Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New Toys, New Manufacturer and Observations in Scale

I was surfing E-Bay looking to do a little retail therapy when I stumbled across a new miniature manufacturer - War Game Models of Ohio. They make resin vehicles in 15mm that are really nice.

When I added them to my storage trays, I did notice that the T-34 is bigger than my Old Glory (Command Decision) vehicles. It is about a millimeter longer and the barrel and turret seem beefier than the Old Glory models.

For the German trucks, I don't think this will be an issue. If my Radio and tanker truck are slightly bigger than an Opel Blitz truck, I don't think anyone will notice. But the tank is very noticeable when next to the others. I will still use it but I may pick up another Old Glory pack of T34 1940s at some point in the future.

I started to inventory my Early War Soviet collection to see if there are any gaps that I have for the support list in Chain of Command. Honestly, my vehicle recognition skills stink so I was trying to compare my vehicles with pictures on the internet to figure what was what.

I found I have three KV-1s from two different manufacturers. The odd man out looks like the little brother of the other two. I believe that the two larger ones are from Flames of War. But the smaller one has a resin body and metal treads as well. As such, I am stumped as to what it is.

My T34s I recognize without having to compare pictures.

I have a plastic flamethrower variant of a T-26 (Kht-26 maybe? or OT-26). I think it is a Zveda model. Nice but feels fragile.

I have three Gaming Models T-26s. Looking at their site, I actually don't see the same turret as the ones that I have. It looks like his Radio antenna model with out the antenna. Speaking of which, I want one of those.

I have five of the Gaming Models KhTz-16 tractor tanks. Love these models. They were built in two places, Kharkov and Stalingrad. They were a terrible tank and most of them ended up as fiery wrecks but they are just too cool not to have. Gamine Models is the only place to get these. The owner built them for me by request. He did it because he thought they looked cool. Very nice models.

Then I have three Ba-10 armored cars. Two are metal models but are not Old Glory. Not sure whose work they are. And one is a plastic one (probably Zveda again). The plastic one was fiddly to put together. The front bumper snapped right off. But it fits in very well with the others.

That takes me to seven vehicles that I have no clue what they are. I bought them as part of a collection that someone was selling off.

I think two of them are BT-7s. I still have to figure out the others. Back to the search.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Scenarios, Research and Getting Something Done

In a burst of enthusiasm, I managed to finish my AWI supplement yesterday. I also looked over my Kharkov campaign again. It is ready but just needs graphics. To do graphics, I need terrain to take pictures of the troops in. So that had me drag out the train station. As I did so, I pulled out the new styrene strips I bought to continue where I left off. OOps. Wrong thickness. I need to go back to the store. Plus, my wife used up all of the PVA glue in the house for Halloween costumes. Got to get some of that too.

Putting away my train station, I pulled out one of my new favorite books, "The Bloody Triangle" that covers the armored battles in the opening days of Operation Barbarossa in the Ukraine. This was a source I used for the Ustilug Campaign. Great book that is chock full of good stuff to base scenarios on.

As I was reading, I came across a section discussing the 15th Panzer Regiment/11th Panzer Division's advance through the Ukraine. To Quote the author, Victor Kamenir, the town of Radekhov was the site of "the first significant tank battle in Ukraine" (pg 139). This got me excited. It seemed like a great candidate for an IABSM scenario and I know Mark has the miniatures in 6mm to get this done. I kept reading. It seems that the small town of Radekhov was occupied by two tank battalions and one Motor Rifle Battalion from the IV Mechanized Corps. OK. This could be a BIG scenario.

But where on earth is Radekhov? Unfortunately, it is not on www.wwii-photos-maps.com. It is in map M35-62-A which he does not carry. The book describes the town and its neighboring village of Stoyanov as "equally small and insignificant town"(pg 139). But, I found a 1929 Polish map of the area that has both towns referenced by the book present. Much harder to find as they used the Polish names for the towns instead of the Russian/Ukrainian names. You can pull the map up here: http://www.mapywig.org/m/WIG_maps/series/100K/P47_S39_RADZIECHOW_1928_600dpi_bcuj302541-291698.jpg. Below is the part that I am interested in.

Caution, original image is 28MB. I added it here as a small image. I hope it does not bog things down.

The Soviet force was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Georgiy Lysenko. North of Radekhov and between Stoyanov was two battalions of the 10th Tank Division of the XV Mechanized Corps. Around 0330 hours on the 23rd of June, the lead battalion of the 15th Panzer Regiment engaged the battalions of the 10th Tank Division. They brushed them aside and approached Radekhov from the north around 0530 hours.

Here is where I am left slightly disappointed. The description of the battle tells me nothing about the forces that engaged one another. I have no clue what was in the 10th Tank Division at this time. So it was time to dig. Well, I found this little gem: TECHNICAL REPORT FROM THE 10th TANK DIVISION, AUGUST 1941. This was a report filed by the acting commander of the 10th Tank Division in August of 1941. He provides a breakdown of the losses suffered by tank type in the division. Now we are starting to get somewhere. Tanks listed in the losses section are: KV, T-34, T-28, BT-7 and T-26. Unfortunately, there are multiple models of the T-26 and KV tanks so this does not completely clear the muddy waters. But I did remember that I had a book by Charles Sharp somewhere. "The Deadly Beginning: Soviet Tank, Mechanized, Motorized Divisions and Tank Brigades of 1940-1942." Surely this will be enlightening. And it is.

Tank Regiments of the 10th Tank Division

Parent Unit1st BattalionSecond BattalionThird BattalionFourth Battalion
19th Tank Rgt31 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-731 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-731 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-7Light Tanks
20th Tank Rgt31 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-731 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-731 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-7Light Tanks

Well, it helps some. We can assume that the Light tanks are probably T-26's based on the August Report as that is the only tank type missing from it in Charles Sharp's account of the division. In the initial action, the T-34 tanks were not yet encountered. We know this from the next revelation from "The Bloody Triangle."

German aerial reconnaissance spotted a significant body of Soviet Armor approaching Radekhov from the east. This was the bulk of the 10th Tank Division. The whole of the 15th Panzer Regiment deployed in line and waited for the arrival of the 10th. They were supported by artillery and anti-aircraft artillery. This allowed the forward deployed elements of the 10th Tank Division to escape and fall back to join Lysenko's main force.

The Germans pressed on towards Radekhov and were met by Soviet artillery fire and a dozen tanks (no mention of types). The first battalion of the 15th Panzer Regiment dealt with the 12 Soviet tanks. They knocked out three and lost only one of their own vehicles in return. They then took Radekhov. The defenders fled to the south and southeast.

Now this is where the account gets interesting. The 15th halted south of Radekhov just before a hill to the southeast of the town. Lieutenant von Renesse volunteered to lead a reconnaissance of the hill and its surrounding area. His entire platoon (2nd platoon) from the 5th Company volunteered to go forward for the mission. Now we get some details. There were five tanks in the platoon. Three of the tans were armed with the short 5cm cannons and two were armed with the 3.7cm KwK cannons. One of these later types had a non-operational gun but still was eager to go forward.

In researching what tanks were part of the 15th Panzer Regiment, I found a source that said the 5th Company was a light tank company. But this does not work based on the armament of the tanks. The Panzer I and Panzer II light tanks did not have such heavy armament. But, the Panzer III tanks had exactly this armament. So we have one side determined.

The panzers aligned themselves in a wedge formation and moved up to 100 meters before a highway that was on the hill. The panzers encountered a few enemy infantry but reported back that it was smooth going. Then they spotted a formation of four Soviet tanks advancing in a single file line spaced fifty meters apart. The book states that they were of a type that the tankers had never seen before. The panzers got off the road and into position to ambush the advancing Soviet tanks. The Soviet tanks advanced at full speed down the road. At nearly point blank range, the panzers opened fire. Firing as rapidly as possible, the platoon scored hit after hit on the Soviet tanks. The Soviet tanks reaction was to turn around and drive off. The Soviets did not fire a shot, were hit repeatedly and did not lose a single tank.

This was one of the first encounters that the German Army had with the Soviet T-34 tank. This description, coupled with the Polish map should provide enough information for a nice game of Chain of Command. At the bottom of the map above, the hill can clearly be seen as well as the highway that was hidden to the Germans from the base of the hill. The hill itself did not have much in the way of trees but the elevations should provide some interesting cover to move in and out of.

AnywaY, I hope this was interesting for you. I will try out this scenario at some point with my 15mm Toys. Now to see if I have the right types of Panzer IIIs.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Murder and Devastation in Every Quarter

Yep, I was able to get some writing done today. My third AWI supplement for Sharp Practice is nearing completion. I now have 9 of 12 scenarios completed. Starting work on scenario 10 now. Things are starting to come together. Lets see what happens.

Santa Clause and Secret Santa

OK. I have just finished off my outbound gifts for both the Secret Santa and Santa Clause. Hopefully, it will prove to be a jolly holiday for my recipients.

How are you doing with your preparations? Everything coming along well?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Interesting Movie

Looking to cure some boredom, I stumbled across an interesting WWI movie called William Kelly's War. William Kelly is an Australian who volunteers for service in the Great War. The movie follows his career as a sniper from Gallipoli to France. It has some interesting scenes that would work well as scenarios for either WWI Chain of Command or Through the Mud and Blood. Particularly an attack on a German bunker and the German Counter attack. It was not a great movie but it was certainly worth watching for free on Amazon Prime. If you get a chance and are interested in the Great War, it would be worth the hour and 45 minutes to see it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A complete and utter lack of progress

This month I have managed to do nothing hobby related. I am 90% done with my AWI scenario book and I cannot concentrate enough to complete it. I have done no work on terrain for the Kharkov campaign. It has been slightly depressing. But I am starting to feel better and I have high hopes for November which will be largely spent on Santa Clause items.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Annual Birthday Sale

I managed to survive till 46 years of age. To celebrate, I am putting all of my supplements on Sale for the next week.

Action at Ustilug - $1.00

In the Name of Roma - $6.00

The Coming Thunder - $5.00

The Falcon and the Gladiator - $4.00

Air War in the Western Desert June 41 to Nov 42 - $1.00

Then there is the individual scenarios that I am grouping together for $1.00 These include:
a) GreenHill Tennessee - Terrible Sharp Sword Scenario
b) Action at Sonolenta Aldeia - Sharp Pracrive v1 Scenarios
c) M&B - To Catch a General - Mud and Blood Scenario (WWI)
d) Kfar Darom 1948 - IABSM Scenario for Israel's war of Independence
e) SCW - First Flight- SCW Scenario for Bag the Hun and CY6

Or get the whole mixed bag of nuts for just $16.00. To order, Paypal the money to me at cstoesen@corecard.com. I will respond usually in less than 24 hours. Thanks for taking a look.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Santa Clause 2016

I have sent out the information for the Santa Clause. Thank you to all 14 participants. I look forward to reading about your plans and seeing your progress.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Santa Clause Update

I have what I believe is the final list of folks who are participating this year. There are thirteen folks signed up so far. I may have some room for last minute entries if anyone is still interested.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cub Scouting

Its that wonderful time of year when many stores have booths of cute little blue uniformed Cub Scouts selling Trails End popcorn. My son is now one of those. If you have any interest in some really good popcorn and helping my son out, please hop over to his page and take a look. Sorry for the interuption in normal service. I will try not to do this often.

Popcorn Sales Page