PAKing Light

Prolific in all armies of late WW2 were anti-tank guns. Whilst less common in Polish hands, they do still make an appearance.

The only pictures I can find of an anti-tank gun in Polish hands are two taken in Krasinskich Gardens of a 5cm Pak 38 captured by “Bolek” company of “Lesnik” group.

In FoW there are options for 3.7cm Pak 36 and 5cm Pak 38 guns in units of 2 or 3; or a pair of 7.5cm Pak 40s. I deemed the best bang for the buck to be a unit of 3 5cm Pak 38s – which also happens to be the only one backed by photographic evidence.

Like the machine gun company, the guns will be on the 3 different bases to denote combat attachment to the 2 Piechoty companies or the Kedyw company.

To supplement the few gun crew I have, I’ve picked up the Finnish special order winter gun crew pack from BF, which are wearing a small amount of equipment and mostly field caps which can either be the grey Home Army produced ones, or captured German camouflage caps. To get some variation some will also get some new heads. Surplus crew will become go the spares box and no doubt be useful for all sorts of things.

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Medium anti-tank guns such as the Pak38 have a 4 man crew and go on a medium base. I’ve heard whispers that they are allowed to be on large bases for V4 – and this has me torn. Larger bases mean a greater command distance but smaller allow less space to be taken up by more weapons.

The guns themselves are from Skytrex/Command Decision and frankly I’m disappointed. They’re 2 piece castings: gun & shield and carriage and because of this, they have got quite bent and will be a pain to straighten out.

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The gun and 4 figures fit well onto a medium base without too much overhang that could result in damage.

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To add stability to an open base, the Kedyw gun has been pinned through one wheel. The gun and gunshield are kept separate until the barrel is straightened and the base, crew and both parts of the gun are painted. The angle of the gun points surprisingly skyward for a gun being used in direct fire.

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The Kedyw crew have had 2 caps swapped for helmets and been pinned ready to base. The presence of hoods on the baggy camouflage jackets meant are reversible SS Winter uniforms.

This is in keeping with Home Army units, especially Kedyw, as captured stockpiles of SS Clothing were redistributed as uniform. More figures in the force need SS smocks, especially the older “pullover” style. This contrasts nicely with items of civilian clothing.

I wasn’t happy with how bent the gun barrels were, so I made some replacements from Styrene rod. They were cut over-long and turned using my Dremel and a file. The old, bent, gun was removed and a hole drilled for the new plastic barrel. The holes in the muzzle break were drilled with a pin vice.

Gun number 2 is for the walled Piechoty and has a base made from pavement removed from an eBay-acquired building and a wooden floor made of scribed coffee stirrers.

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Again it is pinned through one wheel and then glued to the base without crew to facilitate painting. The base edges still need filling and more rubble needs adding, but I like the pose of the Pak38 firing around a corner – too often people forget that there is traverse on towed anti-tank guns.

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The last remaining Pak is a conundrum, it’s in towed configuration but there’s no limber available. It’s going to either be a conversion of gun, or crew.

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