Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Sarthe, août 1944 Histoire d’un Libération

A book review 

Sarthe, août 1944, Histoire d’un Libération, Fabrice Avoie

Recently while doing some research for battles around my house in August 1944 and the American breakout from Normandy through Brittany and Pays de Loire I kept coming across references to this book, so for Christmas I ordered it from the author, to my surprise Fabrice works in Mayenne and we scheduled a rendezvous at my home. Fabrice spent 15 years doing the research on the push from Mayenne department through Sarthe to capture Le Mans and then pushes South and finally the advance North to close the Falaise pocket. Fabrice attended several reunions in Germany, France and America receiving photos and anecdotes from the war from the remaining veterans. Published in French in 2009 it is loaded with information and Photos I have never seen before. 

A good mix of German units are covered including day to day breakdowns and unit strengths; 9th Panzer, Panzer Lehr, 352nd Infantry Div, 708th Division, 91st infantry Division, 77th Infantry Division, Sicherungs regiment 1, Sicherungs regt 194, -195 and 196, 17th SS, 5th Fallschirmjager, Flak units and various retreating units and scratch batns.

Allied units include; US 5th Armoured, La 2nd division Blindee Francaise, US 79th Infantry Division, US 90th Infantry Division, US 80th Infantry Division, 106th US cavalry group. Very interesting research regarding the aviation units in the allied support role.

The Hard back 440 page book is well worth the 38 euros that I paid for it, although the text is in French it is a must for those interested in the southern flank of the Falaise pocket, lots of photos, small unit actions and after battle reports to wade through now! I ordered direct form the author to save 30 euros from a shop.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Bonne Année & plans for 2019

A Merry Christmas and a Happy new years to all!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and a happy new year to all my followers. We had
our first Christmas and New years celebration at L'hotel de Hercé in France after moving to Mayenne last March. It was fantastic to spend it with family and friends staying with us for two weeks from Australia. A lot good wine, champagne and food for the holidays was consumed. I received a number of great gifts from the kids and from Nessa, mostly books and a few miniatures.

Plans for 2019

Big plans and lots of work for 2019, our first customers arrive in March for walking guided battlefield tours and then return to wargame the battle on the table at L'Hotel de Hercé

My Priority is concentrating on completing armies that relate to battles around our house (within 1 hour drive) so we could visit the battlefield in the morning and return and fight it in the afternoon.

  1. Actually need to complete my terrain tiles, I have completed the teddy bear fur mats, I just need to attach to the tiles and complete the river sections and roads, my main Project for the year, 20ft of table!
  2. More hedges and trees,; you can never have enough hedges, need to add some decent bocage and I really want to make larger trees that are closer to real heights for 28mm.
  3. More terrain bits for 20mm ww2, power poles, war memorials, road side crosses, civilians and livestock.
  4. Complete more 20mm ww2 buildings, mostly Normandy stuff that I have already purchased needs to be painted.
  5. Complete my American 20mm battle group, three more battalions to build and paint plus more vehicles and a few support elements including aircraft.
  6. Complete my British 20mm 1944 battle group, finish painting the three tank batns that I have started, plus paint the funnies, update my Paras with more support, add armoured infantry and complete the gliders and aircraft for Arnhem.
  7. Start my Polish ww2 1944 battle group, armour and infantry.
  8. Complete my French 1944 battle group, need to paint the armour and infantry.
  9. Add more elements to my 1944 Canadian battle group.
  10. Add some more 20mm 1944 Germans particularly Fallschirmjager, and add some SS elements.
  11. Add more figures to my Celtic army, I need to add about 60 figures ideally.
  12. Add more figures to my late medieval army, buildings more Bretons for the Mad War, plus German mercenaries for the same period.
  13. Start my 100 years war French, for the late period Perry miniatures.
  14. Start my 100 years war English, for the late period Perry miniatures.
  15. Add more figs to my early 100 years war French
  16. Add more figures to my early 100 years war Scots (almost complete!)
  17. Start my early 100 years war British army.
  18. Add more figs to my dark age Franks.
  19. Add more figures to my Vikings
  20. Add more figs to my Dark age Normans, Bretons and Anjou-Maine army.
  21. Update my medieval buildings, touch ups mostly.
  22. Build a dark age castle representing St Suzanne
  23. Complete my northern Vendee/Chouan army, lots to do waiting for some more figures
  24. Complete my Baden 1809-12 Napoleonic army, currently on the bench!
  25. Add to my French Napoleonic Army, particulary units useful for my Vendee project, some units on the bench at the moment.
  26. Add to my Austrian 1805-09 Napoleonic Army.
  27. Add to my Russian 1809-12 Napoleonic Army.
  28. complete my Saxon 1809-12 Napoleonic army
  29. Add to my French 1/1200th naval 
  30. Add to my British 1/1200th naval
  31. Gaslands, latest fad at the club, need to add at least five matchbox cars!
So quite a bit of work to do, having clean out of some old projects and non starters too in the coming weeks, all the best with your projects this year.

2018 painted totals

Sort of happy with my totals, a lot of interruption due to the move to France and the 

28mm Miniatures

136 ancient Greeks
30 Celts
15 Imperial Romans
24 Vikings
85 Byzantine infantry
60 Byzantine Cavalry
12 Feudal English
2 siege engines
28mm scatter terrain
3 wagons
16 Renaissance French infantry
24 FIW Indians
18 FIW French
24 French Napoleonic Cuirassiers
4 French Napoleonic cannon
Napoleonic Saxon Ducal Hussars
Napoleonic Frankfurt Hussars
3 Napoleonic French Generals
Baden artillery Battery
24 Modern Russian Infantry

20mm Miniatures

24 British Para
6 dutch vehicles
3 Belgian vehicles
1 civilian bus
1 wagon
1 aircraft
45 Bundeswehr Infantry
2 Bundeswehr APCs
1 soviet arty battery
1 soviet missile battery
8 Gaslands cars
3 bunkers
1 modern building
1 ww2 building
Gaslands terrain


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Imperial Romans

Ok, just finished off a few odds and sods on the desk, as part of the 30 minute 30 day painting challenge. First of the cab rank Black tree Imperial Romans, these are a gift for a mate in Australia for Christmas.


Napoleonic Generals

I have been partaking in the 30 minute 30 day painting challenge on Facebook, getting lots done.

I have decided to clear my desk before I put another project on it, currently it is packed with Napoleonic French and Baden miniatures, plus celts and bits.

First up Division General and ADC, actually a touch up and rebase job for these.

Cuirassier General new

Frankfurt Hussars, a Gendarme unit, but who doesn't like more hussars floating around on a table, a touch up and rebase job also. needed to add swords (staples), plumes and new tails on two horses. Need to complete the unit standard also


FIW Indians

I decided to complete these last month to sell. Enjoyed painting the Front Rank miniatures


Monday, October 1, 2018

Bundesgrenzschutz grenadiers

Off the painting table some Elheim Bundeswehr, the first batn of my Cold War Bundeswehr, two more battalions to complete my Kampfgruppe.


Sunday, September 2, 2018

9th Cuirassiers 1805

I have been painting a bit of my Napoleonic lead like this month, I finished these guys before I went on summer holidays but failed to take any photos. I have two more squadrons to complete and add the flag when I order it.