I recently posted some pictures of my efforts to rebase some of my 15mm US Infantry to use with the Chain of Command rules. I was able to put together an Armoured Platoon but I also had a lot of spare figures, almost enough for a second Rifle Platoon. I was, however, missing a few key troop types and I needed some more riflemen so I went on a mini shopping spree with Peter Pig. The order arrived a couple of weeks ago so now, at last, I have some BAR teams, Commanders and riflemen to show off.
The Browning Automatic Rifle brought a lot of firepower to US Rifle teams. Invented at the end of the first world War and tested in the interwar years by gangsters, amongst others, by the time of World War II the BAR was a well trusted and reliable weapon. With an effective rate of fire of about 60 rounds per minute this .30cal automatic rifle wasn't as powerful as a true light machine gun, but it was portable enough to be described as an 'indispensable' element of infantry action. It didn't have a quick change barrel like the MG42 and its rate of fire was far inferior, but it wasn't designed to lay down continuous fire like the German weapon so the comparison is perhaps unfair. It was however reliable, very portable and could be fired from the hip in assaults. Its value was reflected in the fact that many platoons would include two BARs, a practice that became official doctrine towards the end of the war.
I had some additional BAR men left over from the packs of figures I bought and I didn't want to waste them so I decided to 'convert' them. The conversion took the form of a camouflage paint job to make them look like the M1 Garand. The Garand was loaded from an 8 round clip into an internal magazine and, being a semi-automatic rifle, meant that a well-trained rifleman could be capable of 30 rounds per minute. Like the BAR it fired .30cal rounds so it had good stopping power, especially at shorter ranges. As mentioned the magazine was internal so the Garand looks very different to the largely metal BAR with its Magazine protruding from the underside. But when painted to look like a wooden stocked Garand the metal magazine is hardly noticeable... unless you routinely come to a game armed with a magnifying glass!
|Riflemen armed with what looks like the M1 Garand...well it does at arms length!|
Lastly, I have some more Officers and NCO's. I already had a load but all the ones I had were carrying either Garands or Sub-Machine guns while these are armed with the M1 Carbine. Again this is a semi-automatic weapon but the carbine fired a short cartridge .30cal round with inferior stopping power. However, its high rate of fire and light weight made it a popular weapon, especially in the assault. As usual, I have marked out the bases of Senior Leaders with a tuft of red flowers, just to make them easier to identify on the games table.
|Officers and NCO's with Carbines|
I'm in the process of finishing off some more Jump Off markers and some US .30cal SMG teams. In the meantime another Peter Pig order has arrived, this time with some German specialist troops like engineers, medics and flamethrower teams! So plenty to keep me busy. Its been a long time since I have painted any 15mm WWII infantry so to a certain extent I'm having to relearn some old tricks. Thankfully I have my old painting notebook to refer to which I have found very useful indeed.