Friday, 25 December 2015

Flames of War: Polish Anti Aircraft Battery

At the start of World War 2 Poland knew that it was going to be heavily outnumbered and ridiculously outclassed in the air.

Because of this Polish divisions were provided with their own integrated anti aircraft provision. In some of the more ad hoc organisations, or those that were not deemed to be a part of the front line, these provisions would often be no more than some old water cooled heavy machine guns mounted on a pintle, whilst in the front line divisions a provision of 40mm Anti Aircraft Cannons was more normal supported by sections with HMG's on pintles.

Owing to the lack of interest in carrying obscure miniature ranges there are no manufacturers in the world that carry a range of Polish anti aircraft weapons and as such I had to scrape together what I needed from numerous sources... all of which will be revealed!

A Complete Polish Anti Aircraft Battery comprising the Battery Commander and Two Full Battery Sections
 The battery commander figures were probably the simplest to obtain and is simply a Battlefront Miniatures command team and a True North/ Old Glory Lazik Staff Car. Not the best detail in the world BUT a great base for one of my projects next year.

A Complete Battery Section comprising the Bofors 40mm AA Gun, two HMG's on Pintles and the two attached C2P Light Artillery Tractors
Each section in an infantry divisions anti aircraft provision had complete sections with both Heavy and Light weapons to provide the hail of fire that was expected over the field of battle.

A Polish 40mm Bofors AA Gun
The 40mm Bofors that True North/ Old Glory provides isn't quite accurate as a model but its close enough. Here we can see that the AA gun is crewed by a mixture of Battlefront Miniatures, Quality Castings and True North/ Old Glory. All in all I think it gives a  good feel for what the piece would have looked like...

A Polish HMG on pintle mount with one of the battery's C2P Light Artillery Tractor
The pintle mounted HMG's and the C2P artillery tractors were the most problematic elements of the battery. I finally managed to find a manufacturer that produced the C2P's in 1/100 but unfortunately they weren't cheap and as they were only produced in the States the carriage costs were astronomical however as they were Quality Castings products I knew that the quality would be workable so I opted to jump in.

With regards to the HMG operators I was in a bit of a fix here as there are no manufacturers for this type of weapon for Polish troops. After some research I determined that all I needed to do for the weapon was to mount the actual machine gun onto its tripod via a length of brass rod at an angle. As I had some True North/ Old Glory Vickers HMG's laying around I opted to use these.

Because of how the weapons were supposed to be used I knew that just using normal Polish troops as crew wouldn't look very good so I had to go through miniature manufacturers ranges that were as easy to pull off as Polish 1939 mid work look as possible. After weeks of looking around I finally settled on Battlefront Miniatures Arab-Israeli War Egyptian Kateybat Moshaa AA troops. Not all of them were suitable but those that were only had to have water bottles snipped off and the rest of the uniforms would easily pass as a Polish one....

And there you have it! One full Anti Aircraft Battery....

No comments:

Post a Comment