Thursday, 20 September 2018

Tankette MkI

The recent Ebro game saw the debut outing of my bodged tankettes. Here are the Mk.1,  a later post will cover the Mk.2. I’ll let you study the first two photos and try to guess what it’s based on. The punchline comes in the final pic.
The crew figures are from a 1/35 set - either Italeri or ICM I think - of WW2 Soviet tankers. The signal flags were an irresistible addition!

Monday, 17 September 2018

news from Spain - part 3

By now Nationalist reinforcements were arriving in decent numbers.  These Panzer I were accompanied by a captured T-26.
This company of Moorish infantry reinforced the depleted force defending Hill 77.
I sent a second company of Moors into Gandesa and sent the armour (if you can call it that!) round the right in the hope of taking the International Bde in the flank.
Soon the Moors hoisted their flag over the ruins of Gandesa.
As the Reds readied their final assault on Gandesa another air raid further thinned their ranks.

Endgame.  After bitter fighting a few surviving International Bde troops occupied the two buildings on the right of the photo.  At which point the Commissar ordered a retreat...

In short then a clear victory for the forces of law an order with the Reds put to flight following the loss of all of their tanks.

Military learning points:  the future of warfare is the 'holy trinity' of the tankette, the 37mm AT gun and the tri-motor bomber.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

news from Spain - part 2

Having only a single battalion to cover a rather wide - 4km or so - frontage and in view of the Reds’ heavy concentration of artillery, I had decided to spread my three companies quite widely.  In the south a company occupied this ruined monastery on what became known as 'Hill 77'.
The Reds sent forward a battalion of Asaltos to take Hill 77.
In the north, the Reds deployed an infantry battalion, a cavalry regiment and a tank battalion.  It looked like a walkover...
...but they had reckoned without our chums from the Condor Legion and their battery of mighty 37mm AT guns.  If your tank armour has the consistency of damp tissue paper then a 37 is really quite effective!  From memory the AT battery saw off three T-26 tanks before being destroyed.
Hill 77 also attracted a bombing raid.  Happily not a very good one.
Another flight of SB.2 swooped low over Gandesa.
Meanwhile the Red cavalry-mechanised group provided an irresistible target for our Italian allies. The bombing was gratifyingly effective and the cavalry was largely neutralised.
Back to the east (front) of Gandesa the International Brigade continued it's attack.  It wasn;t loooking good for the legitimate forces of law and order.
Things didn't even go well for my reinforcements - the yellow bus provided a great target for the very accurate Republican gunners.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

news from Spain - part 1

 A corner of a garden somewhere in Eastern England is forever Spain.  Bertrand and I played this game in early September as a try-out of some ideas we've been working on.  The scenario was loosely based on the Republican attack on Gandesa during the battle of the Ebro in July 1938.  See if you can guess which side I led.
Above, the peaceful(?) town of Gandesa.
The game opened with some air activity.  Here a Fiat CR.32 escorts a Meridionali Ro.37 on a recce mission, while three I-16 Ratas try to spoil it all.
Meanwhile the rotten Reds launch a terror bombing raid agains the innocent residents of Gandesa... 
 ..and columns of lorries rumble across a pontoon bridge.
Gently burning but still in flight, the Ro.37 turns for home.  An yes, I did bodge it from a Swordfish kit.
The Commune De Paris battalion moves up.  An assortment of figures sourced from at least six manufacturers' WW2, WW1 and ACW(!) ranges.
 Of course being in such a nice line.....
 ...meant they were a splendid target for this pair of tri-motor bombers....
 ...which easily avoided this lone Rata

 Much damage resulted.
Nationalist reinforcement move up - lorried infantry and the mighty tankettes!