This Westland Wessex HC.2 was on display at RAF Cosford. The HC.2 was a RAF Troop carrier for up to 16 troops, the prototype was converted from an HAS1 and an additional 73 were built.
The Westland Wessex is a British-built turbine-powered development of the Sikorsky H-34. It was developed and produced under licence by Westland Aircraft (later Westland Helicopters). One of the main changes from Sikorsky’s H-34 was the replacement of the piston-engine powerplant with a turboshaft engine. Early models were powered by a single Napier Gazelle engine, while later builds used a pair of de Havilland Gnome engines.
I didn’t realise that the last RAF Wessex helicopters (Cyprus based HC Mk 2s) retired as late as 2003.
I missed out on last year’s Battlefront Team Yankee 15mm De Lorean objective and I guess I will probably miss out on this year’s objective too….
To match last year’s wildly popular Delorean objective for WWIII, we’ve delivered on the promise of a Libyan-terrorists-in-a-van Objective to match! Of course, based on the famous scene from the beginning of Back to the Future. Now lets see if they can do 90.
Here is the VW Bus with the De Lorean.
I really like these models, but not sure if I will make it to any tournament to get one.
So there I was flicking through the November issue of Wargames Illustrated when there was a Battlefront advert for a Team Yankee British army deal. Oh I thought just another way of getting some more Chieftain MBTs…
It’s a Challenger I for Team Yankee.
I hadn’t seen that before, or even heard it was coming out.
In the same Army Deal you get along with the five Challenger I tanks, two Lynx helicopters, two MLRS Rocket Launchers, two Chieftain tanks, two Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles with Milans, two Scorpion tanks and four Fox Armoured Cars.
I don’t recall seeing the Fox Armoured Cars either…
The Comet (A34) was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of World War II. It was designed to provide greater anti-tank capability to Cromwell tank squadrons. It was armed with a 77mm HV, a derivative of the 17 pounder, with the result it was one of the few British tanks with the firepower to challenge late war German designs.
One of the most popular posts on the blog is an article I wrote back in 2011 on the Battle of the Bulge reporting on the news that Flames of War was going to release models and rules for the Battle.
Then I said:
I would like to see two tanks in particular, the M24 Chaffee and the British Comet. These tanks are currently not in the FoW range.
I was pleased when Battlefront released the plastic model back in 2015, however I didn’t manage to get some until now. I am not a great fan of the plastic kits, much prefer the resin models which have more weight.
It was on the eBay I purchased two of the sets containing two Comets each.
The box contains two plastic Comet sprue and were designed as expansions to the original Open Fire starter box. So you get some data cards too.
Though you don’t get the (metal) commanders that you get in the five Comet box.
Really pleased that I have some now, I have been thinking of using them not only for Late War Flames of War games, but also 1950s Cold War games. The Comet remained in British service until 1958. Reading the Hot War books from Harry Turtledove has inspired me to think about gaming some scenarios from the books. British Comets and Centurions versus Russians T34-85 and T54 Soviet tanks with American M26 Pershing and M48 Patton tanks. In the book there are also Sherman manned by (West) German forces.
On a recent visit to RAF Cosford Museum I took some more photographs of the RAF Regiment Scorpion that was on display in the Cold War exhibition.
The RAF Regiment’s mission is protection of RAF bases from ground attack, and patrolling a large area around main operating bases abroad, in order to defend aircraft on ingress and egress from surface to air attack.
It was in November 1981, the RAF Regiment took delivery of its first Scorpions.
The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle. It was the lead vehicle and the fire support type in the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked), CVR(T), family of seven armoured vehicles. Manufactured by Alvis, it was introduced into service with the British Army in 1973 and served until 1994.
In 1989 No. 1 Squadron RAF Regiment was based at RAF Laarbruch. It had 15x Spartan and 6x Scorpion. No. 51 Squadron RAF Regiment, at RAF Bruggen, also had 15x Spartan and 6x Scorpion.
RAF Bruggen was situated next to the village of Elmpt, approximately 43 kilometres (27 mi) west of Düsseldorf near the Dutch-German border.
RAF Laarbruch was also located in Germany, however it on its border with the Netherlands.
The role of the RAF Regiment would have been to defend the airfields from Warsaw Pact attack.
You can imagine in the world of Team Yankee (and Iron Maiden) that the RAF Regiment would be involved in fighting Warsaw Pact forces, though much of it would probably have been Spetsnaz, Soviet Special Forces. This is more appropriate to a 20mm or 25mm skirmish type game rather than the 15mm tank versus tank battles of Team Yankee.
Soviet Airborne forces made use of the BMD1 and BMD2 and these were air-portable.
These could be the ideal opposition for the RAF Regiment Scorpion tanks.
Though once the Cold War turned hot would the Soviets be able to push airborne troops that far west through contested airspace?
Maybe take an alternate perspective and use my own British Civil War background and have them as supporting Royalist forces, or as the Republican opposition.
Had my first game of Team Yankee at the weekend, using my new painted (but not finished) Scorpion and Scimitar light tanks. This was a blue on blue combat with British forces versus British forces. I had a platoon of Centurions to fight alongside my Scorpions and Scimitars. Opposing them was Centurions, FV432 APCs, with Carl Gustav teams and 66mm LAW teams. British troops refer to the Carl Gustav as the “Charlie G”. This was no 1985 era game, but really more likely 1971 or thereabout.
My first impression was that this is quite a deadly game and you need to play tactically.
Though not the same as Flames of War there are similarities. One aspect which still confuses me, partly due to experience playing other rule sets I think. So the process of rolling to hit is based on the target not the unit or weapon firing confuses me slightly.
I think the answer is to play more games of Team Yankee.
Overall the Centurions were deadly, however I can imagine if they were up against more modern tanks they would suffer. You would need a fair few Centurions to ensure you could take any punishment and flank the more powerful tanks.
I did like the speed and weapons of the Scorpions, but their thin armour was little protection from the 105mm guns of the Centurions or even the Carl Gustav and 66mm LAWs.
I have been thinking about the paint scheme for my Scorpions and Scimitars.
One choice would be to paint them as part of the BAOR tracked reconnaissance regiment. The kind of scheme they would have in 1985 just as war broke out.
Another choice was to paint them, if they had been fighting World War III for a while, possibly even after a limited nuclear exchange. The inspiration for this scheme is of course GDW’s Twilight 2000 background. These could be BAOR vehicles struggling to find their way home or another perspective could be the remnants of the British Army attempting to maintain control in a Britain broken apart by the nuclear exchange.
The Centurion, introduced in 1945, was the primary British main battle tank of the post-Second World War period. It is widely considered to be one of the most successful post-war tank designs, remaining in production into the 1960s, and seeing combat in the front lines into the 1980s.
According to this source, in 1981, the BAOR had 300 Centurion main battle tanks in reserve.
You can imagine that if World War III had started as imagined in the book by Harold Coyle that the British Army would want to use all the tanks they had access to when faced with the might of the armoured formations of the Warsaw Pact.
So though the Iron Maiden rules don’t cover the Centurion tank and no (British) models have been released I still thought it would be nice to have some Centurions on the gaming table.
So I ordered and purchased a couple of Sho’T models from the Flames of War Fate of a Nation range and will paint them up as British Army Centurions for use in Team Yankee games.
I did consider getting the ANZAC Centurion Mk 5s from the Vietnam range, but they don’t have skirts. After operating for a few weeks in Vietnam, the tanks crews soon learned to remove the protective armoured side skirts from both sides of the tank, to prevent the vegetation and mud from building up between the track and the mudguards.
I did think that in a World War III scenario such modifications or battle damage would still mean the models could be used, but as the Israeli Sho’T models already come with skirts, I decided to use them.
So are you using Centurions in your Team Yankee games?