Roden Military 1/35 Opel Blitz 3.6-47 Model W39 Ludewig Late Omnibus Kit
Military Model DepotROD-808
Serious production of the bus, officially designated the Opel 3.6-47 type W39, started in the second half of 1939, almost at the same time as the invasion of Poland by Germany and the start of WWII. At first, the number of vehicles produced per month was very small, but already in 1940 about one hundred units per month off were coming off the production line in Essen. During the manufacturing process of the bus a number of changes were made to its construction which were reflected in its appearance. For one, the spare wheel was moved from under the rear frame on its left hand side to a special niche in a side panel. Single molding under the windows was replaced by a double form. Series production lasted until mid-1943, when the situation became worse for Germany at the Front, basic industrial materials were in short supply, and as a result, Ludewig had to seriously simplify the structure of the bus. During this period 2,880 units of the early version were produced overall, which were sent both to the Eastern Front in Russia, and to the Afrika Corps of General Rommel in North Africa.
In addition to its main purpose - the conveyance of Wehrmacht officers - buses had to perform various other functions such as those of mobile headquarters, telephone exchange and radio station, mobile bakery and laundry, etc. Special note should be made of their role in transporting wounded from battlefield to hospital - rows of seats were removed and in their place several stretchers with wounded could be easily brought through the back door that opened into the interior, thus leaving space free for the installation of medical equipment.
Opel Blitz 3.6-47 buses were used by the army until the very end of the war, but immediately afterwards they quickly disappeared, giving way to more modern developments of the Opel concern during the early postwar years.