Saturday, 17 August 2013

Early War German Armour

WARNING:  The images on this post include my poor attempt at representing flags of the Nazi regime (1933-45) ruling in Germany.  These are included purely in the interests of historical accuracy.  If you are located in a region where viewing this material is illegal, please do not proceed any further! 

My first efforts at early war vehicles, I have put together a Panzer Battalion.  I was aiming to use these in a France 1940 game at the Defenders next week, but have just realised that the light companies should be predominantly Pz Is, but here I have used PzIIIs, which, I think makes them more suitable for Barbarossa a year later.  They are painted in a white acrylic gesso undercoat and a diluted Vallejo Black Grey.  Tracks are picked out in oily steel and air recognition flags are black, white and flat red.  Flags are painted on aluminium foil, which is draped over the model and glued in place (see "First Post" for origin of this idea).

The whole battalion, 4 light companies, one heavy company, a recce stand and HQ.

Two light companies from the front, each has a PzII on the left and three PzIIIs.

And from the back, showing the air recognition flags draped over the real engine hatches.  Never sure what the impact was of these flags on air circulation and engine cooling, or even potentially catching fire on hot exhausts - assuming they were cloth flags.

The heavy company, on the left a PzII and on the right two Pz IVs.

The recce stand and HQ.

Recce stand is an Sdkfz231-6 RAD, again with air recognition flag - especially important for recce units operation well to the front of regular forces in 1940.

 HQ stand, consisting of a PzII tank for security, Kubelwagen for the CO and Sdzfz231-6 RAD

So, perhaps better suited to taking on Soviets in 1941 rather than trading shots with Matildas at Arras - might have to pretend the PzIIIs are Is for the upcoming game.

Thanks for looking.


  1. Hi Andy,

    You're right you do have a battalion thats more suited to 1941 than 1940 (I made the same "mistake"). I have the tank allocations to hand for 1940 and the majority of tanks in each division (excluding the ones with Czech tanks) would be Pz I and II's (roughly 40-60 of each per regiment), each battalion would muster perhaps 15 Pz III and 8-10 Pz IV.

    On the plus side you've done far more light companies than you'd need for 1 battalion as each battalion had 2 light and 1 heavy companies along with a HQ and an integral recce platoon of Pz I/II's. If you have a couple of spare HQ's and some more Pz IV's you could muster a regiment.

    For 1941 use the companies as you've done them (same battalion TO&E though there were exceptions), you could add some Pz III's with the short 50mm gun as some units were mixed 37mm/50mm. If you just stuck with the 37mm versions you could use them as a Tauchpanzer (amphibious) battalion as there was one operating as a normal panzer battalion with Army Group Centre (IIRC) and they were used in some of the river crossings. Originally they were for use in operation sealion.

    Hope the above helps, happy to provide tank strengths etc for any division.



  2. Thanks Richard. Most of the models are the fruits of a successful bid on ebay last year, so I painted up what I had and could put into some kind of logical structure. I also got two companies worth of Stug IIIAs (I think) plus lots of Pz38ts and PzIIs - still got to base these up though. I'll have to order a batch of PzIs next time, then I should have the forces to cover just about anything from 1939-1941, especially if I add some later longer barreled PzIIIs. I originally had an extra PzIV company, but I used one of the models to make up a DAK heavy company, so will have to add a couple of them too.