Monday, 8 June 2015

SdKfz 222 – Operation Barbarossa

The SdKfz 222 as I imagine it during Barbarossa.
Model is from Skytrex, but the crew is PSC.

As my 15mm SS-Panzer Division blasts eastward from my painting desk, its eyes and ears will be supplied by some good reconnaissance for the panzers and Stukas to rely on. The backbone of my Recce force (Aufklärungs-Abteilung) will consist of this quintessential WW2 vehicle, the SdKfz 222. 

The Nazi flag was used for easy aerial recognition.

As this blog is stripped from any political or religious views, I find it important to underline that the depiction of a Nazi flag on the model, is merely a historical reference with a purpose. Many vehicles were actually fitted like this during Barbarossa, as the red flags with the white centre circle helped the Stukas tell friend from foe, in the heat of battle and avoid unfortunate mistakes.

Life on the road can be hard.

The SdKfz 222 was designed by the Eisenwerk Weserhütte, and built by the Auto Union (Better known as Audi). Supplied by a powerful V8 engine, this four-wheel drive sported armor plating up to 14,5 mm thick, but still ran up to 80 km (50 Mph) on open roads. Fuel economy and Global Warming was not something that would keep engineers up at night in the 30ies, and the SdKfz only had an operational radius of 300 km (186 Miles), before refueling was needed. 

A view of the rust effects added.
Decals used are from PSC. Unit insignia is SS Panzer Div. Liebstandarte A.H,
part of Von Rundstedt's Army Group South.

To help the SdKfz 222 “clear the way”, it was armed with a L/55 Auto-cannon plus supporting MG of different calibers as the models approved over the years. Another improvement that was added, probably by way of bitterly earned learning points, was the wire mesh across to the open-top turret, to avoid any unwelcome visits of grenades into the armored vehicle’s cabin. 

A view of the metal mesh,
added to protect against grenades thrown into the turret.

With almost 1.000 SdKfz 222’s produced from 1937 – 43, this recce vehicle was one of the most important in the fast moving and mobile Blitzkrieg engine.

Thank you very much for reading.
Any comments are welcome! 

23 comments:

  1. Nice work, I like the rust effects. I went with the Nazi flags on my Barbarossa themed Germans too. I have Jewish and German heritage, so as you can imagine it's not something I have any fondness for, but it's recreating history how it was. I don't think anything is gained by airbrushing the past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for that comment Paul, really appreciate it. Like you, I think we can only win by conveying our complex and sometimes gruesome european history in full, for all to learn and evolve from. Thanks for stopping by for a read and a comment!

      Delete
  2. Great paint job on this little armoured vehcle Soren, great job on the black!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Black!!! I mean the dark panzer grey!

      Delete
    2. Thanks Chris, well in all fairness it came out rather dark on the picture.
      I used the FoW 995 German Grey, washed it down with black GW ink, and highlighted it with some Foundry Slate Grey.

      Delete
  3. Wow that looks great! You are great painter! Thanks for sharing the new vehicle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks buddy, appreciate it! Looking forward to gaming some CoC soon:0)

      Delete
  4. Well, looks great as always! I for one wouldn't model the swasika flag but it's forbidden here anyway. But I can fully understand why people do so and wouldn't care if someone would field such a vehicle in my games. I always loved the 222 and hopefully someone will do one in 28mm plastic one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand M - I have many friends in Germany and grand parents in Denmark who feels the same as you, and I respect that. I want to tell you about an experience I had: A few years back, when I was in a museum in Berlin, admiring a model of the old Kaiser Palace, the museum clerk came up and wanted to talk. But before we could talk history, he started on a long apology about how unfortunate the WW2 was etc. I had to stop him, and tell him that I actually reed history, and understood that German history was much much more that a period of 12 dark years. I told him that I've read a lot about Frederick II and and also earlier stuff like the TYW. I will never forget the expression of relief on his face, as he realized he did not have to start our conversation about German history by apologizing.

      Delete
    2. That is a refreshing anecdote, Soren.

      Delete
  5. Great modeling work, Soren!
    No need to apologize to the P.C. crowd for faithfully reproducing the model in its entirety.
    The banner adds a lot to the model.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Jon, thanks for the encouragement :0) Trust you are safely back from your mountaineering in Peru?

      Delete
    2. Yes, Soren, I am safely back from the Peruvian hinterlands. Touched down in the home country on the 9th.

      Delete
  6. Great job on the 222! The commander is quite effectively done.

    Christopher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chris, I thought he'd be a good addition, and the PSC sprues offers plenty of these to go around for other models as well...

      Delete
  7. Nice vehicle and commander, Soren.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dean - he'll be joined by some ZunDapp recce MCs soon!

      Delete
  8. A butterfly - you? I'll not have it said!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha - Let's call it "very productive" and "versatile" shall we :0)

      Delete
  9. Great looking 222 Sören! I particularly like the subtle weathering – very nicely done indeed.

    I have mixed feelings about modelling swastikas but I do agree we have nothing to gain by white-washing history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, thanks for the kind words about the weathering. We're off to a good start on the 15mm project! Regarding the swastika, I'm glad you support the straight approach to history. At the same time, I can understand and respect people who, for different reasons, don't want to be confronted with this indigenous symbol of oppression, manipulation and evil. My grandmother is one of them. She was interrogated by the Nazis during the occupation of Denmark. A wehrmacht trooper had acted "indecent" towards a couple a young Danish girls (my grandmother one of them) and the girls and trooper were all called in for a hearing at the Nazi disciplinary court in Århus. This was an old gym-hall, now draped from floor to ceiling with big nazi banners. The kafka-ish scene must have been daunting for a young person. The trooper was condemned to join a disciplinary company on the Eastern Front (virtually a death sentence), and the girls were let loose again. After this fearful experience, my grand mother still gets unnerved when confronted with the swastika in movies etc.. But, it is by putting things on the table as they really were, that young generations today can learn about what really happened, and chose a different path.

      Delete
    2. Another interesting and touching personal story, Soren.
      May I ask, do you feel the same hesitation exists to fielding Confederate units bearing the Battle Flag?

      Delete
    3. Good point Jon, I'd have to say no - and interestingly nor is there any stigma attached to the Soviet flag, which I've seen on many official packagings from miniature producers, even though atrocities were common during Stalin's rule. But perhaps some darker chapters in history simply needs a little more time to pass, allowing the scars on humanity to heal, before it can be objectively examined, and deliver clear learning points. But I have been very encourage by some recent German TV productions (For instance the mini-series: "unsere mütter unsere väter") which sees Germans starting to process their WW2 history in, what I view as, a very healthy way. Thanks again for casting your voice in the above discourse and adding a further dimension to it!

      Delete