Welcome to the October 2022 announcements.
The September releases have been slightly delayed due to Covid Issues in Hong Kong. We are now expecting them towards the end of the month.
For this set of announcements, we have Chariots, the long awaited 74th Highland Regiment of Foot, German Panther and lots of other goodies. We have a brand new series based around the Macedonian phalanx plus additions to virtually all the ranges.
To view a larger image, just click on the image.
We hope you enjoy them!
Mike & Myszka and all at the Sierra Toy Soldier Company
German Panzerkampfwagen "Panther" Ausf. G (Sd.Kfz.171), Daimler Benz Factory "Ambush" Camo Panther #223 of Panzer-Regiment 31, 5. Panzer-Division, East Prussia, November 1944
The Panzerkampfwagen "Panther" was arguably the finest tank design of World War Two. Heavily influenced by combat experience against the Russian T-34 on the East Front, the Panther possessed an excellent balance of firepower, armor protection, and mobility.
The Panther's long barreled, high velocity 7.5 cm Kw.K. L/70 cannon possessed greater penetrating power than the 8.8 cm cannon on the Tiger I, and was capable of defeating any Allied tank. In addition, the extremely flat shooting trajectory made first round hits at distances in excess of 1,000 meters probable. This lethality was coupled with excellent armor protection, especially from the front, where the Panther's 80 mm front glacis plate sloped at 55 degrees provided more armor protection than the Tiger I. Coupled with 100 mm turret and gun mantlet armor, the Panther's frontal armor was impervious to the low velocity 75 mm cannon found on the US Sherman tank and British Cromwell's and Churchill's.
It was not uncommon for horrified Allied tankers to watch as multiple hits with armor piercing ammunition simply bounced off the Panther. Even the upgunned Allied tanks like the 76mm Sherman, 17-Pounder British Firefly, and Russian T-34/85 could not penetrate the glacis plate of the Panther at normal combat ranges. Therefore, Allied tankers usually maneuvered to get shots on the Panther's sides, where the weaker 45 mm turret sides and 40 mm hull sides could be penetrated at normal combat ranges.
Finally, the Panther rounded out its outstanding characteristics with excellent mobility. It was powered by the same Maybach engine as the Tiger I and King Tiger, but because it was significantly lighter, the Panther possessed a much higher horsepower to weight ratio than the German heavy tanks. This extra power, coupled with wide tracks that reduced the ground pressure to less than the Sherman tank, provided it with excellent cross country mobility.
The JJD Panther #223 represents a tank produced by the Daimler Benz assembly firm in the fall of 1944. It is painted in the iconic "Ambush" or "Licht und Shatten" (Light and Shadow) camo pattern with contrasting dots unique to the Daimler Benz assembly firm; the M.A.N. and M.N.H. assembly firms used a contrasting splinter pattern on their Ambush camo Panthers. These dots were only painted on the Panther's hull, and not on its cannon. Another unique feature of Daimler Benz Panthers was the location of the Balkenkreuz/Baltic Crosses, which were placed under the tool racks on the left forward/right center hull sides and on the rear left stowage bin.
Panther #223 was issued to Panzer Regiment 31 of the 5. Panzer Division. This storied regiment fought in the campaigns in Poland, France, Yugoslavia and Greece. It was earmarked to be shipped to North Africa to join Rommel's forces in 1941, but was diverted at the last minute to Russia, where it remained for the rest of the war. Panzer Regiment 31 and the 5. Panzer Division gained a fearsome reputation on the East Front, and Russian Generals often ordered their troops to avoid contact with the division at all costs.
Panther #223 is depicted as it appeared when used by Panzer Regiment 31 in November 1944 in East Prussia where, along with the Fallschirm-Panzerkorps "Hermann Goering", it successfully re-took Goldap (the first German city to fall to the Soviets). While the Germans held the city for the rest of the year, this was to be one of the last German victories of the war. On the forward turret sides it displays a striking Red Devil head (the unit insignia of Panzer Regiment 31) with the yellow "X" in a black box insignia of 5. Panzer Division is on the top of the turret rear. It also has the white section of the rear Balkenkreuz painted red as seen in period photos. This practice was to make the Balkenkreuz more difficult to see, so it could not be used as an aiming point by enemy gunners. Finally, Panther #223 carries a horseshoe welded to the front glacis plate; a common good luck charm of Panzer crews and seen on many of the Regiment's tanks.
Large towers were usually built into the walls of Troy to defend a major gateway. The South tower was built to guard the Scaean Gate. The Eastern wall was also reinforced by a large tower. This massive bastion at the north east corner of the city was built to defend a well which was the main water supply.Large towers were usually built into the walls of Troy to defend a major gateway. The South tower was built to guard the Scaean Gate.
The total width of all the Troy wall sets together, asseen in the above picture will be 32" and approximately 8" depth.
Antilochus was the son of king Nestor, and the brother of Thrasymedes.
He accompanied his father and his brother to the Trojan war. He was distinguished for his beauty, swiftness of foot, and skill as a charioteer.
Though he was among the youngest of the Greek princes, he commanded the Pylians in the war and performed many deeds of valour.
He was a favourite of the gods and a friend of Achilles, to whom he was commissioned to announce the death of Patroclus.
When his father Nestor was attacked by Memnon, Antilochus sacrificed himself to save him, thus fulfilling an oracle which had warned to "beware of an Ethiopian".
Antilochus' death was avenged by Achilles, who drove the Trojans back to the gates, where he is killed by Paris.
His ashes, along with those of Achilles and Patroclus, were enshrined in a mound on the promontory of Sigeion, where the inhabitants of Ilium offered sacrifice to the dead heroes.
Among the Trojans he killed were Melanippus, Ablerus, Atymnius, Phalces, Echepolos and Thoon. At the funeral games of Patroclus, Antilochus finished second in the chariot race and third in the foot race.
From what is known of chariot warfare it is unlikely that the chariots of this era were used in battle en- masse. It seems more probable that a chariot warrior, armed with a round shield and a short spear, would dismount to fight, with his chariot retiring a short way in order to await events.
The traditional Mycenean chariot battle would see the chariots advance into contact with other chariots. The heavily armoured warrior would brace himself levelling his long spear for the inevitable clash with his opponent. As the lines of chariots inter-penetrated, the chariots would veer passed each other, an unlucky warrior having been knocked from his vehicle by a well aimed thrust.
The heavy Dendra Panopoly, a suit of armour made from 15 pieces of beaten sheet bronze, would have been worn by the Mycenean warrior.
In the Iliad Nestor delivers a pre-battle speech to the Greek chariotry. He instructs the charioteers to control their teams so they can charge in formation, the warriors to thrust with the spear from their chariot as "the men before your time sacked tower and city".
Nestor is known for reminiscing about his youth, where he had fought battles and gained experience of tactics that were falling out of use. This seemed a suitable opportunity to depict one of Nestor' s sons, in traditional armour, as his father would have previously worn.
Tenochtitlan was the capital city of the Aztec Empire. The city was built on an island in what was then Lake Texcoco in the valley of Mexico.
In the centre of Tenochtitlan was a walled square, where in temples on top of high pyramids Aztec holy men honoured their gods with colourful ceremonies and human sacrifices.
The jjDesigns Aztec Temple Complex pieces can be combined to create a suitable backdrop which can fit on a standard 36" wide shelf. Either the exterior of the walled complex or the interior of the walled complex can be represented.
A display simular to the Roman Fort can be created, which can represent a simple shelf backdrop or a complete fort/temple complex!
PLEASE NOTE THESE STAIRS ARE DESIGNED TO FIT THE AZTEC STRAIGHT WALLS AZ-105. UNFORTUNATELY THERE WERE NO AZ-105 STRAIGHT WALLS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF TAKING THE PICTURES.
Nearly all the warring factions in Spain during this period used local Andalusian troops as allies in their armies. Andalusian mercenary infantry archers were commonplace and were often deployed behind spearmen in battle. These figures are perfect as defenders of the Andalusian Castle.
The 33rd Virginia Infantry Regiment was raised in the commonwealth of Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army and was part of the famed "Stonewall Brigade".
When the Union and Confederate armies engaged near Manassas Junction, Virginia, on July 21st 1861, General Jackson and his brigade earned the nickname "Stonewall".
Eight of the ten companies in the 33rd were present.
By late May 1861, the regiment was placed under the command of Col. Arthur C. Cummings, who was a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute who practiced law in Abington, Virginia at the far southernmost end of the valley and would twice represent Washington County, Virginia in the Virginia House of Delegates (first beginning in 1863 and again in 1871)
At the height of the battle, it was Jackson's first brigade, and more specifically, the undersized regiment of Colonel Cummings that turned the tide of battle with a well-timed charge against an exposed artillery battery.
The successful capture of the guns is thought to be largely because, due to the lack of formality in early war uniforms, Jackson's men were dressed in blue, just like their Federal counterparts. Though the 33rd Virginia succeeded in capturing the guns, the number of men that made the charge (only about 250) were unable to maintain possession and were forced to retreat. The charge had halted the steady advance of the Union Army up to that point, and precipitated further charges by Jackson's other regiments. By day's end, the actions of the 33rd led to the complete rout of the Union Army, and played a major role in immortalizing the brigade.
The cost of immortality for Cummings' regiment was high. Of the 450 men who were present at the battle, the 33rd would suffer 43 killed and 140 wounded.
Company E, The Emerald Guard, having participated in the battle, suffered 15 casualties including most of the company officers and NCO's. Captain Sibert was shot through both legs; Lt. Thomas C. Fitzgerald and 2d Lt. John Ireland were also wounded; in addition, Sgt. Michael Gavagan was wounded and Corp. John O. Sullivan was killed.
Captain Marion Sibert was born January 23, 1826 near the town of New Market, Shenandoah County. When the war began, he was thirty-four years old, stood 5'11" and was described as "handsome" having a "fair complexion, light hair and hazel eyes." Wyland's History of Shenandoah County suggest that Sibert and his family were in the hotel business prior to the war.
Following John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry in 1859, Marion Sibert organized a volunteer artillery company in the New Market area known as the Tenth Legion Artillery. Despite their lack of cannon, they were called upon by the State Governor to perform guard duty at Shepherdstown on December 9, 1859 during Brown's trial.
Having returned to New Market after the trial, Sibert would not have long to wait until another opportunity presented itself. On April 18, 1861 war had erupted and Virginia, having voted in favor of secession, placed itself in danger of being invaded. When the Governor, John Letcher extended a call for certain counties to begin organizing companies for State defence in early May, Sibert once again put his business and homelife on hold and began recruiting a new company of men. This time, he targeted a distinct class of men that would form the nucleus of the company. Recruiting amongst the Irish laborers that had made their way to the Lower Valley through working on the Manassas Gap Railroad prior to the war.
As the company formed and began to drill in earnest, a contemporary newspaper account provided a glimpse to its readers of this new company.
"Through the energy and zeal of Maj. M.M. Sibert, a company of Irishmen, numbering about 60, has been raised and are in barracks at this place (New Market). These men, impelled by devotion to their adopted country, patriotically and promptly responded to the call of their State, and are now hourly preparing themselves to resist the encroachments of the mercenary hordes, who are let loose upon us by our oppressors."
As this quote and archival records suggest, the company never reached the regulation size of 100.
The Emerald Guard was formed in and around the town of New Market during May and early June of 1861. It was organized by a thirty-four year old Shenandoah County native named Marion Marye Sibert. and as it's name implied was formed from the Irish laborers that worked in the Valley when the War began. The company would become among the most colorful and volatile companies of the famed "Stonewall Brigade". "In their adopted sector," one historian would write, "the Sons of Erin did not mesh easily with their conservative neighbors, most of whom were of German and Scotch-Irish descent. The Celts' predilection for hard liquor and their affinity for world-class brawling at the least provocation engendered a definite air of notoriety.
Many of the Irishmen who joined the unit in May and June of 1861 were thought to be laborers who had been engaged on the construction of the Manassas Gap Railroad.
By the middle of May, the company elected its officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Sibert naturally assumed the role of Captain of the Company. To compliment Sibert's militia experience, Thomas C. Fitzgerald proved to be a "most valuable acquisition" and was elected 1st Lieutenant of the company. Prior to his immigration to the United States, Fitzgerald boasted prior military experience with the British Army during the Crimean War. For this reason, he was thought "well qualified for drilling the company.
The 33rd Virginia remained in the Stonewall Brigade in Thomas J. Jackson's Second Corps until the restructuring of the Army of Northern Virginia after his death in the spring of 1863. It was placed under Richard Ewell's command until the spring of 1864, when it dissolved following heavy losses at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.
The regiment was raised in Glasgow by Major-General Sir Archibald Campbell for service in India in October 1787. In accordance with the Declaratory Act 1788 the cost of raising the regiment was recharged to the East India Company on the basis that the act required that expenses "should be defrayed out of the revenues" arising there.
The regiment embarked for India in February 1789 and took part in the Siege of Bangalore in February 1791 and the Siege of Seringapatam in February 1792 during the Third Anglo-Mysore War.
At the Battle of Assaye in 1803 casualties were so high, every officer in the regiment was killed or wounded and what was left of the unit had to be led out of action by its regimental sergeant major.
From an initial strength of about 500, the 74th lost ten officers killed and seven wounded, and 124 other ranks killed and 270 wounded.
The predominant arm in India was the infantry. The King's and EIC native battalions were organized on similar lines, with the only difference being that the EIC battalions had 2 Grenadier companies and no light company, as it was believed that the native Indian soldier was considered a poor skirmisher.
The 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot wore kilts and plaids of Government tartan from the time they were raised in 1787. However, they were soon ordered to India, where the regiment spent 18 years.
On arrival at Madras the kilt was discontinued as unsuitable. In 1803 the soldiers wore linen white trousers and black round hats.
Captain A. B. Campbell of the 74th, who had on a former occasion lost an arm, was seen in the thickest of the action with his bridle in his teeth, and a sword in his right hand, "dealing destruction around him". He was to survive the battle although "one of the enemy in the charge very nearly transfixed him with the bayonet, which actually pierced his saddle".
Wellesley's infantry formed up in two lines on the far bank, with the British regiments on the outside flanks, the 74th opposite Assaye, the 10th Madras Native Infantry in the centre of the first line and the 4th and 12th Madras Native Infantry in the second.
The 19th Light Dragoons and the 3 Madras cavalry regiments formed the reserve. The Mysore cavalry remained on the near bank of the Kaitna.
During the Battle of Assaye in 1803, Wellesley's right flank was in turmoil. The commander of the right flank, Lieutenant Colonel William Orrock, had mistaken his orders and continued on an oblique path directly towards Assaye. The 74th under command of Major Samuel Swinton had moved so far north, it created a large gap in the centre of the British line, and brought the units on the flank under a barrage of cannonade from the artillery around the village and the Maratha left. The two battalions began to fall back in disarray, and Pohlmann ordered his infantry and cavalry forward to attack. The Maratha cavalry virtually annihilated the pickets, but the remnants of the 74th were able to form a rough square.
Realising the destruction of his right flank would leave his army exposed and outflanked, Wellesley ordered a detachment of British cavalry under Colonel Patrick Maxwell, consisting of the 19th Light Dragoons and elements of the 4th and 5th Madras Native cavalry into action.
The cavalry dashed directly towards the 74th's square, crashed into the swarming Maratha cavalry and routed them.
The regiment remained on home service until 1810, when it was sent to the Peninsular War (1808-1814) for four years.
It fought at Busaco in 1810, Fuentes de Onoro in 1811, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca in 1812, Vitoria, Nivelle, Orthes and Toulouse.
The Regiment saw service in Ireland at the time of Waterloo in 1815, and spent most of the following three decades in Canada and the West Indies.
In 1851, it arrived in the Cape Colony (in what is now South Africa) for the Eighth Cape Frontier War(1850-1853)
The troopship "Birkenhead" foundered off the coast of Southern Africa, the largest draft of new troops on board was intended for the 74th foot. Their discipline on deck as the vessel sank, later known as the "Birkenhead Drill", allowed the women and children on board to be saved.
The Regiment was to return to India in 1854, remaining there for ten years and fighting in the Indian Mutiny (1857-59)
Pindarries were an irregular light horse formation who were paid a fee or provided their retainers with a percentage, normally one sixth of any booty taken for the right to plunder. They were used in the military role for screening the movement of troops, reconnaissance, raiding and cutting supply lines. They were not good against formations of steady infantry or cavalry, but were perfectly capable of cutting down unwary troops.
The Red River cart was a large two-wheeled cart made entirely of non-metallic materials. These carts were often drawn by oxen, although also by horses or mules. The carts were used throughout most of the nineteenth century in the fur trade and in westward expansion in Canada and the United States, in the area of the Red river and on the plains west of the Red River Colony.
The cart was a simple conveyance developed by the Metis for use in their settlement on the Red River in what later became Manitoba. With these carts, the Metis were not restricted to river travel to hunt bison.
The Red River cart was largely responsible for commercializing the buffalo hunt.
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