d-day


D-Day 75th Anniversary Service

This week I have been in the company of some very special men on what can only be described as a pilgrimage of commemoration and remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Its been a very memorable and emotional few days in the company of so many brave men and women who served their country in WWII and other conflicts after. The service yesterday was attended by HRH the Duke of Cambridge (Prince William) who gave a moving reading of his Grandfathers speech on D-Day. One of our Veterans, Don also gave a reading and the unfaltering firmness of his voice said volumes for how much this event meant to the Veterans present.The weather held off for most of the day with a brief but ill timed shower during the wreath laying ceremony. Other than that it was a beautifully sunny day with blue sky's dotted with fluffy white clouds and everywhere the sound of laughter and friendly words. All age groups were represented with veterans of 100+ accompanied by great great grandchildren, barely a few months

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D-Day Remembered

75 Years ago today something quite incredible took place. The largest seaborne invasion in history had been a long time in the planning but by the time the Allies were ready to launch their offensive they had done pretty much all that was humanly possible to make it a success. Victory in Normandy was by no means assured and the technical demands of this new front alone would be a constant headache for the allies in the months that followed. All of this, however, would have been for nought had it not been for the remarkable courage of the soldiers, sailors and airmen at the vanguard of that mighty armada.It has been one of my life's greatest privileges to meet and get to know (in a very small way) some of those extraordinary men. Today I am accompanying a group of Veterans to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire for a service of remembrance. Many of these gentlemen are pushing 100, yet they still feel it necessary to pay their respects to their fallen comrades seventy-five years after they risked e

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The longest day begins – Warlord Games D-Day Campaign

In the run-up to the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Warlord Games has begun a three-month long campaign. Players can take part in the campaign across Warlord's numerous game systems, so everyone can take part. [...] The post The longest day begins – Warlord Games D-Day Campaign appeared first on Tabletop Games UK.

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DAK's over Duxford - Build up to D-Day

Over the next two days, the Imperial War Museum Duxford is having a special air show called DAK's over Duxford. It gathers together dozens of Dakota aircraft that served in WWII, many in the D-Day invasion and later in Operation Market Garden. As members, we were able to have access to the site on Sunday to watch many of these aircraft arriving from across the world. Later in the week, they will be performing a mass flyover to Normandy, replicating the huge airborne armada that mirrored the seaborne landings below them. Unfortunately, I won't be in Normandy to see that, as I'm accompanying local D-Day Veterans to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire for a special anniversary service. As usual, I took a load of pictures of the aircraft but rather than bore you with yet another museum photo report here's just a handful of pictures from the day. This C-47 was built in 1943 and towed Waco Gliders on D-Day and later dropped Paratroopers during Market Garden.A C-47B Skytrain built 1943 which a

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Normandy Bocage

The Bocage countryside of Northern France is a very distinctive feature of pretty much any game set during the Normandy Campaign of 1944. Bocage consists of mixed woodland and pasture with fields enclosed in very high banks topped with wild and unruly hedgerows. These have built up over centuries as farmers cleared rocks from their fields and threw them to the edges. Eventually, these have built up to form large rocky banks covered in a thick-rooted and largely unmanaged crown of hedgerow and trees. About nine years ago I made a load of Bocage hedgerow for my Normandy games and wrote a tutorial about how I did it. But I pretty soon realised I needed much much more. Now (just 9 years later!) I have decided to finish the job and make some more. I have been gathering the materials I needed for several months now as this was always going to be a large project involving a lot of greenery. The basis of my method is the use of wooden mouldings bought from a DIY store. The

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Sherman DD Tank - Water Feature

For the Water Feature bonus round, I have gone for a Sherman DD (Duplex Drive) tank wading ashore on a Normandy beach.  IN the end, more work went into the base than the tank but this time I'm really pleased with the end result.The DD's were a British invention (only us Brits are mad enough to attempt to make a tank float!) and were part of a series of specially adapted vehicles collectively known as Hobart's Funnies. The concept of the swimming tank actually dates back to 1918 when the first designs were being considered. Development continued in the inter-war period with initial designs using huge detachable floatation tanks. However, this made the tank very unwieldy and far too wide for any landing craft to carry them. The concept of the floatation screen - increasing the displacement of the tank until it floated -  was first considered in 1940 and was initially tested on the Tetrarch Light Tank and later on Valentines. By 1943 the first tests with Sherman were taking pla

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British Sherman III's in Normandy & some Hedges

(Saturday DRAFT) British Sherman III's in Normandy & some HedgesSo this week I'm departing from 6mm ancients to fast forward in time to WWII and a trio of 15mm tanks. These are M4A2 Sherman tanks by Peter Pig but they could also be used as M4A3's with the larger 76mm Gun. I have painted these in British service where they were known as the Sherman III. I'll be using these to play What a Tanker and will be teaming up with the Sherman VC (the Firefly) that I painted in Challenge Eight in a series of games I have planned for the summer. They will be facing off against a series of increasingly dangerous scenarios, culminating in battle with a King Tiger.I've painted these lend-lease tanks as belonging to the 8th Armoured Brigade as this unit was issued with Sherman III's and Sherman VC for the Battle of Normandy.As with my earlier Dingo Scout car I used a Vallejo textured paint to muddy up the tracks and lower hulls of these tanks. This stuff hardens quickly and can then be varnished along with the rest

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