Sunday, June 14, 2020

Unarmoured Inventory - WW2 German

My unarmoured stuff - well, nearly all of it...
After showing off my German AFV kit, I could hardly let it go at that, and decided that I would lay out my 'unarmoured' inventoryt.  Here it is: artillery, anti-tank guns, tractors, armoured half-tracks, kubelwagens, kettenkrads and motorcycle combinations; light trucks and lorries, and my eclectic Anti-Aircraft weaponry. The next few pictures is due to my self indulgence, looking at the whole array from several angles.
 I was going to include my armoured cars, but they can wait for another posting.

 Lots of artillery:
  • 5 metal 10.5 cm light artillery, plus 7 (H'mmm - there should be 8) Revell plastic artillery.  I reduced the Revell 6-horse teams to 4, giving me 3 (possibly 4) extra pairs of draught horses.
  • 3 15cm howitzers - 2 metal, and one scratchbuilt from balsa, cardboard and plastic tube.  
  • 6 7.5cm infantry guns: 5 metal, and one cardboard, scratchbuilt before I found any models in the right scale.  Actually, there ought to be a second cardboard gun, but I didn't find it.   Strangely, I never got around to build or acquire any heavy 15cm infantry guns, the one example being mounted upon a Pz I chassis.
  • 1 Nebelwerfer
  • 1 12cm mortar and limber
In this pic is also a metal RSO tractor (courtesy of the 'Sun of York') with limber.

 Now for my half-track prime movers.  Not enough to draw all my artillery and anti-tank guns, even augmented by draught traction: 2 x Demag, 7 x SdKfz11, 6 x SdKfz7.  The vehicle at the rear with the flat-bed tray I designate a SdKfz 8, as it is larger than the others.  The Tiger variant, I'll talk about later.

A very strange beast...

Well, here it is.  I looked this thing up, and discover that only one example was ever found, there being no record of such a vehicle being factory produced in any kind of numbers - or even at all.  Although I have tended to call this an 'armoured recovery vehicle', I rather suspect it is more like an engineering or maybe a field workshop vehicle.  At any rate, it makes a 'different' sort of logistics element.

Here, surrounded by a whole lot of ordnance and tractors, is a pair of die cast RSOs with PaK40 AT guns in tow.  They came in plastic display boxes (as did some of my Tigers and PzIV tanks), but my collection is there to fight, and not just look pretty. 

Somehow, I always felt the need to beef up my anti-tank gun inventory to something approaching the number of tanks.

  • 9 PaK40 - 2 ESCI, 4 HaT, 1 Airfix, a couple scratch built using the Airfix PaK40 from its SdKfz234 Armoured Car.  I did them originally as 7.5cm field gun, then changed them again.
  • 2 PaK38 - metal
  • 3 PaK35/6 - plastic, unsure of manufacture.  Most of such guns I acquired, being 1:72 scale ESCI, fetched up in my Russian Army as 45mm L46 AT guns.   The 1:76 scale examples will remain as the Wehrmacht's door-knockers.
  • 2 ... PaK38 plastic?  Some Japanese company made these tiny anti-tank guns - woefully under-scale.  A while back I thought maybe they were 42mm tapered bore, but was to be disappointed.  They'll probably have their shields removed and replaced, and become yet more Soviet 45mm AT guns.

 On to the half-tracks, starting with just these three variants of the SdKfz 250.  Two are recon vehicles, the other a command vehicle - to wit, built from the ESCI 'Greif' kit.
 A bunch of SdKfz 251 variants - mortar, short 7.5cm support weapons, bridging vehicle, and one ambitious chap sporting a PaK40 AT gun.
But above is the core of the half track armada, each row of 4 being the transport for a Command Decision gepanzert panzergrenadier company. With this lot of armoured half-tracks I had transport for a whole panzergrenadier battalion.  Pity I never quite matched it with the wheeled transport.
 Small vehicles:

  • The leading black undercoated vehicle is supposed to be Hitler's parade Mercedes.  I am figuring may be suitable for an Army commander?
  • Two civilian pattern Volkswagen cars.  Another from 'The Sun of York'.  I have no idea whether the civilian pattern VW was ever used as a command or staff vehicle in the field, but as I imagine to be snugger than a kubelwagen, say, the thing seemed to me plausible.  Mind you, they might have been used by rear area commands or staffs.  No doubt I'll be corrected on this one.
  • 9 Schwimmwagens - a nice little amphibious vehicle.  I regret now not fitting tilts on all these Kubel- and Schwimmwagen models, as I wouldn't then have to fiddle around fitting drivers and passengeres, which, the eagle-eyed reader will have observed, I haven't done much of.
  • 9 Kubelwagens.  This includes an ugly, horrible little model in the rear row of the two.  But it looks like what it's meant to be, so that is what it is.
  • 5 Kettenkrads ( I feel sure I have more of them, somewhere)
  • 9 Motorcycle combinations.  As it happens, I have not included 3 HaT models (I'll show them next time).  They are quite a bit overscale, I believe, but I rather like them, for all that.  I also have 6 HaT motorcycles, and 3 Airfix bicycles.
  • 2 Horsch transports

 Wheeled transport:
  • 10 Krupp Protzewagen light trucks.  Actually I have 11, the odd one being visible behind the m/c combinations as an ammo vehicle or gun tractor.
  • 4-5 Opel Blitz trucks.  One got misplaced on the table to beside the 88 FlaK guns, and another is missing its wheels.  To be sorted.  Of the other three, one is an ESCI model, the other two recent imports from China.  They really are rather nice vehicles, but watch out for slopes...!

 To round off: my FlaK capability:

  • 4 half-track mounted AA.  The nearest of them was a commercial model bought second hand in slightly munted condition.  I managed to sort it out into a very nice model.  
  • 2 towed Quad 20mm AA
  • 1 Wirbelwind Quad 20mm AA
  • 1 Mobelwagen Quad 20mm AA.  Some researches into this vehicle seemed to indicate that very few AA tanks of this configuration were ever built or went into service. On the other hand, I notice several manufacturers make models of these.  So I accept it as is.
  • 5 8.8cm FlaK18 towed AA.  One of these is fixed in anti-tank mode, but the other four may be used for either AT or AA.

Taken overall, a fairish bunch of stuff to play with, though there are shortages of transports for some of the heavy weaponry and the motorised infantry.


  1. Hi Archduke- My-my again a lot of vehicles- so many I loose count- well done. Have you ever had most of your Collection deployed in a single Battle? Cheers. KEV. (Sydney-Australia).

    1. Hi KEV -
      Such was my ambition to field at least a panzer (11th Panzer Division) and an infantry Division (352nd Division) Command Decision) on an 8' x 6' table, but it never came close to realisation. I've long since abandoned that plan. I did field my Russian mechanised Brigade on several occasions, though.

      I also had an idea that for campaigns, each formation would have its own inventory, with no 'stand-ins' borrowed from other formations. My 11th Pz Div would have 4 artillery battalions: 1 SP (1 Hummel, 2 Wespe), 1 15cm towed, 2 10.5cm towed, 2-3 pieces each. My 352nd Division would have had 4 howitzer battalions also: 1 15cm, 3 10.5cm probably just 2 pieces each. That meant at least 14 towed artillery pieces. This did not count the infantry guns, which were infantry assets.


  2. Archduke Piccolo,

    A very impressive collection. I dare not do the same with my stuff as I don’t think my table is big enough!

    All the best,


    1. Hi Bob -
      There's more to come that wouldn't go on the table, and then comes the hard bit: how to sort the infantry. That will be two further posts to come.

  3. Hi there Ion.I was well impressed with your AFV parade,but these support troops really are a spectacular bunch. I have always preferred these types of troops but they take so much more effort to produce. Thanks for sharing. Howard

    1. Cheers, Howard
      I agree - one feels that the 'wheeled' part of the army oughtn't to cost as much in terms of time, effort and money as, say, the tracked.
      All the best,

  4. Cool collection - I love the beetles! They did make it to the front - there are enough photos sprinkled around the net showing them on East and West Fronts, and Africa.

    Regards, Chris.

    1. Thanks, Chris -
      It's nice to receive such tid-bits of information to vindicate one's decisions.