This releases sees the British entering in force, with an officer team, PIAT team, infantry, AA support and armoured vehicles. As well as the grunts, AT capability is provided by the PIAT team with the Bofors 40mm protecting them from air assault. Armoured might comes in the form of the Churchill MkIV and Valentine infantry tanks, with additional support and transport supplied by the 3″ mortar carrier and universal carrier. Existing support and transportation is already available with the 17pdr Anti-tank gun and various armoured cars and trucks.
In addition, we also offer a British infantry platoon bundle of the above infantry and an M3 scout car. This is available at a very reasonable discounted price and free UK shipping. This is the fourth of our platoon bundles, in addition to the Japanese, Italian and Soviet platoons already released.
As always, here’s a little background on the various units…..
As with all armies, the standard infantry rifle section was the backbone of the British Army throughout World War II. Usually section composition was 10 men; 8 with the Lee Enfield .303 rifle, 1 with the .303 Bren Gun and a section leader with a Sten gun. The British “Tommy” fought on all fronts of the war from Normandy to North Africa and even against Japan. Despite the initial defeat of the BEF and evacuations at Dunkirk, the British Army quickly rebuilt and was instrumental in the assaults on Sword and Gold beaches on D-Day.
The PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank) was a man-portable AT launcher based around the spigot mortar principle. It fired a 1.1kg HE/AT charge to an effective range of around 100m. When it was introduced in 1943, it was capable of penetrating the armour of any Axis vehicle.
While heavier than contemporaries such as the Bazooka and Panzerschreck, the PIAT had advantages. There was no dangerous blowback that could injure nearby soldiers and reveal the location of the firer. Also, the simple construction made it easy to maintain. After the war, the PIAT continued to be used until the 1950s.
Thanks to countless war films, the British Officer is a well known chap. Frequently moustached, privately educated, stiff upper lip and so on. The reality was often different, though there were indeed many public school educated officers turned out from Sandhurst. However, as the war progressed more field promotions occurred and at the least the lower officer ranks saw some diversity.
The Bofors 40mm L/60 was a 1930’s AA gun developed by the Swedish firm of Bofors AB. Known universally as “The Bofors”, this AA gun saw service with many nations from the 1930s onto almost the present day. Used by almost all Allied nations during WWII, it was mounted on ships and fortifications, and also used on a towed chassis. A sophisticated weapon, that utilised a mechanical computer to target laying, the Bofors was a solid and reliable weapon capable of achieving around 130rpm.
The Universal Carrier (or Bren Carrier/Bren Gun Carrier) is the most widely produced AFV in history, with other 113,000 examples being produced. Initially designed in the 1930’s, the UC was quickly adopted by the British army during WWII to fulfil a number of roles. The UC saw service as a small gun tow, transport vehicle, flamethrower, mobile artillery platform and recon vehicle.
Standard weapons included the Bren gun or Boyes AT rifle located next to the driver. Many also featured a pintle mounted Bren for light AA defense.
A variant of the Universal Carrier, the 3” Mortar Carrier was a small mobile artillery platform. Utilising the same 3” mortar as the infantry, the carrier could be used as a transport for a mortar team or be fired from the carrier’s bed before rapid redeployment.
The Churchill MkIV was the most numerous version of the Churchill Infantry tank of World War II. Originally designed after the start of the war, it was conceived with the (flawed) notion that the war would end up like the Western Front of WWI. The initial tanks were rushed out of production and thrown into combat at the failed Dieppe raid in 1942. Multiple changes were made and the vehicle rapidly advanced through various marks until the MkIV arrived in 1943. Over 1600 of these were built in total.
As with all Churchills it featured thick armour and incredibly high climbing capability. Alongside the MkIII it also formed the basis for the first AVRE tanks that would become so iconic during D-Day. Other MkIV variants included some which were upgunned to the British OQF 75mm tank gun and also the NA(75) which were retrofitted with 75mm guns from knocked out Shermans
This variant is armed with the original OQF 6pdr main gun.
The Valentine was an Infantry tank of World War II that was produced for nearly twenty years in total. In that time there were over 8000 vehicles made in 11 different marks and multiple variants. A successor to the cruiser tanks, it won over troops in North Africa as a well armoured and reliable vehicle. While the 2pdr gun wasn’t terribly powerful, it was effective against the German PzIII tanks that were engaged.
Numerous upgrades and changes were made including various petrol and diesel engines, as well as changes to armour construction. The principle change being that of upgrading the 2pdr main gun to a 6pdr. For ease here, the different marks are split into two categories – Early and Late. Early marks were fitted with a 2pdr light AT gun and later marks had a 6pdr medium AT gun. The later marks were also sent to the Soviets under the Lend-lease program.
Hopefully you found this bit of background history interesting and our models will be reinforcing your British armies – Forward chaps!