In 1942, the Hungarian Toldi I tank was severely outclassed by the Soviet T-34s it was coming up against. Most of them were relegated to a reconnaisse role, but 4 were re-purposed into medical vehicles, with another 9 rebuilt in 1944. Today we look into the oddity that is the Hungarian Medical Toldi and how you can use them in your games.
Captain Dr. Bela Ringelhann of the 30/I. Tank Battalion in a Medical Toldi in 1942 (photo from Magyar Steel).
Information on the Medical Toldi is very scarce or at least it is in English. The awesome source on Hungarian armoured vehicles that is Magyar Steel (written by Csaba Becze) mentions that 4 Toldi Is were rebuilt as Medical Toldi in 1942, with a further 9 being rebuilt in 1944. These were used by Hungarian doctors attached to armour units to give them the speed and protection need to provide direct aid to knocked out tank crews.
Another source mentions the Medical Toldi had it's armaments removed and the turret hatches enlarged to allow easier access for injuried Honveds (aka. Hungarian soldiers).
I have made my Medical Toldi from a Mad Bob Miniatures Toldi kit, with a metal Warlord Games german tank crew (actually their Michael Wittman model) and some extra stowage. As far as I know, the use of an fully enclosed armoured vehicle as transport for medical staff is unique to the Hungarians for World War 2 and it would be a great unit to use in your games of Bolt Action. The good thing is, you can use a suitable unit entry for it by using your Axis Allies national rule. The Germans have access to the Sdkfz 251/8 Ambulance and you can take one as your allied unit.
The Sdkfz 251/8 and a Toldi I are both Damage Value 7+ and the Ambulance is unarmed just like a Medical Toldi would be. The Medical Vehicle special rule makes perfect sense for the Medical Toldi. One sticking point is the Sdkfz 251/8 is open-topped where-as a Toldi is capable of buttoning up but if it did so, the doctor would be unable to administer aid. So open-topped actually makes sense for the Medical Toldi to be able to fulfill it's role. The other sticking point is the 251/8 is a half-track and the Toldi is tracked. Using it as tracked is actually a detriment to you, as half-tracks move the same but with one extra 90 degree turn, so this shouldn't be a problem with any reasonable opponent.
Below are the rules for the Sdkfz 251/8 from the official Bolt Action Additional Units pdf, repurposed for our Medical Toldi.
Hungarian Medical Toldi
Cost: 75pts (Regular)
Weapons: none (Much like empty transports, ambulances are
destroyed if they end their turn closer to enemy units than to
friendly units, as described on page 92-93 of the Bolt Action
Damage Value: 7+ (armoured carrier)
• Open topped
• Medical vehicle: Being in proximity of an ambulance means that
any wounded soldiers nearby have a chance of being treated by a
medic or stretcher bearer from amongst the crew of the
ambulance. All infantry and artillery units within 6” of the vehicle
count as within 6” of a medic.