Tag Archives: orbats

51st Highland Division on Parade

51st-infdiv

51st Highland Division

Sometimes, the only way to check that everyone is in Barracks is to put them on Parade. 51st Highland Division looks as if it is ready for a fight … “see Youse Jimmy“*. 40th Light Anti-aircraft Regiment is further back down the line of communications in the photo above.

51st HD infantry Battalions

In Real Life®, my portfolio is in and marked – a pass! My Viva Voce and Ethical paper have both been taken and the final paper is tomorrow. Too soon to celebrate, but I need some playtime!

*A bored colleague of mine, who worked at the Ministry of Defence, used to pick up the phone on  a Friday and announce “War Office … want a fight?

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, Infantry, Orbats, Western Desert, WWII

4th Indian Infantry Division

The 4th Indian Infantry Division were old desert hands by the time of the battles at EL ALAMEIN. Here they are, having fought through solidly since GAZALA:

4th-indian-div

4th Indian Infantry Division

Major-General Francis Tuker (known widely as “Gertie”)

Comd in India Patt Carrier or Jeep (C3)

4th-indian-divisional-recce-regiment

  • 1st Field Regiment Royal Artillery

    • FOO (O1), Quad limber (S3), 25pdr (S3)
  • 11th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • FOO (O1), Quad limber (S3), 25pdr (S3)
  • 32nd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • FOO (O1), Quad limber (S3), 25pdr (S3)
  • 149th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • India Patt or Universal Carrier (S3), 6pdr (S3)
  • 57th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • Morris Limber (s3), 40mm Bofors AA (s3) (or portee)
  • 2nd Field Company, Bengal Sappers and Miners

    • Truck (L3) + optional trailer (L3), 3 Sappers (@E1)
  • 4th Field Company, Bengal Sappers and Miners

    • Truck (L3) + optional trailer (L3), 3 Sappers (@E1)
  • 12th Field Company, Madras Sappers and Miners

    • Truck (L3) + optional trailer (L3), 3 Sappers (@E1)
  • 11th Field Park Company, Madras Sappers and Miners

    • Low Loader (L3), D7 bulldozer (L3)
  • 4th Indian Division Signals

    • Morris or Bedford Signals truck (C3)
5th Indian Infantry Brigade

Brigadier Dudley Russell

Comd in India Patt Carrier or Jeep (C3), signals van (C3)

  • 1/4th Battalion, Essex Regiment

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
  • 4th (Outram’s) Battalion, 6th Rajputana Rifles

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)

British Indian army Inf Bn

  • 3rd (Queen Mary’s Own) Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
7th Indian Infantry Brigade

Brigadier Arthur Holworthy

Comd in India Patt Carrier (C3), signals van (C3)

61st Indian Infantry Brigade

Brigadier Francis E.C. Hughes

Comd India Patt Carrier (C3), signals van (C3)

Brit Inf Highland Bn WW2

argyll-and-sutherland-highlanders-tartan

By now, it will be obvious to even the most casual reader of this blog that I mix and match British desert infantry. A few turbans, Glengarries, Tam-o-Shanters and slouch hats mixed in with a lot of steel battle bowlers and berets make up the necessary numbers. I must get some of those splendid Kiwi scout hats to add to the mix.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, Infantry, Western Desert, WWII

Soviet Air Armies 1942-43

As Barbarossa commenced, the Soviet Airforce was organised with an air division per RKKA ground army, which proved too inflexible for the effective deployment of air support. The reorganisation that took place in May to November 1942* after the catastrophic losses of the initial inavasion was to give an air army to each front, with a more or less equal number of aircraft grouped into reserve air armies (PVO Strany).

The excellent “The Soviet Air Force Since 1918” by Alexander Boyd (1977), is one of the few books that I have come across that makes any attempt to mesh the ground and air war on the Soviet side in any meaningful way. He gives , on p.153 a useful diagram for October 1943; it shows the dispositions of the 13 air armies supporting the fronts as follow:

Karelian Front ⇒ 7th Air Army (Formed Aug 42)

Leningrad Front ⇒ 13th Air Army (Nov 42)

  • 275th Fighter Aviation Division
  • 276th Bomber Aviation Division
  • 277th Assault Aviation Division

Volkov Front ⇒ 14th Air Army (Jun 42)

2nd Baltic Front ⇒ 15th Air Army ()

1st Baltic Front ⇒ 3rd Air Army (May 42 Kalinin Front)

  • 209th, 210th Fighter Aviation Divisions
  • 211th, 212nd Mixed Aviation Divisions
  • 684th, 695th Lighter Bomber Aviation Regiments
  • 195th, 708th, 881st, 882nd, 883rd, 884th, 885th, and 887th Mixed Aviation Regiments
  • 3rd Reconnaissance Aviation Squadron

Western Front ⇒ 1st Air Army (May 42)

  • 201st Fighter Aviation Division
  • 202nd Fighter Aviation Division
  • 203rd Fighter Aviation Division
  • 234th Fighter Aviation Division
  • 235th Fighter Aviation Division
  • 204th Bomber Aviation Division
  • 213th Night Bomber Aviation Division
  • 215th Mixed Aviation Division
  • 214th Assault Aviation Division
  • 224th Assault Aviation Division
  • 231st Assault Aviation Division
  • 232nd Assault Aviation Division
  • 233rd Assault Aviation Division
  • (Mar 43) Régiment de Chasse Normandie-Niemen – Yak-3

Yak-3 Normandie-Niemen2

Bryansk Front ⇒ 6th Air Army (Jun 42 NW Front)

Belorussian Front ⇒ 16th Air Army (Aug 42 Stalingrad Front)

  • 220th Fighter Division
  • 228 Attack Aircraft Division
  • 228th and 291st Assault Aviation Divisions
  • 2 independent aviation regiments

1st Ukranian Front ⇒ 2nd Air Army (May 42 Bryansk Front)

  • 205th, 206th,[4] 207th Fighter Air Divisions
  • 208th Night Bomber Air Division
  • 223rd Air Division
  • 225th, 226th, 227th Air Assault Division
  • Two independent air regiments.[1]

2nd Ukranian Front ⇒ 5th Air Army (Jun 42 N.Caucasus Front ) Fought at Kursk

  • 7th Combined Aviation Corps
  • 8th Combined Aviation Corps
  • 3rd Fighter Aviation Corps
  • 7th Fighter Aviation Corps

3rd Ukranian Front ⇒ 17th Air Army (Oct 42 SW Front)

  • 3 Mixed Air Corps (207, 290 Divisions?)
  • 7?, 9? fighter divisions (202?,235? Divs and 305?, 303?, 295? Divs)
  • Ground-attack division
  • Bomber division
  • Night bomber division -Po-2?

4th Ukranian Front ⇒ 8th Air Army (Jun 42 SW Front)

Independent Maritime Army ⇒ 4th Air Army (May 42 Southern Front) included 2 regiments of Spitfires in 1943

  • 216th Fighter Division or 216th Mixed Aviation Division
  • 217th Fighter Division
  • 229th Fighter Division
  • 230th Storm Division
  • 219th Bomber Division
  • 218th Night Bomber Division
  • 588th Light Night Bomber (Night Witches) Regiment (From June 42) – the first all-women air unit – Po-2

 

I have shown formation dates and original fronts in (brackets) with further information from the Wikki sub pages, where available.

References:

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_army_%28Soviet_Union%29

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NQM 21st Panzer Division Orbat

I haven’t been entirely idle since the last post*. Here is the new sleek orbat for 21st Panzer division:

21PzHQ

21st Panzer Division (Generalmajor Johann von Ravenstein until 29 November (prisoner of war), then Generalmajor Karl Böttcher) Comd car (C3), Signals Sdkfz 222 [or captured Dorchester or SdKfz 263](C3), 20mm Flak Truck (S3), Engineer truck (L3), 2 Engineer stands (F2), Ammo Truck (L3), POL Truck (L3),  Ambulance Sdkfz 251 (L3).

21PzTkRegt

5th Panzer Regiment Comd PzII or PzIII (F3), 3 PzIII** (F3), 1 PzIV (F3)

21PzGren2

  • 104th Infantry Regiment  Comd Sdkfz 250, 251 or 263 (CF3), 2 Comd car (1 may be an Sdkfz 250 or 251) (CF3), 37mm Pak (S3) + Limber (L3), 2 Sdkfz 251 (F3), 2 Truck (F3)./80

21PzArty

  • 155th Artillery Regiment Comd car (C3), FOO (C1), Sdkfz 11 Limber (L3), 105mm Gun [or  SiG 33 or Lorraine Schlepper  15cm] (S3), Sdkfz 10 Limber (L3), 50mm Pak (S3)

Essentially, all that I have done is remove the infantry stands from the panzer grenadier companies, and made the SdKfz an (F3) stand in the same way that a tank model is. The orphaned infantry have all gone to swell the ranks of the infantry divisions.

See Also 15 Panzer Division

*For those wondering what I fritter my spare time away with at work, “Advanced Podiatry” is not nearly as exciting as it sounds. It mostly involves learning which bits of the foot to poke, to find out where it hurts. A Surgeon will then chop bits out and fix the rest with screws until it doesn’t.

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Filed under Artillery, DAK, Infantry, Modelling, Orbats, tank, Trucks, Wehrmacht, Western Desert, WWII

More on Infantry Orbats

Since bringing the infantry orbats in line with armour and artillery, I have received a few questions about how they should appear, and the difference between bases and stands. Bases are the individual components of a stand. There are usually 3 bases to a stand, but there can be more, or fewer.

Inf1inf2For an all- infantry battalion it is fairly straightforward. Here is 4th Battalion, 6th Rajputana Rifles , comprising a command and support stand (CS3), and a fighting stand (F3). They are tooled up for a fight , with 6 combat units (CUs) represented by the little airgun pellets on the spanking brand-new tinplate movement tray next to them, and the two stands can put out 2CUs per turn between them, for 3 turns, by which time they will have run out of ammunition.

Brit Mot Rfl Bn Truck

Next, comes a motor battalion, 1st Battalion the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. They can be organised as previously shown, with a vehicle base and 2 infantry bases making one stand, and three stands in the battalion, or you could dispense with the infantry, and just have 3 vehicles with infantry glued into them to show that it is not just a logistic vehicle. Either way, it does not matter how you model the stands as long as both you and your opponent know what is happening.

inf3

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Clarifying Mechanised Orbats

When a motorised battalion of infantry with integral transport goes into battle, one of the bases (usually a Support (S) base)  can be an integral part of the transport base. In addition, the transport may carry other bases (usually  Fighting (F) bases) that ‘deploy’ when the stand attacks or defends.  The following scale should provide a rough guide but is not prescriptive :

No  extra bases per jeep or motorcycle combo

Up to 2 bases extra per light truck  or light halftrack (debusses up to 2 stands), e.g. Sd Kfz 250/251

Up to 3 bases extra per medium truck

Up to 4 bases extra per heavy truck

2 wheel trailers may carry 1 base

4 wheel trailers may carry up to 2 bases

If there are a mix of fighting and support bases in the stand, it can be given a hybrid designation, such as  FS, CF, CS, or even CFS.

This is different to the case of a marching infantry unit that happens to be transported in trucks that are not a normal part of their orbat. For marching infantry, the truck(s) can be accounted for separately as a Logistic (L) stand.

In retreat, all your troops will fit onto the trucks up to a maximum of double the usual extra stands, but no support weapons, so support stands become rifle stands.

Pz Gren Bn    1 Comd Sd Kfz w 37mm PAK + 81 or 50mm Mor (CS3)  which would normally travel with the Bn comd Sd Kfz, 2 x [Sd Kfz with MG + 2 Rifle bases @ (FS3)] (Rifle stands may have integral AT Rifle or Pz Faust  capability).

PzGrenBnGep

So a panzer grenadier battalion has 3 halftracks (each CS3 or FS3 light armour with an integral machine gun  or PaK 37). The 250 will always have an integral command base or may have an integral command/support base (MG or Pak), and probably also has a dismountable support base with it in the shape of a mortar. Each 251 has an integral support or gun base. Regimental gun support can be simulated by modelling the gun on the transport e.g. the Sd Kfz 250/10 or  Sd Kfz 251/10, or as a towed gun, as shown in the picture above.

In total up to 6  dismountable rifle or support bases could be carried by the 3 battalion transports with their integral non-dismountable bases. You could use as few as 3 or 4 dismountable bases to reflect the often-reduced fighting strength of these heavily used units. Of course, if you are asking yourself  “why bother with the dismounted bases at all?” then it is simple enough to just model a CS3 or FS3 vehicle with a few figures in the back. As long as everyone knows what is there, it doesn’t really matter.

Mot Rifle Bn  1 Comd Car + optional 81 or 50mm Mor (CS3)1-2 [Trucks or 1/2 tracks with integral mg support stand + optional 1-2 Rifle bases (FS2-3),  (Rifle stands may have integral AT Rifle or Pzfaust  capability). A total of 6-9 bases per battalion including the vehicle bases, in line with infantry battalions is about right, making a total of 3 stands, as shown below.

MotRflAbt

In total up to 6  dismountable rifle or support stands can be carried by the 3 battalion transports with their integral non-dismountable stands. Any regimental guns will be towed in this orbat. If a truck does not have an integral support or fighting base because you like to show all your infantry companies as dismountable, count it as (L1) and send it to the rear into a laager.

Please note that this does not in any way seek to replicate the actual carrying capacity of these vehicles; rather it simulates the functions of a battalion, whilst still allowing a modeller to produce signature equipment in his orbat. The orbat also gives flexibility without being too prescriptive. If you disagree, run your ideas past your opponent and reach an agreement for an enjoyable game.

Postcript, May 2017:

You can just stick a few infantry onto the same base as a truck (Tim Gow has been doing this for years in Megablitz), or you can make the bases small enough to fit into the back of the truck, as Command Decision does.

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Filed under "Rules" Explanations, 15mm Miniatures Wargames

“Orbats are for Beginners”

The title quote is one that Jim Wallman is fond of trotting out at appropriate moments. There is a kernel of truth hidden away there.

NQM started using 20mm figures and originally, 3 infantry bases, each with 1 strength point (s), formed a stand with an output of 1 combat unit (CU). When I changed to 15mm, a single stand gained (s3) and put out 1 CU.  This was useful for divisional battles, but became unweildy when corps took to the field, so it is time to go back to basics and restate some beginner orbats. I am starting to roll these out on the orbat pages. It is the most significant change that I have made to the written guidelines in 30 years as it reduces infantry strength relative to armour and artillery.

SovMotRflBn

 

Each of the 2 stands in the photo above put out 1 unit of fire (CU). the command stand on the left has three strength points and the support stand on the right has two.

As before, a stand fights and fires as normal until each base has a pin in it. the first extra pin overloads the stand and removes it: this means all three bases in the case of the command stand, and both bases in the case of the support stand.

If the two stands reorganise, there is no longer a need for black pins. Any permanently damaged base is removed. Vehicle stands that use one vehicle to represent three strength points continue to use black pins as normal.

SovTkBdeApr42

 

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Hubert Pölz’s famous Stuka nose art in StG 2

Today was a big day for 15mm Hubert: He finally got his snake (Shlange) painted onto the side of, what is admitttedly, quite a lumpy Ju 87. He is now ready to wreak all sorts of diecast havoc on the Allies when they turn up. His Dyna-flite Stuka is so solid that if Hubert misjudges the altitude, he just bounces. I don’t think that I will write that into the rules!

Hubert Pölz’s famous Stuka nose art  in StG 2 , Ju 87, Not Quite Mechanised. Copyright Chris Kemp 2012

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, German Airforce, Modelling, Western Desert, WWII

Manly Men in Desert Shorts – Merry Christmas!

By way of light relief at Christmas, it is time to revisit some of the more exotic troops on the Italian side. I wouldn’t quite call them pantomime troops, but they don’t figure prominently on the re-enactors’ radars, which is usually a good indication of perceived military ‘coolness’ amongst hobbyists.

Mussolini was enthusiastic about troops marching along with their shirts off to an extent that would raise eyebrows in these more politically correct times.  Military fashions change, but in the search for 15mm Blackshirt Legion figures it occurred to me that a heap of Peter Pig ‘Japanese in Loin cloths’ figures that are currently unemployed ought to convert nicely.

Shorts, boots and a floppy fez – how hard can it be? I can hear professional sculptors chuckling already. The Blackshirts didn’t generally fight in buff order, but it should make the figures easy to spot without going down the whole fascist glamour route. From the shape of these smart chaps’ hats it seems obvious that the line legionnaire was just as capable of rogering a perfectly good piece of headgear in the field to annoy his superior officers as any modern squaddie. Is that a younger Mimi from Inspector Montalbano that I see on the left of the photo?

I’m not sure if this is the fez below with a higher crown that created a  pouch hanging down the back of the head when worn. I chose to model these hanging to hide the ‘Jap Hat’ sun flaps, rather than ‘pork pie’ fashion as above. Photos of the little chaps in their shorts and fezzes to follow once I have scraped the Milliput off my eyebrows. Merry Christmas!

Black Legion coastal artillery fez. WW2 North Africa. Chris Kemp's Not Quite Mechanised. copyright http://gothicline.wordpress.com/689-2/

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Quick and Dirty Balkenkreuze*

My stock of transfers has diminished over the years, so rather than wait for the post to deliver, I pulled out the paintbrush to slap on some quick and dirty Balkenkreuze. for Luftflotte 2. No-one seems to provide transfers of Hakenkreuze for tailfins any more since it became illegal in France (and Germany) to wander about in brown shirts with silly moustaches and armbands, so they had to be painted on too (the Hakenkreuze, not the silly moustaches).

Balkankreuze1All 3 stages of painting can be seen above. The ‘Ginga Francis’ markings are to remind me what the Ju 88s stand in as in the Imperial Japanese Airforce

Stage 1: After my previous comments about white paint, I used a Pentel Micro Correct to lay the white background down.

Stage 2: A black central cross followed by the black outer border to the white is blocked out, not worrying about how long the arms are.

Stage 3: The ragged ends to the crosses are painted across by a band of background blue or grey. Sometimes I use a craft knife to scrape a straight line to prevent an excess of thick paint at the end of the cross.

The final effect would look good when applied by a steady hand and eye. Sadly, I have neither, but the effect is not too shabby at battle distances.

Balkankreuze2

Luftflotte 2 drones overhead against the background of a stormy sky (if you half close your eyes!)

*Duty spellchecker Ludger Fischer (Thanks Ludger!)

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, German Airforce, Modelling, WWII