Thursday, May 23, 2013

Panzer Aces No.36

Initially the attack was fairly successful mainly because of the numeric superiority displayed by the Polish Army and because the 24th and 30th German Infantry divisions were caught by surprise. However, after two full days of fighting the Polish Army was finally out powered by the German forces while receiving intense aerial attacks both by the German aviation and artillery. On September the 18th the focal point of the Polish resistance finally collapsed and after three days of cleaning out a few resilient spots the battle ended with the destruction of the Pomorze and Poznan Armies. The German Army that attacked Poland on September 1939 had a somewhat experimental approach, and had many undefined areas both on its equipment, tactics and internal organization. For instance, the cooperation between the armored divisions and the standard Infantry was rather wanting. Only a few units were equipped with the latest equipment, and some units were even equipped with vintage material manufactured between WWI and WWII.

Panzer Aces No.35

Since all previous vehicles, such as Sturmhaubitz 42 (Sd.Kfz. I42/2) and Stug 33, were considered only as temporary models ("interim solution"), Albert Speer ordered the development of Sturmpanzer IV. In fact, the Stug 33 can be considered the direct forerunner of Brummbar. During a conference on October 2, 1942, Speer presented the plans of a new Sturmpanzer and on October 14, 1942, designs were shown to Adolf Hitler. Based on these designs, Hitler ordered production of 40 to 60 new vehicles that should be ready by spring 1943. The new Sturmpanzer was to use the Panzerkampfwagen IV chassis and the 150mm StuH 43 L/12 gun (developed into a tank mounted weapon from the sIG 33 by Skoda). At the same time, Hitler also requested that the new design be mounted with a 210mm or 220mm mortar, but this never happened. In February 1943, Skoda produced a wooden prototype of the new Sturmpanzer IV (Sturmpanzer 33). The vehicle was designated Sd.Kfz.166, Sturmpanzer mit 15cm StuH 43.

Panzer Aces No.34

In this battle, German strategists employed for the first time their infiltration tactics using their Sturmtrup-pen; small assault troops which attacked the enemy lines using automatic weapons and grenades. These kinds of assaults were much more effective than the traditional frontal confrontations. The Italians taken by surprise, retreated en masse while the Austro-Hungarian forces continued to Venice. Finally the Italians made a solid defense line around the river Piave - 100km away from the previous defense line-, where they stopped the enemy advance. The catastrophe of Caporetto was of such a great magnitude, that the British and the French had to send troops on a hurry to Italy to avoid the collapse of the battle-front. This collapse would have placed the Central European forces in the valley of the Po River. The war booty was substantial, and the defeat of the Italian Army was one of the worst in WWI. Italy lost a vast amount of military supplies, 300.000 men were captured and 50.000 lost their lives.

Panzer Aces No.30

This vehicle saw active service for a number of years; this means that your paintjob options are many. They range from dark grey to dark yellow, and you can also do all of the "African colors". However I think that the most interesting camouflage schemes for me are those applied on the dark grey base color on the summer of 1942 in Southern Russia. Nobody really knows for certain where those paints came from. It could have been paints RAL 8000 or RAL 8020 from the African theater of operations or paint obtained from the enemy. Once I consulted the reference images, I began painting my miniature Panzer. I consider that the main painting techniques are too well known, and have been better described in other reviews of this magazine and other hobby manuals. That's why I'm not going to go into too much technical detail.