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Carl Christensen
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Spring Thaw, Korea 1951

April 27, 2022 · in Diorama · · 9 · 1K

This scene depicts a 1/35 USMC Tank passing a Gaz-67, long abandoned by it's North Korean owners in Spring of 1951.

The Pershing is from Hobbyboss with aftermarket decals of a tank that had been 'rescued' from Hungnam Harbour and put back into service after the battle of Chosin Reservoir. Clearly going by it having 'USMC' painted all over it, it would appear it's crew had concerns that the Army might try and 'realocate' into their arsenal.
I enjoyed building the Pershing, but interestingly it had a fairly well detailed engine with absolutely no cabin interior, not even the gun breach, or a seat.
Now, the Trumpeter Gaz-67 is a kit I wish was available many years ago when I started building models, as if this had been my first ever model build I would have downed tools and walked away from building models for the rest of my life! This would have saved me $1000's over the years and I could have afforded a motorcycle to ride off into the sunset on - haha! It was a terrible kit and I hated it. All the wheel assembly and suspension was a nightmare to do with fat fingers and only 2 hands.
The figures are the Miniart NW Europe tank crew with a couple of changes.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

9 responses

  1. Stunning as usual, Carl!

  2. Great looking dio Carl! ? Man, the commander's face looks so realistic! ?

  3. Carl, @carlpud
    Your Pershing looks spot on. We used the same air recognition panels on our M-60's in the 1980's. They were orange on one side and a bright pink color on the other side. My Dad was with the US Army at Chosin, only he was north and east of the Marines initially. Dad actually saw the port of Hungnam as it was blown up. I only found this out in his last few weeks of life while he was in the hospital.

    There were some US Army tanks that were assigned temporarily to the Marines during this event. I think it was one or two platoons worth, from the 31st RCT.

    I might be wrong about the markings, but it looks as if this Pershing might have actually been assigned to the Army first. This could be why there is a US number on the side fender skirts, just below the sponson boxes. I would think the Marines "could" have "liberated" it from the US Army and added the USMC markings on it afterwards.

    A few years ago I picked up a 1/35 Tamiya M-4A3 E8 Korean War version. This is the new tool Tamiya Sherman Easy Eight kit. In the Sherman's box they included a "bonus" Gaz-67, (also in 1/35 scale). It's one of Tamiya's early kits from the early 1970's going from memory, and it is very basic. I have yet to build the Gaz-67, but the Easy 8 is well on it's way with most of the assembly work done.

    I didn't know that Trumpeter had released a Gaz-67 kit like this, but thanks for the warnings about the troubles it gave you.

    I don't know how you guys can paint figures so realistically, but I'm glad you do ! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this with us. I'll definitely check the "like" button before I leave. Two thumbs up !

  4. A great result, Carl @carlpud
    Very nice winter diorama.

  5. Excellent models, definitely luv the Pershing!

  6. Nice result. Looks highly realistic. An excellent little diorama that tells a good solid story.

    As a historical aside, the Army didn't have any Pershings at Chosin (I wrote a book on this - shameless personal plug, it still sells well six years later). The only Army unit (TF Faith) had some Easy-Eight Shermans, along with the dual 40mm AA tanks, which really saved them along with the halftracks with quad 50 turrets, cutting down the human wave attacks. The Marines were the ones with Pershings which they used from the Pusan Perimeter to Chosin and back. The 31st RCT operating with the Marines were also Easy Eights. By that time, the Pershing was seen as not "up to snuff," so of course it would be given to the Marines. (Not a complaint on my part)

    • Tom, @tcinla
      The 73rd Heavy Tank Battalion was part of the 7th Infantry. Companies A through C were equipped with M-26 Pershing's. They had 78 of them on strength at one point. My understanding is that one Company from the 73rd was attached to the 31st and possibly the 32nd Infantry Regiment which is what Task Force Faith (31st) and Task Force Drysdale (32nd, who fought their way North to provide relief to the surrounded Marines and what was left of the 31st RCT. ) It's possible that this Company was split and divided by two Platoons (5 tanks each) and attached to these two units. This would have allocated 10 Pershing's to the 31st, and 10 more to the 32nd RCT.

      Here's a copy of the Authorized strengths for both the 8th Army which was on the west side of the Taeback Mountains, and the X th which was East on the Chosin Reservoir side. There's also a list of the authorized British types listed too.

      The 8th Army consisted of the 24th Infantry, 25th Infantry, 2nd Infantry, and 1st Cavalry. This document breaks down the type of tank and shows which units were assigned which type. There were several units that operated both types at the same time.

      However, like you stated, the 31st RCT had only Sherman's. The 32nd RCT was also equipped with Sherman's.

      The 10th Corps consisted of the 1st Marines, 7th and 3rd Infantry Divisions.

      I found this chart to be fascinating... OK maybe I'm a geek when it comes to the history behind the various US armored units. Both my Father and I served in Armor, so it just comes natural I guess. The first authorized strength list also included Churchill's Cromwell's, and Centurion's.

      This next chart breaks down the losses by cause, but not by the unit they were assigned to. Some tanks were written off, but about half were recovered, repaired, and reassigned to units as needed once the repairs were made.

      This could also explain the US serial number on the M-26 that Carl built.

      This is a very good website that goes into the details that set the various types of Sherman's apart from one another. There is also some good pictures showing Perishing's and Sherman's in Korea. This website goes into the numbers of tanks delivered and where they came from. It's a gold mine of UN Korean War armor.

      Dad told me that while in Korea, he was a crewman in the M-4A3, M-26 and M-46 at different times. He held two different MOS'. He was "Heavy Weapons, Infantry", and Armor. Dad mentioned to me that he was authorized to wear 3 different combat patches on his dress uniform. Dad also fought with the 6th Medium Tank Battalion, and another unit that I'm still not aware of. He said he could wear a patch on his right shoulder from the 7th Infantry, the 24th or the 25th Infantry.

      Sadly his military records were destroyed in the St. Louis fire.

      Here's another good account of what happened to the Army units at Chosin. This is sourced directly from the US Army's historical society.

  7. This build looks great!

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