Tally Ho Chaps!
My previous forays into World War Two have taken me far onto the Russian Steppe and the winter forests of Finland. I have sizeable Finnish, Russian and German forces, but what to build for “Project platoon”… Hmmm…
The next issue was the challenge given to me by Jasper - to paint these models to the highest standard I could. I’m not the best of painters but I get the job done.
My decision was partly decided by need (we needed Allies) and partly by the want to try something new. Otherwise I’d have probably been building a Luftwaffe field division or similar (somethign different from the usual ‘uber’ Germans; SchutzStaffel are not my cup of tea). With Airborne gone, I thought the British, old ‘Tommy Atkins’, wasn’t such a bad choice after all. I’d been facinated with the 7th Armoured Division from their initial battles in the desert to the Normandy invasion. The fight around Villiers-Bocage has always interested me along with the myth of Wittmann and his Tiger. However Jasper wanted the theme to be based around Market Garden. So perhaps not 7th Armoured (this time at least, I’m sure I’ll write an article on Villiers-Bocage one day) but based on the ‘Garden’ component of Market Garden, XXX Corps and their ‘Cavalry’ dash to Arnhem.
At once, I had visions of Michael Caine as J.O.E. Vandeleur from the film ‘A bridge too far’ and the initial advance of XXX Corps into the German lines. So what force to have?
The obvious one for me being a Devon lad was the 2nd Batallion of the Devonshire Regiment, part of the Northumbrian 50th Division. The 50th Division saw action on D Day itself and the fierce fighting in Normandy and in Holland, so would suit my needs for having a flexible force for the whole of the North Western Europe campaign.
Next time I’ll discuss what forces I’m collecting and why - although I will mention I fancy a mix of metal and plastic. I had such fun (and so many plasters on fingers!) converting my old Catachan and Cadian 40K models (yes, I dabbled!). I’m probably going for a fairly standard infantry platoon (although a carrier reconaissance platoon sounds fun) with some armoured support (Sherman V) and the odd Humber scout car. Well that’s it for now. Time for some tea!