Selected WW2 70th Anniversaries this month:
Between 2009 and 2015, I have set myself a general modelling theme that marks selected 70th Anniversaries from WW2.
Battle of Hammam-Lif, Tunisia, 8th May 1943.
Armourfast 1/72 - with Bison decals.
This is a project I had intended to do in May to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Hamman-Lif, but some basic research as I started quickly identified that the Sherman variants in my stash were not the right type. The Mk III sherman (M4A2) was fitted with a twin diesel engine, resulting in a very differnet after deck and rear than other variants. It has taken me until now to obtain suitable replacements, using one of the marvellous Amourfast quick-build kits. Decals come largely from Bison, albeit with a few changes for the later Italian campaign tank.
As WW2 in North Africa drew to a close, Allied forces advanced on the city of Tunis to finish off the Afrika Korps. As it quickly became apparent that Tunis had fallen to the British 1st Army and that the US 1st Armd Div had successfully captured the key Tunisian port of Bizerta to the North, General Alexander redirected the British 6th Armoured Division to move north-east and cut off the German's retreat toward the Cap Bon peninsula, thereby trapping them in front of Montgomery's 8th Army, which was advancing westward along the mediterranean coast.
Between the 6th and the coast road lay Hammam-Lif, a smart Tunisian coastal spa town on a narrow defile between the sea and a steep 750 ft rise to the Tunisian hills above. The town was held by two elite battalions of the DAK Herman Goering Div & Ramcke Regiment of the 90th Light division, firmly dug in with artillery and anti tank weapons, pillboxes & minefields.
Hammam-Lif: a town of many attractions!
On the 8th May 1943 , the infantry of the 3rd Welsh Guards led the attack, followed by the tanks of the Lothians & Borders Horse, the 10th Rifle Bgde (the Green Jackets) and the guns of the Ayrshire Yeomanry. After the initial assault, the Coldstream Guards moved through the Welsh Guards and into the outskirts of the town. C Sqn of the Lothians & Borders Horse and the Grenadier Guards then made a number of frontal attack across the open ground under heavy anti tank fire, but became bogged down in narrow streets.
B Sqn of the Lothians & Borders Horse were then directed to attack the town from the west, via the railway yard and toward the beach promenade. In a move described as "A scene without parallel in the history of armoured warfare", the Sherman tanks of B Sqn 3 Troop, led by Lt Allan Waterston, undertook a spectacular outflanking maneouvre by driving at high speed along the beach, hull down in the surf to avoid the continuous heavy fire of the German 88mm guns, then turned right into the town.
The beach front at Hammam-Lif, 8 years after the battle.
Tanks of the 17/21 Lancers quickly followed the L&B into the surf. A Sqn of the Lothians & Borders Horse then joined with C Sqn and the Grenadier Guards to clear the town. Twelve 88mm guns, 6x50mm and 16x20mm were captured. During the battle the Lothians & Borders Horse lost 2 officers and 6 men, as well as 12 Sherman tanks.
By 13th May the war in Tunisia was over as the last Axis forces in N Africa surrendered unconditionally. Over 250,000 Axis troops were taken prisoner, ranking alongside Stalingrad in Allied victories.
Link to more WW2 AFVs on my Dark Side Pages
Monte Cassino to the Gothic Line, River Tiber, Highway 3, Italy, May 1944 - Oct 1944.
Armourfast 1/72 - with Bison decals.
Since Armourfast provide 2 tanks in each box, I have cobbled together a 2nd L&BHY tank, this time from the Italian campaign in 1944.
The Allied campaign in Italy was slow and tortuous, but by 6 June 1944 the 8th Army had passed Monte Cassino and was advancing up the River Tiber toward the German strongpoints of the Gothic Line. The tanks of the 2nd Lothians & Borders Horse Yeomanry led the 6th Armd Div up Highway 3 in pursuit of Kesselring's forces.
EC 1/3 Provence, Saint Dizier-Robinson Air Base, 2010.
The Rafale (Squall) is effectively the French equivalent of the Eurofighter Typhoon, and indeed grew from the same original requirement.
The French Air Force originally ordered single seat "C" (Chasse) fighter variants of the Rafale, but have since determined that the second seat is needed for effective ground attack operations and have therefore revised the balance of their order so that most operational land-based French Rafales will be the B model.
I thoroughly enjoyed building the 2 seater Rafale 18 months back, so when I found this one going very cheaply at the IPMS Gloucester model show, I jumped at the opportunity to complete my Rafale set. Built last month to mark Bastille Day (La Fete National - Quatorze Juillet), as is normal with HobbyBoss,it builds very well and looks good when complete.
Link to more French Aircraft on my Friends & Allies Pages
Background Image: Jet Provost Trainer of the RAF