tisdag 4 december 2012

3rd King's Own Hussars, 9th Armoured Brigade, British Eight Army

I promised some more shots of the tanks I painted for Operation Supercharge, so here they are:

A troop of US-built Grant tanks. Note the camo.
Although I have found some info on the total strength of the brigade the numbers are conflicting. One source says about 90 tanks, one around 110 tanks. Both sources claim some tanks were lost or broke down during the assembly and march-up prior to the attack; it's possible the conflicting numbers is because of this and the lower number is simply the total that took part in the actual charge. None of my sources details the individual breakdown of the three regiments making up the 9th armoured brigade however, only that each regiment had mixed compliment of Crusader II's and III's along with the newer Grants and Shermans. The 3rd Hussars are listed as having 35 tanks at the start of the operation so I have simply gone for the easy way out and decided on ten tanks of each type as they are bought in packs of five. The difference of five tanks is to account for the tanks lost before the actual attack (see below).

The Grant squadron of the regiment; two troops of four tanks and two HQ tanks.
From the book "El Alamein 1942 The Turning of the Tide" (Osprey Campaign 158):

At 0615 hours the 2nd of November, 9th armoured brigade took up the advance with orders to break through the enemy anti-tank and field-gun positions to "hold the door open" for the 1st Armoured Division of X corps.  The Hussars faced fierce enemy opposition and shellfire during the whole of the operation. On the move up to the start line alone it lost most of its carriers and soft-skinned vehicles to shell fire. By the time it had arrived on the infantry objective, ready to begin its own attack, ten of the regiments tanks had been destroyed.

A troop of Crusaders
The Hussars battled their way forward and eventually reached the Rahman track at first light. Unfortunately, at this critical time the tanks became silhouetted against the dawn sky and drew heavy anti-tank fire. The Hussars pressed on relentlessly through this barrage, driving straight at the German gun positions, crushing the enemy weapons beneath their tracks.

The Crusader was a "cruiser" tank made for battling other tanks, so its gun didn't have a good HE shell.
At very close quarters the tanks were fought to a standstill, having to eliminate each anti-tank gun in turn whilst the Germans returned this fire at point blank range. Soon the battlefield was a mass of burning armour and broken guns, with the Hussars left with just seven serviceable tanks out of the 35 that had set out earlier that morning.

The Crusader squadron.
But the regiment had gained its objective and broken through the Axis anti-tank line along the Rahman Track, just as they had been ordered to do, allowing X corps a route through the German defences. It was the turning point of Operation Supercharge.
A troop of the new Sherman tank, equal to the german Panzer III and IV tanks and available in greater numbers.
I tried to save as much time as possible painting these tanks and it shows if you look at them up close, but on the gaming table their paint job is more than sufficient. I started by spraying their undersides with ArmyPainter Leather Brown, and turning them over I sprayed them with FoW British Armour (Desert). This gave me some instant shadows. I did one troop in each squadron with Calthan Brown camo for variation, just painted on with a fine brush. Tracks and exhausts were then painted orange. The tanks got a quick wash with diluted GW Gryphonne Sepia on the turrets and hulls and Devlan Mud on the tracks and lower regions. Then I drybrushed each tank and its base with white to pick out the details. I didn't bother painting stuff like tools, tow cables or other fiddly bits. I briefly thought about adding areals or pennants to the command tanks thought the better of it.

The Sherman Squadron.
Only a few bits and pieces left to show, they will have to wait till next time.

1 kommentar:

  1. They look good in the photos, but even better in the flesh, och should that be in the tin...

    At least I got to play with them :-)


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