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SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 25 Normandy
Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
KitMaker: 315 posts
Armorama: 313 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 06:17 PM UTC
Hello!

Ever since I began learning about D-Day at age 12 back in '99, I was fascinated by the German units struggling against the Allied behemoth invasion force. As an American kid from the midwest, there was no shortage of WW2 veterans of the European Theater. The first stories I heard were from my Grandfather (Ball Turret Gunner, B-17G, 8th Air FOrce, 486th Bomb Group, 834th Bomb Squadron.)I consider myself so lucky to have heard these incredible stories by the men who lived them over many breakfasts, lunches, golf games, etc. These men were giants in my eyes and always will be. I had learned about the RAF, Desert Rats, S.A.S. and Red Devils but had heard very little about the Canadians. This lead to me reading up on their role on D-Day and I was fascinated by the battles within the small triangle of Bretteville-l’Orgueilleusee Putot-en-Bessin and Norrey-en-Bessin. The Regina Rifles Regiment Royal Winnipeg Rifles, and elements of the 6th Armoured Regiment (1st Hussars), 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade were the specific units that I read up on. By June 8th these units had reached the areas outside of Caen and found themselves fighting within the triangle made up by these villages. These units found themselves up against the !2th SS Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend", specifically, the 1st and 2nd battalion of SS Panzer Regiment 12 and Panzergrenadier Regiments 25 and 26. I stumbled upon Ron Volstad's amazing artwork from Dragon's #6110 figure kit of panzergrenadiers from the 25th. I had found my subject for a diorama and this would be the first diorama since returning to the hobby after a 5 year break during college.

There are famous photos of the 15th Kompanie (recon) of SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 25, most of which were taken just after the failed assault on Norrey-en-Bessin on June 9th. My original plan was to focus the diorama on the action of the Panthers of 3rd Kompanie SS Panzer Regiment 12 with the accompanying infantry of 15th kompanie SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 25, however, after reviewing the diary entries of Alois Marwetz who was commanding in place of Von Ribbentropp that day, as well as Max Wunche's account, I didn't think this action was very ideal for a diorama like this. The summary is basically this, (warning super summary, nobody get triggered), Essentially, After leaving Rots on a southern road, the 3rd kompanie passed beneath the rail embankment via an underpass and turned right facing west towards Norrey. They planned to use the embankment on their right (North) as cover to move towards Norrey and speed was stressed as the highest priority by Wunsche. The Panthers quickly left most of the infantry in the dust and began to take accurate 6 pounder fire as they passed the linesman's cottage and crested the hill. They had planned on this, angeling appropriately and keeping their speed up, but they hadn't counted on was a squad of Sherman's including a number of fireflies who had, by chance, taken a detour on their way to their defensive position, placing them a couple hundred meters away at the Panthers 2 to 3 O'clock. The fire from the 6 pounders and machine guns in Norrey was hard enough but with the Shermans in perfect ambush position, the 3rd Kompanie's Panthers began to brew up with horrifically burned crew members hurling themselves out of their machines anyway they could. It was about this time that the accompanying infantry of 15/25 showed up behind the Panthers to support them when it was became apparent things had gone horribly wrong. As the attack began to fail, the naval artillery from Allied ships off-shore began to fall amongst the length of the rail embankment. A retreat was ordered and a few of the 12 original Panthers were able to fall back and the wounded crewmen and panzergrenadiers crawled along the embankment back towards the cover of the underpass and the road back to Rots. It was just after this disaster that the famous photos were taken.

It was my intent to focus on this engagement until I read the diary entries and studied up. I have now decided to not base my build on any one particular entry and simply build a scene of panzergrenadiers and a Panther during the early stages of the Caen battle, inspired by the actions of SS Pz.Reg 12 and 15th kompanie SS Panzergrenadier regiment 25.

If anyone has any pics of the 12th SS in Normandy that aren't viewable with a quick google search, or any info on the battle of Norrey on June 9th, I'd love to check it out.



I've always loved the German uniforms, gear an equipment of 1943-45. I particularly fond of the camouflage garments and equipment used in Normandy. I've always maintained that the Zeltbahn was the most widely issued camouflage garment yet there aren't a lot of figure kits with them and even less that are in action poses. For this reason, I knew I'd have to modify existing figures.

My first figure I made by taking a loader from the HobbyFan '8.8cm Flak 18 Crew' and removing his tall ankle boots and replaced them with milliput, ankle gaiters, and low cut boots of the late war type. I love the look of them. I then used the arms from a figure in Dragon's #6057 'Panzergrenadiers East Prussia' and fusing them to the hobbyfan figure, filling in any gaps in the legs and arms using Vallejo's awesome Plastic Putty. From here I purchased ABER's incredible German Soldier`s Gear WWII #35A35. I needed the Y-Straps from this kit for many of the grenadiers I'll be making. There's a ton of useful stuff in here and it's already paid for itself and I'd recommend it to everyone who makes German figs.



Maps of the Area of interest.




Half of the "Triangle" of villages showing the German's starting point In Rots and Villeneuve and the Canadian Positions West in Norrey-en-Bessin and Bretteville-l’Orgueilleuse and Putot-en-Bessin which is beyond the left (west) border of the image. This image includes my approximations of the positions based on the diary entries and research available to me.



The infamous underpass underneath the Caen-Bayeux railroad. It was here that the 3rd Kompanie of Panthers and infantry from 15/25 turned right after passing beneath to begin the attack. We are facing north in the picture so they would have traveled south towards us, and turned to our left after passing under the railroad.









Panzergrenadier MG-42 gunner based on Gunter Hamel. I used Alpine Miniatures figure from the 'Waffen SS Panther Crew Kursk' set and used arms from a left over Dragon set and added field gear and straps using the ABER set. THe MG-42 is by Master Models, however, a disaster occured and damaged the barrel shroud. Th barrel shroud is a vinyl that's flexible but extremely brittle after glue is applied!! The thin section of the barrel shroud vent hole broke. I have contacted Master and they have sent me a new one free of charge. Awesome customer service.











My favorite Grenadier I've made thus far. He wears a Zeltbahn camouflage shelter quarter under his Y straps and gear and was made using pieces of Hobby Fan and Dragon figures as well as a good deal of putty and sanding. I love zeltbahns and given that it was issued to nearly every German soldier, I wish we had more figs with them but specifically wearing them in action or with the gear over it. I can imagine that the detail of the flaps would be tricky from a manufacturers perspective. I've also been vocal about my appreciation for companies that produce action posed figures that aren't over exerted and exaggerated in their poses and simulated movement. I think that those types of action poses are great for cartoons and toys but I've always shot for something more...grounded and realistic.I wanted to make sure and not "over-animate" my figures and create a scene that becomes unintentionally funny in all the wrong ways..yikes. I'm really happy with this result, It reminds me of the type of apex movement i see in photographs of football players, soldiers and athletes.











This is the NCO figure from Dragon’s # 6282 ‘Hohenstaufen Division Normandy 1944’. With just a few tweaks the figure takes on a whole new feel. I do a lot of shooting here in the U.S. in 3-Gun matches and just plinking on my farm. I have the luxury and privilege to have handled and fired most WW2 US, British and German small arms. It’s been great to get a feel for period correct weapon handling and I try to bring my experience with the ergonomics and handling to my figures. I’ve tweaked this figure to replicate how I found myself reloading the MP-38 I’ve shot.
.

Panzergrenadier NCO of 15/25, loosly based on Joseph "Sepp" Bund.
The figure is from D-Day Miniature Studios #35084 ‘Herman Goring Division Soldiers 1943-45. With some tiny micro tweaks the figure is absolutely stunning in crispness and quality and perfect for a Waffen SS Panzergrenadier in Normandy or Arnhem.

For those interested, here is the order of battle of the regiment as well as the the available roster of names of 15/25 below that. This info was found in the diary and somethat I found on in post on axishistory of the subject.

REGIMENT

SS-Panzergrenadierregiment 25: Standartenführer Kurt Meyer (until June 14th, 1944), replaced by Obersturmbannführer Karl-Heinz Milius

1st Battalion
1/SS-Panzergrenadierregiment 25: Sturmbannführer Hans Waldmüller (killed on September 8th, 1944)
– 1. Kompanie
– 2. Kompanie
– 3. Kompanie
– schw. 4. Kompanie

2nd Battalion
2/SS-Panzergrenadierregiment 25: Sturmbannführer Hans Scappini (killed on June 7th, 1944)
– 5. Kompanie
– 6. Kompanie
– 7. Kompanie
– schw. 8. Kompanie

3rd Battalion
3/SS-Panzergrenadierregiment 25: Obersturmbannführer Karl-Heinz Milius (until June 14th, 1944) replaced by Obersturmbannführer Fritz Steiger
– 9. Kompanie
– 10. Kompanie
– 11. Kompanie
– schw. 12. Kompanie

Organic Elements of the Regiment.

Panzerabwehrkanone: Erwin Kaminski

14. Flak-Kompanie: Hauptsturmführer Brantl

15. Aufklärungs-Kompanie: Horst von Büttner (killed during the night from the 8th to the 9th of June 1944)

16. Pionier-Kompanie: Emil Werner



ROSTER OF 15th Aufklärungs-Kompanie (Reconnaissance Company)

*The roster is very much incomplete since my project focuses on the 3rd platoon, that's what I found the most on.*


STAB (Staff or Company HQ)

Chef: Haupsturmführer Horst von Büttner
Spiess: Stabsscharführer Hagetorn
San.-Uscha.: Unterscharführer Emil Waldvogel


I.ZUG (1st platoon)

Untersturmführer Reinhold Fuss
Unterscharführer Flixeder
Grenadier Werner Zimmermann
Hans Derkogner
Wittich
Ziermann


II.ZUG (2nd Platoon)

Untersturmführer Fehling
Sturmmann Jan Jesionek
van der Berg


III.ZUG (3rd PLatoon)

Hauptscharführer Wilhelm Boigk
Unterscharführer Christian Wachter
Unterscharführer Wick
Unterscharführer Peter Koslowski
Sturmmann Klaus Schuh
Obergrenadier Karl-Heinz Marckert
Obergrenadier Guenther Streelow
Obergrenadier Georg Hermann
Grenadier Josef Bund
Grenadier Foerster
Grenadier Otto Funk
Grenadier Günther Hamel
Grenadier Ernst Molter
Grenadier Reinhard Strintz
Grenadier Günther Weiss
Heinz Gurk
Günther Lachmann
Konrad Langner
Werner Kaergel


UNKNOWN UNIT

Sturmmann Jochen Leykauff
Obergrenadier Karl Witzgall
Grenadier Alfred Helzel
Kaufmann
Wolter

FROM THE VERMISSTBILDLISTE

Sturmmann Rudolf Johanning
Sturmmann Heinz Merschkötter
Obergrenadier Albert Pahl
Obergrenadier Manfred Sass
Grenadier Heinz Schulze

UNKNOWN, NEED CONFIRMATION

The first group is listed as killed in action on 4.7.1944 near St.German; the second group is listed as killed on 8.6.1944 in/near Bretteville-L'Orgueillose.

Unterscharführer Richard Schwarz
Sturmmann Hermann Menkhoff
Sturmmann Josef Hermann Richenzhagen
Sturmmann Hilmar Zimmermann
Grenadier Karl Heilemann


Rottenführer Theodor Emge
Sturmmann Gebhard Ziegler
Grenadier Werner Lichtenstein
Grenadier Friedrich Pelzl


DESERTER

Friedrich Torbanisch (deserted on April 1944)





I'm very excited to keep working on the figures and I'm getting close to painting. I'm very nervous about painting figures that I've worked so hard on. Historically, figure painting is my biggest weakness. I'm going to be using a combination of mostly vallejo acrylics, some model master enamels and some oil paints. I'll be using Mr. Mahogany Surfacer 1000 to priming.

I welcome any constructiver feedback and comments.

Thanks!
cheyenne
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 05, 2005
KitMaker: 1,936 posts
Armorama: 1,564 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 10:31 PM UTC
Dam son , beautiful narrative and figure morphing !!!
Crisp detailed work and the poses are remarkable , extra kudos on the guy reloading his mp !!!
You're going to have to quit your day job and work exclusively on models so I can see more of your work !!
dhines
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Nova Scotia, Canada
Joined: November 17, 2015
KitMaker: 302 posts
Armorama: 275 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 11:36 PM UTC
Hi Nathan, awesome historical presentation that sets the stage for the dio. Great figure construction, I cant wait to see them finished. I will be watching with much interest as it comes together. Keep up the great work. Best regards......Dale
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
#406
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,818 posts
Armorama: 8,498 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 11:48 PM UTC
Great Back story there Nathan and it looks as if you are off to a good start. God luck
Bravo36
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Arizona, United States
Joined: January 11, 2002
KitMaker: 204 posts
Armorama: 186 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 01:27 AM UTC
Great work on those figures! Love the straps on the weapons. The one on the MG42 is beautiful.
Please keep us posted on your progress.
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 7,439 posts
Armorama: 7,433 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 01:30 AM UTC
Gret beginnings with the research. It always pays to do that as much as possible.
Nice job with the figure mods and detailing. The Aber set looks good. I have also had good results from the Alliance set. I continue to find new uses for that one.
I like your fig with the zeltbahn and I agree you don't see enough figs using that item. I do wonder why here though? It wasn't raining during that battle and the guys already had cammo uniforms?
Another very good resource for this battle are any of the Heimdahl books covering it in extensive detail,or Kurt Meyers' book "Grenadier".
Welcome back to modeling and to my favorite topic.
J
americanpanzer
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Iowa, United States
Joined: May 12, 2014
KitMaker: 491 posts
Armorama: 488 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 02:26 AM UTC
WOW!! Just….wow!! looking forward to seeing more of your work!
timcc2008
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United States
Joined: May 12, 2010
KitMaker: 133 posts
Armorama: 129 posts
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 01:09 AM UTC
Amazing work so far. I will be following this one.

vr

Tim
strongarden
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Florida, United States
Joined: May 14, 2012
KitMaker: 714 posts
Armorama: 609 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
Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
KitMaker: 315 posts
Armorama: 313 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 lineman’s cottage that’s 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 aren’t common in this sector. He suggested that limestone “Caen Stone” or “Pierre de Caen” is far more suitable and I’ll 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 Lüdemann (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, Wünsche 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 Unterscharführer 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".



Nate_W
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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 I’d 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 Günter 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. .











Dioramartin
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Joined: May 04, 2016
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Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2019 - 09:46 PM UTC
Hallelujah a serious (semi-) new player on this forum. There’s only been a handful of us recently using live ammo but maybe as northern hemispherians hunker down for winter there’ll 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
cheyenne
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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 !!!
Sean50
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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
Nate_W
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 09:57 AM UTC

Quoted Text


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





This exactly what I needed, thank you very much. I will 100% be researching Caen stone and going with that. Cheers Sean!
tangodown
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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.
Golikell
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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)
Nate_W
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 09:07 AM UTC

Quoted Text

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. They’re rough but you’ll be able to get the setting, staging, blocking and balance of the composition from them. I’ll post it!
Nate_W
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 09:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text

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!


It’s 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. I’ve been a lurker since 2012 on here; But one thing I’ve always been amazed by, is the level of research and factual historical context in a lot of posts here. It’s what has kept me here instead of other modeling forums. Even if the subject doesn’t interest me, or straight-up bores me to death, if those prerequisites are met, I find them so inspiring and can’t help but have respect for the builders.
Golikell
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 11:51 PM UTC

Quoted Text



Thank you Mr. Leetink!

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



I will curiously await the sketch