Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Inter-War US Army

As part of my Inter-War Period US Army troops I have a movie camera and sound man. B&B Miniatures make them in metal. I got a set and painted them up as US Army troops. The US Army Signal Corps took official photos of military operations since at least WWI. My wargame rules give an increase in morale to troops who are getting their picture taken. My wargame collection involves the US Army from 1637 until the near future. The Army traces their heritage back to the first muster of militia in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. I try and have soldiers for all of that period, particularly for the 20th Century.

On the left is a Roco mess trailer that has been converted to a wooden spoked wagon wheel version so it can be horse drawn. The right side is a water tank. I took a model anhydrous ammonia wagon made for farm sets and cut it down, changed the wheels and added seats for the driver. Two mules pull the wagon today, but usually I use four mules.

Motorcycles from Nitto with head swaps to make US Army troops with the M1917 helmet for use up to 1942. These were used by military police, cavalry and messengers.

A varied group of US Army troops for early WWII including IT Figures, and several other companies. While there are few sets specifically for use in the 1920s to 1942 for the US Army a little searching and a bit of work will turn up some good stuff. You only need to supplement the WWI US Army troops with a few post war weapons, like the Thompson SMG because nearly all the WWI weapons stayed in service post war, apart from the Chauchaut.
I do a few head swaps and pick up some 8th Army to get the Thompson, and shorts, and then a few sets for Wake Island to get a bit of more variety. The US Army did adopt the M1 rifle in 1936 and were pretty much changed over in the Regular Army by 1940. Reserves and National Guard could still be found with Enfields and Springfields as well as a few other weapons. Even lever action rifles were used briefly.
The US Army was involved in a few small actions, even domestically the National Guard put down some major riots and labor disputes that were near civil war proportions at times. There were also many brush fire wars that involved the USMC. Good small unit actions that can escalate into pretty good wargames.

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