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Non of the items here are posted with any form of political meaning, content or similar. Everything is displayed with an emphasis on historical correctness, unless stated otherwise. Swastikas and SS-runes are a part of military history, as are David's stars, rising suns, stars & stripes, hamer & scyths etc. If you have a problem with that, please feel free to leave! Political correctness does not live here and I will not be held accountable for hurting any overly sensitive souls that can not handle history.
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The contents of this blog are mine; the models I built, the ideas I used etc. If you want to use these, I'd appreciate it if you asked permission first and use the contents as they are intended; the making and depicting of scalemodels.
The reference pictures I used were dug up on the internet and I use them only as such. Unfortunately I have no idea where I found them anymore, but many are from German archives. These pictures have their origin still visible on them.

fredag 21 juni 2013

Things I learned about military history from models

Things I learned about military history from models 
Graeme Davidson started a humorous thread over on Missing-Lynx’s General Discussion Group (12/04/2008). The thread took a life of its own as many replies were added. Thanks to Graeme and the many contributors! --RC 

And I thought it was worth sharing it with you, hence the repost.
Ron

Personal Predilections 
  • · 95% of tanks had a crew of one.
  • · 90% of all personnel fighting or in a combat zone were always smiling and happy.
  • · 99% of those soldiers that got hit by a bullet never bled.
  • · 100% of tankers had X-ray vision that allowed them to see through the stowage that was piled atop the turrets and glacis in front of their periscopes.
  • · 90% of the human race had elongated faces as seen by Roger Saunders. Also 85% of these people suffered from Crone's syndrome -- therefore giving them 6 inch necks.
  • · Soviet solders were very well fed and 80% of Soviet units had mandolin or accordion players assigned to them.
  • · A class of genetically altered soldiers fought for many WW2 combatants. They could pivot their arms over their heads like a Ken doll but their shoulders and ribcage remained static.
  • · 70% of anti tank gunners were trained not to fire at oncoming enemy tanks until they rolled within 25 feet of the muzzle or at least within the far edge of the diorama base.
  • · Infantry never wore their rucksacks on the march. The snapped their fingers upon arriving at their destination and their duffel bags arrived by magic. The Germans never owned rucksacks to begin with.
  • · Soldiers spend 5% of their time fighting, 20% just standing with their elbows resting on something, and 75% pointing at something.
  • · 50% of soldiers in WWII waxed their uniforms for that chic, glossy look.
  • · Soldiers in the field shaved every day.
  • · All soldiers have blue eyes.
  • · Vehicles got dirty as sh*t, but never soldiers.
  • · Soldiers always wore their uniforms correctly. Even after a battle or being captured they found mirrors to adjust their caps and ensure their jackets were straight.
  • · Only about 3 people of African descent fought in WW2, all truckers.
  • · Many European children possessed smaller heads, but adult features.
  • · Any crew member could leave the tank, except for the driver.
  • · Japanese soldiers always seemed to be screaming.
  • · Only the most photogenic people made it as soldiers; no weak chinned, buck toothed, glasses wearing puny type with ill fitting uniform ever made it off the recruiting ground.
  • · American/British soldiers stood around a lot, and were not nearly as active as Soviet or German soldiers.
  • · There was always a local citizen available to sell chickens, eggs, or bread to a passing soldier, even in the heat of battle.
  • · All Air Defense crews had one NCO designated to point at the sky at the same bearing and elevation as the gun barrels.
  • · Nobody wore glasses -- except a few screaming Japanese.
  • · Abandoning personal weapons was the norm.
  • · Tanks crews are very tidy since there are hardly ever any brass casings or links on the turret after firing the machine guns.
  • · Despite being fully engaged in a firefight or pinned down by a sniper there was always one soldier that decided to make a dash in open ground to another position and another soldier that thought if he stood fully upright and very still, no one would shoot him.
  • · Sergeants and corporals never commanded tanks and if they did they were never platoon sergeants. Loaders and drivers were always privates.
  • · Senior NCOs did not exist, only junior officers.
  • · Either all soldiers wore all prescribed insignia or no soldier wore prescribed insignia.
  • · 95% of all soldiers had a medium build and weren’t fat, unless they were a German cooks or headed the Luftwaffe.
  • · Sten armed British soldiers never had spare magazines.
  • · Soldiers were chosen by their hand size -- the bigger the better. Most of fingers were a solid mass too.
  • · Short and tall soldiers never made it into most armies.
  • · Every soldier, regardless of race, country, or theatre, had the exact same skin tone. Soldiers were also immune to suntan, sunburn, or frost burn.
  • · Every Israeli tank crew had at least one guy with a ZZ Top beard.
  • · In Vietnam no US soldier was ever more than 5 yards from a radio/cassette player. Sunglasses and bandanas were regulation, too.
  • · 80% of British soldiers, when not in combat, took their tunic off to show their braces.
  • · 99.9% of French tank crews smoked cigarettes.
  • · British tank commanders fought the whole of WW2 clasping white enamel mugs in their left hand.
  • · Every German had his hair combed back.
  • · Every GI combed his hair to the side.
  • · 90% of the Wehrmacht's time in occupation of any country was spent pasting posters to the walls, usually advertising the Waffen SS.
  • · 90% of the Red Army's time was spent plastering over the top of these posters with their own, usually within the first ten minutes of the end of a good hard battle.
  • · They too dedicated another 5% of their time to painting Russian graffiti on walls, careful to leave a paint can left lying on the ground next to the wall. They had to go listen to the unit accordion player.
  • · Women soldiers had supplies of great, uplifting bras.
  • · No one died, ever. They only ever got wounded. Dead bodies turned up occasionally, but they were covered in snow. When people did get shot, they stood up awkwardly while thick globs of bloody gel slowly stretched out the wound.
  • · Soldiers usually stood around smoking cigarettes when in a group, but when alone would stand by a small tree holding their gun in a menacing fashion.
  • · 1 in 3 US paratroopers have an Mohawk haircut.
  • · Combat dress was resilient to dirt to the point where only the knees and elbows got dirty.
  • · When escaping a tank about to blow up, 70% of crews had to fire personal weapons to announce their exit.
  • · No one ever had faded or discolored ALICE gear, always parade ready green stuff.
  • · Smoke grenades were often mounted on shoulder straps in the finest traditions of West Point/ROTC cadets and pre 9-11 Reserve/NG types.
  • · Boots were always polished, never bare leather exposed.
  • · BDUs/DCUs never faded or discolored.
  • · Chin straps were clean as were the neck areas around body armor.
  • · Uniforms never absorbed sweat in any era, with any army, in any environment.
  • · A large % of WW2 soldiers looked like friends of Ron Volstad, thousands of others looked suspiciously like Roger Saunders and the really large ones bear a striking resemblance to John Rosengrant. Lookalikes of Francois Verlinden’s relatives served worldwide in all conflicts.

Germanic Generalities 
  • · At some point, every German tank crossed a wooden bridge over a narrow stream. One-third of those tanks crashed through that bridge.
  • ·At any given time, 36% of Wehrmacht soldiers were reaching into their chest pockets to pull out a pack of cigarettes
  • ·Germany had 10x more vehicles and soldiers than the Allies.
  • ·German offensives could be halted if a piano and some beer steins were discovered.
  • ·Late war Panzer gun barrels wore out at an alarming rate.
  • ·Almost every German WWII AFV commander rode around in combat with their entire upper body out of the hatch.
  • ·German Panzer men had their black uniforms tailored after the Prom tuxedos of the day.
  • ·Ahhh… if only German soldiers wore camouflage.
  • ·Paint chipping was a new form of camo used by the German armed forces in WW2.
  • ·All German Panzer crew had to pose like fashion models with their hands on their hips or arms crossed or leaning against their tanks like movie stars even when the war correspondent wasn't around; they didn't ever slouch around showing fatigue or stress.
  • ·German soldiers were scrupulously neat, and washed their dirty uniforms frequently. No one has ever determined where they found washing machines or wash tubs, but they were always clean.
  • ·Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius commanded two thirds of all Tigers manufactured.
  • ·One out of every four German soldiers was an officer.
  • ·1/3 of German officers captained pirate ships before the war – thus the eye patches.
  • ·Half of German officers owned German shepherds.
  • ·And half of them wore Italian Camouflage, though they never seemed to go for the classy Italian shoes.
  • ·The Waffen-SS actually had more troops than the Wehrmacht, and used every vehicle Germany ever made or captured.
  • ·The Germans had several hundred Ferdinands at Kursk; they were all lost in combat, mostly to Russian 14mm anti tank rifles.
  • ·A resin or plastic figure exists for every single German soldier of WW2.
  • ·German tanks in the Battle of Berlin actually outnumbered the Soviets.
  • ·Besides wearing camo, all soldats carried an MP44 and a Panzerfaust from about 10 minutes after D-day until the fall of the Reich.
  • ·Stuffing a potato masher grenade down your boot leg for a long march on the Russian steppe was actually comfortable.
  • ·Only the Germans used binoculars.
  • ·And 2/3s were awarded the Knight’s Cross.
  • ·German tanks were randomly assaulted by enemy infantry armed with paint scrapers who viciously chipped the paint in order to somehow disable the tank.
  • ·Germany had enough Flak guns to send a solid wall of metal up the sky in front of Allied bombers, but didn't have anyone to crew them.
  • ·Germany had enough Pak guns to send a solid wall of metal down the field in front of Allied tanks, but didn't have anyone to crew them.
  • ·All church ruin ceiling holes magically lined up with Allied bomber flight routes -- making them perfect locations for emplacing heavy flak guns.
  • ·The Germans produced millions of Panthers and Tigers (just ask Hobby Lobby!).

Ordinarily Out of Proportion 
  • ·In WW2, it took 2 cubic yards of earth and 7 stout men to lift a single sand bag.
  • ·60% of rope used to attach personal gear or ammo boxes was taken from naval stores of 2” diameter mooring rope.
  • ·70% of all chains used on an AFV were so big and heavy only Samson could handle it.
  • ·Not only were chains very heavy but they were always unhelpfully short for any practical application.
  • ·70% of cigarettes were 6" long and 1" in diameter.
  • ·The Universal Carrier's sidewalls were actually 4" thick, surpassing that of the Tiger tank.
  • ·Panzerfaust warheads were completely hollow. The weight was in the last 5 inches of the launcher tube. This is why every Panzerfaust seen was leaning with its warhead UP.

Functional Fantasies 

  • ·WW2 tanks had miraculous shell propellant that did not cause fatal concussion to any infantry near their main gun muzzles. Also, they had safety features like beeping alarms which would indicate sudden tank movement to those crouching near the rear idlers, manning the MG nest 2 feet in front of the front tread, or the officer w/binoculars atop the turret. With this knowledge, infantry had no fear of clinging to all corners of a tank about to jerk forward or hovering near the main cannons of one about to fire its main weapons.
  • ·4 years in combat and the driver still hadn't figured out how to fill the gas tank without spilling it all down the hull sides.
  • ·It is worth carrying main armament ammunition that does not fit your vehicles weapons just in case.
  • ·It is worth carrying main armament ammunition that does not fit your vehicles weapons on your engine deck, just in case.
  • ·Crews frequently stowed vehicle tools in non-standard locations to make it more challenging for them to find one in the dark just for fun.
  • ·Tanks can easily defeat a garden fence, but are powerless against old ladies with brooms.
  • ·60% of all tanks rode around with damaged or worn down roadwheels.
  • ·Firing a .50 caliber machine gun only leaves 5 or so rounds around a tank’s turret.
  • ·WW2 bedrolls were made of lead-impregnated cloth so they'd stay draped over the AFVs regardless of road jarring and tossing without the need to be strapped on.
  • ·Tankers who used tools always re-painted them to factory specs before stowing them – bare metal polished to a silvery sheen.
  • ·Zimmerit was textured with a machine with a massive combed device that was several feet long instead of by a bloke with a plastering trowel.
  • ·Tanks never turned as the weight of the vehicle does not shift and track tension was identical on both sides.
  • ·All tank crews wiped their shoes before climbing on their vehicle to keep roofs pristine.
  • ·Screws and bolts were never removed so as to retain a perfect paint job and had washes added to show off the screw and bolt detail.

Hardly Hardware 

  • · Tanks always ran rich and/or had dirty air filters
  • ·Finland has only ever operated one tank: the Stug III. And it never got its tracks tensioned once.
  • ·FAMOs never hauled empty trailers
  • ·100% of the M48 Pattons in Vietnam were equipped with porn and a case of Bud.
  • ·Got a spare hook? S’alright, hang a bucket off of it!
  • ·Front Fenders are there for denting, flipping up, or ripping off. But only on one side. Same for mudflaps and mufflers.
  • ·80% of all tanks rode around with their hatches closed, even in the African desert during the daytime.
  • ·30% of all AFV's that travelled with their hatches open did not have any interiors at all. There were propelled by a magnetic force instead of an engine or transmission.
  • ·70% of tank maintenance crews did not glosscoat their vehicles before applying decals. Silvering was deemed an acceptable camouflage shade.
  • ·There was a gentleman's agreement signed before WW2 where each combatant’s tankers and artillery observers intentionally ignored any turret or hull hatches they saw with interior surfaces painted white.
  • ·Black powder stores from the Napoleonic period were recycled into tank shell propellant giving us so many darkened muzzles
  • ·80% of wheeled military vehicles did not have steerable front wheels, and nearly all had solid tires that didn't need an inflation valve.
  • ·Cargo trucks had rigid cardboard tarps that fitted over their cabs and bed without the need for attachment or support rods.
  • ·Tanks often carried a lawn blower to remove dust, leaves and twigs.
  • ·75% of US Tanks in Korea were painted like Tigers.
  • ·When tanks weather, all the angled joins of plates, internal or external, are darker than the surrounding flat surfaces.
  • ·Personal firearms were really light and could easily be held in one hand, far from their centre of balance. MGs too.
  • ·Most WW2 tanks either still used black powder as a propellant or adopted India ink as muzzle camouflage.
  • ·And they ran on furnace fuel oil.
  • ·WW2 infra-red lens filters were red and the laws of physics changed in 1945 so we fit black IR filters to vehicle headlights and searchlights today.
  • ·Aluminum armor rusts!
  • ·It is perfectly acceptable to add on every add-on kit (dozer blades, winches, MG's that your country doesn't use, etc.) because the crews will need all of that to move their underpowered/overloaded vehicle across dry level ground.
  • ·80% of AFV's and Softskins had nonworking suspensions that allowed at least one wheel to levitate above the ground surface. This also eliminated the need for spare wheels as these are usually just glued to the side of the vehicle in question.
  • ·Thick towing cables of tanks were made of very soft rubber.
  • ·All nations delivered military trucks for troops with a non-washable pair of windshield's wiper marks.
  • ·All weapons were covered in a perfect coat of oil to keep them shiny and bright.
  • ·Headlights never got dirty and, when not lit, reflected so brightly as to be visible for miles.
  • ·Head lights on tanks were the most indestructible part since they were never removed and stored inside. They were impervious to anticipated enemy fire and muzzle blast

Modeling Miscellany 
  • ·84% of all major battles were fought adjacent to railroad tracks.
  • ·In WW2, every urban structure included one bomb-proof corner.
  • ·Whenever possible, tanks stopped next to oil barrels, over railroad tracks, near small streams or buxom civilian women – or next one of the impervious building ruin corners.
  • ·American tanks will always stop for a puppy in the road.
  • ·There was a standard streetlamp design that was used across Europe from France to the Urals.
  • ·The IDF: masters of fighting on paved roads.
  • ·IDF tanks have only ever been painted one shade of 'sand grey'.
  • ·99% of all IDF rations were boxed as Passover supplies only with RED text on the rat packs.
  • ·According to road signs, the Arab-Israeli conflict took place within 30 miles of the Golan Heights.
  • ·According to road signs, the entire war on the Eastern Front took place within 30 miles of Moscow or Stalingrad.
  • ·According to road signs all battles in NW Europe took place within 30 km of the Bastogne.
  • ·Contrary to all available evidence the M26 Dragon Wagon WAS used by the IDF (there's a diorama of one so it must be true).
  • ·Geology changes rapidly: the Golan used to be made of yellow sand but is now actually grey volcanic debris.
  • ·86% of IDF soldiers wear a Kippah but no other religious clothing.
  • ·No IDF vehicles were ever knocked out by anybody, ever.
  • ·Arab painters were incapable of putting paint on vehicles without it chipping after scraping the many trees in the desert.
  • ·One of the largest tank-to-tank battles in history was only a figment of imagination by the Indian and Pakistani armies.
  • · It was common practice in the average household to store fuel drums in first or second floor in the apartment where they live.
  • ·Armies would spend $45,000 on a CARC camo paint job and also supply a day-glo orange cooler to mount right behind the commander's head.
  • ·95% of all British Chieftain tanks were in the Berlin Brigade.
  • ·WW2 bombs and shells completely disintegrated rubble when destroying buildings.
  • ·Military maps were not allowed to be folded smaller than 3' x 2' at any given time.
  • ·90% of all airplanes are very clean and neat.
  • ·95% of aircraft ground crews took 1" wide Sharpie markers and outlined all the planes' panel lines.
  • ·Japanese Naval air units actually captured three SBD Dauntlesses that were filmed attacking Pearl Harbor.
  • ·Luftwaffe crews used captured IL-2s as Stukas.
  • ·50% of tree branches used for foliage camouflage would not ever brown or dry up.
  • ·Buildings with cellars and basements had terrific floorboard loading ratings allowing them to be perfect ambush spots for Tiger or Panther tanks.
  • ·Artillery men had suction cup shoes that prevented them from ever tripping over the dozens of spent cartridges at their feet. Tank loaders too!
  • ·Rob Ervin, as an infant, owned a company that actually supplied 80% of Allied vehicles’ pioneer tools.
  • ·Soviet cine cameramen were under strict orders to only film their tanks from the left side, showing them advancing to the West. German cameras in the East could only film them from the right, therefore going East.
  • ·The term for the armed cupola atop tanks changed from TURRENT to TURRET mysteriously after the war.
  • ·There were only two Polish tanks in 1944-45, and both were Sherman Fireflies.
  • ·The British army had one type of tank: the Sherman.
  • ·The Americans only had one type of tank: the Sherman.
  • ·The French had 2 types: the first was the Char B1 bis, all of which were abandoned with no apparent damage during the invasion of France. They were all repainted in three tone camo and large crosses and used in the German army. The other French tank: A Sherman.
  • ·The Germans managed to capture intact at least one of every single Allied vehicle, and repainted them in three tone camo and large crosses, and used them in combat. Including the Sherman.
  • ·The Russians had 2 tanks at the beginning of the war: the T-34/76 and the KV-1. They also had 2 types at the end: the T-34/85 and the JS-2 (because we all know Joseph is NOT spelled with an "I"). And they also had Shermans.
  • ·The most produced tank in WWII: The German Tiger.
  • ·Paint chipped totally at random and not on areas most scuffed by the crews.
  • ·There was never any overspray on any stenciled markings.
  • ·No tool was ever stolen. Vehicle crews left them anywhere because they’d surely be returned to the rightful owners.
  • ·Mortars and grenades never disturbed the earth, only a shell from naval cannon could cause a crater.
  • ·No one dug a foxhole throughout the whole campaign as the ground was only 12mm deep, under which there was the backboard for a picture frame.
  • ·Because of a shortage of slings, 25% of WWII soldiers were forced to keep their weapons in their hands all the time.
  • ·Foxholes are a myth.
  • ·Horses were a myth – except those ridden by Polish Lancers and Cossacks.
  • ·There was no war in Italy.
  • ·War in Northwest Europe began on June 6, 1944.
  • ·No armored vehicle was ever washed or cleaned from D-Day to the end in the West, and from Barbarossa to Berlin in the East. It didn’t ever rain and snow never melted on them either.
  • ·Allied vehicles spent 5 years parked in the desert sun prior to being issued, to ensure proper paint fading.
  • ·Whenever possible, tanks were left to sit still so that the tracks would be thoroughly rusted before their next use.
  • ·Tanks always parked in open fields, meadows, and flat areas. There was no direct-fire threat except during declared battles, so no need to dig foxholes or hide tanks behind hills or berms. Even battle-weary troops were free to recuperate in farmyards and town squares, secure in the knowledge that there would be no artillery fired at them.
  • ·The reason it took the Russians so long to push back the Wehrmacht was that T-34 drivers never opened the periscope hatches on their hatches, even when the hatch was closed.
  • ·Tanks for which aftermarket engines are available could often be found with the decks open. The decks of the others were welded shut at the factory.
  • ·There is a rubble fairy who magically removes most of the debris from any demolished building.
  • ·The rubble fairy never leaves home without an industrial vacuum cleaner used to remove dust from the vicinity of said demolished building.
  • ·Tank manufacturers described their production types as early, mid, late and final because they knew how long the production run would be when they started.
  • ·The 79th Armoured Division had enough AVRE's with SBG bridges to bridge all rivers from Normandy to the Baltic, but didn't use them.
  • ·There is one shade of olive drab, and it was used on every US piece of military equipment, including aircraft, from WWI to Vietnam.
  • ·Finally, model builders are much more in tune with how things look than those who have been there or done that.

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