Sunday, 14 October 2018

Infanterie greift an - Early War Germans

First of all apologies for not having commented on some of your blogs as of late. Blogger seems to have a glitch as there are a few blogs I simply can't comment on, no matter what I try. WhenI try to send my comment it simply vanishes. Not sure if it's maybe goofiness on my part, so I'll keep tryin'.

Following on from my last post I've continued to work on some Early War stuff. While going through all the options the new CoC Blitzkrieg 1940 supplement offers I came to realize I'm short a few squads of German infantry. At least if I'm to build a full 1st Wave platoon, or maybe even a Schützen Platoon. Strangely enough I do have enough Tommies for now...which of course doesn't mean I won't add to them as well. Another thing I'm eyeing as of lately are those tasty Dutch by May '40 miniatures... you see I'm quite into early war again.

The German infantry man was, and sometimes still is, commonly known as Landser. While there's  some debate as to where this term actually stems from personally I tend to support the view that it's a reference to the Landsknechte (sometimes also Lanzknechte as a reference to their main weapon, the pike which is more or less the equivalent of a lance or Lanze) of 15th and 16th century Europe.

As a result of the lessons learned in WW1 infantry tactics of all nations changed enormously and as a consequence much emphasis was placed on fire and movement tactics. For the German Wehrmacht this was facilitated by the MG 34, which was the first real German light machine gun. Introduced in 1934 it was distributed from 1936 on and was probably the best machine gun in service at that time.

When the war started in earnest in 1939 a regular Schützenzug (regular infantry squad) had just one of these formidable weapons at its disposal. Initially it was served by a gunner and three loaders forming the fire base of the Zug. The gunner and two of the loaders had a pistol in addition to the machine gun, while the third loader had a rifle. The squads leader usually stayed with the machine gun to direct its fire, while his assistant (also a NCO) went with the other part of the squad, the manoeuvre element. This consisted of seven regular rifle men.

The above organization was deemed to cumbersome and in 1941 the machine gun team, still under direction of the NCO, was reduced to just three man with the second loader being issued a rifle. The rest of the platoon was reduced to just six men. There's some debate if this structure was actually implemented in all units in time for the invasion of France, but generally I'd assume this to be the case for most if not all the frontline units. However, when the war progressed and manpower shortages started to become a serious problem the third loader was dropped from the roster and became a regular rifleman.

The Squads NCO's were supposed to be armed with MP40's or its predecessor the MP38, by May 1940 and I tend to believe this to be true for at least the lower numbered (thus of higher quality) waves of Infantry Divisions. The MP40 was and still is frequently referred to as a 'Schmeisser', after Hugo Schmeisser a German designer of firearms, but actually Mr. Schmeisser had relatively little to do with the development of this particular weapon.

Rugged and reliable it was a weapon well liked by those who used it. It had two minor drawbacks, both of which related to the magazine. It's mechanism could lead to jams when dirty or not held the right way. When held at the magazine, which is a popular pose for it to be held in most Hollywood movies (and sadly many a miniature sculpt) by any German, you definitley found the way to make the weapon jam in no time.
The other drawback cited frequently was the magazine feeding from below, unlike with the Sten for example, this made it hard to use the weapon on flat ground when prone. On the other hand exactly this feature makes it easier to use in built up areas with lots of debris to take cover behind and corners to sneak around.
So, when handled properly the Maschinenpistole 40 was a remarkable weapon and used by many a nation till well after the war. The Norvegian army in fact only withdrew its last MP 40's as late as the early 90's.

So, that's for it today. I hope you have a nice Sunday and till next time!

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Achtung - Panzer!

I was eyeing the plastic Panzer 38(t) from Warlord Games for a good while now, but as I currently wasn't into Early War WW2 I saw no imminent need and thus was in no hurry to get me one.
Well, this immediately changed with the release of the Blitzkrieg 1940 supplement for Chain of Command by TooFatLardies. It's not only crammed full to the brim with army lists for the six nations involved in Fall Gelb and Fall Rot along with rules amandments for even more period flavour, but also contains five new scenarios to give you even more Blitzkrieg for your bug. Well, you see... I'm quite impressed with that latest offering from the Lardies.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Oggi Parliamo Italiano

Well, let's talk Italian for a change. Over the last months I've been painting away on a small Italian unit for fellow Blogger Pat, well known through his blog -Wargaming with Silver Whistle- and Author of the rather excellent "Setting the Scene: Winter Wargaming".
Right now he's working on a second book focusing on the Mediterranean. I've painted a few figures previously for him which featured in his first book and as he asked me if I'd like to paint something for his upcoming book I took the chance to help the Regio Esercito Italiano to "their place in the sun".

Sunday, 5 August 2018

2nd Soviet Tank Rider Squad

Due to the ongoing heat wave in this part of Europe I've barely touched a brush over the last few weeks. It was only in the early hours when temperatures outside were down to a bearable 24°C (which didn't mean the flat has cooled down as much sadly), that I got in any painting time. Instead of finishing off the afore mentioned Italians I made best use of what little time I had before the heat struck again, and finished off a second squad of Soviet Tank Riders for Chain of Command.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Viva España! - Some terrain for SCW

Well, to be perfectly honest I actually should be sitting on my desk and paint some WW2 Italians I promised to get done for a friend. And actually most of them are more or less done already... just the finishing touches. Ok, who am I kidding here?
Truth is I got distracted by Pats (Wargaming with Silver Whistle) *latest blogpost* about his upcoming book Setting the Scene 2. Loads of wonderful pictures to get inspired by. And inspired I got...

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Chain of Command - Somewhere in Holland 1944

Just a few snapshots of a recent game of Chain of Command we had at my place. It saw an American advance column facing off against German Fallschirmjäger somewhere in Holland late summer 1944.
Both forces were regular and had minimal support, i.e. no tanks or other flights of fancy.
The Germans started off with a Force Morale rating of 10, where as the Americans had to make do with a mere 8.

The attackers table edge

Saturday, 9 June 2018

SCW - Yet more Republicans

It's summer. And as in every summer thus far the hobby is placed on a backburner while other things get priority. So these guys were sitting on my painting table for quite some time now. To be perfectly honest it wasn't only the summer though...

Monday, 21 May 2018

Back to late antiquity

I haven't painted anything for my Late Romans in a while and, truth be told, even todays offerings were finished quite some time back in 2017. But I've finally got in gear and took some photos.

First off my new mounted Warlord/ Tribune. Figures are Westwind Miniatures with heads taken from Wargames Foundry. Westwind do some very characterful figures, which fit nicely with Footsore and Gripping Beast, but some of the heads can be a little hit and miss unfortunately.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Sightseeing 500 A.D.

I've been running a small competition on the German Sweetwater Forum. The goal was to create a small vignette.

To see the other entries I encourage you to visit the link above. Some really nice scenes there.

Have a nice sunday!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Ludi incipiant!

I hardly have touched a brush since the end of the challenge, thus I finally took the opportunity to take some pictures of miniatures I already painted last year but didn't come round to post.
First will be my small collection of Gladiators.

remember to click for a bigger picture
Miniatures are from the superb Crusader Miniatures range and were a real joy to paint. I even took the chance to try to hand paint the shields. I'm rather chuffed I have to admit.
In my opinion Gladiators also offer the perfect chance to try out some recipes for different skin colours.

I still have some more of these in the painting queue but these will have to wait till I feel a little more like painting again.

Till next time!

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Some 15mm for a change

After having painted a sizable US Paratrooper force for the Battle of the Bulge over the last two years, I decided it was about high time to give them some opponents...

... oh well, bugger that.

No, in fact I started work on some US Army guys ready to invade Tunisia/ Sicily/ Normandy. Figures are the current Battlefront plastic offerings. I got them for a steal which meant instead of painting up some Brits for a change, I was stuck with US... again.
The figures are OK-ish. Better than most of their metal ones but still there's the odd miscast in the mix.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Bring on the armour!

Having had a few days off this last week I decided I'd would probably make best use of it by painting up some of the armour, that was sitting unfinished on my shelf for months now.
While I generally like painting armour I need to be in the right mood for it, as firstly I actually quite hate airbrushing and secondly I'm always worrying about overdoing the weathering.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Soviet Tank Rider Squad

Who would have guessed? Three consecutive entries in just as many weeks. Seems like while the challenge slowly but surely is drawing to a close my hobby boat is finally taking up some much needed steam.
This week sees me back at a project I keep returning to time and again, but never quite seem to have the stomach to see it through. 

Friday, 2 March 2018

Fallschirmjäger Support & Volksgrenadier with ride

Just a token submission today as life has once again got rather busy around here. I won't bore you with the details as I know you all will be familiar with such moments in your hobby lives.
After having just recently made the switch from Bolt Action to Chain of Command -and not having regretted it for a second- I felt the need for adding a few items to my Fallschirmjäger force.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

SCW Milicianas & Milicioanos

It's almost been a month since my last entry, which is a shame as I had the miniatures for this submission sitting almost finished on my desk, for the best part of two weeks.
Real life got in the way and thus I only came round to take pictures this week.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Condor Legion 8.8cm Flak

We have a saying here in Germany: "Mit Kanonen auf Spatzen schiessen", literally translated as "To shoot with cannons at sparrows", meaning something along the lines of cracking a nut with a sledgehammer.
And that in my opinion sums up the 8.8cm FlaK, when used in an anti-tank role in a Spanish Civil War setting, nicely. Shooting high velocity armour-piercing rounds at targets with paper thin armour could be considered something of an overkill by some, but that's just what happened.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Tropas Regulares de Marruecos

This entry definitely was a close run thing. Just as I type this I'm waiting for a colleague of mine to pick me up for work. I still have to pack my stuff for the week, so I better make this short.
Well, todays entry sees the first few Moroccan Regulars for my ongoing Spanish Civil War project.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Reinforcements for la Legión

My first post in the new year and I'm back to a project from last years Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. Back then I started what was to become my main project for the whole of 2017, i.e. a force for gaming the Spanish Civil War. I settled on starting with the rather fetching Spanish foreign legion but it inevitably became two forces as I simply couldn't pass by all those lovely Republicans on offer from Empress Miniatures.
Still, I'm back to reinforce la Legión in order to finally get in some games using Chain of Command from the TooFatLardies.