I’ve always had an interest in the Pacific Theatre, most especially the 14th Army in Burma & Malaya, and the early U.S. Marine operations such as in the Solomon’s (as the 3rd NZ Division was involved in additional actions in the chain after the main U.S. battle ended on Guadalcanal), the Gilbert (Tarawa) & Marshal Islands campaign, and perhaps ultimately the Mariana & Palau (Peleliu) Islands… After years and years (OK make that Decades) of procrastination I have finally bit the bullet and ordered the figures inspired by the release of “The Pacific” by HBO.
As a result I have a sizable force of 1/72nd scale Japanese coming from Fantassin (Warmodelling) reinforced by a reasonable number from Eureka, plus additional Command, Heavy Weapons, & Gun Crews (plus Guns & AFVs) from SHQ, and a handful of Foot & Mounted Officers and a Field Kitchen from Combat Miniatures (the old Hotspur range). These will join my existing selection of Airfix & Fujimi Type 97 Chi-Ha & Shinoto Chi-Ha Tank models and Hasegawa Japanese Trucks, just leaving a 37mm ATG (or perhaps two) from the Regimental ATG platoon to complete a fairly extensive Japanese force for CF! Troops in transit are:
Infantry for 2 Rifle Companies; with HMGs, 2cm ATRs, and 5cm Knee Mortars from Fantassin (warmodelling), and Eureka. Additional Command and some mounted figs from Combat Miniatures (Stonewall), and still more Command figs and some additional gun crews and such from SHQ.
SHQ Guns & AFVs:
2 x Type 92 7cm Infantry Guns for the Battalion’s Gun Platoon;
1 x Type 41 7.5cm Mountain Gun (to represent a gun from a platoon of the Infantry Regiment’s Gun Company);
1 x Type 1 4.7cm ATG (as used by independent Divisional ATG units 1943-45);
1 x Type 94 Te-Ke Tankette (or Supply Tractor) & Trailer;
2 x Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tanks.
I might actually have to get another Type 94 Te-Ke as they were (like the Type 95 Ha-Go) pretty ubiquitous, with a small detachment (of 6 unusually) in virtually every Japanese Division.
Now to find someone doing either of the Japanese 3.7cm ATGs (a Type 94 and/or the updated Type 94 with long barrel) so I can get a couple for one of the Regimental Anti-Tank Platoons. I might also use a (Matchbox or ESCI) PaK35 3.7cm as an alternate additional ATG if I have some spare crewmen left over (the Japanese captured reasonable numbers of these from the Chinese Nationalist Forces, designated them the Type 97, and the troops in China brought them with them when transferred to the Pacific or Burma for the campaigns in WWII).
So although it will probably take 6-12 months or so to get these guys all painted up and on the table I have started musing about their peculiarities in Crossfire, you can read my current thoughts in the article Modelling Japanese in Crossfire.
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