17/04/2018 at 21:38 #88868
Kampfgruppe Müllhalde – October 1944
Kapitan Gert Mehnding answered the field telephone, it was the Battalion Commander,“ Come to my office,“ was all he said. Leaving the comparative comfort of his command post in the Village of Nirgends he walked swiftly to HQ.
He was ushered into the CO’s office, saluted and stood to attention. The CO looked up and smiled thinly, “Orders for you,” he said fingering the brown envelope on his desk. “You are promoted to Major and you are to proceed to the depot tomorrow morning. You will take command of the replacements there and form a mobile battlegroup. Unfortunately you will need to find your own vehicles and heavy weapons. You have authority to take any vehicles and weapons you can get running from the repair and replacement park. The General wants the battlegroup fighting fit in 3 weeks. Good luck and I think you will need it.”
“A fine gift for my birthday,” the newly promoted Major thought as he put his new rank badges on his grubby uniform.
The “battlegroup” was on parade as he arrived. About 450 men and a few women drawn from army hospitals, training units, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine as well as some Hitler Youth stood in the drizzle. At the side of a ruined warehouse stood a group of black clad SD. Hardly a fighting force to strike fear in the Allies! Kampfgruppe Müllhalde indeed.
He set the men and women to work finding workable equipment and renovating the workshops in the warehouse and factory.
This project arose from a couple of boxes of broken and damaged models and toys that were found in a school where 30 years ago I helped run a wargames club. The Deputy Head was one of te wargamers and he remembered me when he saw me pick up my grandchidren.
From the wreckage two SdKfz 234/6 (6 rad) Armoured Personnel Carriers made from two badly broken Airfix Armoured Cars
One SdKfz 234/7 with 8cm mortar made from an Airfix Armoured car with scratch built mortar
One Airfix SdKfz 222
Two Panther Chassis acquired Matchbox Puma turrets to become AufklarungsPanthers
Two heavily damaged Airfix Stug III had their guns fixed and a new mantlet fitted on one, Both had missing track lengths so card schurtzen (bazooka plates) fitted to become a StuG III and a StuH III
In the box was a few bits of a PaK-40. Not quite enough to make a gun but I have plenty of them. There was also the hull of a Matchbox Firefly lacking some suspension units but there were a couple of Airfix ones so I mocked up a self propelled gun. Ans also tried the gun on an RSO. Not sure yet which I’ll use.
The leftover Pak-40 bits combined with a Revell 10.5cm leFH18 to become (nearly) a leFH 18/40. It needs a bit of work yet and a muzzle brake.
More to come.17/04/2018 at 21:46 #88869Darkest Star GamesParticipant
Very cool trash bashing! What’s old is new again! I like the fun of the reclaimed Sherman with the 40 on it, the RSO seems to me to be too obvious. Maybe see if you can turn the RSO into some sort of AAA unit? That’d be different. I also really dig the mortar 8-rad, nice!
"I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."17/04/2018 at 21:54 #88871
the RSO seems to me to be too obvious. Maybe see if you can turn the RSO into some sort of AAA unit? That’d be different. I also really dig the mortar 8-rad, nice!
Thanks for the kind words. The mortar carrier just seemed obvious though I considered a 12cm first. However, I think the recoil might have been too much for the chassis. I think you are right about the Sheman/Pak-40 and RSO being too obvious. There is most of an Airfix T-34 in the box and another leFH-18 so I might cobble up an SP gun there too.17/04/2018 at 23:27 #88874John D SaltParticipant
I am delighted to discover the Sd KFz 234/6 and /7, and the AufklärungsPanther, none of which I have previously encountered. Although now I’m worried about what the Sd Kfz 234/5 might turn out to be — 37mm Flakwagen? Flammenwerfer? PAW-800 tank destroyer?
Still, it seems a little harsh to call the RSO mit 7.5cm PaK “too obvious” just because it really existed. Given the obvious age of the starting materials, I’d love to know where you got an RSO in the first place!
All the best,
John.18/04/2018 at 07:02 #88878
The RSO is made from a very brittle dark brown resin. Every time I pick it up a bit breaks off as you can see on the far side of the model where a bit of the fold down side is missing. It is inside the load deck. It has spent more time awaiting repair than any other model I have and you can see several joints.
A bit like the real thing I suppose. So to answer your question – I have no idea who made it though it is reasonably detailed.24/05/2018 at 12:53 #91841
It was pointed out to me that the trails on my 10.5cm leFH18/40 were upside down so I fixed that. Now it needed a gun tractor. The scrap heap yielded an Airfix Bedford chassis from the RAF Recovery set and an Eidai Krupp Boxer bodywork. These were fitted together and became the gun tractor.
The Battle Group received some military light transport
And some commadeered civilian trucks. These were in a dreadful state and restoration really did not improve them very much.
25/05/2018 at 07:03 #91951EtrangerParticipant
Nice. That Bedford isn’t all that different from some of the modified ‘beute’ Bedfords. (Umbauwagen, there seems to have been an ‘official’ rebuilding programme for Bedfords, although I’ve never found details.)
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