V1 and Launcher Ramp

The V-1 was the first of the so-called “Vengeance weapons” series  deployed for the terror bombing of London. It was developed at Peenemünde Army Research Center in 1939 by the Luftwaffe. Because of its limited range, the thousands of V-1 missiles launched into England were fired from launch facilities along the French (Pas-de-Calais) and Dutch coasts. The Wehrmacht first launched the V-1s against London on 13 June 1944, one week after (and prompted by) the successful Allied landings in France.

This V1 flying bomb and ramp was on display at The Imperial War Museum at Duxford.

V1

The V1 flying bomb was powered by an Argus 109-014 pulse-jet engine, carried a warhead of approximately 850kg, and was guided to its target by an autopilot. The maximum range was typically 149 miles, with a maximum speed of 400mph.

Although some V1s were air-launched, most were catapulted from specially constructed ramps.

V1 Ramp

I’ve always thought that either a Dutch or French Resistance or UK Commando raid on a V1 base to stop them launching would make for an interesting game. Why send in ground troops when a bombing raid would work just as well? Then I was thinking about adding in the complication of a chemical or biological armed V1 that would need to be taken care of on the ground. There were some real raids on V1 bases as part of Operation Crossbow., which was the code name in World War II for Anglo-American operations against the German long range reprisal weapons (V-weapons) programme. In 1965 a film Operation Crossbow, based on these raids, was released.

Battlefront released a 15mm version in their Hit the Beach Boxed set.

For 20mm gamers there is a 1/72nd model kit of the V1 and launch ramp available.

If you are playing Bolt Action, then Charlie Foxtrot Models do a MDF kit of the ramp for 28mm gamers, but you probably need to buy the Tamiya 1/48th scale plastic kit for the V1 itself. That kit does come with a trolley as well.

V1

There was a V1 at the Imperial War Museum in London.

M3 Grant Medium Tank

This enormous tank presents an interesting contrast with contemporary British designs. American manufacturing techniques, using sophisticated machine tools, not only speeded up production but also ensured high reliability. Even so Britain insisted on modifications to the American design which resulted in a different turret but both types saw service with British forces. Those with the original turret were designated Lee, those with the British style turret were Grants.

The M3 Grant Medium Tank was on display at Bovington. In the background is a Light Tank M3A1 Stuart IV.

M3 Grant Medium Tank

The main asset of the tank, from the British point of view, was the 75mm gun which could fire high explosive and armour piercing ammunition. The former was the perfect answer to Rommel’s imaginative use of anti-tank guns and there is no doubt that Grant tanks were largely responsible for halting Rommel’s attack during the key battle of Alam Halfa.

For all that the Grant was a difficult tank to fight in. The low position of the main gun meant that it was impossible to conceal and the tank often had to swing round in order to bring this gun to bear. Riveted construction was also a serious liability by 1942 while the 37mm gun, in the turret, was all but useless.

Tanks of this type were first used in Western Desert in 1942. Mechanically reliable but soon superseded by Sherman.

Over at Duxford they have the one used by General Montgomery during the battle of El Alamein. The 37mm gun was replaced by a wooden dummy gun barrel to create more room in the turret for extra radio equipment.

M3A5 General Grant II (Monty's)

Notice the difference in track guards.

Undercoating the Morris CS9 Armoured Car

The Morris CS9/Light Armoured Car was a British armoured car used by the British Army in the World War II. The vehicle was based on a Morris Commercial C9 4×2 15-cwt truck chassis. On this chassis a rivetted hull was mounted with an open-topped two-man turret. The armament consisted of either Boys anti-tank rifle and Bren light machine gun or Vickers machine gun. The vehicle carried a No. 19 radio set.

The prototype was tested in 1936. A further 99 cars were ordered and were delivered in 1938. Thirty-eight of these cars were used by the 12th Royal Lancers in the Battle of France, where all of them were destroyed or abandoned. Another 30 served with the 11th Hussars in the North African Campaign. It was found that when fitted with desert tyres the vehicle had good performance on soft sand. However, its armour and armament were insufficient. The vehicle was retired halfway through the North African Campaign.

Morris CS9/Light Armoured Car

This is the finished version of the Bolt Action model, as seen on the Warlord Games website.

The pack contains a resin and metal kit. The hull and turret are resin, the wheels, guns and axels are whitemetal.

Having glued the axels and wheels to the main hull, I glued the weapons to the turret. I also managed to stick the headlamps into place, this was much harder than it looks and it took a couple of attempts.

Morris CS9 Armoured Car

Morris CS9 Armoured Car

I gave the underneath of the model a black undercoat followed by a white undercoat.

Morris CS9 Armoured Car

Morris CS9 Armoured Car

Morris CS9 Armoured Car

The next stage will be the base coat. I will be trying to replicate this paint scheme which shows a camouflage disruptive pattern.

Morris CS9/Light Armoured Car

See the full workbench feature on the Bolt Action Morris CS9 Armoured Car.

I also have a Flames of War blister of a 15mm Morris CS9 as well.

M3A5 General Grant II (Monty’s)

US WW2 medium tank, powered by twin General Motors 6-71 diesel engines, use by General Montgomery during the battle of El Alamein. The 37mm gun was replaced by a wooden dummy gun barrel to create more room in the turret for extra radio equipment.

M3A5 General Grant II (Monty's)

This Tank was used by General (later Field Marshal) Sir Bernard Law Montgomery in the Desert Campaign in 1942 – 1943, including the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942 in which the 8th Army defeated Rommel. It continued to be used by Monty during the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, and for the remainder of that year as the 8th Army advanced into Italy. It was attached to 8th Army Headquarters and was used by Montgomery and subsequent Commanders for forward observation on the battlefield. It was “Monty’s wish” that the tank should be handed back to his old Regiment, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and in 1948 it was brought from Austria to England and became gate guardian at Budbrooke Barracks outside Warwick.

British Sexton Self-Propelled Artillery

The 25pdr SP, tracked, Sexton was a self-propelled artillery vehicle of the Second World War.

British Sexton Self-Propelled Artillery

It was based on Canadian-built derivatives of the American M3 Lee and M4 Sherman tank chassis, which entered production in Canada as the Ram and Grizzly. When Sherman production in the US expanded and supply was no longer a problem, in 1943 it was decided to switch the Canadian production lines to produce the Sexton to give the British Army a mobile artillery gun using their Ordnance QF 25 pounder gun-howitzer. It found use in the Canadian and British Army, as well as numerous other British Empire and associated forces. Just after the war, a number of Grizzly and Sextons were sold to Portugal, who used them into the 1980s.

British WW2 self-propelled artillery vehicle based on an American tank chassis, crew of 6, powered by Continental R-975 9-cylinder radial petrol engine, armed with a 25pdr gun and two Bren light machine guns.

Universal Carrier

The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier is a common name describing a family of light armoured tracked vehicles built by Vickers-Armstrong.

Produced between 1934 and 1960, the vehicle was used widely by Allied forces during the Second World War. Universal Carriers were usually used for transporting personnel and equipment, mostly support weapons, or as machine gun platforms. With some 113,000 built in the United Kingdom and abroad, it was the most numerous armoured fighting vehicle in history.

This carrier was on display at the Bovington Tank Museum.

Universal Carrier

This carrier was part of the Imperial War Museum Duxford Land Warfare Exhibit.

Universal Carrier

SU-100

The SU-100 was a Soviet tank destroyer armed with a 100 mm anti-tank gun in a casemate superstructure. This is one on display at the Imperial war museum in Duxford.

SU-100

The SU-100 was used extensively during the last year of World War II and saw service for many years afterwards with the armies of Soviet allies around the world. It is still in active service today in many countries.

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 T34-85 and T54 Soviet tanks, along with tank destroyers such as the Su-100. In the book there are also Sherman tanks manned by (West) German forces.

Battlefront make a very nice plastic 15mm version of the SU-100.

Flames of War 15mm SU-100

IS-2M

This huge IS-2M is on display at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.

IS-2M

The IS-2 tank first saw combat in early 1944, equipping elite Guards Heavy Tank Regiments of the Red Army. A regiment had 21 IS-2 tanks in four companies of five tanks each and one being used by the regimental commander.The special tank regiments were reserved for important attacks, often to spearhead attempts to break through fortified German positions like anti-tank defence lines and bunkers. The tanks supporting infantry in the assault by destroying bunkers, buildings, dug-in weapons and engaging German armoured vehicles. Once a breakthrough was achieved, lighter and more mobile tanks were used for exploitation and mopping-up. The IS-2 tank first saw action in Ukraine in early 1944 and claimed to have destroyed more than forty Tigers and Elefants for the loss of only eight tanks. While the German heavy tanks could knock out the IS-2, they had no real answer to its 122 mm gun, which easily outgunned them.

The IS-2M is a 1950s modernization of IS-2 tanks.

IS-2M

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 Soviet tanks, such as the IS-2 or the IS-3. In the book there are also Sherman tanks manned by (West) German forces.

M10 Tank Destroyer

This M10 Tank Destroyer in winter camouflage was on display at Bovington Tank Museum. This is a British variant armed with a 17 pounder anti-tank gun.

M10 Tank Destroyer

The M10 tank destroyer was an American tank destroyer of World War II. The prototype of the M10 was conceived in early 1942, being delivered in April of that year. After appropriate changes to the hull and turret were made, the modified version was selected for production in June 1942 as the 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10. It mounted a 3-inch (76.2 mm) Gun M7 in a rotating turret on a modified M4A2 Sherman tank chassis.

I have a few 15mm Flames of War Self Propelled, Achilles, of the British variant of the American M10 Tank destroyer armed with the powerful British Ordnance QF 17 pounder anti-tank gun in place of the standard 3″ (76.2 mm) Gun M7.

Somau S35

This Somua S35 was on display at the Bovington Tank Museum.

Somau S35

The Somua S35 was a French cavalry tank of the Second World War. Built from 1936 until 1940 to equip the armoured divisions of the Cavalry, it was for its time a relatively agile medium-weight tank, superior in armour and armament to both its French and foreign competitors, such as the contemporary versions of the German Panzerkampfwagen III. It was constructed from well-sloped, mainly cast, armour sections, that however made it expensive to produce and time-consuming to maintain. During the German invasion of May 1940, the Somua S35 proved itself to be a tactically effective type, but this was negated by strategic mistakes in deploying its units.

Somau S35

I have a few of these in 15mm scale including a Flames of War Objective.

Flames of War French Somua S-35

Flames of War General de Gaulle