So, I am a wargaming forum addict. I regularly check multiple forums for various game systems (mostly Bolt Action these days) and I have found that if you tune in regularly to over time and if you have a high patience for trolling (on some forums more than others)... you can get a good deal.
That opportunity arose for me two weeks ago when this beauty popped up for sale:
Now I was only vaguely aware of the Warsaw Uprising historically and this is an army from that... engagement. (What do you call a running street battle that lasts over a month). For those who don't know... The quick and dirty story is this. The Polish Partisan (freedom fighters) forces in Warsaw rose up against their German oppressors on what was supposed to be the eve of the Russian invasion of the city. The Russian forceshad long encouraged this and coordinated with the Partisan forces to rise up to disrupt the German defences. The Partisans rose but the Russians never came. They fought a heroic stand off against a much more organised and equipped Nazi force in one of one of the ugliest urban combats in WWII only to loose. This is a Polish Partisan army from that time.
Now Partisan forces were made up of former Polish soldiers, revolutionary youth, trouble makers and everyday people who had had enough of the German brutal occupation forces. This is reflected in the ragtag nature of the models in this army. Many models are dressed in street clothes and there are few unifying colours outside of red and white armbands. The rest are dressed in a combination of older Polish uniforms from before they were conquered earlier in the war and in looted German uniforms.
The Polish forces captured a German supply depot earlier in the conflict that had hundreds of uniforms, helmets and camo smocks. These troops quickly donned these outfits in order to protect themselves (helmets), appear as a unified force (to themselves and to everyone else), and to confuse their enemy (which they did). They were also successful in capturing a number of German vehicles and guns (including a Hetzer... Pictured below) which were used with mixed results. Additionally, Polish forces even built a one off armoured car that was later restored and is now on display in the Warsaw Uprising museum.
The personal gear and small arms that these unofficial forces carried varied wildly. Some troops used old pre-war or stashed early-war rifles and gear. Some used civilian hunting rifles and pistols. Some even used SMG's and anti-tank rifles smuggled into Warsaw by the British and the Russians prior to the conflict beginning. Most ended up using captured German weapons against their oppressors. The arms and gear is just as varied in the army that I bought. There are German assault rifles, SMG's from a pile of countries, as well as rifles and pistols of every description. It looks gloriously chaotic on the table top! Awesome stuff!
Now... What to do with it? Soooo many list ideas, especially since I just got my grubby paws on the new French and Allies book that has a Partisan list. Of course, given that the army is generally using German gear... Do I run it using the German list? Important questions of the first world variety... What to do... hmmmmmm.... More to come...
Old Man Morin