The cruel weird war in Anatolia

While I have been working on a small US force for Konflikt 47 (and Bolt Action), I have simultaneously thinking about how to represent Turkey within the game. In the 1947 history created by Clockwork Goblin, Turkey joins the Axis powers and is subsequently invaded by the Soviet Union. German troops are deployed to eastern Turkey, but there is not much information about this front and nothing has been published on how to field a Turkish force.


Here is the beginning of my home-brew list:

Turkey was not a willing entrant into the Second World War. When the threat from the Soviet Union and parsimony of the western Allies finally pushed the government of Inonu into declaring for the Axis, the Turkish military was far from prepared.

While the cadre of the army was built around a professional officer class, including some with experience from the first world war and war of liberation, much of their equipment was hopelessly out of date and inadequate. Training was also often outdated, a situation that is being rectified by the presence of German observers and training units. Consequently, the quality of Turkish forces varies widely, from unmotivated garrison troops to elite Republican Guard battalions.

Germany is only selectively willing to provide rift technology to their new ally. However, the threat posed by the Soviet Union from Georgia has seen Germany send an expeditionary force, Operation Red Hat (Unternehmen roter Hut), into eastern Anatolia to bolster the Turkish land forces. This force is currently small and so far, has been used as a mobile reserve, leaving Turkish units to defend the front line.

There are several useful pieces to build a plausible Turkish Army. The Bulgarian and Romanian army lists in Armies of Italy and Axis have lists are a good inspiration, with local troops and older hardware supplemented by German weapons and vehicles. Both nations also have cavalry. All of this feels like a Turkish army would be similar.

From the Konflikt 47 supplements, Resurgence and the new Defiance, there are Finland, and two Italian lists. More inspiration. Each shows different ways to create interesting armies from belligerent nations without direct access to rift-tech.

I have also done a little reading about the Turkish military, particularly the post-Ottoman Turkish army after the first world war. There is not much about in English, so it didn’t take very long. The achievements of the new Turkish Republic in 1919-1922 are impressive. This conflict is of particular interest as it took place in Turkey (similar to the Konflikt 47 invasion story), and covers the period of the demise of the Ottoman empire and the beginnings of the modern Turkish Republic.

There is a lot to come on Turkey in K47: list creation, list building, and perhaps the most fun of all, modelling. I figure my blog is a good as place as any to record some this.

I’d better get to work.



PAKing heat

Anti-tank guns were deployed far more frequently on the battlefields of the second world war than you sometimes see on the battlefields of Bolt Action. I’ve got no data to back this claim up, but I suspect that the changes to HE in version 2 may the mix move back to a more historic mix. Again, no data. Anyway, I’ve decided to do my bit by finally assembling and painting a PAK-40 I picked up many months ago from Black Tree Design in one of their frequent sales.

I didn’t enjoy putting this model together – usually the lack of assembly instructions for BTD models is not a major hurdle, but I suspect that I’m not alone in muttering as I build some arty.Anyway, Google was an ally and I ended up without too many pieces left over and the model undercoated.32717942200_9ebb1562c0_k

I got as far as a base coat (with a can of german looking yellow I found in the shed), and lost interest again for a while. I considered leaving it at this stage.
32944026252_d6e3bbfbd6_kNor were the crew in a good state:33058483646_fd3102adf4_k

They even had a Dwarf along for advice. My hobby mojo was missing. I was saved by my nephew. He showed me some of the Germans he was painting. And they were good. I got inspired, and picked up a brush again.

Not my best work, but table ready. Phew.

Now, back to the lead mountain.



It can come from anywhere. Movies, blogs, magazines. I get a lot of inspiration from books, both novels and non-fiction.12439552_1671682923079506_7297011083206998433_n
This is a shot of my recent reading pile. Well, mostly. I have excised the novels that I read from my daughters’ VCE reading lists (in solidarity) and some library books since returned. What is left has a bunch of ideas.

The Antony Beevor books on Berlin and the extract from his Stalingrad work (I have read the full one) make me dream of mid-war Russians and Germans, likely in 15mm to get in plenty of tanks. The Berlin book inspires a late war German list for Bolt Action: hitlerjugend with panzerfaust, volkssturm with bewildered looks and cynical vets with plenty of machine guns.

Isaac’s Army is the story of Jewish resistance (in the camps and out) in Poland. A grim tale that coincided with (yet another) Black Tree Design sale and has led to a platoon of undercoated partisans waiting for some paint. Not standard battles, although I know they have a list, but I think has a lot of possibility for smaller, dedicated scenarios.

I have been working on a Commonwealth Tobruk army in 15mm for a long time. The Kings African Rifle memoir has left me with a vision that if I ever do a desert army in 28mm it will be pith helmets, fezzes, white officers, black troops and the Ethiopian campaign in the early war. The book itself is an entertaining read, replete with the racism one might expect from the time.

The last book I want to mention here is Keep Off the Skyline. I expect there are better books on the Korean conflict, but this one made me wonder why this war doesn’t turn up more often on the table. Late WWII Russian tanks against up-gunned Shermans and Pershings, campaigning up and down the peninsula (including trench warfare) and early uses of helicopters. Even some Sherman on Sherman action via lend lease passed on. All¬†without the asymmetric challenges of Vietnam as the Chinese, DPKR and UN/ROK forces were largely conventional, albeit with a large range in training, morale and equipment. Something else to look into.

Too many ideas. And I’ve barely started on my Carthaginians.

What has inspired you recently?