Wednesday, 10 July 2013

FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION ARMY - EARLY WAR


As mentioned in my earlier Desert Fort post, I have been collecting models for a new Early War army as I think I need my own EW army while I eagerly wait for the Russian EW armies to come out. Up till now I have always had to use one of Andrews many EW armies he has, mainly the Italians.
The French Foreign Legion emblem
The Legion on parade

So I have decided to do a Vichy French force from the Burning Empires book. I have never had a veteran force of my own before, so I thought the Elite French Foreign Legion would fit the bill nicely.

Cartoon picking the might of the Vichy France of WW2

The Legion has got itself a proud and interesting history over the many years beginning back in the early 1800's. In WW2 they had played a some what small role but served in the Norwegian, Syrian and North African campaigns. They also had a division in thier loyalties at this time as part of the Legion served the Free French movement while the other served the Vichy Government, and as such during the Syria-Lebanon campaign of June 1941 you saw Legionnaire fight Legionnaire as the 13th Demi-Brigade clashed with the 6th Foreign Legion Infantry Regiment at Damas in Syria. Also after the war the many former German soldiers joined up to pursue a military career which of course was not an option in Germany at that time, and to this day one of the main nationalities is German in the Legionnaires.

My Force will loosely based on the 6th Foreign Legion Infantry Regiment which stayed loyal to the Vichy French in WW2. My force will comprise of.

HQ - Legion Co and 2IC rifle team (CV)
Add Legion 60mm mle Mortar team (CV)
Add Legion Resupply Section (CV)\
Combat - Legion Tirailleurs Platoon with 2 squads (CV)
Combat - Legion Tirailleurs Platoon with 2 squads (CV)
Weapons - Legion Machinegun Platoon with 4x 8mm mle 1914 (CV)
Reg Support - Legion Mortar platoon with 4x 81mm mle 27/31 mortars (CV)
Reg Support - Legion Sapper Platoon with 3 squads and supply wagon (CV)
Reg Support - Legion AT gun platoon with 3x 25mm SA-34 guns (CV)
Div Support - 3x Renault R-35 tanks (CT)
Div Support - Vichy AT platoon with 3x75mm mle 1897 guns all with turntables (CT)
Div Support - Colonial 75mm Artillery Battery with 4x75mm mle 1897 guns, one with turntable (CT)
Totals to 1500 points

I also plan to make/paint and have available the following units so I have more options for the army
Div Support - 3x Renault R-35 tanks (CT)
Div Support - Heavy Artillery Battery with 2x155mm Cmle 1917S guns (CT)
Div Support - Trucked Spahi Platoon with 3 sections all with trucks (CT)
Div Support - Desert Fort with 2x ruined walls
Div Support - HMG nest with 1x Minefield, 3x Barbwire and 1x AT obstacle.
Also need to make another 3x barbwire and minefield for the pioneer supply wagon.

I have got most of the models already, just needing  to get the 2x 155mm guns and a Colonial Infantry (Tiralliuers) Platoon to act as my Trucked Spahi for which I also need some Laffly Trucks.  Oh and some more Kepi head sprues as I plan to make all my Legion platoons to have wearing the Kepi hats. Which is a lot of work I know but will make the army stand out and it has a certain cool factor about it.

The  Legion special rules for the force are quite interesting
1) Honour and Fidelity - If you fail your company command check, you then remove all non-legion platoons from table counting as destroyed, and then re-roll the company morale check, if you pass, you carry on as normal, if not game over.
2) Legion is our Homeland - You get to re-roll failed morale checks for all Legion platoons.
3) Mach or Die - Infantry and Man-packed guns get a 16" double move.
4) Kepi Blanc - All Legion platoons get the German mission tactic rule.

Very good movie
You also still retain the normal French special rules (in addition to the rules above) which include,
a) High command - move obj. 4" closer to your board edge.
b) Trench Warfare - Dig in on a 3+
c) Integrated Defences - may exchange 2 HMG teams from your machinegun platoon with 2 R?MG teams from your combat platoon.
d) Artillery rules with Quick Fire and Central Fire control.
e) Resupply Carriers - basically get extra shots with  your AT guns or HMG/RMG teams
f) Colonial Troops rule where you hit in assault on a 3+ but loose the Trench warfare and Integrated Defence rule.


Here is some photos of what I have done/got at the moment - including some units with kepi head swaps in place (which takes forever). As you can see I have not done much, but I plan to take my time on this project so will post updates as and when I do some work on it. Hopefully I will get a R/MG team painted in Legion colours as a test, then will roll on from there.




The Kepi head sprue
My first head swap model - HMG team

 The Veteran Legionnaire Sapper unit with their axes and beards
                                           
                                 

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