Thursday, January 19, 2017

Spanish Civil War Miliciana Standard Bearer and AAC-1937 Armoured Car - 5th Submission to AHPC VII

I know I had promised an Indochina post, but these two practically leaped onto the table demanding brush and paint, so here they are.

This past summer saw the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and this autumn marked when Republican Madrid held fast against Franco's Nationalist forces. 

A significant amount of credit for the city's resistance was due to the arrival of reinforcements from Barcelona, led by the charismatic anarchist Jose Durruti. His force, known as the 'Durutti Column' became famous for its assistance in fending off Franco's hardened Moroccan professionals. The anarchists took particularly heavy casualties, including Durruti himself, fighting in the Casa de Campo (Madrid's largest park).

Durruti, in car crudely marked with 'C.N.T.', with his column heading west in the autumn of 1936.

Durruti's ad hoc column of Republican fighters on the move.

Durruti's death is still shrouded in controversy. Some say he was killed by enemy fire, while others contend he was a victim of friendly fire.  A few go so far as to say he was killed by Soviet-led Communists who saw him as a threat to their leadership within the Republican cause.

So, seen here is a miliciana standard bearer, wearing the distinctive blue workers overalls (el mono azul), giving the Republican clenched-fist salute and holding aloft an anarchist flag. The flag is emblazoned with 'Columna Durruti' and the acronyms of the two largest anarchist workers militias, the C.N.T and the F.A.I.

The figure is from the Empress Miniatures' range and the banner is from Flags of War.

Behind her is a AAC-1937 Chevrolet armoured car. This vehicle is often mistaken for a Soviet BA-3/6, but in fact was built in Valencia, using a Chevy 6x4 chassis as a basis. This one is armed with a hull machine gun along with a 37mm gun with a coaxial MG. It saw service in the later part of the civil war.

Many of these vehicles were captured by the Nationalists, or confiscated by the French during the Republicans' final retreat into exile. Oddly enough, many would see the end of their active service as German armoured cars on the Eastern Front.

This vehicle is, again, from Empress Miniatures. A nice, simple and clean kit. I've given it a fairly basic paint job in dark olive green, which seemed to be a relatively common colour  for vehicles at the time. It has 'U.H.P.' on the upper hull, denoting it's crew as supporters of the UnĂ­os Hermanos Proletarios (United Brothers of the Proletariat) a socialist workers organization, part of the alphabet soup of socialist-anarcho-sydicalist trade unions that were (and still are) popular in and around Barcelona. 

Next up: Indochine (no really, it is, I promise)