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SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 25 Normandy
chazman
Joined: October 24, 2005
KitMaker: 88 posts
Armorama: 85 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 - 07:25 AM UTC

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What are you making the rifle slings out of?




The rifle slings are made out of AM Works PE german field gear set and Amberís #35A35 set. I highly recommend both. Iím rarely happy with Y-straps that come on Dragon figures and this was a way to upgrade them and add them to do items that didnít come with them on.



Thanks!
Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
KitMaker: 338 posts
Armorama: 336 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 - 05:53 AM UTC

Quoted Text

What are you making the rifle slings out of?




The rifle slings are made out of AM Works PE german field gear set and Amberís #35A35 set. I highly recommend both. Iím rarely happy with Y-straps that come on Dragon figures and this was a way to upgrade them and add them to items that didnít come with them on.

Edit: Aberís* not Amberís.
Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
KitMaker: 338 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 - 05:50 AM UTC

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You really are going to town with this one!!
Superb modelling. You are giving Jerry Rutman a run for his money here!

The additional historical information is very well done too.



I agree. At first glance, I thought this was a Jerry Rutman post. Very nice research, supporting photos and conversions! Looking forward to seeing these painted up!

-Joseph





Thanks Ron and Joseph! Thatís means a lot as I am a huge fan of Jerryís work and remember being in awe of it while in college. I honestly credit he and Ron Volstad with a lot of my inspiration. Ron Volstadís artwork inspired me so much and Jerryís conversions showed me that, if it doesnít exist, you can create it with the right patience and effort. Iím all about German Late war uniforms and gear in action poses and use to be discouraged by the lack of figure sets in Zeltbahns. I think it was one of Jerryís figures long ago that he had modified with either lead foil or putty to create coat flaps and that was a lightbulb moment for me. I reasoned that, if I had a torso as a base, I could use foil and putty to cover the limbs.

Iím very excited to get the construction process done on these figs, but Iím also anxious about starting painting. These figures will be in a lot of Oak Leaf A and B, Rauchtarnmuster/blurred edge, Dot Pea Ď44, palm and plane tree and painting is easily my biggest failing in scale modeling. I do t mind airbrushing, but hand painting is extremely difficult for me. Iíve purchased the books, studied the guides and otherís work and Iíll be as ready as Iíll ever be. The big effort is keeping clean water and brushes handy, and keeping the figures covered when drying. For this Iím using ziploc bags to hang over them so dust doesnít settle on them.

BravoTwoZero
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California, United States
Joined: June 11, 2009
KitMaker: 461 posts
Armorama: 370 posts
Posted: Friday, January 31, 2020 - 12:35 PM UTC

Quoted Text

You really are going to town with this one!!
Superb modelling. You are giving Jerry Rutman a run for his money here!

The additional historical information is very well done too.



I agree. At first glance, I thought this was a Jerry Rutman post. Very nice research, supporting photos and conversions! Looking forward to seeing these painted up!

-Joseph
chazman
Joined: October 24, 2005
KitMaker: 88 posts
Armorama: 85 posts
Posted: Friday, January 31, 2020 - 12:11 PM UTC
What are you making the rifle slings out of?
yeahwiggie
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Dalarnas, Sweden
Joined: March 24, 2006
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Posted: Friday, January 31, 2020 - 06:13 AM UTC
You really are going to town with this one!!
Superb modelling. You are giving Jerry Rutman a run for his money here!

The additional historical information is very well done too.
Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
KitMaker: 338 posts
Armorama: 336 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 12:17 PM UTC
Hey All!

It's been slow going lately, sorry, I've been working and flying a
lot and the time I have at home is split between my girlfriend, fixing and updating our new first house, and Call of Duty Modern Warfare on PC with my friends


This battle was a short range assault by Panthers of 3rd Kompanie I/SS Pz.Regt.12 and grenadiers from 15th Kompanie SS Pz.gr.Regt.25. The were caught out in open next to a railroad embankment by Canadian A.T. guns,Fireflies, light mortars, infantry smalls arms and offshore artillery, mostof which they underestimated. It was ugly. Because of this, and the personal accounts, I knew the diorama would need both tankers and grenadiers falling back with some being wounded. I tried to use Tristar's set #35031 German Waffen SS Infantry Kursk 1943 (Bailout from the pocket). These figures, however, were simply too small. The project contains figs from many manufacturers and diffrent sizes. Most of these I can modify to bring them into a cohesive scale, but these Tristar figures are far too small. I had to come up with something different for my retreating wounded and this is what I've come up with.


This latest addition is the Verlinden #1377 "To Safety" with modified arms, legs and will have Hornet heads. I'm substituting the right-most figure with one from Alpine #35168 "Waffen SS Infantry Set".
The center figure will be in the Italian coverall the 12th SS had so many of and used so much. The left-most will be in standard SS tanker NCO uniform and the Alpine Panzergrenadier's camo smock will be of the pattern "rauchtarnmuster" sometimes referred to as "mint blurred edge".


The center figure from Verlinden is originally a tanker in a coverall jumpsuit but I am modifying him with an infantry belt and Y-straps and field gear from AM Works and ABER. I'm leaving the belt buckle unbuckled to portray a wounded grenadier who had begun to takeoff and ditch his field gear, before being picked up and moved by his commrads.















TanksForTheMemory
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 31, 2016
KitMaker: 122 posts
Armorama: 120 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 01, 2020 - 11:59 AM UTC
Dear Nathan,

A great post to bring the last year to a close and start the next.

I salute not only your attention to historical detail - but also the humanity you are bringing to your figures.

I look forward to the next instalments!
Hohenstaufen
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: December 13, 2004
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Posted: Thursday, December 19, 2019 - 01:19 AM UTC
Nathan,
Just an extra snippet of information for you. In the sixth photo, the officer on the extreme left in the peaked cap is, according to H. Walther's "Waffen SS at War", the old Almark photo reference, Sturmbannfuhrer Karl-Heinz Prinz, the kampfgruppe commander. This seems odd, as he was actually the OC of the II Abteilung of SS Panzer Regt 12, but the Germans and the SS in particular were very flexible in using whoever was around at the time. Awarded the Knights Cross for his actions denying Carpiquet airfield to the Allies, he was KIA on 14th August 1944.
callmehobbes
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: April 17, 2005
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Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 07:49 PM UTC
Great thread.Top work on the figures and the sense of animation. Following with interest.
Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
KitMaker: 338 posts
Armorama: 336 posts
Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 12:13 PM UTC
Hey all!

Happy Holidays from Missouri USA!

I'm sorry it's been a while. Between work, happily spending time with my girlfriend, flying, holiday events, family, and trying to get my 45 min in the gym 4 times a week, I haven't had a lot of time or energy for the project. I better get cracking though, otherwise there's no way this will be finished for my local IPMS show in April. I may just have to submit the Panther and the entire diorama next year.


In the last month, I've slowly made some progress on figure construction. I ordered a few figs from First Legion, but they suffer the same problem as Warrior and Legend. They are massive. The NCO was about 8ft tall compared to my Alpine and Dragon frakenfigures.

I did my usual modifications, filling in pit marks, cracks, changing heads, arms, hands and gear and always chopping the legs off, shaving off a few milimeters and reassembling them with a more realistic pose (In my opinion) and using putty to fill the gaps. I've almost finished the casualties as well.

the assault squad's elements NCO so far. It's the Panzershrek figure from First Legion who's legs I've shortened considerably. He was standing relatively straight up, you'll notice how a simply tweak of angling one leg backwards creates a pose with more realistic action.




here's the original https://www.firstlegionltd.com/images/newimages/nor019page2.jpg




A figure from legend I have always wanted for his Zeltbahn and pose. His pose is intended to be idle while checking out some battle damage after a fight but it reminded me of how we'd rest in football after a quick sprint off the sidelines. I am modifying the hands to carry a K98k and ammunition belts and ammo can from Griffon Models.




An awesome figure from First Legion firing while down on one knee. I'm shortening the legs and will likely add M43 ankle boots and gaiters while at it.







Here are my casualties. These are form First Legion, Dragon and Evolution. The First Legion figure, I had to shorten his legs and, again, decided to modify the position of the legs. This figffure will be wounded having dropped it rifle, one hand holding his chest, the other stretched out. The Evolution figure I'm keeping as is. I'm not a fan of his tall jackboots, but his trouser legs are untucked covering them mostly and I don't believe it's worth the modification. The Dragon figure comes from their "Hohenstauffen Division" set which I am using alot of in the project. I also used different arms on him. All of these soldiers will have PE gear straps, different hands, hornet heads and LiveResin helmets.

That's all for now guys! Have a great week!




Golikell
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Joined: October 25, 2002
KitMaker: 1,445 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 11:51 PM UTC

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Thank you Mr. Leetink!

I do have some very rough sketches I drew while on vacation in Destin FL last month. Theyíre rough but youíll be able to get the setting, staging, blocking and balance of the composition from them. Iíll post it!



I will curiously await the sketch
Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
KitMaker: 338 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 09:54 AM UTC

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Talk about attention to detail. Amazing research and hard work! This is so rare these days. Great job Nathan, Im watching this thread closely. Many modelers on this site should take note. Do your research, invest some time and effort in finding the answers yourself.




I really appreciate that cam, and you Cheyenne, and Tim as well. Thanks a lot guys!


Itís really encouraging to see that the background context of my project is appreciated by others!

Everyone has different tastes and styles but hard work and thorough research transcends subject, style and flair preferences. Iíve been a lurker since 2012 on here; But one thing Iíve always been amazed by, is the level of research and factual historical context in a lot of posts here. Itís what has kept me here instead of other modeling forums. Even if the subject doesnít interest me, or straight-up bores me to death, if those prerequisites are met, I find them so inspiring and canít help but have respect for the builders.
Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 09:07 AM UTC

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Awesome details and terrific research. Do you have a sketch or dummy setup for us to see, so we can imagine what the end product will look like?
Will subscribe to your topic (Y)





Thank you Mr. Leetnik!

I do have some very rough sketches I drew while on vacation in Destin FL last month. Theyíre rough but youíll be able to get the setting, staging, blocking and balance of the composition from them. Iíll post it!
Golikell
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Joined: October 25, 2002
KitMaker: 1,445 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 02:56 AM UTC
Awesome details and terrific research. Do you have a sketch or dummy setup for us to see, so we can imagine what the end product will look like?
Will subscribe to your topic (Y)
tangodown
#494
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New Brunswick, Canada
Joined: August 08, 2018
KitMaker: 208 posts
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 10:15 AM UTC
Talk about attention to detail. Amazing research and hard work! This is so rare these days. Great job Nathan, Im watching this thread closely. Many modelers on this site should take note. Do your research, invest some time and effort in finding the answers yourself.
Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
KitMaker: 338 posts
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 09:57 AM UTC

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An example of a common French "half timbered" cottage. These were very common in the Caen/Calvados Region at the time and is what I will base my house corner and debris off of.








Excellent stuff. Love all the background to the story you've put in.
It's up to you, of course, but I would caution against using a "colombage" half-timbered building, as that would be atypical for the area west of Caen. The Pays d'Auge t the east is full of them, but the area fought over by 12.SS in June 1944 had a proponderance of limestone buildings (Caen stone or pierre de Caen) with its distinctive light buff/cream colour.

Cheers

Sean





This exactly what I needed, thank you very much. I will 100% be researching Caen stone and going with that. Cheers Sean!
Sean50
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Manche, France
Joined: March 20, 2007
KitMaker: 321 posts
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 04:56 AM UTC

Quoted Text










An example of a common French "half timbered" cottage. These were very common in the Caen/Calvados Region at the time and is what I will base my house corner and debris off of.








Excellent stuff. Love all the background to the story you've put in.
It's up to you, of course, but I would caution against using a "colombage" half-timbered building, as that would be atypical for the area west of Caen. The Pays d'Auge t the east is full of them, but the area fought over by 12.SS in June 1944 had a proponderance of limestone buildings (Caen stone or pierre de Caen) with its distinctive light buff/cream colour.

Cheers

Sean
cheyenne
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 05, 2005
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 12:11 AM UTC
Nate , incredible research , an outstanding read !!! Surely one of the best reads backed up by stellar figure work I've seen .
It's easy to see your passion for history and modeling and I for one am thoroughly enjoying your work !!!
Dioramartin
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New South Wales, Australia
Joined: May 04, 2016
KitMaker: 1,208 posts
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Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2019 - 09:46 PM UTC
Hallelujah a serious (semi-) new player on this forum. Thereís only been a handful of us recently using live ammo but maybe as northern hemispherians hunker down for winter thereíll be an upsurge of other players too. Very impressive research and presentation Nate, and as for the figures (and this moment in the Normandy campaign) you & Jerry may need to hold a summit. Riveting stuff
Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
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Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2019 - 11:05 AM UTC
Now for updates on the figures.

This is gong to be a very slow going project. There simply aren't a lot of market figures that satisfy me out of the box. A lot of these are modified with putty, different heads, different hands, arms etc., and some are completely rebuilt off a stock torso.

My biggest issue with figure sets now days is that there are much fewer action posed sets from the big manufacturers and the resin ones from smaller companies often have overly exaggerated features and poses. I've often said that if you want to know what a snapshot of combat looks like, go to your local high school football game on a Friday night and take photos during plays. You have 17/18yr old men sprinting in short burst wearing helmets and equipment. You'll notice in the photos that there aren't any ridiculous Hollywood arms flailing or legs outstretched to the most dramatic apex. You can also see this in modern combat photography. I feel like sculpting figures this way leads to diorama scenes that are unintentionally hilarious and completely breaks the tone the builder was going for. Perhaps appropriate for comics, cartoons, and toys, but not for military modelling. At least for the best builders and builds. That's what I'm tryign to replicate.




This figure is modified using Dragon's old 12th SS Normandy set along with their newer Kleisoura Pass 1941 set. I also used aftermarket hands and a head from Hornet. I took the pose from a paused screenshot from Saving Private Ryan. The final battle in Ramelle has some great refrence and inspiration material. This guy appears in the alst 10 minutes when trhe grenadiers are closing in on the bridge.











Another favorite. This guy is another Frankenfigure, I can't even remember what kits were used. I love his pose and gear though. Perfect for Normandy.






























My favorite so far. Heavily modified and holding my favorite firearm. The Walther Gewehr 41(w) also known as the G-41(w). There were actually quite a bit of these rifles in the battle in Normandy. I had the opportunity to buy a functioning one IRL for my collection and just barely got beat in the auction. It still stings. For guys my age (33) there's very very few that are in are price range.




These are the photos I used for inspiration, blocking and profiling. These are Waffen SS figures, and in what Iíd consider Normandy appropriate uniforms and gear, but the rifle is a captured Soviet SVT-40 and the photo taken in Russia. It's not a G-41 but it does have a similar profile











Another view.





My new figure wearing a zeltbahn. These are very hard to pull off but look so good for late war dioramas. The zeltbahn is underappreciated and used in my opinion.


























Casualties









I absolutely love this kit from Tristar and their poses are perfect for my SS panzergrenadiers falling back along the rail embankment after the failed Norrey attack. I used Tristar's Wounded SS figure kit as a starting point, the problem is that their figures are tiny. If I were to place these next to some from Warrior, they'd appear around 4.5ft to Warriros 7.5ft. I consider Dragon and Alpine very good 1:35 reprentastions, so I'm using Dragon Waffen SS components to modify this 3 man element into a workable set.












An Alpine figure wearing Italian Camo pants with an M44 HBT pattern tunic.




My GŁnter Hamel figure.
This is another Alpine SS tanker figure modified to fit the 12th SS panzergrenadiers wearing the Italian camo coveralls as makeshift camo uniforms. I love these coveralls and they are very easy to make from late war SS oak leaf ones that began showing up at Kursk until the end of the war.







My Klaus Schuh figure.
A third Alpine SS tanker modified into a 12th SS machine gunner wearing the Italian camo coveralls. With this figure, I now have the 2 MG-42 gunners wearing the Italian camo pattern coverall that are in the famous photos of III Zug. They will each have an ammo bearer (Otto Funk being one), wearing the same coveralls as well as an element leader (Corporal Paul Koslowski) in the same uniform. That makes for 5 figures wearing this coverall so far: 2 MG-42 gunners, their 2 ammo bearers and the element leader. There may be more wearing this and I may have some wearing variations of the Italian camouflage in trousers. .











Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
KitMaker: 338 posts
Armorama: 336 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2019 - 09:54 AM UTC
So, I had posted what I felt were the most famous photos of the unit in the initial post. These photos were used in the German 'Signal' Magazine for propaganda and moral. THese became the most famous photos on the internet associated with the 12th SS Hitlerjugend and were initially what caught my eye back in 2007.

I was researching photo locations to visit on an upcoming backpacking trip through Europe with my buddies and knew I'd be visiting Normandy. The photos intrigued me and I was struck by how similar the 17-23yr olds in the photos looked like my friends who were of the same age range. I thought the photos were taken in Norrey-en-Bessin since that's what Dragon's kit name and incredible box art by Ron Volstad lead me to believe. The photos, however, were actually taken in Rots, not Norrey. A whole series existed showing the platoon receiving awards the day before, to the aftermath of the battle on the 9th.





Here's a colorized photo of Sepp Bund, Klaus Schuh, Otto Funk and Gunther Hamel. They have just received their rewards on June 8th for their action the previous day.





Dragon Models Limited (DML) 1:35 scale model box art (by Ron Volstad) of SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 25. The kit is #6110 Grenadiers, Panzergrenadier Regiment 25, HJ Division. (Norrey-en-Bessin 1944)
The incredible artwork is by Ron Volstad and I partially credit he and his inspiring artworks with
getting me into the hobby. This painting is inspired by the men of II Zug (2nd platoon) of the 15th Kompanie of Panzergrenadier Regiment 25. The figures are inspired by (left to right) Unknown grenadier with K98k rifle with grenade launcher and ammunition bags, Willy Boigk, Otto Funk, and Gunter Hamel.






Taken a day or 2 earlier when men of the Zug were awarded. Left to Right: Joseph "Sepp" Bund, Paul koslowski, Klaus Schuh and Gunter Hamel





Gunter Hamel (Left) and Peter Koslowski (Middle). Klaus Schuh (Barely Visible Far Right).




This is a photo of Max Wunsche (Middle with head bandaged and Walther PPK holster), speaking with Wilhelm Boigk and the men of III Zug 15th recon Kompanie SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 25 after the failed attack on Norrey-en-Bessin with the Panther tanks of 3rd Kompanie, 1st battalion, SS Panzer Regiment 12, 12th SS Panzer Division. The names are as follows from Left to Right: Peter Koslowski, I believe Wick, Max Wunsche, maybe Otto Funk, Wilhelm Boigk and barely visible is Rudolph Von Ribbentrop. Wunsche is no doubt receiving Boigk's report of the action and determining what the next course of action will be.





This is Ron Volstad's incredible box art for Dragon's kit #6168 Pz.kpfw.V Ausf A. Late Production in Normandy 1944. The boxart is inspired by Panther 326 of the 1st Battalion of SS Panzer Regiment 12. This particular tank's commander was killed when a 6lb AT shell cut him in half while he was perched in his commander cupola. His Gunner can be seen mopping up the blood in the photograph along the street in the collection below. The men next to the VW are Rudolph Von Ribbentrop commander of 3. Kompanie, I./SS-PzRgt 12, whose wearing the black panzer uniform, and Max Wunsche, the commander of the entire SS Panzer Regiment 12. Rudolph Von Ribbentrop is the son of Ambassador ( Reich Foreign Minister to England) Joachim Von Ribbentrop. Ambassador Von Ribbentrop was a controversial figure on his own, with such rumors as his alleged affair with Wallis SImpson, mistress then Duchess of Windsor and American socialite whose intended marriage to the British king Edward VIII caused tremendous uproar in England.





Men of the 12th SS Panzer Division. I'm not sure of the unit, perhaps self propelled gun or panzer. The men are wearing a combination of Italian coveralls that were very popular with the unit, panzer uniforms and SS camouflage smocks so popular with infantry.






Map showing the Western outskirts of Caen and the area of operations (AO).






An example of a common French "half timbered" cottage. These were very common in the Caen/Calvados Region at the time and is what I will base my house corner and debris off of. This will be the linemanís cottage thatís mentioned multiple times in the battle reports and memoirs along the Caen-Bayeux railroad embankment.


EDIT: Luckily, one of our forum members is far more familiar with French houses than I, and informed me that these half/timbered houses and cottages arenít common in this sector. He suggested that limestone ďCaen StoneĒ or ďPierre de CaenĒ is far more suitable and Iíll be going with that for sure.







THE BATTLE









The following entry information found in the unit's diaries and memoirs is where I decided to focus my build.


From Alois Morawetz who was an untersharfuhrer and the leader of half a platoon of 3 Panzerkompanie.

"We crossed the rail line Caen-Bayeaux through an underpass, turned right and took up positions on a back slope.

The twelve Panthers were lined up next to each other at a right angle to the rail line. My vehicle sat at the right flank, close to the rail embankment. I. Zug (1st platoon) under Untercharfuhrer Borgensberger was on the left. II.Zug(2nd platoon) under Unterscharfuhrer Alban was in the center. III.Zug (3rd platoon) led by Unterscharfuhrer Stagge, was deployed on the right. Hauptmann Luddemann (Captain of 3rd Panzer Kompanie), sat somewhere in the middle. The time was approximately 12:30 hours.

In front of us it was relatively queit. There were almost no fighter-bombers in the air, as was usual for noon-time. A short time later we sat out through the slowly rising terrain. After approximately 500 meters we reached completely open and level terrain, meadows and fields. Half left ahead of us lay Norrey. II was driving approximately twenty to fifty meters to the left of the rail-line. It ran through a gully, beginning at a line-man's cottage. On the left edge of the gully was probably a hedge which provided us with some cover against being spotted. The whole Kompanie drove as a body, at high speed and without any stops, in a broad front. When the left flank was just outside the village, the order came in: "Wartesaal (Waiting Room), swing to the left!" I ordered my driver to go at full speed and pull slightly to the left. Until then we had not experienced any resistance. Approximately 1,000 meters ahead was a railroad station where some movement could be spotted. I was driving already approximately thirty meters ahead of the Kompanie in a slow left turn, in order not to fall behind. At that moment, after a muffeld bang and swaying as if the track had been ripped off, the vehicle came to a stop.

It was quiet inside the vehicle. I thought we had driven onto a mine. When I looked to the left to check the situation, I happened to see the turret being ripped off the Panther driving on the left flank. At the same moment, after another minor explosion, my vehicle began to burn. The machine gun ammunition caught on fire and there was a crackling noiselike dry wood burning. Since we were to push into the town. I had closed the turret hatch moments before. I tried with out success, to open the turret hatch. I could oinly lift it with the spindle but could not swing it out. Paul Veith, the gunner sitting in front of me, had apparently been seriously wounded by fragments fform the hit. Veith did not move. IU tried for a long time with all my energy to out the hatch. I was inly successful when I tried different height settings on the lift crank. It had probably been damaged by the hit. I jumped out, fell on the rear and was unconcsious for a short time. Then I saw flames coming out of the open hatch as if from a blowtorch. I got up and tried to jump off. However, I could not keep my balance, and landed head first, on the ground. I do not know how logn I lay there. Then I got on my feet and saw to my left,along the same lineas my vehicle, other burnign Panthers. Among them was Stagge's. Approximately 300 to 400 meters behind the Panther, I spotted a sidecar motorcycle of our medic, Unterscharfuhrer Gose. I walked towards it. Members of the crews from the other knocked-out Panther also arrived there. They were burned, without exception on their faces and hands. In the meantime we had realized that the entire area was under infantry fire. The medic's driver (unterscharfuhrer Harting, whose the Author of the unit book), was trying to start the motor again. It had stalled after taking a hit to the left cylinder head. After a few tries, the motor started again. Gose glanced at the men standing around, and since I was apparently the worse burned, he put me in the sidecar. We turned around and drove back. After a few meters, Gose, who sat on the rear seat, dropped backwards off the moving motorcycle. I drew the drivers attention to this since he not noticed it. We drove on another 200 meters or so back to the line-man's cottage. There we stopped. I kept the motor running, using bothy my hands on the twist-grip while the driver made his way forward to the medic. After approximately ten minutest he driver came back again and told me that Gose did not have a chance,. He had been critically hit in the stomach. The remaining five Panthers were withdrawing, firing rapidly. When I left with the motorcycle driver from the line-man's cottage in the direction of Villeneuve and Rots, the Panthers were approximately at the same line as the cottage. Seven of the 12 attacking Panthers were left at the front. We made it back to Villeneuve....As I learned in the late-afternoon at the main dressing station, 15 of the 35 crew members form the 7 knocked out Panthers had been killed. The rest, with few exceptions, were wounded almost all with burn wounds."

The history of 3rd Kompanie supplements this report in the specific points:

"After bailing out, the wounded, mostly more or less seriously burned, tried first to reach the cover of the railway embankment. Initially they were prevented from getting there by an enemy machine gun which had taken up position in "line-man's cottage" on the road Norrey-Bretteville. Only after Unterscharfuhrer Hermani had removed this obstacle with a few hand grenades did the situation become more bearable. While the whole sector was under concentrated enemy fire, some of it from ships' guns, the wounded dragged themselves along the rail line embankment back to the starting point of the attack at he underpass."



These were critical reports for my build and getting a better understanding of what happened.

A 12th SS veteran's memoirs add to this. The following was taken from an interview with a veteran but has been translated from French to English. I'm sorry if it reads like nonsense but they did their best.

"At the end of the morning of June 9th,an attack was planned to seize the Norrey village (tu dois surement connaitre, camarade normand !),as a starting point for a future offensive of the HJ division up North....The attack was made by the 3rd panzerkompanie of the HJ (strenght 12 Panthers) ,commanded by an army officer, Hauptmann LŁdemann (who replaced SS-Ostuf. von Ribbentrop,son of the Foreign Affairs Minister,who was wounded and in a hospital) The Otto Funk platoon was going to provide the accompanying infantry.They all fell in an ambush by 6 Sherman Tanks and 2 or 4 well-camouflaged 6 pounds Canadian's antitank guns, and infantry with PIATs....
7 Panthers were destroyed on the spot...3rd panzerkompanie lost 16 dead,17 severely wounded and one prisonner (SS tankist Werner Uhr who lost a leg). The infantry platoon fell ounder artillery fire.Tanks and infantry replied to the village of La Villeneuve where the wounded were regrouped in a bar... The wounded tankists were always burning alive,their skins hanging down from flesh and bones,some enclosed in a strange silence,others screaming histerically .... In the bar,some mechanics of the panzerregiment rubbed them with motor oil... it's a wonderful balsam for burns,the older ones learned this front recipe in the Eastern Front.
It seems that most of the Panthers,despite their heavy armour,exploded easily (ounder the relatively ''small'' calibers of Sherman and antitank guns- wich normally bounced on the Panther armour) because their gas-tank was half full,wich accumulated gas steam....
Leopold Heindl ,an austrian,was the radio of Panther 315... they get hit in the tracks and comebacked their tank on half wheels.
Not far from there,Max Wuensche and ostuf Rudolf von Ribbentrop (always wounded with a broken arm who had just escaped from the hospital to comeback to his company ) had observed the situation,both were nearly in tears...
After visiting the woundeds in the bar, WŁnsche and von Ribbentrop ,on a side-car byke,visited the survivors of 3rd platoon 15/25,resting in a small street... this is where the picture of MG gunner Klaus Schuh was token,during a reportage of SS war correspondents Zschaekel and W.Woscidlo.
Nota: After this failed attack,hauptmann Luedemann suffered a nervious break down.He was killed in action 5 days later and von Ribbentrop regained command of the 3rd Panzerkompanie...







Another map showing the location of the Panthers along the Caen-Bayeaux railway running east to west and a single Panther on the northern road out of Norrey. Very curious. Aerial photograph 1947.





Another of the same. Taken June 26, 1944





An aerial photo showing the destroyed Panthers along the railway embankment. As you can quickly tell, although this is in the heart of Normandy, it is very open with little cover and almost non eof the hedgerows we've come to associate with the area. The terrain and fields here remind me a lot of Southwest Missouri.





The Panther nearest the embankment that was flipped over. It's suspected that the Panther was closer to the embankment and an Allied engineer vehicle or bulldozer pushed it off the road. Such practices were very common and many photos of knocked German tanks show them upside down along roads. The other culprit in toppled German tanks is heavy Allied aerial bombardment such as 500lb and 1000lb bombs form B-17s and B-24s. Although many photos of these results exist, this is not one of them. This Panther was definitely knocked out by either a 6lb pounder from Norrey or one of the Shermans or Fireflies moving south.




Close up of the flipped over Panther.

*[Quotes from the unit diary.]*










A photo of the knocked out Panthers of 3 Kompanie taken in the WInter of the late 40's.




A photo of French civilians next to one of the knocked out 3 kompanie Panthers. The hit marks visible may not all be form the action of June 9th 1944. Often times, Allied units would use knocked out imobile tanks in the rear for target practice.




Another photo of the Panther flipped over. Note that these Panthers do not have schurzen skirt armor and don't appear to even have all the brackets for mounting them.






The Following are the Canadian battle accounts as told by the CO's in the logs.



Logbook Reports form 1st Regina Rifles (1 of 4).





1st Regina Rifles 2 (2 of 4).







1st Regina Rifles 3 (3 of 4).





1st Regina Rifles (4 of 4).





Logbook Reports from 1st Hussars 6 CAR. (1 of 2).




1st Hussars 6 CAR. (2 of 2).





Logbook Report from Sherbrook Fusiliers 27 CAR (1 of 2).





Sherbrook Fusiliers 27 CAR (2 of 2).




Max Wunsche in his command Panther tank.





This is Obergrenadier Karl-Heinz Marckert. Mackert was the sharpshooter (sniper) of 3rd platoon 15/25. That's some poor trigger discipline there, Karl.





Seated in the Motorcycle sidecar is Rudolph Von Ribbentrop, Son of Ambassador Joachim Von Ribbentrop and Rudolph was the commander of 3rd Kompanie. Max Wunsche is driving and the 2 are leaving after checking on men of 3rd platoon 15th Kompanie after the failed Norrey-en-Bessin assault.





Another haunting photograph of 326 and the men of 15/25.


Much more on the context of this photo below.




This photo is taken just after the previous of Panther 326 although I don't know that the Panther tank here is 326. It's likely one of the survivors of 3rd Kompanie though. The letters on the building in the background "STREMY" are barely visible in the previous and next photo confirming the location. We also see a grenadier parked in one of the many VW schwimmwagens that belonged to 15th recon Kompanie of Panzergrenadier regiment 25. Also visible, is one of the Division's BMW R75 motorcycle and sidecar.





The location of the famous Panther 326 picture. This photo is taken on the North to South road that leads south to the Caen-Bayeux Railroad and underpass tunnel. The famous photos on the III platoon, 15th Company were taken just a few houses down on down a driveway and wall that branch off this road.

This photograph shows from left to right: The left-most man with binoculars is UnterscharfŁhrer Wick, Klaus Schuh with his mg-42 and ammo, Willie Boigk with grenade in belt, and I believe Otto Funk to the furthest right.
This photo was taken just after the infantry had taken a rest in the alley where most the photos were taken and as the surviving Panthers of 3 Kompanie 1/12 are returning. These photos are particular fascinating because they show a combined tank and infantry group resting after a horrendous attack that failed miserably. These photos, however, were used as positive propoganda in magazines back in Germany proving that context is everything. In foreground tankist Gerd Krieger on Panther ''326'' is cleaning with his shirt,the blood of his tank commander Unterscharfuhrer Eismann. Eismann was perched in his cupola when he was cut in half by a shell from wither a 6 pounder or sherman. His torso went cartwheeling over the tank and his lower half and bowels spilled out into the interior of the turret. This had a debilitating effect on both the gunner and loader inside and the panzergrenadiers of 15/25 who were riding on the back of the tank and moving along side and behind it. In this photo, Panther crew member Gerd Krieger is mopping up the remains when he asks for another shirt. Hauptscharfuhrer Post,''spiess'' of 3rd panzerkompanie was said to have replied, "Wash it".



strongarden
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Florida, United States
Joined: May 14, 2012
KitMaker: 730 posts
Armorama: 624 posts
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 07:59 AM UTC
I love it Nate! Awesome back story, narrative, and I'm hooked already!

Definitely impressive that although you aren't completely satisfied w/ your level of figure painting, you've chosen a subject (SS Camo)
that is well considered quite a challenge and still jumping right in, especially after all the excellent assembly work you've put in.

I'm looking frwd to seeing how this progresses

Cheers
Dave
timcc2008
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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 01:09 AM UTC
Amazing work so far. I will be following this one.

vr

Tim
americanpanzer
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Joined: May 12, 2014
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Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 02:26 AM UTC
WOW!! JustÖ.wow!! looking forward to seeing more of your work!