Archive for the ‘John Jenkins’ Category

New John Jenkins February Releases!

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

Second World War

The iconic Sturmgeschütz III (Assault Gun) was conceived by none other than Field Marshal Erich von Manstein. Created by mating an armored casemate to a Panzer III chassis, the StuG III was intended to support infantry forces with direct fire. Originally armed with a short barrel, low velocity 75mm cannon, it served admirably in this role. However, following German encounters with the heavily armored Russian T-34, KV-1 and KV-2, in 1942 the StuG III was modified to mount the powerful long barreled, high velocity 75mm StuK40/L48 cannon. With this heavier armament, the StuG III shifted roles to that of a tank destroyer, where its powerful cannon, heavy armor, and low silhouette made it a deadly opponent for Allied armor.

The most prolific model StuG was the Ausf G, with 7,720 produced from December 1942 until March 1945. It remained in service due to it’s reliability, excellent combat performance, and inexpensive cost. In 1944, a StuG III cost 82,500 Rechsmarks to produce. In contrast, the Panther cost 117,100 Reichsmarks and a Tiger 250,800 Reichmarks. The StuG III served on all fronts, and even after the introduction of more advanced tanks by the Allies, the StuG III’s 75mm cannon and 80mm of armor protection still proved a deadly combination, especially when used in ambush positions. By wars end, thousands of Allied tanks fell victim to the StuG III.

The GA-20 model represents a StuG III Ausf G produced by Alkett in early 1943 and employed by Panzergrenadier Division “Grossdeutschland” at the Battle of Kursk. Grossdeutschland was the German Heer’s elite formation and from the beginning of Operation Barbarossa it fought exclusively on the Eastern Front against the Russians. Lavishly equipped, at Kursk Grossdeutschland possessed a full Sturmgeschütz Abteilung in addition to its Panther Brigade and a company of the legendary Tiger tanks. Sturmgeschütz Abteilung “GD” fought admirably at Kursk (arguably better than the division’s Panzer units) where it was ably led by Knight’s Cross winner Hauptman Peter Frantz.

The Grossdeutschland StuG III Ausf G features a two-color camo pattern of Dunkelgelb and Olivgrun common at Kursk, individually removable schürzen side armor panels (meant to protect the StuG from Soviet anti-tank rifles), opening loaders hatch, and two machine-gun mounts. Additionally, it has common modifications StuG Abteilung “GD” made to their vehicles, including extra track links mounted on the front as additional armor, extra road wheels that can be mounted on the sides of the StuG, and a stowage rail on the rear engine deck

WWII

Second World War Aircraft

Planes returning from combat missions often carried wounded pilots and crews on board. Flight deck medical teams were always on alert to administer first aid on the spot or to rush the wounded to the ship’s hospital bay. Medical teams often wore a white jersey marked with a red cross.

JJD Aircraft Collection

American Revolution – Drums along the Mohawk

The Breymann Redoubt guarded the British right flank, it was defended by 200 German soldiers. It was overwhelmed and captured in an assault led by Benedict Arnold.

Drums along the Mohawk

Raid on St Francis

In Eastern Woodlands society, there were clear-cut family roles for both the men and women.

Men were responsible for all the hunting and fishing, and sometimes traveled great distances to catch food.

Women generally stayed near the home to look after the children. They tended to any crops, and collected food, nuts, berries and edible plants. Women prepared the animal skins and made and repaired all the clothing.

A moccasin is a shoe, made of deerskin or other soft leather, consisting of a sole (made with leather that has not been “worked”) and sides made of one piece of leather, stitched together at the top, and sometimes with a vamp (additional panel of leather). The sole is soft and flexible and the upper part often is adorned with embroidery or beading. Historically, it is the footwear of many indigenous people of North America; moreover, hunters, traders, and European settlers wore them.

The moccasin derives from the Algonquian language Powhatan word makasin.

Moccasins protect the foot while allowing the wearer to feel the ground. The Plains Indians wore hard-sole moccasins, given that their territorial geography featured rock and cacti. The eastern Indian tribes wore soft-sole moccasins, for walking in leaf-covered forest ground.

Raid on Saint Francis, 1759

Aztec

The Peasant levy made up the core of the Aztec army. These commoners had no access to extravagant armour, and usually wore simple quilted cotton armour. The majority of these troops were armed with a bow. These archers were sometimes accompanied by shield-bearers, who were trained to defend the archers and were experts at deflecting arrows with their shields.

Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

Roman – Late Republic

Roman Army of the Late Republic

Gauls

Enemies of Rome

Conquistadors

Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

American Revolution – 2nd New York Regiment

2nd New York Regiment

American Revolution – Hessian Jager

Hessian Jager Corps

Inter War

Inter-War Aviation

John Jenkins January Releases!

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

Thracians

Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Eastern and Southeastern Europe

The Thracians in classical times were broken up into a large number of groups and tribes (over 200), though a number of powerful Thracian states were organized, such as the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace and the Dacian kingdom of Burebista.

In the first decade of the sixth century BC, the Persians conquered Thrace and made it part of their satrapy Skudra. Thracians were forced to join the invasions of European Scythia and Greece. According to Herodotus, the Bithynian Thracians also had to contribute a large contingent to Xerxes’ invasion of Greece in 480 BC.

The Thracians were a warrior people, known as both horsemen, but mainly as lightly armed skirmishers with javelins, which were known as peltasts. They were regarded by other peoples as warlike, ferocious, and bloodthirsty.

The peltast, was a type of soldier of the ancient period, which probably originated in Thrace.

Thracian peltasts were to have a notable influence in Ancient Greece.

A Thracian Peltast carried a crescent-shaped wicker shield and was armed with several javelins (akontia).

The style of fighting used by peltasts probably originated in Thrace and the first peltasts used by Greek armies were recruited from the Greek cities of the Thracian coast.

They are generally depicted on Greek vases and in other images as wearing the typical Thracian costume, which includes the distinctive Phrygian cap made of fox-skin, with ear flaps. They also usually wore a patterned tunic, fawnskin boots and a long cloak, called a zeira, which was decorated with a bright, geometric, pattern.

Peltasts gradually became more important in Greek warfare, in particular during the Peloponnesian War.

They became the main type of Greek mercenary infantry in the 4th century BC. Their equipment was less expensive than that of traditional hoplites and would have been more readily available to poorer members of society.

When faced by hoplites, peltasts operated by throwing javelins at short range.

If the hoplites charged, the peltasts would retreat.

As they carried considerably lighter equipment than the hoplites, they were usually able to evade successfully, especially in difficult terrain.

They would then return to the attack once the pursuit ended, if possible, taking advantage of any disorder created in the hoplites’ ranks.

The Athenian general Iphicrates destroyed a Spartan phalanx in the Battle of Lechaeum in 390 BC, using mostly Thracian peltasts.

In the first decade of the sixth century BC, the Persians conquered Thrace and made it part of their satrapy Skudra. Thracians were forced to join the invasions of European Scythia and Greece

According to Herodotus, the Bithynian Thracians also had to contribute a large contingent to Xerxes’ invasion of Greece in 480 BC.

Later the conquest of the southern part of Thrace by Philip II of Macedon in the fourth century BC made the largest Thracian state, the Odrysian kingdom extinct for several years. After the kingdom had been reestablished, it was a vassal state of Macedon for several decades under generals such as Lysimachus of the Diadochi.

Thracians

Roman Army of the Mid-Republic

The Roman army of the mid-Republic (also known as the manipular Roman army or the “Polybian army”), refers to the armed forces deployed by the mid-Roman Republic, from the end of the Samnite Wars (290 BC) to the end of the Social War (88 BC). The first phase of this army, in its manipular structure (290–ca. 130 BC), is described in detail in the Histories of the ancient Greek historian Polybius, writing before 146 BC.

The central feature of the mid-Republican army was the manipular organisation of its battle-line. Instead of a single, large mass (the phalanx) as in the Greek and Early Roman army, the Romans now drew up in three lines (triplex acies) consisting of small units (maniples) of 120 men, arrayed in chessboard fashion, giving much greater tactical strength and flexibility.

The Republican army of this period, like its earlier forebear, did not maintain standing or professional military forces, but levied them, by compulsory conscription, as required for each campaigning season and disbanded thereafter (although formations could be kept in being over winter during major wars). Service in the legions was limited to property-owning Roman citizens, normally those known as iuniores (age 16-46).

For the vast majority of the period of its existence, the Polybian levy was at war. This led to great strains on Roman and Italian manpower, but forged a superb fighting machine. During the Second Punic War, fully two-thirds of Roman iuniores were under arms continuously. In the period after the defeat of Carthage in 201 BC, the army was campaigning exclusively outside Italy, resulting in its men being away from their home plots of land for many years at a stretch. They were assuaged by the large amounts of booty that they shared after victories in the rich eastern theatre. But in Italy, the ever-increasing concentration of public lands in the hands of big landowners, and the consequent displacement of the soldiers’ families, led to great unrest and demands for land redistribution. This was successfully achieved, but resulted in the disaffection of Rome’s Italian allies, who as non-citizens were excluded from the redistribution. This led to the mass revolt of the socii and the Social War (91-88 BC). The result was the grant of Roman citizenship to all Italians and the end of the Polybian army’s dual structure: the alae were abolished and the socii recruited into the legions. The Roman army of the late Republic (88–30 BC) resulted, a transitional phase to the Imperial Roman army (30 BC – AD 284).

Hastati (singular: Hastatus) were a class of infantry employed in the armies of the early and Mid Roman Republic.

They were originally some of the poorest men in the legion, and could afford only modest equipment. Later, the hastati contained the younger men rather than just the poorer, (though most men of their age were relatively poor.) Their usual position was the first battle line.

The hastati were formed into 10 maniples of 120 men each, therefore 1,200 men per legion.

Battles were conducted in a similar fashion; the velites would gather at the front and fling javelins to cover the advance of the hastati. If the hastati failed to break the enemy, they would fall back on the principes.

If the principes could not break the enemy, they would retire behind the triarii, who would then engage.

Roman Army of the Mid-Republic

Enemies of Rome – Iceni

The Iceni were a Brittonic tribe of eastern Britain during the Iron Age and early Roman era. Their territory included present-day Norfolk and parts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire,

Julius Caesar does not mention the Iceni in his account of his invasions of Britain in 55 and 54 BC, though they may be related to the Cenimagni, who Caesar notes as living north of the River Thames at that time. The Iceni were a significant power in eastern Britain during Claudius’ conquest of Britain in AD 43, in which they allied with Rome.

Increasing Roman influence on their affairs led to revolt in AD 47, though they remained nominally independent under king Prasutagus until his death around AD 60. Roman encroachment after Prasutagus’ death led his wife Boudica to launch a major revolt from 60–61. Boudica’s uprising seriously endangered Roman rule in Britain and resulted in the burning of Londinium and other cities. The Romans finally crushed the rebellion, and the Iceni were increasingly incorporated into the Roman province.

Enemies of Rome

Aztec

The TZITZIMITL or “Demon of the Dark” War-suit, was worn only by rulers and senior chieftains. It is also depicted in yellow and blue versions.

The Tlacochcalcatl or Captain of the Armoury wore this white tlahuiztli surmounted by a skull helmet with a black wig. The outfit represented the Tzitzimitl, a mythical demon who brought death and destruction to mankind.

Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

American Revolution – 2nd Massachusetts Regiment

2nd Massachusetts Regiment

American Revolution – Brunswick Grenadiers

Brunswick Grenadiers

American Revolution – Hessian Jager Corps

When the American Revolution began, the British Army was too small to overwhelm the rebellious colonies with armed might. Subsequently, United Kingdom entered treaties with a number of German principalities, which provided the British Crown with allied contingents for service in North America in return for monetary subsidies. A mutual aid- and alliance treaty between United Kingdom and Hesse-Hanau was entered in February 1776.

A Jäger corps under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Karl Adolf Christoph von Creutzburg was among the units in the Hesse-Hanau contingent

The Jägers were recruited from state foresters and other professional hunters. They were selected for their marksmanship, and were all volunteers, in contrast with the drafted or pressed soldiers that filled the ranks of the Hesse-Hanau infantry. The pay was higher than for ordinary troops. The British government especially requested Jägers for the American campaign, as they were perceived as better able to endure the North American wilderness.

Hessian Jager Corps

American Revolution

A split-rail fence or log fence (also known as a zigzag fence, worm fence or snake fence historically due to its meandering layout) is a type of fence constructed in the United States and Canada, and is made out of timber logs, usually split lengthwise into rails and typically used for agricultural or decorative fencing. Such fences require much more timber than other types of fences, and so are generally only common in areas where wood is abundant. However, they are very simple in their construction, and can be assembled with few tools even on hard or rocky ground. They also can be built without using any nails or other hardware; such hardware was often scarce in frontier areas. They are particularly popular in very rocky areas where post hole digging is almost impossible. They can even be partially or wholly disassembled if the fence needs to be moved or the wood becomes more useful for other purposes

Drums along the Mohawk

Second World War

JJD Second World War Aircraft Collection

New John Jenkins December Releases

Sunday, November 18th, 2018

Enemies of Rome




Enemies of Rome

Roman Army of the Late Republic




Roman Army of the Late Republic

Aztec Empire


The banner is the Aztec national standard of Quetzalteopamitl, which was an enormous fan of gold and quetzal feathers.



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

Conquistdor


Wars of the Roses




Wars of the Roses 1455-1487

Brunswick Grenadiers




Brunswick Grenadiers

Morgans Riflemen




Morgans Riflemen

Knights Of The Skies


** PLEASE NOTE THE ACE-39P PILOT CAN FIT ANY JJD FOKKER DVII MODEL**



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

WWII Aircraft


The Grumman F4F Wildcat is an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy in 1940, where it was initially known by the latter as the Martlet.

The F4F was Grumman’s first monoplane fighter design and was to prove to be one of the great naval fighter aircraft of World War 2.

In 1939 Grumman were successful in obtaining a Navy order for 54 F4F-3’s. The RAF also received 81 F4F-3’s which were named the Martlet I.

The initial deliveries to the US navy were in December 1940, with the first of the planes going to the USS Ranger, and USS Wasp.

These were the only carriers which had the F4F-3’s when war broke out.

First used in combat by the British in the North Atlantic, the Wildcat was the only effective fighter available to the United States Navy and Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during the early part of World War II in 1941 and 1942; the disappointing Brewster Buffalo was withdrawn in favor of the Wildcat and replaced as units became available. With a top speed of 318 mph (512 km/h), the Wildcat was outperformed by the faster 331 mph (533 km/h), more maneuverable, and longer-ranged Mitsubishi A6M Zero. However, the F4F’s ruggedness, coupled with tactics such as the Thach Weave, resulted in a claimed air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 5.9:1 in 1942 and 6.9:1 for the entire war.

Lessons learned from the Wildcat were later applied to the faster F6F Hellcat. While the Wildcat had better range and maneuverability at low speed, the Hellcat could rely on superior power and high speed performance to outperform the Zero. The Wildcat continued to be built throughout the remainder of the war to serve on escort carriers, where larger and heavier fighters could not be used.

Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare (March 13, 1914 – November 26, 1943) was an American naval aviator of the United States Navy, who on February 20, 1942, became the Navy’s first flying ace when he single-handedly attacked a formation of nine heavy bombers approaching his aircraft carrier. Even though he had a limited amount of ammunition, he managed to shoot down or damage several enemy bombers. On April 21, 1942, he became the first naval recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War II.



JJD Second World War Aircraft Collection

RAF Pilot


**PLEASE NOTE THE RAF-01C PILOT FIGURE CAN FIT ANY JJD SPITFIRE MODEL WHICH HAS THE OPENING SIDE DOOR**



JJD Second World War Aircraft Collection

New John Jenkins October Releases!

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Chicago Treasure Hunt and Future Releases

During the Chicago Toy Soldier Show, John arranges a Treasure Hunt, which keeps a large number of Big Kids fully occupied.  This year was no exception.  Here are the details of the treasure hunt and a peek into
releases coming in 2019 plus a couple of new series.  The link is to a PDF file, which requires Adobe Acrobat to open on your computer.  If you have trouble opening it, let me know and I will send you a separate file.
Hope you like them as much as I did.



Chicago Treasure Hunt

Roman Army of the Late Republic


The Scutum was a type of shield used among Italic peoples in antiquity, and then by the army of ancient Rome starting about the fourth century BC. The Romans adopted it when they switched from the military formation of the hoplite phalanx of the Greeks to the formation with maniples. In the former, the soldiers carried a round shield, which the Romans called clipeus. In the latter, they used the scutum, which was a larger shield. Originally it was an oblong and convex shield. By the first century BC it had developed into the rectangular, semi-cylindrical shield that is popularly associated with the scutum in modern times. This was not the only shield the Romans used; Roman shields were of varying types depending on the role of the soldier who carried it. Oval, circular and rectangular shields were used throughout Roman history.



Roman Army of the Late Republic

War of the Roses – Artillery


By the start of the WARS OF THE ROSES in the late 1450s, artillery had been in use in northern Europe for over a century, and most armies included at least a small artillery force.

Because one pound of powder was required to throw nine pounds of shot, and because the barrel had to be washed with a mixture of water and vinegar after every firing, ten shots per hour was considered a good rate of fire. During the Wars of the Roses, this slow rate meant that cannon were used mainly on the eve or at the start of a battle, firing one volley at the enemy before the hand-to-hand combat commenced.

Experts in medieval gunnery suspect that the artillery played a role at the beginning of the battle – but may have become less useful tactically as the battle progressed. It was notoriously difficult to turn the artillery pieces round to face new directions – so adapting to the progress of the battle would have been difficult for these early gunners. Their artillery pieces and carriages would probably have weighed between 400 and 1000 kilos each.

Cannon appears to have been used extensively by both sides at the Battle of Bosworth Field. The present position of the battlefield is based on the discovery in a field by Fenn Lane Farm of a large quantity of battle relics including many cannon balls.

One account mentions 140 cannon, while the archaeological searches of the battlefield have found more than 30 cannonshot – more than any other discovered on a European medieval battlefield.

Since about 1415, the English Crown had appointed a master of ordnance to supervise the king’s artillery. In 1456, John Judde, a LONDON merchant, won appointment to the post by offering to supply HENRY VI with guns and powder at his own expense. Judde’s ambitious program of collecting and manufacturing guns for the Lancastrians so alarmed the Yorkists that they ambushed and killed him in June 1460 as he was supervising delivery of a new shipment of weapons. Edward IV also appreciated the importance of artillery, and his Masters of Ordnance (like John Wode, who held office from 1463 to 1477) were trusted members of the royal household. Edward was said to frequently inspect his ordnance, and his campaigns usually included a sizable artillery train.



Wars of the Roses 1455-1487

Brunswick Grenadiers




Brunswick Grenadiers

Morgan’s Riflemen




Morgan’s Riflemen

Knights of the Skies


No squadron could have gotten into the air if it were not for the very large number of support crews, which ranged from riggers, mechanics, fitters, and carpenters.

These men were not only assigned to the combat squadrons, but there were also specific, “Aircraft Park” units, which were composed of nothing but such support staff.

Some units consisted of entirely nothing else besides lumberjacks who went into the woods to find and cut the spruce used to make and repair the aircraft.

The propellers were not carved out of one piece of wood, but made of thin planks glued together. This made the result very strong and easy to make with the wood working skills available then.

In Michael Fox’s “Knights of the Skies” book, he mentions that a BE.2C used during the Somme in 1916 by 15 Sqn. “ in three months it was fitted with no fewer than eighty new wings and many other components.”
Wooden parts which were damaged such as struts, ribs and propellers could be replaced, usually overnight. Larger jobs which would take longer meant the plane would probably be taken to the Airfield park, where after repair it often found its way to a different squadron.

Small tears and bullet holes in the fabric were one of the most common repair jobs. With fabric covered machines this could easily be patched. The dope would first be removed from the fabric around the tear, or bullet hole, and a suitable sized patch with serrated or frayed edges would be prepared. The area would then be re-doped and the thoroughly doped new patch added and smoothed down. A second coat of dope and a final coat of pigmented dope would finally be applied.
Larger tears would be stitched together, or if there was too much damage then the old fabric would be removed and replaced.

Sometimes patches were not used on bullet holes. A small cross or roundel was painted over the hole, which stabilized the threads, and strengthened the fabric.



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

Royal Airforce


To keep the many men and machines in fighting shape during the World War II invasion of France, logistics technicians had their work cut out for them. Bombs, bullets, planes and tanks were top priorities, so there was little room for luxury items that would keep the troops in good spirits while fighting .
In the early days after the Normandy invasion of June 1944, the retreating German army were suspected of poisoning the water sources. British and American troops also noticed an acute shortage of alcoholic beverages — namely beer. Many British soldiers complained that a watery cider was the only drink available in recently liberated French towns.
When a British brewery donated gallons of beer for troops on the front, there was no way to get it to the men by conventional means.

Luckily for them, the Royal Air Force was able to solve the problem.

With no room for cargo on their small fighter planes, RAF pilots arrived at a novel solution – using drop tanks to transport beer instead of fuel. The drop tanks of a Spitfire each carried 45 gallons of gas, meaning a plane could transport 90 gallons of extra liquid.
imparted a metallic flavor to the beer.

To counter this problem, ground crews developed Modification XXX, a change made to the wing pylons of Spitfire Mk. IXs that allowed them to carry actual kegs of beer.

These kegs, often called ‘beer bombs,’ were standard wooden beer kegs attached under the wing of the Spitfire. Though they carried less beer, it arrived tasting like it just came out of the tap at the pub, chilled by the altitude of the flight over the channel.
To ensure their compatriots remained satisfied, pilots would often return to England for rudimentary maintenance issues or other administrative needs in order to grab another round. As the need for beer increased, all replacement Spitfires and Typhoons being shipped to airfields in France carried ‘beer bombs’ in their bomb racks to the joy of the thirsty crews manning the airfields.

When the Americans learned of what the British were doing they joined in, even bringing over ice cream for the GIs as well.

As the practice gained popularity, Britain’s Custom and Excise Ministry objected and attempted to shut it down. Thankfully by that time, there were more organized official shipments of beer making it to the troops.

Air Vice Marshal James Edgar Johnson, CB, CBE, DSO & Two Bars, DFC & Bar (9 March 1915 – 30 January 2001), nicknamed “Johnnie”, was a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot and flying ace.

Johnson was credited with 34 individual victories over enemy aircraft, as well as seven shared victories, three shared probable, 10 damaged, three shared damaged and one destroyed on the ground.

Johnson flew 700 operational sorties and engaged enemy aircraft on 57 occasions.

Included in his list of individual victories were 14 Messerschmitt Bf 109s and 20 Focke-Wulf Fw 190s destroyed making him the most successful RAF ace against the Fw 190. This score made him the highest scoring Western Allied fighter ace against the German Luftwaffe.

MK329 was used by Johnnie Johnson, which according to his memoirs he flew twice. Rumor has it that he brought beer to his men in Normandy flying MK329. Johnson mentions that Spitfire MK329 was assembled from wrecked airframes and was a mix-and-match airframe, cobbled together out of spare parts.

Johnson scored the bulk of his victories flying two Spitfires Mk. IX. The first one was EN398 JE-J, in which he shot down 12 aircraft and shared five, plus six damaged while commanding the Kenley Wing.
His second plane , MK392, was an LF Mk.IX, in which his tally increased by another 12 aircraft, plus one shared destroyed on the ground. For the purposes of ferrying beer, ground crews set about steam cleaning the tanks for their special deliveries. These flights became known as “flying pubs” by the troops they served. A few British breweries, such as Heneger and Constable, donated free beer for the RAF to take to the front.
The drop tanks had a serious disadvantage. While they could carry large amounts of beer, the initial runs still tasted of fuel. Even after the tanks had been used several times and lost their fuel taste, they still
.

He was to end the war flying another Spitfire Mk XIVe MV268.



JJD Aircraft Collection

Bunker Hill


Flight clothing was largely left up to the individual’s personal preference. Most pilots wore a khaki shirt and trousers, instead of the one piece flying suit, as the one piece flying suits were deemed too hot or uncomfortable.

The QAC (Quick, Attach, Chest) or QAS, parachute harness was worn by pilots. When not in the plane the leg straps are normally snapped to the sides of the harness to keep them out of the way. The parachute pack, pararaft kit and seat cushion are not attached to the harness, as these were most often left in the plane. As the pilot climbed into the seat, it was then easier for them to be attached to the QAS harness.



JJD Aircraft Collection

Conquistadors


From the moment that the first Horse was put ashore in November 1493, horses were the key to Spanish success in the Americas. They gave the Spanish not just distinct tactical and logistical advantages, but a moral advantage as well, because the native Americans had never seen such creatures before, and were initially scared to death of them.

At first the Aztecs thought that each cavalryman and his horse were one supernatural creature, with 4 legs, 2 arms and 2 heads! They were so relieved when they discovered that the horse was just an animal like any other that when the first one was killed , it was cut up and portions circulated throughout their lands, to demonstrate that such creatures were mortal.

It is therefore no wonder that horses captured by the Aztecs were sacrificed as if they were human, and their heads ended up alongside those of Spanish soldiers on the temple racks!



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

John Jenkins New September Releases!

Saturday, September 8th, 2018

Gauls




Enemies of Rome

Romans


For set-piece battles, the heavy infantry were usually drawn up in three lines.

However, the vast majority of the heavy infantry were stationed in the front two lines, the HASTATI and PRINCIPES. Contained in these two lines were the younger recruits who were expected to do all the fighting. The rear line (TRIARII), was a reserve consisting of older men who formed a line of last resort to provide cover for the front lines if they were put to flight (and also to prevent unauthorised retreat by the front ranks).

The three lines of maniples were drawn up in a chessboard pattern (dubbed quincunx by modern historians, after the Latin for the “5” on a dice-cube, whose dots are so arranged). In front of these three lines of heavy infantry, would be stationed the legion’s VELITES.



Roman Army of the Late Republic

Aztec


  • AZ-017A Aztec Warrior – Soldiers who succeeded in capturing two enemies were awarded a uniform consisting of a body suit called a “tlahuiztli”, a tall conical cap called a “copilli” and a shield marked with black designs described as “hawk scratches”.
    The Tlahuiztli was made of sewn cotton. Red, yellow, blue or green feathers were meticulously stitched to the cloth in the workshops of conquered city-states and sent to Tenochtitlan each year as tribute.
  • AZ-017B Aztec Warrior – The Huaxtec area held a particular fascination for the Aztecs because it was rich in cotton. The goddess of spinners and weavers was called Tlazolteotl.
    For this reason the soldiers thought it appropriate to wear hanks of un-spun cotton through their ear spools, as well as the “Yacameztli” or “nose moon” in gold in honour of her role as a patron of the moon.



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

Conquistadors


From the moment of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of lands previously unknown to Europe in 1492, the New World captured the imagination of European adventurers. Thousands of men came to the New World to seek fortune, glory, and land. For two centuries, these men explored the New
World, conquering any native people they came across in the name of the King of Spain (and the hope of gold). They came to be known as the Conquistadors.

Conquistadors claimed that they were attacking the New World natives in order to spread Christianity and save the natives from damnation. Many of the conquistadors were, indeed, religious men, but history has shown that the conquistadors were far more interested in gold and loot.



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

War of the Roses




Wars of the Roses 1455-1487

American Revolution – Battle of Saratoga 1777
1st Canadian Regiment




1st Canadian Regiment

2nd Massachusetts Regiment




2nd Massachusetts Regiment

2nd New York Regiment




2nd New York Regiment

Morgans Riflemen




Morgans Riflemen

Knights Of The Skies


Jagdstaffel 49 was formed on 23rd December 1917, with Ltn. Franz Ray, named as the Commanding Officer, who already had 9 victories. Franz Ray had previously been with Jasta 28.

He was also the first pilot to obtain 5 victories with the new unit, and shot down his 14th victory on the 2nd July 1917.

On the 22nd October Ray was ordered to Berlin to test a new aircraft design, and command of the Staffel went to Ltn. Hermann Habich.

During the time Ltn. Ray was with Jasta 49, which was from the 15th December 1917 untill the 22nd October 1918, he was to shoot down 8 machine, for a total of 17 victories.

** PLEASE NOTE THIS FIGURE CAN BE USED WITH ANY OF THE JJD ALBATROS DIII MODELS.**



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

Second World War Aircraft


The Grumman F4F Wildcat is an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy in 1940, where it was initially known by the latter as the Martlet.

The F4F was Grumman’s first monoplane fighter design and was to prove to be one of the great naval fighter aircraft of World War 2.

In 1939 Grumman were successful in obtaining a Navy order for 54 F4F-3’s. The RAF also received 81 F4F-3’s which were named the Martlet I.

The initial deliveries to the US navy were in December 1940, with the first of the planes going to the USS Ranger, and USS Wasp.

These were the only carriers which had the F4F-3’s when war broke out.

First used in combat by the British in the North Atlantic, the Wildcat was the only effective fighter available to the United States Navy and Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during the early part of World War II in 1941 and 1942; the disappointing Brewster Buffalo was withdrawn in favor of the Wildcat and replaced as units became available. With a top speed of 318 mph (512 km/h), the Wildcat was outperformed by the faster 331 mph (533 km/h), more maneuverable, and longer-ranged Mitsubishi A6M Zero. However, the F4F’s ruggedness, coupled with tactics such as the Thach Weave, resulted in a claimed air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 5.9:1 in 1942 and 6.9:1 for the entire war.

Lessons learned from the Wildcat were later applied to the faster F6F Hellcat. While the Wildcat had better range and maneuverability at low speed, the Hellcat could rely on superior power and high speed performance to outperform the Zero. The Wildcat continued to be built throughout the remainder of the war to serve on escort carriers, where larger and heavier fighters could not be used.

By late 1941 nearly all of the colourful squadron markings were either gone entirely or existed as quite small examples close by the cockpit area. VF-3’s famous “Felix The Cat” emblem is thus reduced to a 6” diameter circle forward of the cockpit on BuNo 3973.

The first WILDCAT F4F-3’s to be delivered to the USS SARATOGA in late 1941 were painted in overall “non-specular Light gray”. The transition to the Blue Gray/light gray camouflage scheme often came as and when each aircraft reached its major service and over haul point. Thus each Carrier Air Group at this time may have had a mix of overall Light Gray and Blue Gray/Light Gray squadrons aboard.

The Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat BuNo 3982, is based on an U.S. Naval Historical Center photograph, depicting the aircraft on the elevator of USS Saratoga in early October 1941. This aircraft was piloted by ensign Gayle Hermann. The photograph shows that at this time squadrons were operating with aircraft of mixed paint schemes. BuNo 3982 is seen in overall Light gray while other Wildcats on the deck are painted in the Blue Gray/ Light Gray scheme.



JJD Second World War Aircraft Collection

New John Jenkins June Releases!

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

Aztec


Soldiers who succeeded in capturing two enemies were awarded a uniform consisting of a body suit called a “tlahuiztli”, a tall conical cap called a “copilli” and a shield marked with black designs described as “hawk scratches”.

The Tlahuiztli was made of sewn cotton. Red, yellow, blue or green feathers were meticulously stitched to the cloth in the workshops of conquered city-states and sent to Tenochtitlan each year as tribute.

The Huaxtec area held a particular fascination for the Aztecs because it was rich in cotton. The goddess of spinners and weavers was called Tlazolteotl.

For this reason the soldiers thought it appropriate to wear hanks of un-spun cotton through their ear spools, as well as the “Yacameztli” or “nose moon” in gold in honour of her role as a patron of the moon.

**PLEASE NOTE THE FIRST OF THE SPANISH CONQUISTADOR FIGURES WILL BE PREVIEWED AT THE LONDON TOY SOLDIER SHOW ON SATURDAY 30th JUNE 2018**



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

REPUBLICAN ROMANS


The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome’s control expanded from the city’s immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.

Roman government was headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and advised by a senate composed of appointed magistrates. As Roman society was very hierarchical by modern standards, the evolution of the Roman government was heavily influenced by the struggle between the patricians, Rome’s land-holding aristocracy, who traced their ancestry to the founding of Rome, and the plebeians, the far more numerous citizen-commoners. Over time, the laws that gave patricians exclusive rights to Rome’s highest offices were repealed or weakened, and leading plebeian families became full members of the aristocracy. The leaders of the Republic developed a strong tradition and morality requiring public service and patronage in peace and war, making military and political success inextricably linked. Many of Rome’s legal and legislative structures (later codified into the Justinian Code, and again into the Napoleonic Code) can still be observed throughout Europe and much of the world in modern nation states and international organizations.

During the first two centuries of its existence, the Roman Republic expanded through a combination of conquest and alliance, from central Italy to the entire Italian peninsula. By the following century, it included North Africa, most of the Iberian Peninsula, and what is now southern France. Two centuries after that, towards the end of the 1st century BC, it included the rest of modern France, Greece, and much of the eastern Mediterranean. By this time, internal tensions led to a series of civil wars, culminating with the assassination of Julius Caesar, which led to the transition from republic to empire.

Historians have variously proposed Julius Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon River in 49 BC, Caesar’s appointment as dictator for life in 44 BC, and the defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. However, most use the same date as did the ancient Romans themselves, the Roman Senate’s grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian and his adopting the title Augustus in 27 BC, as the defining event ending the Republic.

The Roman army of the late Republic refers to the armed forces deployed by the late Roman Republic, from the beginning of the first century B.C. until the establishment of the Imperial Roman army by Augustus in 30 B.C.

Shaped by major social, political, and economic change, the late Republic saw the transition from the Roman army of the mid-Republic, which was a temporary levy based solely on the conscription of Roman citizens, to the Imperial Roman army of the Principate, which was a standing, professional army based on the recruitment of volunteers

Continuous expansion, wars, conflicts, and the acquisition of a growing, overseas territory led to an increasing degree of professionalism within the army.

The late-Republic saw much of its action taking place within the Roman borders and between Roman commanders as they vied for control of the republic. There was a significant intertwining of military and politics in the acquisition and maintenance of power. After the Social War, and following the establishment of the First Triumvirate by Julius Caesar, Licinius Crassus, and Pompeius Magnus, there grew an emphasis on the expansion of a united republic toward regions such as Britain and Parthia. The effort to quell the invasions and revolts of non-Romans persisted throughout the period, from Marius’ battles with the wandering Germans in Italy to Caesar’s campaign in Gaul.

After the completion of the Social War in 88 B.C., Roman citizenship was granted to all its Italian allies (the socii) south of the Po River. The alae were abolished, and the socii were from now on recruited directly into uniformly organized and equipped legions. The non-Italian allies that had long fought for Rome (e.g. Gallic and Numidian cavalry) continued to serve alongside the legions but remained irregular units under their own leaders.

For reasons that remain uncertain to this day, the structure of the Roman army changed dramatically during the late Republic. The maniple, which had been the standard unit throughout the mid-Republic, was replaced by the cohort as the new standard tactical unit of the legions, while the Roman citizen cavalry (equites) and light infantry (velites) disappeared from the battlefield. Traditionally, many of these changes have been attributed to the reforms of Gaius Marius , but some scholars argue that they may have happened far more gradually



Roman Army of the Late Republic

REPUBLICAN ROMAN INTRODUCTION SPECIAL OFFER


**PLEASE NOTE THAT SINCE ROMAN ARMIES SHOULD BE DISPLAYED IN MULTIPLES, THE FOLLOWING TWO INTRODUCTION SETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT A SPECIAL PRICE.
PLEASE NOTE THIS OFFER WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE UNTILL THE END OF JUNE OR UNTILL STOCK RUNS OUT.**



Roman Army of the Late Republic

DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK, THE BATTLE OF SARATOGA 1777, ASSAULT ON THE BREYMANN REDOUBT, 7th October 1777


“The surrender that changed the world”.

In October 1777, a 6,000 strong British army surrendered in defeat after the American victory at the Battles of Saratoga.

For the first time in history a British General surrendered his sword

The German mercenaries were firing steadily from their redoubt.

From the rear came the crack of rifles. A general mounted and, his sword flashing, led the riflemen into the redoubt. German resistance collapsed. The Battle of Saratoga was over.

The day was Oct. 7th, 1777. Twelve days later, “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne, the gifted, courageous British commander, surrendered to the American general, Horatio Gates. Thus ended the most
ambitious and dangerous offensive launched by Britain in the Revolution. The attack on the redoubt was the last of a series of actions that constituted the Battle of Saratoga, considered the turning point of the Revolution.

The rifle fire that decimated the Germans awoke echoes around the World. The French court, friendly to any who fought their ancient British enemy, finally was convinced that France’s interest lay in entering the war on the side of the Americans.

Following intense fighting with the Continental Army in September, the British Army fortified themselves behind two defensive redoubts- the larger, better defended Balcarres Redoubt, and the weaker
Breymann Redoubt.

American forces, led by General Benedict Arnold, managed to take the Breymann Redoubt, which gave them a strong position behind the British lines. The loss of the Redoubt rendered the British position untenable. The British Army was forced to pull back to the river, from which position they would attempt to retreat north the next morning.

Morgan’s Riflemen


Morgan’s Riflemen or Morgan’s Rifles, were an elite light infantry unit Commanded by General Daniel morgan in the American Revolutionary War. It served a vital role, because it was equipped with what was then the cutting-edge rifle instead of muskets, allowing superior accuracy at up to ten times the distance of the typical muskets of the troops of the day.

The Riflemen proved pivotal in several engagements, and helped turn the main battle by attacking from the right flank, which was instrumental in taking the Breymann Redoubt.


Morgan’s Riflemen

Continental Army


The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in their revolt against the rule of Great Britain. The Continental Army was supplemented by local militias and troops that remained under control of the individual states or were otherwise independent. General George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the army throughout the war.

The Continental Army consisted of soldiers from all 13 colonies and, after 1776, from all 13 states. When the American Revolutionary War began at the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, the colonial revolutionaries did not have an army. Previously, each colony had relied upon the militia, made up of part-time citizen-soldiers, for local defense, or the raising of temporary “provincial regiments” during specific crises such as the French and Indian War of 1754–63. As tensions with Great Britain increased in the years leading to the war, colonists began to reform their militias in preparation for the perceived potential conflict. Training of militiamen increased after the passage of the Intolerable Acts in 1774. Colonists such as Richard Henry Lee proposed forming a national militia force, but the First Continental Congress rejected the idea.

The Continental Army of 1777–80 evolved out of several critical reforms and political decisions that came about when it became apparent that the British were sending massive forces to put an end to the American Revolution. The Continental Congress passed the “Eighty-eight Battalion Resolve”, ordering each state to contribute one-battalion regiments in proportion to their population, and Washington subsequently received authority to raise an additional 16 battalions. Enlistment terms extended to three years or to “the length of the war” to avoid the year-end crises that depleted forces (including the notable near-collapse of the army at the end of 1776, which could have ended the war in a Continental, or American, loss by forfeit).

Three of the Continental Army units which took part in the assault on the Breymann Redoubt, were the 2nd Massachussetts, The 2nd New York, and The 1st Canadian Regiment.

2nd New York Regiment


The 2nd New York Regiment was authorized on May 25, 1775, and formed at Albany from June 28 to August 4 for service with the Continental Army under the command of Colonel Goose Van Schaick. This was one of four regiments raised by the Province of New York in the early summer of 17775, for the Continental service.

The four New York regiments were brigaded under Brigadier General Montgomery.

Each regiment had a different coloured uniform coat.

The enlistments of the first establishment ended on December 31, 1775

The second establishment of the 2nd New York regiment was authorized on January 19, 1776.

The regiment would see action in the Invasion of Canada, Battle of Valcour Island, Battle of Saratoga, Battle of Monmouth, the Sullivan Expedition and the Battle of Yorktown. The regiment would be furloughed, June 2, 1783, at Newburgh, New York and disbanded November 15, 1783.


2nd New York Regiment

1st CANADIAN REGIMENT


This regiment of the Continental Line, under the command of Colonel Moses Hazen, was recruited at large during 1776, and was known as “Congress’s Own,” because it was not attached to the quota of any one of the states. It was composed of men from all the states and from Canada, but most were from Pennsylvania and Canada. Throughout the war, it was known as a splendid command.

The uniform of the battalion companies until 1779, was brown faced with white. After that date the facings were changed to red.

In August 1777, the regiment was assigned to Benedict Arnold on his expedition in relief of the Siege of Fort Stanwix. It then saw service in both Battles of Saratoga as part of Ebenezer_Learned’s brigade.

1st CANADIAN REGIMENT

2nd Massachusetts Regiment


The 2nd Massachusetts Regiment (Bailey’s Regiment) was formed by consolidating the remnants of the 7th Continental Regiment; Peters’ Company, 13th Continental Regiment; and Clap’s Company, 21st Continental Regiment; with the remnant of the 23rd Continental Regiment. (Peters’ and Clap’s Companies were reorganized, respectively, as Warren’s and Dunham’s Companies, Bailey’s Regiment). The commanding officer, Colonel John Bailey, had been the lieutenant colonel, later the colonel, of Thomas’s Regiment in 1775 and colonel of the 23rd Continental Regiment in 1776. As the 23rd Continental Regiment, reorganizing as the 2rd Massachusetts Regiment, it served in Glover’s Brigade at Princeton. Reorganization was completed in the spring of 1777, and the regiment was ordered to the Northern Department. In the summer of 1777 it was assigned to the 4th Massachusetts Brigade under Brigadier General Learned. The regiment retreated toward Saratoga after the American evacuation of Fort Ticonderoga in July, and marched under Arnold to the relief of Fort Stanwix in August. Following the Saratoga campaign the regiment marched south to join Washington in the Middle Department. It served in the Philadelphia campaign and wintered at Valley Forge. In 1778 it served in the Monmouth campaign. After November 1778 the regiment was stationed in the Highlands, but in 1781 its light company was assigned to Lieutenant Colonel Elijah Vose’s Battalion, Corps of Light Infantry, which served in the Yorktown campaign. The regiment was disbanded at West Point, New York, on November 3, 1783.

The size of the Massachusetts Line varied from as many as 27 active regiments (at the outset of the war) to four (at its end). For most of the war after the Siege of Boston (April 1775 to March 1776) almost all of these units were deployed outside Massachusetts, serving as far north as Quebec City, as far west as present-day central Upstate New York, and as far south as Yorktown, Virginia.
Massachusetts line troops were involved in most of the war’s major battles north of Chesapeake Bay, and were present at the decisive Siege of Yorktown in 1781. General officers of the line included Major Generals Artemas Ward, William Heath, and Benjamin Lincoln, and Brigadier Generals John Glover and John Nixon.


2nd Massachusetts Regiment

BRUNSWICK GRENADIERS


A combined battalion of grenadiers under Von Breymann, with four musketeer regiments (Prince Friedrich, von Rhetz, von Specht and von Riedesel) were sent to Canada, along with a single dragoon regiment (Prince Ludwig Ernst), and a light infantry battalion (von Barner).

On April 3, 1776 the fleet of thirty sails carrying the German troops set sail from Portsmouth and met the forty sail fleet of English troops at Plymouth also heading to Canada. Land was sighted on May 12th and Quebec was reached on June 1st.

General von Riedesel, with orders from General Burgoyne disembarked the Prince Ludwig Ernst Dragoon Regiment on June 6th to strengthen the Quebec garrison. The two first division musketeer regiments and grenadiers were to continue on to Trois Rivieres. Governor Carleton gave General von Riedesel command of a corps consisting of the regiment von Riedesel and Hesse Hanau regiments, the Brunswick Grenadier battalion, the British McClean regiment, a division of Canadian troops and a mixed group of Abenakis, Iroquois, Ottowas, and Huron.

This corps departed for Trois Rivieres on June 7th and was ordered to move up the south side of the St. Lawrence, while Burgoyne and the other English troops moved up the north side of the St. Lawrence, to relieve Montreal that was besieged by the Americans.

The Breymann Redoubt was defended by a small force of Grenadiers, from the Regiments Von Specht, and the Regiment Von Rhetz.


BRUNSWICK GRENADIERS

Knights of the Skies


The LFG Roland C.II, usually known as the Walfisch (Whale), was an advanced German reconnaissance aircraft of World War I. It was manufactured by Luft-Fahrzeug-Gesellschaft G.m.b.H.
LFG, later changed their name to Roland to avoid confusion with LVG (Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft).

They were responsible for some of the most aerodynamic and innovative aircraft designs of the Great War. The “Walfisch” was designed as aerodynamically as possible at the time, which resulted in a smooth fuselage featuring many compound curves and mounting the top wings to the fuselage to avoid drag from the struts.

The C.II had much lower drag than comparable aircraft of its time. It featured a monocoque fuselage built with an outer skin of two layers of thin plywood strips at an angle to each other (known as a Wickelrumpf, or “wrapped body” design)

This had both lower drag and better strength per weight than typical aircraft of the time, but it was relatively slow and expensive to build. (This approach was further developed in the de Havilland Mosquito of World War II.) The deep fuselage completely filled the vertical gap between the wing panel center sections, eliminating any need for cabane struts commonly used in biplanes, and gave the aircraft its “whale” nickname. Struts and wires were reduced, without suffering the weight penalty of cantilever wings, like those used on the pioneering all-metal Junkers J 1 of late 1915. There was even some attempt to flair the wings into the fuselage, to eliminate dead air space, a feature prominently missing from the Schneider Trophy contestants of the following decade. The engineer in charge of the design was Tantzen, who was a student of Ludwig Prandtl, the founder of mathematical aerodynamics and the one to introduce the concept of boundary layer.

The C.II was powered by a single 160 hp (120 kW) Mercedes D III, providing a top speed of 165 km/h (103 mph), a ceiling of 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) and an endurance of four hours.

The C.II entered service in the spring of 1916. Operationally, handling was reported as difficult but performance was relatively good. Due to the crew positions with eyes above the upper wing, upward visibility was excellent, but downward visibility was poor. It was also used in a fighter escort role and had a crew of two, pilot and observer/gunner.

Because of its speed, when it was first introduced, it could be intercepted only from above. Because of the lack of downward visibility, it was best attacked by diving below and coming up at it

Albert Ball, whose first victim was a C.II, said in the latter half of 1916 that it was “the best German machine now”.

**PLEASE NOTE PILOTS AND CREW FOR THE ROLAND CIIa WILL BE AVAILABLE AT A LATER DATE**



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

WWI – British




British Forces

Second World War Aircraft Collection


VF-84 flew F4U Corsairs and was formed around a nucleus of veterans of VF-17, the Jolly Rogers. The new squadron’s commanding officer was Lt. Cdr. Roger R.Hedrick, former executive officer of VF-17.

VF-84 was assigned to the USS Bunker Hill. As part of Task Force 58, the carrier and Carrier Air Group 84 (CVG-84) participated in the final drive across the central Pacific. Roger Hedrick was promoted to head CVG-84 on the combat loss of the air group’s commanding officer, and Lt. Cdr. Raymond “Ted” Hill took over the fighter squadron.

VF-84 took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima; raids on Tokyo and other targets in Japan; the discovery and sinking of the Japanese battleship Yamato and support of the invasion of Okinawa, including combat air patrol over the invasion fleet to defend against Kamikaze attack, ground support, and combat air patrol over targets on Okinawa.

On 11 May 1945, while off Okinawa, two Japanese kamikazes struck the Bunker Hill in quick succession, with a bomb penetrating to the pilots’ ready room, killing 22 members of VF-84. Both the Bunker Hill (then the TF-58 flagship) and CAG-84 were knocked out of the war. Although VF-84 was reformed in July 1945 as an F6F Hellcat squadron, the war ended while it was still in training. While in the Pacific, VF-84 was credited with 92 kills for a loss of 4 aircraft and nine of the squadron’s pilots became aces.



JJD Second World War Aircraft Collection

Second World War Aircraft Carrier Bases


The Imperial Japanese Navy was a pioneer in naval aviation, having commissioned the world’s first built-from-the-keel-up carrier, the Hosho. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, it experimented with its carriers, perfecting their design and construction. As a result, by the time Japan entered World War II and attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor in 1941, it possessed a fantastically effective naval aviation force.



Second World War Aircraft Carrier Bases

New John Jenkins April / May Releases!

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

Gauls




Enemies of Rome

Aztec


Soldiers who succeeded in capturing two enemies were awarded a uniform consisting of a body suit called a “tlahuiztli”, a tall conical cap called a “copilli” and a shield marked with black designs described as “hawk scratches”.

The Tlahuiztli was made of sewn cotton. Red, yellow, blue or green feathers were meticulously stitched to the cloth in the workshops of conquered city-states and sent to Tenochtitlan each year as tribute.

The Huaxtec area held a particular fascination for the Aztecs because it was rich in cotton. The goddess of spinners and weavers was called Tlazolteotl.

For this reason the soldiers thought it appropriate to wear hanks of un-spun cotton through their ear spools, as well as the “Yacameztli” or “nose moon” in gold in honour of her role as a patron of the moon.



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

Drums along the
Mohawk




Drums Along The Mohawk

Girls with Guns


The militia/frontiersman spirit derives from an early American dependence on arms to protect themselves from foreign armies and hostile Native Americans. Survival depended upon everyone being capable of using a weapon.

Prior to the American Revolution there was neither budget nor manpower nor government desire to maintain a full-time army. Therefore, the armed citizen-soldier carried the responsibility. Service in militia, including providing one’s own ammunition and weapons, was mandatory for all men.

Firearms therefore played a vital role in American settlement and expansion, therefore American women were no stranger to their use, and even competent in the manufacture and repair of weapons.

Both the necessity to hunt and the need for protection from the sometimes hostile native culture, made the use of firearms a crucial component in the settlement of America.



Raid on Saint Francis, 1759

Knights of the Skies


Many variations of aircraft engine starting have been used since the Wright brothers made their first powered flight in 1903. The methods used have been designed for weight saving, simplicity of operation and reliability. Early piston engines were started by hand, with geared hand starting, electrical and cartridge-operated systems for larger engines being developed between the wars.

Hand starting of aircraft piston engines by swinging the propeller is the oldest and simplest method, the absence of any onboard starting system giving an appreciable weight saving. Positioning of the propeller relative to the crankshaft is arranged such that the engine pistons pass through top dead centre during the swinging stroke.

As the ignition system is normally arranged to produce sparks before top dead centre there is a risk of the engine kicking back during hand starting, to avoid this problem one of the two magnetos used in a typical aero engine ignition system is fitted with an ‘impulse coupling’, this spring-loaded device delays the spark until top dead centre and also increases the rotational speed of the magneto to produce a stronger spark. When the engine fires, the impulse coupling no longer operates and the second magneto is switched on. As aero engines grew bigger in capacity (during the interwar period), single-person propeller swinging became physically difficult, ground crew personnel would join hands and pull together as a team or use a canvas sock fitted over one propeller blade, the sock having a length of rope attached to the propeller tip end. Note that this is different from the manual “turning over” of radial piston engine, which is done to release oil that has become trapped in the lower cylinders prior to starting, to avoid engine damage. The two appear similar, but while hand starting involves a sharp, strong “yank” on the prop to start the engine, turning over is simply done by turning the prop through a certain set amount.



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

British WWI




British Forces

Corsair


The Vought F4U Corsair is an American fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War 2 and the Korean War.

The Corsair was designed as a carrier based aircraft. Initially its difficulty in landing on carriers, rendered it unsuitable for Navy use until the Royal Navy overcame the landing issues.

After the carrier landing issues had been tackled, it quickly became the most capable carrier based fighter bomber of the Second World War.

USS Bunker Hill (CV/CVA/CVS-17, AVT-9) was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. The ship was named for the Battle of Bunker Hill in the American Revolutionary War. Commissioned in May 1943 and sent to the Pacific Theater of Operations, the ship participated in battles in the Southwest Pacific, Central Pacific and the drive toward Japan through Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and air raids on the Japanese homeland.

While covering the invasion of Okinawa, Bunker Hill was struck by two kamikazes in quick succession, setting the vessel on fire. Casualties exceeded 600, including 346 confirmed dead and an additional 43 missing, the second heaviest personnel losses suffered by any carrier to survive the war after Franklin. After the attack, Bunker Hill returned to the U.S. mainland and was still under repair when hostilities ended.

After the war, Bunker Hill was employed as a troop transport bringing American service members back from the Pacific, and decommissioned in 1947. While in reserve the vessel was reclassified as an attack carrier (CVA), then an antisubmarine carrier (CVS) and finally an Auxiliary Aircraft Landing Training Ship (AVT) but was never modernized and never saw active service again. Bunker Hill and Franklin were the only Essex-class ships never recommissioned after World War II

Fighter Squadron 84 or VF-84 was an aviation unit of the United States Navy. Originally established on 1 May 1944, it was disestablished on 8 October 1945. It was the first US Navy squadron to be designated as VF-84.

VF-84 flew F4U Corsairs and was formed around a nucleus of veterans of VF-17, the Jolly Rogers. The new squadron’s commanding officer was Lt. Cdr. Roger R.Hedrick, former executive officer of VF-17.

VF-84 was assigned to the USS Bunker Hill. As part of Task Force 58, the carrier and Carrier Air Group 84 (CVG-84) participated in the final drive across the central Pacific. Roger Hedrick was promoted to head CVG-84 on the combat loss of the air group’s commanding officer, and Lt. Cdr. Raymond “Ted” Hill took over the fighter squadron.

VF-84 took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima; raids on Tokyo and other targets in Japan; the discovery and sinking of the Japanese battleship Yamato and support of the invasion of Okinawa, including combat air patrol over the invasion fleet to defend against Kamikaze attack, ground support, and combat air patrol over targets on Okinawa.

On 11 May 1945, while off Okinawa, two Japanese kamikazes struck the Bunker Hill in quick succession, with a bomb penetrating to the pilots’ ready room, killing 22 members of VF-84. Both the Bunker Hill (then the TF-58 flagship) and CAG-84 were knocked out of the war. Although VF-84 was reformed in July 1945 as an F6F Hellcat squadron, the war ended while it was still in training. While in the Pacific, VF-84 was credited with 92 kills for a loss of 4 aircraft and nine of the squadron’s pilots became aces.

  • BH-001(167) USS BUNKER HILL, VOUGHT F4U-1D CORSAIR, VF-84, WHITE 167, 57803, FEBRUARY 1945, Lt. CDR. ROGER HEDRICK. – Roger Hedrick was an ace with 12 confirmed victories. He left VF-17 and became the CO of VF-84 aboard the USS Bunker Hill. In his career he received Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 gold stars in lieu of 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Flying Cross; Air Medal with 2 gold stars in lieu of 2nd and 3rd Air Medal; Presidential Unit Citation; Navy Unit Commendation; American Defense Service Medal: American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 4 bronze stars; Victory Medal, World War ; China Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal.
  • BH-002(183) USS BUNKER HILL, VOUGHT F4U-1D CORSAIR, VMF-221, WHITE 183, FEBRUARY 1945, 1st. Lt. DEAN CASWELL – Caswell flew over 100 missions in WW2, destroyed 10 or more enemy aircraft in the air and 25-30 aircraft on the ground.
    Remarkably, he never received a bullet hole in any Corsair he ever flew. He was awarded the Silver Star, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 5 Air Medals. Dean Caswell was assigned to the USMC VMF-221.
    On April 28, 1945 a 6-aircraft Corsair flight from VMF-221 was operating from the USS Bunker Hill in the vicinity of Okinawa when they encountered approximately 30 Japanese aircraft. The Japanese were trying to stop the U.S. landings on Okinawa. 1st Lt., Dean Caswell and group immediately attacked and Caswell scored 3 victories and 1 probable, this action turned back the Japanese attack. In WWII Caswell had 7 victories and did two tours in Korea and time in Vietnam.



JJD Second World War Aircraft Collection

German Tank Crew



JJ WWII Collection

New John Jenkins March Releases!

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Gaul’s




Enemies of Rome

Aztec


The Cuachicqueh was the most prestigious warrior society and the tlacateccatl, a very high ranking
general, was always a member. Not much is known about this unique band of Aztec fighters, some
sources mention them as being akin to the ‘berserkers’ – and thus their ranks only included esteemed
warriors who had dedicated their lives to the pursuit of warfare, instead of titles and land grants.
The cuachicqueh possibly comprised full-time soldiers who had proved their flair in battles with courage,
ferocity and downright fanaticism. They were usually excluded from holding office because of their wild
nature. They were usually recognizable by their shaven heads which left a crest of hair that is described
in text sources as on the left side of the head, but usually depicted in pictorial sources in the middle.
The Cuachicqueh took an oath not to take a step backwards during a battle on pain of death at the hands
of their fellow warriors. The officers were recognizable in the battle by their wood poles (Pamitl) with the
feathers and banners flying from them. They fastened this banner to their back, so that they did not
become hindered in battle.

They often would be at the front of the Aztec army shouting insults and mocking the enemy in an effort to
provoke the enemy foolhardy to break ranks and attack.



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

Drums Along The Mohawk


Walter D. Edmonds wrote about the area of upstate New York, and detailed the lives of pioneer farmers
along the Mohawk River during the American Revolution.

Edmonds wrote “The Matchlock Gun,” which was about a 10-year-old boy defending his home against
Indians in colonial New York, and won the Newbery Medal for Children’s Literature in 1942.
He also wrote about four women captives of Indians in 1778 in his 1947 book “In the Hands of the
Senecas,”

Edmonds’ books are considered the richest body of fiction about the time and region since the works of
James Fenimore Cooper.

The initial sets for this series will include militia, wagoneers, and more girls with guns, all suitable for the
American Revolution and French and Indian War periods.

The series will also attempt to cover probably the most significant battle of the American Revolution.
The two Battles of Saratoga were a turning point in the American Revolution. On September 19th, British
General John Burgoyne achieved a small, but costly victory over American forces led by Horatio Gates
and Benedict Arnold. Though his troop strength had been weakened, Burgoyne again attacked the
Americans at Bemis Heights on October 7th, but this time was defeated and forced to retreat. He
surrendered ten days later, and the American victory convinced the French government to formally
recognize the colonist’s cause and enter the war as their ally.



Drums Along The Mohawk

Knights of the Skies


Frank Luke Jr. (May 19, 1897 – September 29, 1918) was an American fighter ace , ranking second
among U.S. Army Air Service pilots after Captain Eddie Rickenbacker in number of aerial victories during World War I (Rickenbacker was credited with 26 victories, while Luke’s official score was 18). Frank
Luke was the first airman to receive the Medal of Honor . Luke Air Force Base , Arizona, a U.S. Air Force pilot training installation since World War II, is named in his honor.

Luke’s final flight took place during the first phase of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive . On September 28,
after achieving his 14th and 15th victories, he landed his SPAD XIII at the French aerodrome
at Cicognes where he spent the night, claiming engine trouble. When he returned to the 1st Pursuit
Group’s base at Rembercourt the next day, he was confronted by Captain Alfred A. Grant, his squadron’s
commanding officer (C.O.). Despite being under threat of arrest by Grant for being AWOL , Luke took off
without authorization and flew to a forward airbase at Verdun , where his sympathetic group commander,
Major Hartney, canceled the arrest order and gave Luke tacit approval to continue his balloon
hunting. That evening Luke flew to the front to attack three balloons in the vicinity of Dun-sur-Meuse , six
miles behind the German lines. He first dropped a message to a nearby U.S. balloon company, alerting
them to observe his imminent attacks. Luke shot down the enemy balloons, but was then severely
wounded by a single machine gun bullet fired from a hilltop above him, a mile east of the last balloon site
he had attacked. Luke landed in a field just west of the small village of Murvaux —after strafing a group of
German soldiers on the ground—near the Ruisseau de Bradon, a stream leading to the Meuse River.
Although weakened by his wound, he made his way toward the stream, intending to reach the cover of its
adjacent underbrush, but finally collapsed some 200 meters from his airplane. Approached by German
infantry, Luke drew his Colt Model 1911 pistol and fired a few rounds at his attackers before dying.
Reports that a day later his body was found with an empty gun and a bullet hole in his chest, with seven
dead Germans in front of him were proven erroneous. According to author Skinner, the fatal bullet, fired
from the hilltop machine gun position, had entered near Luke’s right shoulder, passed through his body,
and exited from his left side.

Eddie Rickenbacker said of Luke: “He was the most daring aviator and greatest fighter pilot of the entire
war. His life is one of the brightest glories of our Air Service. He went on a rampage and shot down fourteen enemy aircraft, including ten balloons, in eight days. No other ace, even the dreaded Richthofen ,
had ever come close to that



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

Knights of the Skies


The First World War spelled the breakthrough as a means of transport for the truck, both for military use and in
private enterprise.

Like the United Kingdom, Germany entered the First World War with a “Subsidy” system. Under this
system civilian companies were allowed to purchase vehicles at a lower price provided that they would
hand them over to the military in case of war. Their number, however, remained too low to fulfill the
German Army’s needs in 1914. As a consequence an enormous variety of civilian trucks were impressed
into military service when the war started. However, in the coming years of war, this variety mostly
vanished, as many trucks were used up in the daily grind and the army could order more unified military
trucks. On the average some 25,000 trucks were in German Army service at any single day during the
war.

During the war about 40,000 new trucks were manufactured between 1914-1918.
One of the “Subsidy” truck designs that was kept in production throughout the war was made by Daimler
Marienfelde (Marienfelde was the location of the Daimler factory). The truck was of modern design and
went into production in 1914. It was used extensively wherever the German Army went. Technically it was
a 3-ton truck with chain drive, using a 4-cylinder gasoline engine which gave it a maximum speed of some
30 km/h. Over 3,000 of these trucks were built between 1914-18.

Multiple period photos exist showing aircraft being transported on these lorries and towed behind.

Many of these trucks survived the war and were used by civilian companies or the German Reichswehr
Army during the twenties and thirties, with pneumatic tires replacing the old solid ones.



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

Inter-War




Inter-War Aviation Collection

WWII



JJ WWII
Collection

WWII – German


The Jagdpanther ( “hunting panther “) was a tank destroyer built by Nazi Germany during World War
II based on the chassis of the Panther tank . It entered service in 1944 during the later stages of the war on the Eastern and Western Fronts . The Jagdpanther combined the 8.8 cm KwK 43 cannon of the Tiger
II and the characteristically excellent armor and suspension of the Panther chassis

Mounting the deadly 8.8 cm PaK 43/3 L/71 cannon and protected by well-sloped 80 mm frontal armor, the
Jagdpanther proved its worth as the most fearsome German tank destroyer of the war. Although too few
were produced to affect the outcome of the war, the Jagdpanther represented an ideal blend of lethality,
armor protection, and mobility that could destroy any allied tank with ease.

The Jagdpanther Ausf G2 was the final production variant of the deadly “Hunting Panther.” It differed
from the earlier Jagdpanther Ausf G1 by using the engine configuration of the Panther G. The other main
difference was the relocation of external tool stowage from the sides of the vehicle to the engine deck and
rear hull. This tool arrangement was recommended by schwere Panzer jäger Abteilung 654, based on
their experience in Normandy, and adopted for production.​

This model represents a Jagdpanther Ausf G2 of the 2. SS-Panzer Division “Das Reich”. Late in the war,
German industry could not keep pace with the tremendous losses of armor suffered by the Wehrmacht
during the Battle of France, Operation Bagration on the Eastern Front, and the Battle of the Bulge.
Consequently, tank destroyers like the Jagdpanther and Hetzer were often issued instead of tanks to
Panzer Divisions late in the war. Das Reich was issued Jagpanthers in early February 1945 while it was
refitting following the Battle of the Bulge. It used them in the 8. Kompanie of its Panzer Regiment during
Operation “Spring Awakening” , the last major panzer offensive of the war around Lake Balaton in
Hungary. Das Reich continued to employ Jagdpanthers on the Eastern Front until its eventual surrender
to the U.S. Army in May of 1945.

The Das Reich Jagdpanther Ausf G2 comes in winter whitewash with a primer red interior and displays
many late production modifications including a raised crew compartment heater over the left engine
cooling exhaust fan, sliding plates over the right side air intakes to regulate radiator temperatures, and
flame suppressing exhausts (Flammenvernichter). Its markings also include a stylized “G” on the front
glacis plate and rear hull sides. This marking was evident on many Jagdpanthers and other panzers
during this time frame and meant the vehicle had been treated with the winter antifreeze solution
Glysantin. Prominently displayed, the Glysantin “G” alerted crews not to add the summer coolant Akorol,
lest catastrophic engine damage occur.


JJ WWII Collection

New John Jenkins March Releases!

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Gaul’s




Enemies of Rome

Aztec


The “tlahuiztli” was a tight fitting body suit constructed of woven cotton and then decorated with a variety of patterns and designs in feathers. It had an open back that could be tied up with ribbons.

Captains and high ranking units wore various back ornaments, constructed of bark paper, cloth and feathers. They were secured to a cane back rack which in turn was ties across the chest with leather straps.



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

Battle of Bushy Run




Battle of Bushy Run

French Militia 1759




French Militia 1759

Knights Of The Skies


Lanoe George Hawker, VC, DSO (30 December 1890 – 23 November 1916) was a British flying ace of the First World War. Having seven credited victories, he was the third pilot to receive the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry awarded to British and Commonwealth servicemen. He was killed in a dogfight with the famous German flying ace Manfred von Richthofen (“The Red Baron”), who described him as “the British Boelcke”

Following an initial air victory in June, on 25 July 1915 when on patrol over Passchendaele, Captain Hawker attacked three German aircraft in succession, flying a different Bristol Scout C, serial No. 1611, after his earlier No. 1609 had been written off, transplanting the custom Lewis gun mount onto No. 1611. The first aerial victory for Hawker that day occurred after he had emptied a complete drum of bullets from his aircraft’s single Lewis machine gun into it, went spinning down. The second was driven to the ground damaged, and the third – an Albatros C.I of FFA 3– which he attacked at a height of about 10,000 feet, burst into flames and crashed. (Pilot Oberleutnant Uebelacker and observer Hauptmann Roser were both killed.) For this feat he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

It has since been argued that shooting down three aircraft in one mission was a feat repeated several times by later pilots, and whether Hawker deserved his Victoria Cross has been questioned. However, in the context of the air war of mid-1915 it was unusual to shoot down even one aircraft, and the VC was awarded on the basis that all the enemy planes were armed with machine guns. More significantly, by the early summer of 1915, the German Feldflieger Abteilung two-seater observation units of the future Luftstreitkräfte, had by this time, received examples of the Fokker Eindecker monoplane, with one Eindecker going to each unit, with a fixed, forward-firing machine gun fitted with a “synchronization gear” that prevented the bullets from striking the propeller. The first claim using this arrangement, though unconfirmed by the German Army, was by Leutnant Kurt Wintgens on 1 July 1915, some 225 miles (362 km) over Lunéville distant from where Hawker had his three-victory success nearly a month later. Therefore, the German pilots like Wintgens and Leutnant Otto Parschau, another pioneering Eindecker pilot, could employ the simple combat tactic of aiming the whole aircraft, and presenting a small target to the enemy while approaching from any angle, preferably from a blind spot where the enemy observer could not return fire.

Hawker flew before Britain had any workable synchroniser gear, so his Bristol Scout had its machine gun mounted on the left side of the cockpit, firing forwards and sideways at a 45 degree angle to avoid the propeller. The only direction from which he could attack an enemy was from its right rear quarter – precisely in a direction from which it was easy for the observer to fire at him. Thus, in each of the three attacks, Hawker was directly exposed to the fire of an enemy machine gun.

On 23 November 1916, while flying an Airco DH.2 (Serial No. 5964), Hawker left Bertangles Aerodrome at 1300 hours as part of ‘A’ Flight, led by Capt J. O. Andrews and including Lt (later AVM) R.H.M.S Saundby. Andrews led the flight in an attack on two German aircraft over Achiet. Spotting a larger flight of German aircraft above, Andrews was about to break off the attack, but spotted Hawker diving to attack. Andrews and Saundby followed him to back him up in his fight; Andrews drove off one of the Germans attacking Hawker, then took bullets in his engine and glided out of the fight under Saundby’s covering fire. Losing contact with the other DH-2’s, Hawker began a lengthy dogfight with an Albatros D.IIflown by Leutnant Manfred von Richthofen of Jasta 2. The Albatros was faster than the DH2, more powerful and with a pair of lMG 08 machine guns, more heavily armed. Richthofen fired 900 rounds during the running battle. Running low on fuel, Hawker eventually broke away from the combat and attempted to return to Allied lines. The Red Baron’s guns jammed 50 yards from the lines, but a bullet from his last burst struck Hawker in the back of his head, killing him instantly. His plane spun from 1,000 ft (300 m) and crashed 200 metres (220 yards) east of Luisenhof Farm, just south of Bapaume on the Flers Road, becoming the German ace’s 11th victim. German Grenadiers reported burying Hawker 250 yards (230 metres) east of Luisenhof Farm along the roadside.



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

Knights Of The Skies


The Airco DH.2 was a single-seat biplane “pusher” aircraft which operated as a fighter during the First World War. It was the second pusher design by Geoffrey de Havilland for Airco, based on his earlier DH.1 two-seater. The DH.2 was the first effectively armed British single-seat fighter and enabled Royal Flying Corps (RFC) pilots to counter the “Fokker Scourge” that had given the Germans the advantage in the air in late 1915. Until the British developed a synchronisation gear to match the German system, pushers such as the DH.2 and the F.E.2b carried the burden of fighting and escort duties.

The No.14 Squadron operated DH-2’s against the Ottoman Turks in Palestine during 1917. By this time the DH-2 was basically obsolete and no longer considered suitable for combat operations in France. The planes for the No. 14 squadron remained with their clear doped linen finish and metal surfaces painted a medium grey, as the pale tan colour was more appropriate to the near desert conditions.

This model is depicted as an early production DH-2 as it is equipped with a gravity fuel tank mounted above the wing on the port side, and has a two bladed propeller.

**PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE STRUCTURAL POSITION OF THE UNDERCARRIAGE THE NORMAL FLIGHT STAND SCREWS AND WASHERS WILL NOT BE SUITABLE. A SPECIAL NEW LONGER SCREW AND WASHER WILL BE INCLUDED IN EACH SET. THESE CAN BE USED WITH ANY OF THE FLIGHT STANDS.**



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

British – WWI


In the British Army, motorcycle despatch riders were first used in the World War I by the Royal Engineers Signal Service. When the War Department called for motorcyclists to volunteer with their machines for despatch work at the start of August 1914, the response was huge.

The London office had 2000 more applicants than places, and a similar response was reported in regional centres around the country. If a rider and machine were approved then £10 was paid immediately, £5 to be paid on discharge (unless due to misconduct), and pay was 35s per week. The motor cycle would be taken over at valuation price, or would be replaced with a new one at the close of operations. Enlistment was for one year or as long as the war might last. The preference was for 500cc single cylinder machines and the horizontally-opposed twin cylinder. All machines had to have a “change speed gear”. A list of spare parts was also required to be carried.



British Forces

Inter-War Aviation




Inter-War Aviation Collection

WWII Collection



JJ WWII Collection

New John Jenkins February Releases!

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Gauls




Enemies of Rome

Aztec


The War suit, called an OCELOTOTEC, was woven to resemble an animal skin.

In the case of noblemen, this was made from feathers.

Men of non-noble birth attaining the rank of Jaguar warrior, usually had to make do with suits made from actual skins. These usually had the clawed paws around the wrists and ankles.

Otherwise Jaguar War Suits came in a variety of colours, mainly blue , but also yellow , red and white.

In most armies uniforms are used to differentiate units. In the Aztec army uniforms served to differentiate men with different levels of military experience within the same unit.

Rank descriptions in uniforms between warriors depended on how many captives each individual hed taken. A soldier who succeded in capturing four of the enemy was awarded a Jaguar suit and helmet.

It was believed that to capture an enemy, honored their gods in a way far greater than killing enemy soldiers in the battlefield. For a warrior to kill an enemy was considered clumsy.

The captured prisoners were offered as a sacrifice to the Aztec gods.

The jaguar motif was used due to the belief that the jaguar represented Tezcatlipoca, god of the night sky. Aztecs also wore these dresses at war because they believed the animal’s strengths would be given to them during battles

Following the warrior’s path was one of the few ways to change one’s social status in Aztec culture. Eagle and Jaguar warriors were full-time warriors who worked for the city-state to protect merchants and the city itself. They were expected to be leaders and commanders both on and off the battlefield, and acted as sort of a police force for the city. Men who reached this rank were considered as nobles and elites of society, and were granted many of the same privileges as a noble.

The mighty Aztec warrior priests were not only important figures in society but also fearsome warriors who were more than capable of wielding a macuahuitl with deadly intent on the battlefield.

In normal life Aztec priests would be responsible for many tasks, and often occupied high positions in society. They would be the life and blood of the Aztec religion, but also worked in government, created calenders, and were the primary record keepers. In addition they would teach in the schools and warrior training structures like the Calmecac and the Telpochocalli.

As a warrior priest however their role was different, they would fight alongside the Aztec warriors blow for blow. The warrior priests were armed with weaponry capable of inflicting severe injury, and they were protected with armour and shields and were more than capable or holding their ground.

Among the Aztecs a priest who had captured six of the enemy wore a Cayote suit. The TLECOYOTL or “fire cayote” had prominent red/orange macaw feather “flames” over the whole suit.



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

French Militia


**PLEASE NOTE THAT THE BASES FOR THESE FIGURES ARE SEPARATE, ALLOWING THEM TO BE USED AS CANOE CREWS, OR WITH OTHER MILITIA FIGURES.**



French Militia 1759

Knights Of The Skies


The importance of motorbikes during the Great War is all too often overlooked. Motorbikes were used for mounted infantry, scouts, dispatch and courier duties, ammunition carriers, medical supply carriers and casualty evacuation. The versatility of these machines clearly helped them play a hugely significant role in the logistics of the war, far more than the automobile.

The use that they were most commonly used for was that of the messenger. Because of the unreliability of communications technology during the war years, the motorbike’s virtue of speed meant that orders, reports and maps could be transferred between units quickly.

It was not only the men who got to ride around on motorbikes. The Women’s Royal Flying Corps made extensive use of motorbikes. The initial aim of the WRAF was to provide female mechanics so that men could be free to serve in the armed forces. Thanks to the high number of women volunteers, many also filled driver positions as well.

Douglas was a British motorcycle manufacturer from 1907–1957 based in Kingswood, Bristol, owned by the Douglas family, and especially known for its horizontally opposed twin cylinder engined bikes and as manufacturers of speedway machines. The company also built a range of cars between 1913 and 1922. During WW1 some 70,000 of these 349cc twin horizontal cylinder machines were produced for the British military.



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

Battle of Gallipoli


Billy Sing was an elite sniper from Australia and his “duel” with his opposite number from Turkey called Abdul the Terrible, became the basis of Ion Idriess book

“Lurking Death; The Stories of Snipers in Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine”.

“Abdul the Sniper was the pride of the Turkish Army. They named his rifle ‘The Mother of Death’. Because, so declared the Ottoman Guard, ‘her breech gives birth to bullets which destroy the lives of men’,” Idriess wrote.

One of the Turkish snipers victims was Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick, “the man with the donkey”. A party of “counter-snipers” led by Lieutenant Thomas Grace, Wellington Battalion NZEF, were briefed to take on the Turkish marksmen.

Each sharpshooter had an observer or spotter with a telescope.

An equally terrible Australian sniper emerged who day by day killed man after man. The Australian sniper was trooper Billy Sing from Queensland of the 5th Light Horse. Abdul the Terrible was ordered to locate and kill him.

Idriess says he was one day acting as a spotter for Sing. He writes: “How many enemy this particular sniper shot will never be known but in three months his tally was one hundred and fifty.”

Adbul the Terrible would apparently examine any man who was shot through the head to try to establish the trajectory of the bullet and the likely location of the sniper from whom it was fired. His calculations led him to believe the shots were coming from one spot nearly on top of a trench across on Chatham’s Post.At night Abdul began to dig his cunning fox hole into which he would climb before dawn to lay there all day, staring across at Chatham’s Post.

As Idriess tells it, Abdul ignored other tempting targets but for a long time could not locate Sing, until one evening he reported to the officer in charge. “I have found him. I will kill him tomorrow.”

The next day, according to the account, another Anzac climbed into Sing’s hideout or “possy” but instinct apparently told Abdul this wasn’t the real man he was after and he, accordingly, withheld his fire.

Then Sing got into the possy and his observer suddenly alerted him not to open the loophole. Sing looked through the telescope.

“Thus the Australian sniper stared into Abdul the Terrible’s eyes,” according to the text.

What happened next can only be left to Idriess

“The sniper, with his finger, slid back the loophole cover hardly an inch, then cautiously poked his rifle muzzle through…

“Careful,” murmured the observer. “He’s got the eyes of an eagle and – he’s staring straight here.”

“It’s me or him,” grunted Sing.

“But had Abdul fired, even had his bullet come through that tiny slit, it wouldn’t have hit the sniper, for the born sniper knows the crouch that means the fractional difference between life and death. Only when the sniper actually had his eye aligned with his rifle sights then –

“That was what Abdul was waiting for. His big eyes staring, his rifle-muzzle slowly rising up… But Abdul did not know that the Australian sniper had seen him.

“Gently the peephole widened, then stopped close around the rifle. Abdul waited with finger on trigger, just awaiting that loophole to open the least fraction more. And – a bullet took him between the eyes.”

The Australian War Memorial states that the Turkish army immediately retaliated, aiming its heavy artillery at Billy’s hiding position and completely destroying it. Fortunately for the Australian sniper and his spotter, they had already evacuated to their unit trenches.



Battle of Gallipoli 1915

INTER-WAR AVIATION




Inter-War Aviation Collection

GERMAN ARMOUR


The first tank crew figures for the Panzer I’s are now available

The Panzer I was a light tank produced in Germany in the 1930s. The name is short for the German Panzerkampfwagen I (“armored fighting vehicle mark I”), abbreviated PzKpfw I. The tank’s official German ordnance inventory designation was SdKfz 101 (“special purpose vehicle 101”).

Design of the Panzer I began in 1932 and mass production began in 1934. Intended only as a training tank to introduce the concept of armored warfare to the German Army, the Panzer I saw combat in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, in Poland, France, the Soviet Union and North Africa during the Second World War, and in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Experiences with the Panzer I during the Spanish Civil War helped shape the German Panzerwaffes’ invasion of Poland in 1939 and France in 1940. By 1941, the Panzer I chassis design was used as the basis of tank destroyers and assault guns. There were attempts to upgrade the Panzer I throughout its service history, including by foreign nations, to extend the design’s lifespan. It continued to serve in the Spanish Armed Forces until 1954.

The Panzer I’s performance in combat was limited by its thin armour and light armament of two machine guns. As a design intended for training, the Panzer I was not as capable as other light tanks of the era, such as the Soviet T-26. Although weak in combat, it formed a large part of Germany’s tank forces and was used in all major campaigns between September 1939 and December 1941. The small, vulnerable light tank would be surpassed in importance by other German tanks, such as the Panzer IV, Panther, and Tiger; nevertheless, the Panzer I’s contribution to the early victories of Nazi Germany during World War II was significant.

Lesson learned from the Panzerkampfwagen I provided the German designers and manufacturers with valuable experience in designing and producing the next generation of new panzers that were soon to come. Although, Panzerkampfwagen I was not a truly valuable combat tank, it proved to be an excellent training tank and most of the panzer crews were trained on Panzerkampfwagen I until the end of the war or operated it in combat as their first armoured vehicle


JJ WWII
Collection

WWII Collection


Air operations aboard carriers included a wide variety of jobs. In addition to the plane crews, a large number of support personnel were required to keep the planes flying.

These included mechanics, ordnancemen, plane handlers, firefighters, catapult crews and medical teams.

Without them and their dedication to getting the job done, the carriers and their air groups would not have succeeded.

Men whose duties required them to work on the carrier’s flight deck wore brightly coloured shirts for two reasons.

The flight deck was a potentially dangerous place, especially when planes were being launched or recovered. Anyone not wearing a colour coded shirt didn’t belong on the flight deck during operationsThe colour coded shirts also indicated the specific job speciality of the men who wore them.

A U.S. Navy Aircraftcarrier’s deck crew exists to do one thing: to consistently put aircraft into the air and safely recover them after they launch. In order to make this happen, there exists a small army of flight deck facilitators, and each individual has their own role primarily designated by the color of the shirt they wear.

Life on the flight deck is dangerous and taxing. Spinning propellers, grease everywhere, and a stiff sea wind that never stops are just a few of the things that must be endured for many hours at a time. The night and bad weather throw a whole other set of problems into the mix.

Yellow shirts are worn by aircraft handlers and aircraft directors that shuttle aircraft around the carrier’s tight and chaotic deck.

Plane Handlers, who work under the direction of the yellow shirt wearing aircraft handlers, assist in moving aircraft around the deck, they were also responsible for placing and removing wheel chocks, and lashing and securing parked planes. They also can operate the carrier’s massive aircraft elevators, drive tractors and work as messengers and verbal liaisons.


JJ WWII Collection

Knights of the Skies




Knights Of The Skies – WWI

Future Release – Corsair


The crew and upcoming Corsair can fit on a single BH-100 Carrier Base, and be displayed on a standard bookshelf.

**PLEASE NOTE THE FIRST OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR PLANES, WHICH CAN BE USED WITH THE CARRIER DECKS WILL BE AVAILABLE SHORTLY AFTER THE CHINESE NEW YEARS HOLIDAY**