Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 1942

Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby dead1 » 15 May 2017

Wow Mike. Not only are those models really well painted but your historical research is absolutely superb.
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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby MikeRC97 » 30 Sep 2017

It has been a while since I updated this thread, most of my free time this summer was consumed by a house move, but I finally have some new models to show. Also, all of the pictures I posted previously were lost when Photobucket changed their third party hosting policy. I decided to move the pictures over to imgur, which I have found to be much better than Photobucket. I also decided that since I was going to go through all of the trouble of transferring photos to a new hosting site and editing all of the old posts in the thread with the new links, I might as well update the old pictures that were taken on my poor old camera phone with new pics taken on the phone I picked up earlier this year. So all of the pictures on page 1 and some on page 2 of this thread have been replaced with new, better versions.

On to the new models – a trio of T-34/76 tanks from Dragon (kit 7262). Dragon must have produced as many of these tanks as the Red Army did, a few years ago they were on sale all over the internet - I picked these up for $7 USD each.
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This kit makes an early 1942 version of the T-34/76 similar to the UM kit from my last post, however this model does not have any of the distinctive features of the T-34s produced in factory 112 or STZ, so it most likely represents a T-34 produced in factory 183 after it was relocated to the Urals. Factory 183 was the original T-34 plant in Kharkov but was evacuated in late 1941 to prevent it being captured by the Germans (the UM T-34 model 1940 in the original post is a good example of a T-34 produced in the original factory 183 in Kharkov).
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The details of a T-34 produced in early 1942 are all included in the kit – the revised driver’s hatch, “hammerhead” tow shackles, armored cover for the hull MG and the circular rear engine hatch.
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There is one minor issue with the kit however, the sprocket and rear idler are the older versions from the model 1940, this kit should have included the same versions as the UM kit from the model 1941/1942. In theory, a T-34 produced in factory 183 in early 1942 could have included older parts – when the plants were evacuated the parts used in production would have been moved as well. Most pictures of the T-34 model 1941/1942 are of the versions produced in factory 112 or STZ so I’ve never seen a picture of the tank in this kit to compare to the model (factory 183 switched production to the model 1942 with hexagonal turret in summer of 1942). I’m not going to call this an inaccuracy as Dragon may have based the kit on source materials, so my guess is it is a mistake, but one that can be explained away easily.
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The kit itself is great – nice details as you would expect from a Dragon model, the part count is not that large and for the most part it went together easily. On the second tank pictured below I did run into a problem when I attempted the join the upper hull to the lower hull as there was a gap – but I’m sure the fault lies with me as there was no issue with putting together the other two.
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I kept the hull separate during painting so that I could have easier access to the tracks as this was my first time working with Dragon’s styrene (“DS”) one piece tracks. The tracks are meant to be glued on to the road wheels using regular plastic cement, however this means you have to glue them in place prior to painting. Alternatively, you can leave them off, paint them separately, then attach them with super glue, but in my experience working with super glue can get messy and given the number of attachment points I decided to use plastic cement.
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The tow cables in the kit are metal so I did have to use super glue to attach them to the plastic handles (after cutting the cables to the right size). Given the small size of the pieces involved this was a very fiddly operation which is why I only added them to one of the models. This isn’t an issue, mid-war T-34s were very austere compared to the tanks produced in 1940 and early 1941 which almost always had tow cables, extra track links and snow cleats on the fenders.
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Painting the models was very straightforward, I spent more time on finishing but the results don’t really show up in the photos. I find it difficult to apply weathering techniques used on 1/35 models to 1/72 kits – the model is so small that it is easy to go overboard and end up with weathering effects that look completely out of proportion. On these models the chips, scratches, fuel stains and rust streaks are so subtle that they barely show up in these pictures. Also, given the short life span of most T-34s in 1942 I don’t think it is appropriate to add the amount of chipping and rust so commonly found on models intended for display.
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I do like my tanks dirty as to me this is the most realistic aspect of weathering. I often wonder why I even bother painting road wheels and tracks, by the time I’m done adding pigments most if not all of the paint is obscured and tracks have lost most of their definition. On these I started with a lighter colored mix of pigments representing dirt and dried mud then applied a darker mix to the underside and running gear.
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The dragon kit comes with a nice selection of decals which I omitted intentionally, there were no guidelines for Soviet tank marking and most wartime photos of T-34s show none at all. Patriotic slogans were common in late 1941 and 1942 while in 1943 these have largely been replaced by inscriptions indicating the tank’s sponsorship. As I intend to use these tanks for 1942 and 1943 I decided to make them “generic” hence the lack of decals.
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That’s all for now, as always any feedback is appreciated.
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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby Bill » 30 Sep 2017

Great stuff... really like the Krupp trucks.
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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby bugchaser » 30 Sep 2017

Just read this thread the whole way through. Very informative and great modelling.
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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby evilmuppet » 11 Oct 2017

:yahoo: :beee: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Excellent work!!
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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby laurence strong » 12 Oct 2017

MikeRC97 wrote:Grossdeutschland battalions had twice the number of MMGs and medium mortars of a standard motorized rifle battalion.



I would really like to know what your source for this is as it intrigues me...... :grin:


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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby MikeRC97 » 12 Oct 2017

HI Larry,

Unfortunately the source website no longer exists - it was the excellent www.bayonetstrength.150m.com. The website gave detailed listings of organization and equipment tables of German, British and American WWII battalions based on original source materials.

To understand why Grossdeutschland battalions had twice the support weapons of other motorized infantry battalions, it helps if you know a little about the organization of standard WWII German infantry / motorized infantry battalions which I will summarize in case anyone is interested.

In 1942, a standard WWII German infantry battalion had three rifle companies of three platoons each and a fourth "machine gun" company which included the battalion's medium mortars. In a standard 1942 motorized infantry battalion, the machine gun company was broken up and allocated to the three rifle companies as a fourth platoon called the heavy platoon. In place of the machine gun company, the fourth company was the "heavy" company which included an anti-tank platoon, an infantry gun platoon and a pioneer platoon, all motorized of course.

Grossdeutschland battalions were a combination of both battalions listed above, each rifle company had a fourth heavy platoon, but the battalion also retained a fourth MG company (hence double the amount of support weapons) AND a fifth heavy company with AT, infantry gun and pioneer platoons. This is what made the GD battalions so powerful, no other Heer battalion had this much organic firepower. Each of the GD regiments could be combined with other organic elements of the division (armor, artillery, reconnaissance, etc) to form a "mini-division" which makes for an ideal RF or BGK battle group.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby laurence strong » 13 Oct 2017

Hello Mike

Thanks for the reply, actually it's still around.

https://web.archive.org/web/20160521065 ... /index.htm

I did a little digging and I find out that after having an interest in the "Heer" for 40+ years there still things to learn ;)

The Feb 1941 KStN for the GD MG Company was the usual 6x 8-cm mortars and 12 HMGs, while the Rifle Coys look to have been on 12 LMG and 2 HMG each for early 1941. When the Rifle Coys went onto the PzGren model (early 1942ish?) this increased to 18 LMGs, 4 HMGs and 2x 8-cm mortars per Coy, while the MG Coy was also retained. So, if fully equipped and staffed, they would have 24 HMG and 12x 8-cm mortars per motorized Bn. I understand that LAH had the same organisation as well. GD lost their MG Coys in early 1944 I think so it was a relatively short time frame for them to have the increased allocation.


The quote is from Gary Kennedy on AHF

They added the extra MG's and mortars to the companies themselves and not the heavy weapons platoon.


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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby MikeRC97 » 13 Oct 2017

Thanks for the link!

Not sure what you mean about the HMGs and mortars being added to the companies themselves not the heavy weapons platoons - in GD the heavy weapons platoons were in the rifle companies (fourth platoon), if you go to the GD page in the link you provided you can see the organization I was referring to (GD rifle companies were the same in 42 and 43).
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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby laurence strong » 14 Oct 2017

MikeRC97 wrote:Thanks for the link!

Not sure what you mean about the HMGs and mortars being added to the companies themselves not the heavy weapons platoons - in GD the heavy weapons platoons were in the rifle companies (fourth platoon), if you go to the GD page in the link you provided you can see the organization I was referring to (GD rifle companies were the same in 42 and 43).


Hi Mike

To quote your website......

https://web.archive.org/web/20110706002 ... talion.htm

The Machine Gun Company - this was something of a throwback to earlier organisations. By 1941 the previous Machine Gun Company of Schutzen Battalions had been broken up and used to provide each Rifle Company with a Heavy Platoon. In the Grossdeutschland however when the Rifle Companies adopted the Schutzen format the Battalions retained their Machine Gun Company. That meant each Motorized Grossdeutschland Battalion deployed twelve 8-cm mortars and twenty-four heavy machine gun teams, double that found in any other German motorised unit.


The Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Battalion, circa 1943

Machine Gun Company (5 Officers, 206 men)
Company HQ (1 Officer, 15 men)
Battle Train (18 men)
Baggage Train (4 men)
Three Machine Gun Platoons, each (1 Officer, 35 men)
Mortar Platoon (1 Officer, 64 men)

Three Rifle Companies (5 Officers, 221 men), each comprised of;
Company HQ (1 Officer, 9 men)
Maintenance Detachment (4 men)
Battle Train (10 men)
Baggage Train (4 men)
Heavy Platoon comprised of;
Platoon HQ (1 Officer, 5 men)
Mortar Section (18 men)
Two Heavy Machine Gun Sections, each (15 men)



As a point of interest.......Gary Kennedy.....he is the originator of the Bayonet Strength 150

Sorry for the derail on your wonderful thread. Looking forward to more awesome models. :hello:


Cheers
Larry
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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby MikeRC97 » 14 Oct 2017

Hi Larry - I think we're saying the same thing, what confused me about your previous reply is that you said "[t]hey added the extra MG's and mortars to the companies themselves and not the heavy weapons platoon" but if you look at you quote above you can see that the heavy platoon is in the rifle company (see below I'm adding bold for emphasis)


Three Rifle Companies (5 Officers, 221 men), each comprised of;
Company HQ (1 Officer, 9 men)
Maintenance Detachment (4 men)
Battle Train (10 men)
Baggage Train (4 men)
Heavy Platoon comprised of;
Platoon HQ (1 Officer, 5 men)
Mortar Section (18 men)
Two Heavy Machine Gun Sections, each (15 men)

Anyway to your point we're going off on a bit of a tangent here on a thread about figures and vehicles - but I find the subject of orbats very interesting so I have an idea for a thread on this subject for the Military History, Orbats / TO&E subforum which I will post later today.
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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby laurence strong » 14 Oct 2017

Hello Mike

Please do. I was going to do that but was unsure if I should. Put it in the new RF section so one can discuss in terms of RF orbits.


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Re: Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 194

Postby MikeRC97 » 14 Oct 2017

Started a new thread in the RF subforum for discussion of the orbats, in case anyone is interested:

http://www.guildwargamers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=416&t=45330&view=unread#unread
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