Saturday, 14 September 2013

the next series of Updates

With all the units markings and other identifying features from the Western campaign in 1940 discovered it seems logical that this could now become an update of its own. I'll also use the same process to look at Poland. 

I had started two updates; one titled "Kurz" and the other "Lang". The decision is now to split that original "Kurz" into three separate updates each with a specific agenda. Here are the provisional covers:

One dealing with the previously mentioned French campaign, another looking at the Balkans, North Africa and continuing the Barbarossa, another with pre-war and Poland.

The "Lang" volume will be focused on how the production was different in each of the three factories that were involved during this period. In Vol 3 & 4 the tables illustrate generic production and overall orders, helpful for identifying vehicles up to a point. However vehicles with chassis numbers visible have revealed anomalies to these tables.

I have been making new table showing monthly chassis numbers for each factory, which may help show how changes were implemented at different rates at each factory.

All are well under way but there is no particular order planned for the publication of these Updates. They will appear depending on which images and what information comes my way.

Monday, 9 September 2013

System for France and the Low Countries during 1940

So after finding a couple of days to focus on the problem and printing out some more photos (nearly 200 in total on the final wall) I think I have managed to crack it. 90% of the units now have a style of numbering or some other signifier identified. With a set of drawings starting to looks for more specifics:

This is how the wall works: each column is either a Rgt or Abt and below each of these is a four way elevation of a PzIV showing the specifics in the same way as appendix in the "Barbarossa Stowage" supplement.

On the right are the photos that are difficult to identify because there are no specific features. These may well be replacement vehicles. Along the top are a few anomalies that have features that don't quite fit i.e. what looks like PzAbt66 - 7th PzDiv number style but without a white outline?

2nd PzDiv has been difficult to really sort out and is the only really big hole remaining. I have two distinct styles of markings but no more. This could mean that both Regiments used different styles or that each Kompanie within the regiment was different but both Regiments did this. Either way it is not yet possible to say confidently what's what.

So the issue is sorted now i just need to find enough photos to make a Frence 1940 equivalent to "Barbarossa Stowage", this will be one of the next updates to come out.

additional image for Update No.1

I came across these three images that match my photo on p 59 of the first update.

I hadn't realise that that image of mid G, turret number 403 was part of a sequence. They seems to show a PzIV "lang" involved in the old "kurz" practice of close infantry support; firing HE at an occupied house. As yet the unit is unidentified.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Unit markings and distribution of PzIVs during 1940

Having sorted out 99.9% of PzIVs in the East, my eyes now turn to the West (Fall Gelb & Rot), the campaign through France and the Low Countries. Partly driven by the error with 8th PzDiv described a couple of post ago.

I have started out with the same approach as the one that was so successful sorting out  "Barbarossa Stowage". Pick out the well know and clearly identified units and start a survey of all known images against a visual structure of the known units. Here is the first attempts, with knowns attached and a pile of ?s to sort through: from 1st PzDiv on the left to 10th PzDiv on the right, excuse the weird perspective it's the only way to get it all on a panorama shot.

Although there were less Panzers Divisions in 1940 than headed East in 1941 each Division had two Regiments and some also had an extra PzAbt assigned to it, which ultimately means there are nearly as many individual units to sort out in 1940; a total of 35 Kompanien to identify.

First efforts have gone well and have given me quite a few things to check and cross reference, with couple of things cleared up too.