Thursday, 9 August 2018

Normandy - Forward Air Controller - M3 Scout Car


This is the Battlefront produced 15mm M3 Scout Car with Forward Air Controller.  As models go, this is a really useful and interesting one to deploy in Normandy games.  The air supremacy of the Allies over Normandy is undeniable and the use of aircraft in the ground support role was a major factor.


I really enjoyed putting this model together.  I love the characters included with the kit.  The above photo focuses on the radio operator with his kit in the back.


It's interesting that the FAC's usually wore their blue RAF tunics in the front line and made a point to be well presented (see last photo at the bottom of page).  I really enjoyed putting all the detail into this Flight Lieutenant. It was time to get the single hair brush out again! It was also a nice change after several weeks of painting shades of olive green and khaki.



I am sure that this vehicle will be coming into play a lot in the future in my games with the 'Panzergrenadier Deluxe' rules, and bringing my Victrix Typhoons roaring overhead to attack the SS divisions in the bocage.


Below is one of the most amazing photos.  The Forward Air Controllers really did look like this and here is the primary evidence. 


I know that it is currently fashionable to carry out revisionist history exercises, often done by new history authors in an attempt to sell books.  Recently YouTube 'pundits' seem to be delighting in stats showing that air attacks over Normandy were not as effective at knocking out German heavy armour as the airforces claimed.

 I have no doubt that it is easy to be over optimistic in the heat of battle and the analysts at the time found that there were less AFVs lost to ground attack aircraft in Normandy than claimed when air crews arrived back to base.  However, for the German's - being on the receiving end of rocket firing Typhoons is not going to be good for morale, nerves, soft skinned vehicles or human skin.  I don't think that the allied infantry would have been that displeased to see Typhoons streaking overhead to support them, and that ultimately, is all that really matters.

8 comments:

  1. The blue uniform are not usual... some colour in a "green uniform world" is good !
    ;-)

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    1. Thanks - I'm glad you like the model :-) Yes the blue was a nice change.

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  2. Very attractive, and I agree, the blue uniformed chap in the olive green vehicle really stands out nicely.

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    1. Hi Peter, It's amazing that arms of service liked to stick to their own uniform so much, despite tactical impracticalities. I remember reading recently about RAF Officers shooting in military competitions in the UK in the 1970's having to shoot in their peaked dress hats as that was their prescribed uniform! One small example of tribalism :-) Nowadays of course modern disruptive pattern uniforms are worn across the services with suitable headgear!
      Best wishes,
      Jason

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  3. Great looking model; the man in blue provides a nice contrast to the OD vehicle.

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    1. Hi Dean,

      Glad you like it. I feel a move from Olive Drab happening soon - the blue uniform was just the start! :-)

      Best wishes,

      Jason

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  4. Very nice indeed. My uncle was Royal Corps of Signals with a FAC group, after he had installed the telephone systems to Allied HQ D-Day + 6. Airforce crew would usually stick to their blues, albeit under a smock if they could find it, but usually the BD version.

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    1. Hi Graham, That is really interesting and confirms what the photo shows (though minus smock in this case). Your uncle has my utmost respect for what he did during that campaign. Thank you so much for posting.
      Best wishes,
      Jason

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