Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Italian Carri Company - Core platoons featuring the mighty M13/41!

Actually as modeled, they are the shattered remnants of a _battalion_ from the Ariete armor division, whose numbers now equal company strength.  This was quite common towards the ends of battles for all the belligerents.  Companies would be down to 3-5 runners instead of 10-16, and battalions would be company sized.  I did this b/c I like the story line behind it and it is easier to track the three platoons on the table with the different colors.  If they were an entire company of blue the platoons are only differentiated by little white lines on the color band, which is hard to see!

The Ariete ram's head is on some of the tanks.  The three platoons have three, four, and four tanks for the yellow, blue and red companies of the battalion, with the HQ tank bearing the battalion decal of red-blue-yellow.  The platoon and company command tanks have the commander figure, of course, and there's AA MGs on a couple of tanks per platoon.  As my original intent was to model an EW company only the command tanks have the radio antennae and the company commander is using a signal flag.  It was hard to find out what colors or patterns were used, so they may not be right.  At this point I should just add antennae to all the tanks as they look more MW anyway.

The tanks are Old Glory Command Decision packs [explaining the 12 as they come in packs of three] and I could've gone for a larger FoW company of 15 total tanks but felt that fewer tanks with better support platoons was better for FoW.  The Tenente Pascucci tank to front right is a BF model for MW.  I added antennae and AA MG to that one.

Altho the tanks are classified as medium by their builders, by MW they are actually light tanks.  In EW they have good armor but the mechanical problems and training quality isn't very good.  Add to that the fact that Italians didn't have radios in all the tanks and you can see where the problems will begin...On the plus side you usually have numbers or cost [cheap points] and sometimes a quality edge by MW. They are also strong in MGs, with double hull MG, a turret and sometimes an AA MG. In FoW, the entire force drops 66 MG dice, nothing to sneeze at!

Entire company with yellow, red then blue platoons.  Front right are the commander [with flag] and the BF Warrior tank. Back right are BF abandoned vehicle marker figs, which I really like to have instead of the plastic chits.  It really adds more feeling to the "Bailed Out" status.

Closeup of the Yellow Company commander.  He's most likely an OG LMG kneeling figure, can't remember. Pascucci has a moustache and a blue ribbon for the Italian valor medal. Double layers of spare tread are around the turret.  This is actually from a real photo I've seen on line.

 Closeup of Blue company / platoon.  Peter Pig tank commander is in proper uniform.  Pretty different from the Old Glory infantry figs in sun helmet, but there wasn't much respect for uniform in the desert anyway.

And nice closeup of the bailed-out crew figures.  A couple look wounded and a couple look ready to fight or run.  Nice enough figs.  They are mounted on bases that cost 1 cent each [U.S.] to give them some heft.

This company was a pleasure to work with.  The Italians add a nice dimension to the fighting with their variety of gear, training and performance.  You can field large numbers of mediocre troops, small batches of elite paratroopers and raiders, and plenty in-between. Allied propaganda [and racism] gave them a bad rep that lasted after the war.  Italians surrendered in large numbers due to poor leadership and preparation in 1940, and they were branded cowards.  When tens of thousands of British and American troops surrendered in the early days of the war, they were called martyrs - winners write the histories.  

By 1941 and 1942 their performance in theater had substantially improved and they often fought well.  However, there were plenty who just didn't want to fight the British and the U.S. [whom they admired and where often had family residing] or didn't want to fight at all. Anyway, don't be afraid of fielding their forces.  Do some research, read the history, and get informed.  Most of all, have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment