Thursday, April 23, 2009

First DUKW

The Allies' logistic train begins to take shape.  

This is one of the old Airfix polythene DUKWs converted into a waterline model by the simple expedient of running a sharp knife around the hull.
I've added a driver (or is he a coxswain) and a tilt made from plastic card and tissue paper. So just the three more to do for now.

When to start?

I've mentioned on the SOTCW Forum that we may have the possibility of more amphibious kit (more DUKWs) and that this brings the possibility of playing out the operation from the actual landing on the beaches.  My original assumption had been that we would start with the Commandos and Rangers ashore having overcome light local resistance.  

If we are to go from H-Hour itself we need to decide on things like:
  • How many troops can the Germans have on the beaches?
  • Is the Vietri coastal gun emplacement intact? - In reality there were no guns present 
  • At what point can the allied naval forces begin to fire? - There was a ban on pre-landing bombardments as Clark wanted to preserve "tactical surprise".
What do you think?  Is it worth the extra effort?

Modelling Chiunzi Pass (2)

Well I got some wine boxes from Tesco and cut them cut to provide the zig-zag roads.
Once covered with a cloth you can see the intended effect. The would be more rough ground on top of the pass and more hills continuing along either side.

The main problem will be stopping the cloth slipping and I'll have to do this with a combination of methods including parcel tape, pinning and for the roads some double sided tape.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ranger Cannon Company

Before mowing the lawn today I managed to get the Ranger Cannon Company half track completed.  It had previously seen action in our Anzio try-out game but now it's been pin-washed, dry-brushed and fitted with its crew.

It's a Black Star models 75mm GMC M3 with the crew from Airfix and Matchbox.  The Airfix figure lying on one side is prefect for the job, matching nicely an illustration in the Vanguard title on Allied Tank Destroyers.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

British AOP

Just completed the British Air Observation Post for the game

I've used the Auster mark6 Air Observation Post, it is a post war variant included in the Airfix Auster Antactica kit, however it's close enough to the wartime version.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marine Commando by Raymond Mitchell

Got this book from Cheshire Libraries when I was trawling through the book list for anything to do with Salerno. It's subtitled Sicily and Salerno 1943 with 41 Royal Marines Commando. It's a great account at an individual marine's level of the actions of the commando and gives a good feel of the terrain involved. At one point the commando is heavily attacked on Black Monday, but the sector he was on was quiet and Captain Stott the troop commander was killed when he led a counter attack when the Germans broke through to Dragonea.

Here's my commando unit that I'll be using in the game as 41 (RM) Commando

Monday, April 6, 2009

Modelling Chiunzi Pass (1)

In attermpting to keep it simple, here is how I plan to model Chiunzi Pass, It is a cheap simple three box solution that will be covered by a green cloth. The boxes will be taped down to the table to prevent movement and then the cloth will be pinned in place (this is important for the roads)

I will also add more smaller boxes(hills) to the top of the pass (box 1) as well as a farmhouse (as used by Derby's rangers so that it is not a flat expanse. The ascent from the North (German) side (box3) should strictly be opposite, but keeping it on this side makes it a more robust construction and easier to play the game without reaching over.

Once I acquire some suitable boxes I'll post a picture


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Right!  The SOTCW HOTT Royal Tournament is now out of the way.  Well done to Rob Connolly of this parish for not coming last in his first tournament when playing his first ever HOTT games and with a borrowed army!

This means I should now be able to give an appropriate level of attention to getting this game moving forward again.  It's weird how the brain works but within an hour of getting back I was drawn towards the drawer containing the DUKWs I need to complete for the Allied logistics train.

More from me soon!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Vietri/Maori 1944

A nice picture of Vietri found in the Army History magazine covering some of the action at Salerno (link)
It certainly seems that the Herman Goering Division was heavily involved against the Rangers and Commandos
This picture show Maori at the same time with presumably the Chiunzi pass in the distance

Operation Avalanche - Hickey & Smith

Just finished the book and was rather disappointed, the authors don't seem to understand some basic WW2 military terminology German Infantry are referred to as "Panzers" in a lot of place, they don't understand the differences between Panzer and Panzer-Grenadier Divisions or even at times the basic hierarchy between division/brigade-RCT/battalion.

All the Germans tanks seem to be Tigers and in places quoted as 72 ton, which is the weight of a Tiger II.  I haven't read enough around the battle to be certain, but I don't think any Tigers were involved, certainly none of the Heavy Tank battalions were present. 

It's very much a narrative account with some nice details covering the operations of the commandos and rangers, although at times the geography is confused.

For wargaming purposes, there is very little detail on what was happening on the German side.  However for our game I had the impression that more space needs to be allocated to the La Molina/Dragonea area as this was the major area of fighting for the Commandos.