A bridge too far 1977 – Dragon Stug III late variants

  • 5 posts
  • Last reply 9 months, 3 weeks ago
  • A bridge too far, Arnhem, Market Garden, Stug III
Viewing 1 - 5 of 5 posts
  • Michel Verschuere said 9 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Imagination is a treat they say…
    Although I already entered a topic for this GB, I actually reminded myself that – for some time now – I have been planning an Arnhem 1944 diorama which would also represent a great feat for this group build.

    The story is well know, so I’ll be brief. In mid-1944 when Belgium was almost completely liberated, Montgomery planned one of his most controversial offensives with the bold objective to end the war in 1944. The plan was to rely heavily on airborne troops to capture the main bridges in Central Holland, across the Waal and Rhein rivers. These bridges were to be captured by airborne troops and held until an armored pincer called 30th corps could reach them from the South starting off between Eindhoven and Maastricht. The armor was to drive on into Germany and choke the Industrial heart of the Reich from the rest of it. At least, that was the plan…

    The paras jumped on September 17 1944 and quickly captured the main bridge in Arnhem across the Lower-Rhine. Unfortunately for them, some SS armored formations happened to be in the area, a disposition largely unexpected. Walter Model, an experienced Eastern-Front SS general quickly counterattacked the airborne positions. What followed was a desperate battle of airborne troops, deprived of heavy equipment with everything the Germans could throw at them. For those who survived the ordeal of parachuting down a hail of AA-fire, the next episode was something like bare handed attacking a tank…

    The British paratroopers tried to hold out at Arnhem bridge, hoping the armored spearhead would break through and relieve them from the South, but one by one, their positions overlooking the bridge were wiped out by heavy German mobile artillery, notably some 10.5 cm howitzers mounted on a Stug III Chassis. These beasts were actually used as demolition vehicles… The German reasoning seemed something like “.. if you destroy an entire housing block, so you deal with the couple of paratroopers using it as a shelter ..”. The battle ended with over 16000 casualties and captured allies and – in fact – marked the last decisive battle victory of the Germans in WWII.

    The movie features Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins and many more and has become a classic, such has its theme. Therefore, I think it’s a good fit too for the GB here. I hope David doesn’t mind.

    I was intrigued by a set of pictures that mark the desperate fight of the British and Polish paratroopers at Arnhem. The main landing zones were situated some 4 km to the West in Oosterbeek and after the Germans cleared the center of Arnhem, a fight towards Oosterbeek followed. You can see these pictures, taken between September 24 and 25 at Utrechtseweg in direction of Oosterbeek. You can see SS uniforms, captured Brits and Stug III’s of the Stug Brigade 280 at Arnhem. The rubble witnesses of a heavy battle all the way to Oosterbeek… Since the battle, Arnhem never had tramways any more since the entire infrastructure was destroyed in this notable fight in September 1944.

    This is what I wish to model. Kits are Dragon #9058, Dragon #6593. More soon…

    Happy modeling, Michel.

  • James B Robinson said 9 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Very excited about this venture Michel. Looking forward to the build.

  • david leigh-smith said 9 months, 3 weeks ago:

    This is an amazing set of photos; they tell their own story of how hard this fighting was and every street was paid for in blood and life.

    As James said, an exciting project and one that captures bravery and desperation allied with a absolute will to survive. As usual, Michel, you have such creative ideas and with your peerless ability to execute – this will be a great work.

  • Pedro L. Rocha said 9 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Your building 2 Stugs, a Ausf.G with 10.5 cm gun and another Ausf.G with the 7,5 cm gun?
    Can’t wait to see the your work Michael!

  • Tom Cleaver said 9 months, 3 weeks ago:

    What kills me about Arnhem was 24 hours before the men went in, an RAF recon flight spotted the SS Panzertruppen of Sepp Dietrich’s unit that had just arrived. The b a s t a r d s knew Arnhem was not going to be a “walkover” as they told the men. And they sent them anyway, to the wrong landing fields.

    Another nail in the coffin of Britain’s “greatest hero” of WW2, Bernard Law Montgomery, who only ever won one battle, and it was a set-piece. Patton was right about him. Outside of Slim in Burma (who never got recognized), British Army leadership in WW2 was as godawful as it was under Alexander Haig in WW1. It wasn’t till that i d i o t Sir Harold Alexander got replaced in Italy by General Lucian Truscott Jr (yes, the one good American general, Mark Clark being down there with the Brits for competency) that the war in Italy got finished off even without resources that had been sent to the Western Front. And Truscott had the integrity to go to the dedication of the American cemetery at Anzio and apologize to the dead.

    If Eisenhower had been a little less worried about the diplomacy of “alliances” and more concerned about actually winning, he’d have told Montgomery and the British to sit there and hold the lines, and given Patton the gas, when he could have breached the virtually-unmanned Siegfried Line in an afternoon.

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