Republican militiaman Federico Borrell Garcia falls to his death on September 5, 1936, at Cerro Muriano along the Cordoba front of the Spanish Civil War.
Commission work, 2014
After sweeping through France and Belgium in the summer of 1944, the Allies were poised to enter the Netherlands. British Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery favoured a single thrust north over the branches of the Lower Rhine River, allowing the British Second Army to bypass the Siegfried Line and attack the Ruhr. To this end, the Allies launched Operation Market Garden on 17 September. Airborne troops were dropped in the Netherlands to secure key bridges and towns along the Allied axis of advance. Farthest north, the British 1st Airborne Division, supported by men of the Glider Pilot Regiment and the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade, landed at Arnhem to secure bridges across the Nederrijn. Initially expecting a walkover, British XXX Corps planned to reach the British airborne forces within two to three days.
The British forces landed some distance from their objectives and were quickly hampered by unexpected resistance – especially from elements of the 9th SS and 10th SS Panzer Divisions. Only a small force was able to reach the Arnhem road bridge while the main body of the division was halted on the outskirts of the city. Meanwhile, XXX Corps was unable to advance north as quickly as anticipated due to the destruction of the bridge at Son, and failed to relieve the airborne troops according to schedule. After four days, the small British force at the bridge was overwhelmed and the rest of the division became trapped in a small pocket north of the river – where they could not be sufficiently reinforced by the Poles or XXX Corps when they arrived on the southern bank, nor by the RAF’s resupply flights. After nine days of fighting, the shattered remains of the airborne forces were withdrawn in Operation Berlin.
With no secure bridges over the Nederrijn, the Allies were unable to advance further and the front line stabilised south of Arnhem. The 1st Airborne Division had lost nearly three-quarters of its strength and did not see combat again (Font Wikipedia).
The Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive campaign launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg on the Western Front toward the end of World War II in Europe. The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard. United States forces bore the brunt of the attack and incurred their highest casualties for any operation during the war. The battle also severely depleted Germany’s armored forces on the western front, and Germany was largely unable to replace them. German personnel, and later Luftwaffe aircraft (in the concluding stages of the engagement), also sustained heavy losses.
Different forces referred to the battle by different names. The Germans referred to it officially as Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (“Operation Watch on the Rhine”) or usually Ardennenoffensive or Rundstedt-Offensive, while the French named it the Bataille des Ardennes (“Battle of the Ardennes”). The Allies called it the Ardennes Counteroffensive. The phrase “Battle of the Bulge” was coined by contemporary press to describe the way the Allied front line bulged inward on wartime news maps and became the most widely used name for the battle.
The German offensive was supported by several subordinate actions including Operations Unternehmen Bodenplatte, Greif and Währung. As well as stopping Allied transport over the channel to the port city of Antwerp, these operations were intended to split the British and American Allied line in half, so the Germans could then proceed to encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers‘ favor. Once that was accomplished, Hitler could fully concentrate on the eastern theatre of war.
The offensive was planned by the German forces with utmost secrecy, minimizing radio traffic and moving troops and equipment under cover of darkness. Intercepted German communications indicating a substantial German offensive preparation were not acted upon by the Allies.
The Germans achieved total surprise on the morning of 16 December 1944 due to a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with Allied offensive plans, and poor aerial reconnaissance. The Germans attacked a weakly defended section of the Allied line, taking advantage of heavily overcast weather conditions, which grounded the Allies’ overwhelmingly superior air forces. Fierce resistance on the northern shoulder of the offensive around Elsenborn Ridge and in the south around Bastogne blocked German access to key roads to the northwest and west that they counted on for success. Columns of armor and infantry that were supposed to advance along parallel routes found themselves on the same roads. This and terrain that favored the defenders threw the German advance behind schedule and allowed the Allies to reinforce the thinly placed troops. Improved weather conditions permitted air attacks on German forces and supply lines, which sealed the failure of the offensive. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment, as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line.
The Germans’ initial attack included 200,000 men, 340 tanks and 280 assault guns. These were reinforced a couple weeks later, bringing the offensive’s total strength to 300,000 troops, 1,500+ tanks and assault guns, 2,400 aircraft, and several thousand field guns and mortars. Between 67,200 and 125,000 of their men were killed, missing or wounded. For the Americans, 610,000 men were involved in the battle, of whom 89,000 were casualties, including up to 19,000 killed. Along with the Battle of Okinawa and the Battle of Luzon, it was one of the largest and bloodiest battles fought by the United States in World War II (font Wikipedia).
Waiting for Mr. David Revelia do his magic on Jeep Willis & Diorama…
Well, I can’t deny to have suffered the “Fury” flu…
“…Best Job I Ever Had!”
Waiting for Mr. David Revelia do his magic on M4 Sherman & Diorama…
The 1st SS-Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (abbreviated as 1. SS-Pz.Div. LSSAH) began as Adolf Hitler‘s personal bodyguard, responsible for guarding the Führer’s person, offices, and residences. Initially the size of a regiment, the LSSAH eventually grew into an elite division-sized unit. The term Leibstandarte was derived partly from Leibgarde – a somewhat archaic German translation of “Guard of Corps” or personal bodyguard of a military leader (“Leib” = lit. “body, torso”) – and Standarte: the Schutzstaffel (SS) or Sturmabteilung (SA) term for a regiment-sized unit.
The LSSAH independently participated in combat during the invasion of Poland, and was amalgamated into the Waffen-SS together with the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) and the combat units of the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) prior to Operation Barbarossa in 1941. By the end of World War II it had been increased in size from a regiment to a Panzer division.
The Leibstandarte division’s symbol was a skeleton key, in honour of its first commander, Josef “Sepp” Dietrich (Dietrich is German for skeleton key or lock pick); it was retained and modified to later serve as the symbol for I SS Panzer Corps. The elite division, a component of the Waffen-SS, was found guilty of war crimes in the Nuremberg Trials. Members of the LSSAH participated in numerous atrocities. They killed at least an estimated 5,000 prisoners of war in the period 1940–1945, mostly on the Eastern Front (Font Wikipedia).
The Panther was built by Ton van Rijnberk, master builder of “Field of Armour Models”
The Siege of Leningrad, also known as the Leningrad Blockade (Russian: блокада Ленинграда, transliteration: blokada Leningrada) was a prolonged military blockade undertaken mainly by the German Army Group North against Leningrad, historically and currently known as Saint Petersburg, in the Eastern Front theatre of World War II. The siege started on 8 September 1941, when the last road to the city was severed. Although the Soviets managed to open a narrow land corridor to the city on 18 January 1943, the siege was finally lifted on 27 January 1944, 872 days after it began. It was one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history and possibly the costliest in terms of casualties (Font Wikipedia).
Brainchild of Dave Revelia, this work kept me busy for about six months. The original project should have foreseen only the three foreground figures (nurse, combat medic and wounded POW), but one day Dave has scored a great shot, by winning the auction for that tent (a rare and remarkable Hasbro’s piece)… from that point on, everything has become biggest and hardest!
What really makes so special this work, is the history that inspired it. I recommend you to read it, since it’s very fascinating.
I shall not be me to narrate it, but the researcher who has spent nearly a quarter of a century to recompose all puzzle tiles.
Everything stems from a photo taken 70 years ago, on a mountain road in the Istrian region, during a counterinsurgency operation, carried out by a unit of the SS-Karstwehr- Btl…
“In june 1990 I was just a kid in love with war and militaria. Every month I used to wait with anxiety for the new issue of the only Militaria magazine published at the time. I clearly remember the day I’ve seen for the first time that picture published on that very same magazine, and how I’ve fallen in love with the Tarnjacke worn by the SS man, keep wondering for the following years who those guys were and if had they managed to survive the war.
The picture was briefly captioned, but at the time I wasn’t even aware what the SS-Karstwehr-Btl. was and that was deployed in action mainly pretty close to my home. Growing up I’ve lost a bit of interest into Militaria due personal problems and, of course, money problems, so I’ve kind of forgotten of that picture. But any time I was at home, and while reading that Militaria magazine issue again, I always felt very fascinated by that picture. I can’t even explain clearly why. Anyway, job, girlfriends, everyday life, and the kid dreams got leveled step by step. At one point I got back with passion to military history but as researcher now, focused on the WWI and WWII events that happened close to my place of birth, mainly interested into pictures. Mainly due to that, I got fascinated again by that pictures, so I’ve tried to learn more about it under all aspects: luckily enough I’ve also managed, after an hard detective work, to find the actual owner of the original picture and buy it off him along with a big group of serie of pictures taken by the same photographer and related to very same operation of the one which I was researching about. Thanks to these additional pictures I was able to ID date, exact location (to the meter!) and operation during the shot was taken. Unbelievably the location was very close to my home. But the SS man was still a perfect Mr. no-one to me. Few years later, a friend that was writing a book about the unit the pictures were related to, asked me if I would allow him to use that one along with some more images from my archive, for such a project, which I’ve agreed. Few years forward again, we are in 2009 now and here I am reading the book, just published, noticing that that very same SS man was pictured also on other pictures published there, that didn’t belonged to me but were credited to some veterans of that unit. Very excited, I’ve called my friend immediately telling him about my discovery, just to be replied in a very relaxed way something like “Oooh, yes, I’ve got the others pictures you are referring to from that very same SS veteran depicted on your picture…he is still alive and he lives 100 km. away from you..”. I couldn’t believe my ears. The guy was still alive and so close for all these years! I’ve managed to obtain from my friend the telephone number of that veteran, and few minutes later I was talking to him: we agreed to fix an appointment at his home, and two days later, in a very hot and sunny spring’s day, I was talking to him about that picture and everything related to it and his service in that unit. After that, and after having a copy of my picture being signed by the vet, I got happily back home. That was a.D. 2010. But I still couldn’t believe this tale, if it hasn’t really happened to me.”
Helmet: BBI improved (replaced chin strap and buckles) and repainted.
Head: from e-bay, improved and repainted
Jumpsmock and pants: BBI, improved (redone zipped and snap buttons) and aged.
Gears: mix of DML, DID and Soldier Story, improved and repainted
G43 DML, repainted
Boots: New Line Miniatures, improved
The SS Officer
Visor cap: Soldier Story, improved
Head: from e-bay, improved and repainted
Tunic and pants: Soldier Sory, improved
Boots: NLM repainted
Gears: mix of DML/DID, improved and repainted
Executed for a private collection.