Monday, December 19, 2011

WWII: Early War German Army


I honestly have no idea how to organize this. What I will attempt to do is show the miniatures that I have for my German Army in 15mm. It is broken down by the order of battle based on the year of the war according to the Bayonet Strength Website (, Dr. Leo Niehorster's web site ( and the IABSM Supplements.

As more gets painted, this site will be updated. I will put a version number and update notes here at the top. This is version 1.02 (12/21/2011). fixed armored section changed PZ38ts to Pz35t. Thanks Mark. Version 1.01 (12/21/2011). Added Armored Elements and bicycle troops. Version 1.0 (12/20/2011). Its all new.

German Army Circa 1940

Motorized Infantry Company

Motorized Infantry Company Headquarters

The Rifle Company Headquarters is nearly complete. They are to have four MMG Teams, two rifle squads, four trucks and a pair of kubelwagons. I lack some of the motor transport for Company HQ. I will probably replace these with Gamdols trucks as they are the cheapest available for something that won't play much of a part on the table top. I am also lacking a complete squad. I have the NCO and one rifleman painted. The rest are on painting sticks and not yet base coated. The MMG teams need the most base work.

The infantry are all Old Glory/Skytrex figures. The MMG Teams might be Battlefront but I am not sure at this point. The two trucks are Old Glory as well. I have no idea about the kubelwagon as I received that in a lot I purchased off of Bartertown many, many moons ago.

Motorized Infantry Platoon 1

Now, the first platoon was also from that long ago Bartertown purchase. Luckily between 1940 and 1941, the Germans did not mess with the order of battle too terribly for their infantry platoons. As motorized troops they are supposed to have two LMGs per squad and I only have one. I have additional LMGs on painting sticks to add in but just have not been bothered to do so. The platoon is lead by and officer or NCO and have a Anti-Tank Rifle and light mortar team for support. The core of the platoon are the four rifle squads of eight men each. The platoon travels in the comfort of five trucks.

The platoon is complete but needs a little something more for the bases. Some flock should fix it right up. For some reason, the paint does not adhere well to copper/nickle pennies. When looking at them closely, you can see where my gravel/pumice/sand/glue mixture did not completely cover the penny. The flock should hide that.

The figures are all Old Glory I believe. They may be painted for a slightly later period of the war but I am not bothered by it as they are done. The trucks, well I have no idea of where the trucks are from. They too came in that Bartertown lot I spoke of. Purchased in the dim haze of memory before I had a child, when I had some money (I am married) and free time. Inspite of the poverty and the no time to play, I am a richer man by far now.

Motorized Infantry Platoon 2

This is my favorite platoon. I painted all of the figures in this one. The platoon leader is one of my favorite as it is some poor chump trying to figure out just where he is on the map. The walking rather than deployed figures of the ATR team and light mortar team are also nice. The platoons should be identical to the one above but I just need to get more motor transport. I have two of the five trucks they should have. I am loathe to purchase something that will either leave the table quickly or get blown up early on in the game. But in 2012, I will extend every effort to buy some more.

Now I did have one falsehood above. The open top truck, I did not paint. That was part of that Bartertown deal I made. The rest I did paint. They are all Old Glory with the exception of the light mortar team and ATR team. The ATR team might be Battlefront. The light mortar team might be Quick Reaction Force. I should have posted something up on this years ago when I painted them.

Motorized Infantry Platoon 3

This platoon is the fun one as it is mounted in the SDKFZ 251 half-tracks. The half-tracks are all Old Glory. The figures are dominantly Old Glory and the ATR might be Battlefront and the light mortar team might be QRF or Battlefront. Just can't remember.

Again, these are complete but for some basing work that needs to be done. All in all I am pleased with the miniatures. Once the basing and company HQ is sorted out, I should be good to go. I will update the pictures as things change.

Motorized Battalion Support
Well we can't just send our poor troops up by themselves now can we? Now the Battalion contains stuff that I am just not interested in modeling. So we will restrict this just to the stuff that should go out on a tabletop. An assault against the typing pool just is not my idea of an exciting game. The Battalion had a heavy company and a MG Company that provided the normal support that the infantry man in the line would be likely to see.

Battalion Heavy Company
The Motorized units had a much more unique organization. Here the heavy company had some unique elements compared to its line counterpart.

First the Heavy Company had a Anti-Tank Platoon. This unit consisted of three 3.7-cm Pak 35/36 guns. These underpowered weapons had a longevity far past their usefulness on the battlefield. Each weapon was towed by a truck. (Agghhhh!!!! More motor transport to buy.)

The careful observer will note that the anti-tank platoon is still on painting sticks and only has one crew for the three weapons. This is because (in my mind at least) a single company in the front will probably not have the entire platoon at their disposal. Thus I will only be bothered with painting one crew for these. These ended up lower on the priority list. The crew are likely to be QRF miniatures.

Next the heavy company had an infantry gun platoon. This battery had two 7.5-cm infantry guns. These too were towed by trucks but could be manhandled by the crew to where they needed to go. They also had a truck for ammunition that pulled a trailer. The platoon HQ had two cars that moved the platoon leader and a small signals section. Is anyone keeping track here? I have a boat load of trucks to buy, don't I? Please, feel pity on me and send a donation toward the buy Chris a truck fund. Just 25 cents would be most welcome. (just kidding. But seriously, there is a link to the right somewhere.)

These fearsome fellows look ready to wreck someone's day. Still lack motor transport. I only painted one of these as I really am not sure how they would be deployed forward. I suppose that one really could just have a forward observer team to call in their fire as opposed to letting the guns be on the table, but that does not seem as much fun.

Lastly, there was a pioneer platoon. This was a large unit equipped with trucks and motorcycles. It had three large 13 man (including the NCO) squads that were equipped with a single lmg each. The bayonet strength site did not list if they had flamethrowers or not. I just can't tell from Dr Leo's site either. The Blitzkreig supplement from TFL gives them 2 flamethrowers and a AT rifle team. I would assume that they did not, but where is the fun in that. Pioneers need flamethrowers. So......

As you can see, the pioneer platoon is nearly incomplete. I only have two flamethrower guys. Since folks tended to stay away from the men, this might not be unrealistic in how they were deployed forward. :) Both of these guys were probably from QRF and came with the Bartertown buy I had made. Their fellow platoon mates do exist, just on painting sticks without even primer. I will get to them one day.

Motorized Machine Gun Company I know that there was a type A and a type B battalion organization in 1940. I will not be bothered by such distinctions. The Machine gun Company had two Machine gun Platoons and a single Mortar Platoon.

The Machine Gun Platoons were equipped with four tripod mounted MG34s each. Each team/machine gun was equipped with a truck. (More Trucks! When will it end.) The headquarters had a car and a motorcycle with side car. I actually have the MMGs to populate a platoon of these guns but as it is, that could mean up to eight MMGs on the table at once. That seems more than would likely be the case for a company sized engagement. As such, my 1940 Wehrmacht will probably not have more than 4 MMGs on the table at any given time unless someone else's scenario calls for it.

The mortar platoon had three sections of two 81mm mortars each. Each section had three trucks to cart them around from place to place and their ammo. Mortars are an off table asset. And as such, a forward observer team mounted in a car and a motorcycle with side car will probably all that will see the table. At least that will cut out an additional 9 trucks to buy. Good grief that would get expensive quick. (Hmmmm... I am really starting to sound like a cheapskate here.)

Motorized Regimental Support
Here is sadly where the Bayonet Strength site is not as strong. Dr Leo's site picks up where this left off. My issue is I have trouble with the German organizational markings and spend all my time flipping between the units and the key.

Motorcycle Reconnaissance Platoon
This unit has three squads with a single lmg in each squad (if I am reading the diagram right). The platoon HQ probably had a car and a motorcycle attached but I just do not know. The squads would have both motorcycles and motorcycles with sidecars.

I have two squads worth of motorcyclists ready to go besides the obvious lack of basing. I only have two squads though. I think these are Peter Pig figures but I am not sure. I want to flesh out the platoon but that is lower on the priority list.

Infantry Gun Company
It appears that the Regiment had an infantry gun company attached. It appeared to have eight of the 75mm Infantry guns and some LMGs in support. I am not modeling the Regimental level since I have some from the Battalion.

Motorized Anti-Tank Company
Apparently there were more anti-tank guns at the Regimental level as well. Possibly twelve of these weapons in the company. Again, these are modeled at the battalion level.

Line Infantry Company

Line Infantry Company Headquarters

The line company lacks any motor transport. It closely maps to the Motorized company in that it has the two squads and four MMG teams. Since they are the same infantry figures, they are in the same shape. What is added is the Company supply wagon. This is obviously barely glued together at this point without even primer on it. While it is not something you would see at the front lines, I think it could be useful in some games. Especially with a company that is ambushed or an enemy penetration back to a more rear area. Line Infantry Platoons 1-3
Rather than subject you to the same pictures above, you can see that the platoons are complete but lack some base work. The infantry for a line/foot company are actually more complete as they have their single lmg ready.

Battalion Support
The Line infantry Battalion had a Heavy Weapons or Machine Gun Company for its support.

Machine Gun Company This formation had two elements: a Mortar Platoon and two or three MMG Platoons. The mortar platoon was made up of six 81mm mortars. These will not be deployed on the table. Instead we can add a forward Observer model to the table to call in the shots or have the Company Commander and his radio operator take care of this task.

But since I have a picture of my Forward Observers, by golly I am going to include them. :) The figures are Old Glory, I think.

The MMG Platoons had four MMG teams, giving the company between 8 to 12 of these weapons. This would provide significant punch to the infantry especially if the company level assets were truly present. I wonder if the company level assets are in some cases incorrectly allocated Battalion level assets.

Battalion Supports
The .... Regimental Support Elements
Bicycle Recon Troops
I am not sure these are actually Regimental supports. Dr Leo's site shows a motorcycle platoon at the Divisional level. Given the less than powered nature of most of the division, doubtless the Germans would have deployed bicycle troops at some point. I have no idea of who makes these or I would have bought some more. I got these in that bulk Bartertown deal. I just think they are very clever little models. The basing is incomplete. The paint job is just as I had bought them.

The basing needs to be finished. But these are fun troops that I am determined to get on the table in 2011. I just wish I had a whole platoon of them.


German Army Circa 1941

Motorized Infantry Company

Motorized Infantry Company Headquarters

The 1941 version of the Company Headquarters drops the machine-gun teams from the headquarters and is reduced to just one squad. It still needs a second LMG team to round it out but it is closer to ready than its earlier incarnation as it does not need the extra trucks! It also has a sniper as part of the headquarters and a radio operator. All of the figures are Old Glory. The radio operator might be a QRF figure. Motorized Infantry Platoons 1-3
Again, these are identical to the ones above. The force only changes in that it drops the light mortar team from its organization. Motorized Support Platoon

Ah, there the MMG teams are. The MMG teams are Battlefront and possibly an Old Glory one in there. The Support Platoon also has a Mortar Squad with two 81mm Mortars for a stronger punch than the platoon based 50mm mortars that the 1940 version had. What is missing is the Motor Transport for these guys. Ugh! Anyone have some Early War German trucks in 15mm they don't have a use for? It seems that I need them.

Battalion Support
Battalion MG Company
This formation had two elements: a Mortar Platoon and two MMG Platoons. The mortar platoon was made up of six 81mm mortars. These will not be deployed on the table. Instead we can add a forward Observer model to the table to call in the shots or have the Company Commander and his radio operator take care of this task.

But since I have a picture of my Forward Observers, by golly I am going to include them. :)

The MMG Platoons had four MMG teams, giving the company 8 of these weapons. This *********************************

At this point, the pictures taper off until we get to the Battalion/Regimental/Divisional Support Elements and the armor.

Line Infantry Company

Company Headquarters
The line companies maintained two squads in their order of battle. They also added a pair or ATR teams to the mix. Here is a question for the reader, how many wagons would the Germans have for an infantry company? Just one or would there be one per platoon? Just curious. Also gone are the MMG teams. The Company has no MMG support. These are now allocated at the Battalion level. This is a significantly leaner formation that advanced across the wide steppes of the Ukraine than had trod across France.

Infantry Platoon 1-3
The foot Infantry are nearly the same. Each platoon carries with it the 50mm mortar that its motorized fellows have discarded. The ATR teams have disappeared from the platoon and the four squads of 8 men each are maintained. Line Battalion Support
The battalion supports for the Line infantry were critical assets as the company lacked the fighting punch of the earlier incarnation.

Battalion MG Company
This formation had two elements: a Mortar Platoon and three MMG Platoons. The mortar platoon was made up of six 81mm mortars. These will not be deployed on the table. Instead we can add a forward Observer model to the table to call in the shots or have the Company Commander and his radio operator take care of this task. I won't include the same picture again.

The MMG Platoons had four MMG teams, giving the company 12 of these weapons. This would provide significant punch to the infantry. Obviously any one company in the field would only see a fraction of these troops. But even if divided evenly, that still provided a full platoon per company if allocated that way.

German Early War Armor: 1940-1941(2)

Rather than place the armor into an order of battle the way I have with the infantry, this is a much more adhoc approach just detailing what figures that I have available.

Panzer I bef
The early war command vehicle. I have several of these for some odd reason. I am not sure where they all came from. I think I have a three pack from Old Glory plus another odd one or so.

These are fun vehicles. By that I mean they can easily be brewed up by most things available on the table. From Anti-Tank Rifles to the light British 2-pounders. I don't think that you would really have more than one of these guys in an entire company. Yet, I have three....

Panzer I mk ???
My tank recognition skills have left me. I am not sure which mark of the Panzer I that I have. Help anyone? I am also not sure of the manufacturer. They are resin and might be Gamdols miniatures.

These are great fun. They pose a threat to infantry but it is an example of not learning the lesson of the previous war. They suffered against Russian T-26s in the Spanish Civil War but they were still fielded in numbers even in Russia.

Panzer II mk F
The Panzer IIs that I have are from a couple of sources. I got one in the bulk lot I bought on Bartertown. That is the one that is based. Three are Old Glory tanks and another is a Battlefront mini. At least I am pretty sure that is what they are.

I think these are the Mark F tanks that saw service in Russia and possibly France. My tank recognition skills are lacking today.

Panzer III mk E
Finally some decent early war armor. If I am right (and I may not be) this is the earlier E variant. Again there should be three Old Glory vehicles and one that came from a Bartertown purchase of unknown manufacturer. I don't like basing vehicles. Especially with such a thick base. But I just have not had the heart to attempt to remove it as I would doubtlessly wreck the thing.

There is something about the Panzer III that I really like. I am not sure what it is. But to me, it just seems to be the tank I think of when I think of German tanks. It lacks the cool factor of the late war heavy's but I don't think the average infantryman in the field saw many of those. Now a PzIII would probably have been a much more common sight to the poor guy with a rifle.

Panzer III Mk F or G?
My second set of panzer IIIs for the early war period. These would probably last into the mid war period (1942 & 1943) as well. Not sure which mark these are. I think both vehicles are Battlefront minis as the commanders look like their work.

I received these as part of a lot from a Lardy in California. I finished off the commanders. They came with the antennas on them. I like the look of the antennas. Normally, I would only have one vehicle with a commander with his head popped out but the vehicles came painted this way and I was not about to modify it. At some point, I would like to get a few more of these. The addition of the box thing in the back of the turret (I know ya'll love it when I talk all technical like this) added something to the look of the tank. I like it. I am sure its military purpose was much more significant than looking cool.

Panzer IV mk B
For some reason, I really hate the look of the early Panzer IVs. That short stubby barrel just looks like someone ran around and broke the thing off. It is the tank I feel sorry for when it is on the table.

Three of these I picked up in an online purchase (maybe that Bartertown one, I am not sure). The other two are Battlefront (actually I think they all are). I painted the front two. I did not add the balkenkreuz to them like I did with some of the other tanks I painted. Actually, I don't think I ever even finished painting the treads. This is just a tank I don't like and it suffers because of it. I need to get over that and finish these out.

Panzer 35(t)
These little tanks made up for the lack of tanks that the expanding German army had at the beginning of the war. Taking in some 200+ of these from Czechoslovakia in 1939, they served from 1939 through 1941 and beyond.

These are a neat looking little tanks. All of these were picked up from Bartertown. Not sure if it was in that bulk buy or not. No clue as to the manufacturer. Might be Quality Castings. These were bought painted. I like them.

SiG 33B
Nothing says good morning like self propelled artillery. These are both Quality Castings miniatures. The vehicle is great for urban scenarios when you just really need to knock down a building.

Again they only have a basic coat of paint. No markings or even tread details. I will get around to fixing that at some point. I just don't like to paint vehicles. Hopefully airing my dirty laundry like this will force me to go back and touch these up so I can replace the picture if nothing else.

PanzerJager I
Well, at least I think these guys are all Pzjager Is. There are definitely two different manufacturers. I have no idea which is what. The lighter colored one was purchased painted. The other two are mine. Again only the most basic paint on these and the treads need to be done.

' Surprisingly I have nothing against these. I think they were the best thing that could have been done to the old Panzer Is in their inventory.

Stug III
I think these are both Battlefront models. The unbased one is the one I painted up and the based one was bought that way. This is another one of those vehicles I think of when I think of German armor. Here the short stubby barrel does not bother me for some reason. It just looks the business to me.

Sdkfz 221 and 222
The Germans could make some nice looking armored cars. These probably should be up above in some Motorized units support elements but I am too lazy to figure out where at the moment. I will move it around at some point.

These are from an Old Glory Pack. They are some of my favorite vehicles and yet, I don't think they have seen a table top more than once or twice. I painted these up a while back.


Well that is my early war Germans. Please tell me what you think. I would appreciate any tips. If you suggest any colors to use, please mention the actual paint color as I don't do colors to well being partially color blind. (That is also my excuse for crummy painting) If you have any suggestions, comments or observations, I welcome them.

1 comment:

  1. An impressive force to be reckoned with on the field of battle.