armed with a machine gun. 
Preserved Panzernest in expositio
      These pills boxes were manufactured by various companies in subassemblies contracts being transported to local use by train, trucks or tractors. They were very simple but extremely effective equipment.
Panzernests and Bergepanther in railcars, waiting transportation

Panzernest being towed by a  Opel Blitz 2.5 ton
     This pillbox was mounted in an inverted position on wagon-like wheels, and usually is hauled by tractor or lorry to a designated site, where it is overturned into a prepared cavity.:
Brand new panzernest under GI's inspection.
Notice the wagon like wheels, in wood and metal.

      After this, the exposed upper half of the pillbox (which is non-rotating) is camouflaged with rocks, earth, or local vegetation.
The panzernest's snout well camouflaged
      In the front of the pillbox, there is a small embrasure for the machine gun, with an observation peephole above. When necessary, these openings are covered outside by a heavy metal shield, which can be moved either to the right or left of the embrasure by means of a lever inside the pillbox. On top of the pillbox are two collapsible periscopes, also regulated from the interior. The entrance to the pillbox is a small door in the rear; this is locked from the inside by means of two brackets. 
rear view
      These pillboxes are usually situated in the second defense zone. It takes 15 men to change one from traveling to fire position. When it's emplaced, the usual procedure is to dig a hole and sink the entire lower section and part of upper section. The panzernest does not rotate, so that only the machine gun aperture in front and the opening in the rear top with the two periscopes and pipe must be exposed.
Panzernest - schematic drawing
      The machine gun is mounted on a single bracket mounting which allows a free horizontal traverse on a semicircular grooved slide. The field of fire is 60 degrees. Elevation and depression, which are limited, are accomplished by a small handle to the left of the machine gun.
Internal view of MG mount (without MG)
      Forward of the machine-gun trigger, there is a leather cover to channel off the gases from the gun and also to receive spent cartridges. Attached to the cover is a metal tube. In turn, this tube is connected to a metal box fastened to the floor. The gases are expelled by a small fan situated beside the metal box. The fan is operated by two small foot pedals, one on each side of the pillbox. Each pedal may be worked independently. Air is expelled through a slit above, and to the right of, the door. Fresh air enters through a vent in the ceiling.
      Two folding seats are provided for the crew. There are two iron rungs which serve as steps to facilitate entering and leaving. Two leather straps are hung from the ceiling, near the periscope openings.

      At the rear of the pillbox, and near the top, there are two holes into which steel bars may be inserted to lift the pillbox on and off its trailer. When these holes are not in use, they are closed by metal plugs.
      Ammunition is stored on shelves below the machine gun, in the forward part of the pillbox. There are also two boxes for tools and spare parts for the gun. Space is provided for a field telephone. The pillbox accommodates two men, and was armed an M.G. 34 or 42.
Panzernest pillbox cutaway
      Under combat conditions the observer looks through one of the periscopes to observe and direct the gunner's fire. The gunner observes through the forward slit. Protection from the front against rifle, grenade and artillery fire is by means of the iron slit cover which is manipulated to cover or open slit from the inside.
      Inside the pillbox there is sufiicient room for both members of the crew to sit comfortably and move around to a limited extent. There is a small heating stove and a ventilating apparatus, operated by a foot pedal, which provides suificient changes of air when all vents are closed. There is enough ammunition for 5 to 10 hours of fire.
Methods of Combatting:
       As only about one meter of this pill box shows above the ground, it is very difficult to detect. Thorough reconnaissance is imperative. It can best be detected by the outline of its embrasure, by its periscopes, flue pipe, and flash and powder when firing.

Panzernest light bunker
prefabricated bunker
Place of origin                                          
Service history
In service
Used by
Germany and its allies
World War II
3 tons
1.66 m (without towbar)
1.70 m
1.82 m

138 mm - level with embrasure
89 mm - below embrasure
4 mm - sides, rear and top
1 mm - lower section and floor
Main armament  
MG-42 or MG-34 with 60° horizontal fire angle

Max. towing speed
10 Km/h

The kits:
      It's an old resin kit from Wespe Models: A simple and easy to build kit... I built this kit in 2006...Long, long time ago !!!!
Kit's box
Building the chassis and the cabin
Painting the cabin's interior
Cabin closed
Rear suspension...
front suspension
front axle...
Wheels !!

almost ready
next step: Panzer gray
           Now, it's time to build the Panzernest: The kit from RPM is nasty, awful, horrible !!! Burrs and defects simply unbelievable! (pic from M31 project)
Eeeeewww !!!!
      After lots of work, this is the results: Panzernest in transportation mode:

Notice the decal: maximum speed under towing
       As usual, I made a profile to guidance in the markings:

Notice the correction in the hood hinges.
The decal was a gift from my friend Fabio Melo...silkscreen in decal sheet...

The composition...
       And the final pics:
Panzernest - front view
Panzernest - rear view

Panzernest under towing
Opel Blitz 1 tonner - Todt Organization, Ghotic Line, Italy, 1944.

Opel Blitz 1 tonner - Todt Organization - right side

Opel Blitz 1 tonner - Todt Organization with Panzernest

Opel Blitz 1 tonner - Todt Organization with Panzernest
left side

Opel Blitz 1 tonner - Todt Organization with Panzernest
right side

Opel Blitz 1 tonner - Todt Organization with Panzernest
Kojak and Rover, the dog.
      Bye for now, Tankers !!!

9 comentários:

  1. Nice model, Marcos! I like how you combine several kits into unique models. I'm also working on two panzernests. They will be fitted on two narrow gauge flat wagons. Your posts and images was a great help. You are right: the RPM kit is bad. But it's cheap and you have to work with the texture of the cast armour anyway, so I wasn't too annoyed with the quality.

    I'm also working on the double cab Ford - more on my blog in a few weeks.

    Best regards from Denmark!

  2. Hi, Marcos.
    I read the first bye ...
    :) Well, of course I looked again ...
    A great performance again, stunning models and History
    For me, a new thing, these steel-nest, on the wheels

  3. @Claus:
    Hi, Claus...Glad to see you here, again...Man, I'll see your kits, no doubt...And anxious to see the ford double cab... Big hug and take care...

    Hi, my finn friend !!! The steel bunkers are weird, indeed...I imagine the feeling of claustrophobia inside a bunker of these ...Poor soldiers !!!
    Cheers and see you, soon !!!

  4. Congratulations on this build, Marcos. I like the way you go deep into historical research. Cheers, master!

  5. Hi, Big Biker !!!
    Thanks a lot, Sergei.

    take care !!!

  6. Again a great duo, a nearly unknown version of the Opel Blitz. A 5 stars work my friend.

  7. Thanks, Alain !!! sorry for the delay in responding, but I'm traveling ....

    Big hug, my friend !!!!

  8. I have recently finished my two panzernests. A project started primarily because of the inspiration I got from your builds. My models may not be quite so successful as yours, but I'm fond of them anyway. You can see them here: and

    As always I'm looking forward to your next crazy model!

    Claus, Copenhagen

  9. Hi, Claus...Wonderful work with panzernests...Good job, my friend. Well done !!!

    Hugs !!!