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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Thursday, 4 October 2012


... a slightly trickier build than I expected, with many of the small parts having no clear location guides, and the instructions being vague. On the plus side, I took a chance with the tiny 20mm barrels and managed to drill the ends out (thankfully, the flash dampers were moulded onto the barrels). So, current state of play is:

The Flakpanzer IV was, apparently, a pretty rare beast, and my library isn't really late war heavy, but William Auerbach's Last of the Panzers (Arms and Armour, London, 1984) came up with the goods again:

A clear view in the photograph above, with another Wirbelwind, very ominously damaged, below:

Both these were taken on the Western Front in early 1945, and Auerbach notes that only 86 Wirbelwinds were built (using reconditioned Pz IVs). Given this, and the obvious anti-ground attack role of the Wirbelwind, I'm beginning to wonder if it only served in the West. If so, that's a nuisance, as my late war armies are all orientated to the East. Blow.


  1. AFAIK they were predominantly used in the West (for obvious reasons) but I believe there is recorded use late in the war on the Eastern front (ie Hungary) by units swung back to the East after the Ardennes had petered out. Precisely which units and how many 'runners' (given the low productiojn totals) would require some in-depth research.

    Cheers, Dave

    1. Thanks, Dave, that's just the sort of information I hoped might turn up. Although I'm not obsessed by button counting accuracy, I wouldn't be happy putting such a stand out bit of kit on the table if it was really in the wrong place. Your mention of Hungary reminded me to dig out Krisztian Ungvary's Battle for Budapest; 100 Days in World War II (.B. Tauris, London, 2011). Yet another bit of history that one needs a strong stomach to read.

  2. This beastie is starting to look the business Stephen. When something looks this good who cares how rare it was!

    1. Cheers, Paul. Your blog keeps me on track, as it were, and I've started an even heavier bit of kit tonight.