Afrika Korps Engineers & Kettenkrad, North Africa 1943
In the freezing cold of a desert morning a group of engineers carry out an inspection on their work at a minefield...
The SdKfz 2 or Kettenkrad was a versatile motorcycle tractor hybrid that was used primarily to pull light artillery, communication cables or transport men and arms and proved succesful from the desert sands to the Eastern Front snow and mud. In late war it was also used as a runway tug for aircraft, especially for the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter.
Imperial Japanese Army Sergeant-Major, Okinawa 1945
This Japanese soldier looks out to sea from an inlet on the island of Okinawa following an encounter with US Marines. These special forces paratroops from the Giretsu unit were used in desperation to hold off the imminent invasion of the mainland . By now though the situation was hopeless despite fierce fighting on both sides, and 2 months later the war was finally over.
Pak 36 Anti-Tank Gun crew, France 1940
This was my first big diorama (and the most inaccurate) but it sure was fun to put together. As with most of my dio's i use modelling clay and on this a heap of it for the wall and the bricks, baked and then painted up.
The figure seated on the gun came with it, the other 2 were cheapies hence they should'nt really be there (if you're a train-spotter lol) as the one carrying the sandbag is a mountain trooper and the Panzer crewman is in late-war camo not 1940's black etc, but oh well what the heck...loved doing the battle-scarring on the gun & wall and the smaller details like the rusting bucket and childs doll.
Fallschirmjager Oberleutnant, Gran Sasso raid 1943
Mussolini was deposed by the King after a vote of no confidence in July 1943 and was being imprisoned at Campo Imperatore Hotel, a ski resort in Italy's Gran Sasso massif, high in the Apennine Mountains. On 12 September 1943, Otto Skorzeny's 26 SS troopers joined a team of 82 Fallschirmjäger to rescue Mussolini in a high-risk glider mission raid-it was succesful as 200 well-equipped Carabinieri guards were overcome without a single shot being fired due to the fact that General Fernando Soleti of the Polizia, who flew in with Skorzeny, told them to stand down or be executed for treason.
Wehrmacht Infantryman with bicycle, France 1944
This late-war German soldier stops for a well earned break and a chance to collect water for his squad during the intense fighting post D-Day in Normandy.
By now the immaculate uniforms the Schutze enjoyed in the early years of World War 2 have been replaced with a paler and inferior kit and he is fortunate to still have his jackboots as opposed to the lesser quality or "erstaz" ankle boots .
German Fallschirmjager, Yugoslavia 1944
A paratrooper waits on the tarmac ready to board his transporter...
After the heavy losses suffered by the German airborne divisions in their victory at Crete in 1941, Hitler ruled out any continued use of the Fallschirmjagers en masse, committing them instead as elite ground troops.
There were however two exceptions, the first when a glider based commando raid successfully snatched a captured Mussolini in northern Italy and the second one here in this diorama where paratroopers were dropped in 1944 as part of a failed attempt to capture Josip Broz Tito, the head of theYugoslav Partisans and later postwar leader of Yugoslavia.
Luftwaffe Jagdgeschwader Commander, Europe 1944
This vignette depicts a weary Focke Wulf Fw 190 fighter wing pilot as he returns from a bomber interception mission which has become the core role of his unit following the D Day landings in June as the allies gain increasing dominance in the skies over Europe (in the two weeks following the landings, the Luftwaffe lost 600 of the 800 planes it had in France).
Matters only got worse for the Germans when Eisenhower forced the issue and used the bombers to simultaneously strangle Germany's supply system, burn out its oil refineries, and destroy its warplanes.
The rot had truly set in...
Luftwaffe Panzer MG 34 gunner, Eastern Front 1943
This is the "Volkmar" figure from Dragon-Models, one of my favourites and i couldn't resist giving him the dreaded eastern front treatment-wet,wounded and whitewashed..the grim reality of knowing Germany was nearing defeat and the prospect of becoming a prisoner to the unforgiving Russians explains his grim demeanour!!