Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Belgian Army 1940 part 1

 

Belgian Army 1940



This year I want to complete some more of my 1940 armies. I have decided to add some more units to my Belgian army, cyclist infantry, artillery elements, armour, aircraft and complete my Ardennes Chasseurs regiment. My main focus will be infantry and cyclists. I also need to paint my armour T13 and T 15, plus some artillery pieces, tractors and trucks. All units will be built for Rapid Fire.

Division de Chasseurs Ardennais

1st Regiment Chasseur Ardennes

I have completed my first battalion, I do however require to paint my 2 x T15, 1 x Vickers Carden Llyod 47mm complete my tow for the towed 47mm, and some support elements, heavy mortar and crew, heavy MG and crew, cars (including a scratch built Alvis), AT gun,  some trucks, tractors, medical and sapper coy.

Regiment Karabiniers-Wielrijders

I have purchased the HAT cyclists to paint as my cyclist karabiniers on bikes, I will need to change the heads to french adrians though. The cars are from a diecast company, trucks are plastic and resin kits (minarion and Retrokit) and telephone trailer is SHQ, resin medical truck from Minarion. Guns from SHQ and EWM.

  I need to find some of the old Battlefield Blitz range (if you have some please contact me) or pick up the new EWM figures to complete the three battalions. 

BHQ

Co + 7 Alder 2 staff car, Ford supply truck, large car and telephone trailer, Ford medical truck

RHQ

Co + 5 staff car, truck and telephone trailer



1st battalion 

HQ. 

OC + 6 cycles, mortar cart

1st company 8 figures on cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

2nd company 8 figures on cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)


2nd battalion

HQ 

OC + 6 cycles, mortar and mortar cart


3rd Company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

4th Company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)


3rd battalion 

HQ 

OC + 6 cycles, mortar and mortar cart


5th Company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

6th company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

MG coy 

3 figs MMG FN tricar

AT coy 1 x47mm towed + tractor



Armoured coy

2 x T15

1 x Vickers Carden-Llyod Mark VI 47mm



Artillery

1 x schneider 155mm M17 howitzer motorised tow

1 x schneider 105mm M13 gun motorised tow



2nd Motorised Cavalry Division
The cars are from a diecast company, truck are plastic and resin kits and telephone trailer is SHQ, resin medical truck from Minarion. Figures from EWM and motorbikes printed models. Guns SHQ and EWM.


Division HQ
Co + 7 Alder 2 staff car, supply truck, heavy car and telephone trailer, medical truck


RHQ
Co + 5 staff car, truck and telephone trailer, motorcycle AA



1 battalion motorised Infantry

HQ Co + 3 car and motorbike

3 coys 8 figures truck

2nd battalion motorcyclist Infantry



BHQ CO + 3 car and motorbike

3 coys motorbike (plus dismounted figures)

Support coy

MG coy 3 figs MMG FN tricar

Mortar Coy 3 figs plus car



1 armoured car company

3 x T13 tanks



Artillery

1 x schneider 155mm M17 howitzer and tow

1 x schneider 105mm M13 gun and tow



Belgian Armour


ACG1
I want to build the ACG1 although in RF this is only two models. Most of my force is built around the southern component of the front. A short history for you to whet the appetite...

The 10 Belgian ACG1 (AMC 35, 9 with the altered belgian turret) were formed into two platoons for the invasion and was attached to the Corps de Cavalerie T13 2nd Division. The unit initially were based in Brussels but in the first week were moved to defend the bridges between Willebroek and Vilvoorde. The Squadron was commanded by Kapitein R.Hullebroeck , and divided into two platoons of 4 tanks with two in reserve.

HQ and Company

2 x ACG1 tanks




The Belgian Air Component

The Belgian Air Component was small but had a good training system so a number of pilots were well qualified but most the the air component was mostly destroyed on the ground in the opening day of the war.

On the early morning of May 10, the alarm was sounded, and the pilots at Schaffen Air Base went to their planes, thinking it was an exercise. A few minutes later, 50 unidentified aircraft flew over the airfield. Despite his orders, Captaine Max Guisgand, the commander of 1/1/2 Gladiators flew his planes into the air at 0420 hrs while the Hurricanes started their engines. 12 minutes later, three Heinkel 111s were spotted, not troubled by AA fire. The planes in the air were not there when the 111s came, and the 111s strafed the airfield several times. The planes tried to take off through the explosions and fires. A bullet punctured the main wheel of Lt. Wilmonts Gladiator and he rammed a Hurricane. Minutes later 110s and Dornier Do 17 strafed and bombed the airfield. Four Hurricanes were set on fire, and 6 others were damaged. The roof of the hangar fell in and the planes in it were destroyed. Sgt. Libert was burned badly when the fuel tank of his Hurricane exploded. Captaine Van den Hove d'Ertsenrijick and Caparol Jacobs managed to escape from Schaffen. They encountered some bombers but didn't manage to shoot down any, even though helped by Gladiator pilot Sgt. Van den Broecke. The third section of Gladiators from 1/1/2 almost collided with the three 111s and had to break away.

The second section (Cpt. Gerard (G-27), Sgt. Henri Winand (G-32) and Sgt. Henri Clinquart (G-34) spotted a formation of enemy bombers and broke it up. During the bombing, other gladiators left Schaffen for Beauvechain. Hurricane pilots Siroux, Lelarge and a lt.) flew three of them. Other reported engagements were when at 0900 10 109s ran in to two Gladiators over Tirlemont. Both were shot down and one pilot bailed out. At 1000 hrs, three Gladiators were shot down by 1/JG27 while trying to intercept escorted Ju87s.

A few missions were completed by the Belgians bombing three bridges on the Albert Canal on the of 11th May. The bombing was done by Fairey Battles of the 5/III/3Aé, the fighter escort was provided by 1/I/2Aé Gloster Gladiators. On the 11th May out of fifteen Battles that attacked pontoons bridge across the Maastricht, Veldwezelt, Vroenhoven and Briegden, only five aircraft survived.

The 9th and 11th squadron flying R31s still had aircraft in the sky when the surrender was announced on the 28th.

Aircraft in Service 1940

As I love building aircraft I have gone overboard for my Belgians.....

Renard R-31 21 in service reconnaissance (purchased)

Fiat CR.42 Falco 23 in service 3éme (destroyed on the ground) and 4th éme squadrons (one completed)

Gloster Gladiator 15 in service 1/1/2Aé (Model built, needs paint)

Fairy fox VI biplane 98 in service (Part built, need to complete)

Hawker Hurricane mk1 11 in service (only two survived the bombing of the airfield on the 10th of May, they were lost on the 11th) (completed)

Fairy Battle light Bomber 14 in Service 5éme squadron (purchased not built)



next up another 1940 project

Cheers

Matt

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