WWII


Museum Crawl Weekend - The REME Museum

Day one of my epic, four-day, birthday celebration Museum Crawl and we visited a place that has been on my bucket list for some time. The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Museum is located just outside the REME training establishment at MoD Lyneham, near Chippenham in Wiltshire. It is home to thousands of artefact that tell the story of REME but the thing that has attracted me here are the large armoured recovery vehicles and the weapons and uniform collections. Prior to REME's formation in 1942, maintenance and repair of equipment was the responsibility of the various arms of service. However, by the start of WWII, it was increasingly clear that existing repair systems were not adequate for the massive scale of equipment being deployed in every theatre. REME was formed around the existing Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) skilled personnel drawn from the Royal Engineers (RE) and the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC).Sherman Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle, or BARV for short. This ex

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A Birthday Treat - Churchill War Rooms

Yesterday was my birthday (let's just say it was a significant number and leave it at that) and my treat for the day was a chance to visit the Churchill War Rooms in Westminster. We have been talking about coming here for a long time but have never seemed to get around to it. We joined IWM as members earlier in the year and this gave us free entry to the War Rooms and meant when we arrived we were able to jump the quite considerable queue (I only felt slightly bad about that). Construction of the Cabinet War Rooms, located beneath the Treasury building in the Whitehall area of Westminster, began in 1938. Previously they had been used for storage and archiving but with conflict looking increasingly likely, this area was hastily converted into an operations centre. It was never actually meant to house the war cabinet but after Number 10 was damaged in an air raid meetings regularly took place here in the 'relative' safety of the underground complex. Contrary to popular belief the War Rooms are not bomb pro

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A success at last.

I was supposed to be playing SAGA last night, practice for a club campaign, I am Byzantines and Saxons, a goodie and a baddie, although I suppose it depends on what side of the Theodosian Walls you stand on. Anyway Simon fell by the wayside and after some frantic messaging Rob and I decided to do Bolt Action, it was a chance to maybe get some new units on the table.My three new halftracks were 99% done by last night and I was tempted to take them but in the end my Wargamers OCD would not let me, finished units only. Rob brought his Italians with some laughable little  tanks, albeit one was a flamethrower and we all know I hate flamethrowers. The Eyties had only just changed sides and the local garrison had taken their German liaison officer prisoner, his men were determined to rescue him. To this end I had a fairly balanced force with infantry, two armoured cars, one a Puma, and my new 75mm field howitzer, the Puma I thought would take out the risible tanks and the gun would settle the infantry, job done

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Back to Duxford

I've been to the Imperial War Museum Duxford lots of times over the years, either for Air Shows or just to look around the huge collection at this site. This year we decided to renew our annual family membership when we were here back in February. We didn't have a lot of time that day so we intended to come back again over the Easter school holidays and here we are. Annual membership is great value, especially if, like us, you plan on visiting some of IWM's other sites like the Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast. When we came here in February I didn't post any pictures (we were knee deep in the Painting Challenge at the time and I didn't have time) so let's start with a few photos from that trip when we spent most of our time in the 'Land Warfare' hall. Inside one half of the Land Warfare building. They seem to have changed some of the exhibits since I was last here.Monty's Command version of the M3A3 Grant Tank. The Hull Gun is a wooden mock-up to allow extra room inside for additional radio

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Let us pray.

The first of the latest vehicles is finished, not counting the howitzer. My Allies are short of artillery so just in case they make it to the table top I thought I would do the Priest first, as I said the kit was not up to the same standard as the Rubicon models but then again it was a big lump of resin.So, first up was a base coat of Russian Uniform, I try very hard to cover every area but there is always bits in corners etc. which don't take, to solve this I then give the whole model a watered down coat of the base coat, this normally does the trick. I generally put the decals on at this stage as I want them to weather with the rest of the vehicle. I follow this with a drybrush of the base coat but with some white added. With Allied vehicles I now give them a wash with slighty watered down Army Painter Dark Tone, if you don't like things too dark then use Strong Tone, the darker tones suit the green background. Before all this I had added a couple of jerrycans, a box and a bag to the rear deck so I now pick

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Tanker's Tuesday: The Grant M3 Tank

M3 LeeDescriptionThe M3 Lee, officially Medium Tank, M3, was an American medium tank used during World War II. In Britain, the tank was called by two names based on the turret configuration and crew size. Tanks employing US pattern turrets were called the "Lee", named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee. WikiCrew: 7 (Lee) or 6 (Grant)Wars: World War IIMain armament: 1 × 75 mm Gun M2/M3 in hull > 46 rounds;Engine: Wright (Continental) R975 EC2; 400 hp (300 kW)/340 hp (250 kW)Variants: numerous, see textOperational range: 193 km (119 mi)Secondary armament: 2-3–4 ×.30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns > 9,200 rounds

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My cup it runneth over.

I checked out my sales pitch on Wargame Vault the other day and there was a handsome reward sitting so I cashed in, I share these with my co-author and ACW expert Ryan Toews so we both came out of it well.I mentioned that I seem to be getting pulled to the East in Bolt Action with the new Budapest campaign book and the work I am doing for Helion at the moment, so although I usually check on whether any new vehicles are historically correct for Normandy if they can also be used on the Ost Front as well this is a win/win, if I ever do go there.Anyway as I looked through Rubicon's site I noticed they have a sale on, so instead of buying a halftrack and then having to buy the upgrade they had both for the same price as the original vehicle, how could I resist, despite feeling guilty that the Germans are getting all the good gear. I therefore went for three halftracks, one upgraded with a PaK40, one with flamethrowers and then a box which gives you the choice of three, an assault engineers transport, an ambulance

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Aaaargh!

My first club night in a month and full of enthusiasm I chose Bolt Action and a game against Simon's Russians, 900 points although I would have liked more. I wanted to use my Stummel so in order to do so, as the thing is for some unknown reason classed as a tank, as is the halftrack with the rockets on the side, I had to take two platoons as I also needed something to take on the inevitable KV1. I therefore ended up with four small squads, two of them veteran with two LMG's instead of one and a sniper. My plan was to bring down a lot of firepower on the big Russian squads and wipe them out.Stummel.  We rolled for the scenario and got Breakout from the 'Barbarossa to Berlin' book, the Germans had to get units into the western side of the battlefield or off the table, the Russians got points for killing German squads etc. The attack was at dawn therefore sighting rolls had to be made before the onset of daylight. The Russians set up along their line and managed to get two units dug in, this, along with the

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