Saturday, 1 March 2014
Natal Mounted Rifles M5 Halftrack
Firstly, I am not 100% sure that the NMR used halftracks in Italy. The M5s are mentioned in a August 1944 operations report as being the most suitable vehicle for the NMR infantry platoons, but it is not clear whether the author was suggesting they be used in the future , or reporting on their previous use.
Secondly, I am not at all sure that the NMR M5s (if the regiment indeed used them) were painted in the Light Mud/Blue Black pattern. No photograph of which I am aware shows South African halftracks in anything other that Olive Drab or SCC 15. Its not clear exactly when the SA 6th Armoured Division received its first halftracks, but one source suggests that it was as late as May 1944. This is shortly before the issue of "Allied Armies in Italy Routine Order 150" which detailed the repainting of all vehicles to a overall dark green or olive drab equivalent. So while it is possible this pattern was used for a short time, it is unlikely.
Despite the lack of solid evidence, I wanted to finish the vehicle in this way to maintain coherence with the rest of my force, which is currently exclusively in Light Mud/Blue Black pattern. I know I need to add a number of Olive Drab vehicles to my force shortly, to represent the Division later in the war, but frankly I am not looking forward to that - to me those vehicles will lose their distinct "Italian Campaign" identity and look like too many other late war Allied forces in Europe.
This is the resin kit from Warlord Games, with baggage from Warlord and Die Waffenkammer.