Hubner's 88 Battery Box - GBX50
DAK Heavy Anti-aircraft Gun Platoon (GBX50)
Arnold Hübner was born in 1919, the son of a First World War veteran with both classes of Iron Cross. In 1939 he was drafted into the Luftwaffe. After service with Luftwaffe construction units in Poland he transferred to the FlaK artillerie in 1940. After training he was assigned to 3. Batterie, I/Flak Regiment 33 and spent the early part of 1941 stationed in Holland.
Hübner’s unit was transferred to Libya in 1941 and in May he was in action providing supporting fire during Rommel’s attacks on the British at Mersa Brega. On 25 May 1941 he was awarded an Iron Cross 2nd Class for his part in the action.
On 16 June, during British Operation Battleaxe, Hübner and his fellow FlaK gunners were occupying Point 208, a rocky rise positioned out in the desert. This important position was held by his 8.8cm FlaK battery, anti-tank guns, machine-guns and infantry. The position came under heavy artillery fire before an attack was launched by British Matilda II tanks. Hübner and his fellow gunners opened fire. A furious exchange continued for about half an hour before the Matilda tanks withdrew. At the end of the exchange eight tanks were left smoking on the battlefield. The previously invulnerable Matilda II tanks had met their match in the 8.8cm FlaK36 anti-aircraft gun. Hübner’s gun destroyed several tanks and he was awarded an Iron Cross 1st Class on 5 July 1941 for his part in the battle.
He continued his excellent gunnery throughout the campaign and on 20 August 1941 received the FlaK Kampfabzeichen (Anti-aircraft Battle Badge).
In December 1941 Hübner was in the thick of the action manning his gun against the British offensive, Operation Crusader. His regiment was attached to the 21. Panzerdivision for the operation, defending the line around Bardia. During the fighting Hübner’s gun destroyed eight enemy tanks, to bring his personal total to 24 during 1941. His calmness under fire allowed him to carefully select his targets, making every shot count. His outstanding performance, and that of fellow gunner Erich Heintze, brought them to the attention of Rommel who soon recognised their talents by awarding each a Knight’s Cross, making them the first private soldiers of the Afrikakorps to be awarded so.
In February Flak Regiment 33 returned to Germany to refit and rest. On 7 March 1942 Gefreiter Arnold Hübner received his Knight’s Cross in a ceremony at the regiment’s barracks in Leipzig.
- Two 8.8cm FlaK36 guns with crew
- Two sets of gun wheel carriages
- Arnold Hübner and his Loading crew.
Figures designed by Evan Allen and James Brown
Gun designed by Karl Cederman
Painted by James Brown
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