Posts Tagged ‘Crete’

In 1941 German forces invaded the island of Crete in an operation code named, “Mercury”. They used an elite force of Fallschirmjager(parachutists) to invade from the air and the resulting battle would go down in history as a disaster for both the attacking Germans and defending allies.

So you guessed it, I am in the process of painting up a 28mm Fallschirmjager force for operation Mercury and all the other bits needed to complete the project. This will include a mixed force of Allied troops, anti air defence , tanks, Cretan terrain, a Ju52, a DFS 230 glider and loads more.

As mentioned above I am starting off with the German Fallschirmjager force. These guys were elite, veteran troops and highly motivated . The plan to capture Crete was simple, parachute from Ju 52 transport planes or land by DFS glider and capture an airport. Once an airport was captured reinforcement would come from the air as the Germans had air supremacy over the island.

In reality things didn’t go quiet to plan. The Fallschirmjager preferred tactic was to land directly on top of a target(this tactic had brought great success earlier in the war) and use the element of surprise and confusion to over whelm the enemy. Unfortunately German intelligence was particularly poor and would lead to some units dropping directly onto camouflaged Allied forces, resulting in severe German casualties. To further disadvantage the Germans they jumped with minimal personal weapons and on landing they had to find canisters dropped at the same time with most of the larger weapons and spare ammo. Not an ideal situation if you have just landed in an Allied Position !

Luckily the Allies defence of the island was poorly coordinated allowing the groups of spread out Germans to eventually capture the airport at Maleme which enabled them to capture Crete.

The Germans suffered over 6,000 casualties(dead and wounded) on Crete and the Allies lost 1700 and 15,000 were captured. The huge lost of elite German troops and transport planes(350 Luftwaffe planes were lost) were to end the days of parachute drops for the Fallschirmjager as Hitler was not prepared to accept such losses again. The Fallschirmjager would become foot sloggers from that point on.

Anyway that’s the historical narrative covered, now onto the troops and figures I`m going to use. The Fallschirmjager of most WW2 experts conjures up a vision of camouflaged troops armed to the teeth with the best weapons the German war machine could provide, but we are wargaming in 1941 and thus fit into the early war period of the Fallschirmjager.

Your typical Fallschirmjager soldier would have been dressed in a green jumpsuit with a blue Luftwaffe colour helmet. Weapons would have been a rifle ,machine gun ,pistol and grenades. Any other weapons were dropped separately in a canister.

The figures I have used are a mixture of manufacturers. I have used 1st Corps, Foundry and Crusader and a few from Warlord Games. The first three manufacturers specialize in early war troops and I have included a few Warlord Games figures(they only provide mid-late war figures) to show the tiny emergence of different uniforms that started to appear in small numbers on Crete.

These are the first 16 completed figures which are a mixture of 1st Corps and Crusader. They go together quite well and its hard to spot the differences unless you pick them up and really closely check. The bases are covered in a new ready made scatter called, “Mediterranean Soil” by geekgaming.

The pictures below are 1st Corps.

The bottom two pictures are Crusader.

I`m very happy with how they have come out so far and the difference between the two makes

of figures is minimal. I have also started cracking on with the terrain.

More soon.

Advertisements