A Swedish Wargames Army WW2 period

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gebhk
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A Swedish Wargames Army WW2 period

Post by gebhk » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:41 am

Perhaps because it (very sensibly) avoided getting caught up in WW2, Sweden's armed forces get very little page-space. From a wargamer's POV I think this is a great shame. The Swedish army had some superb and good-looking equipment combining many international esthetics and ideas as well as being world leader in some - particularly artillery and motor vehicles. If I understand my limited literature, the Swedish infantry starting from a very traditional, if weak in firepower, model in 1939, developed into what appears to have been among the most 'tooled-up' infantry in the world.

However, while having a vague idea about basic infantry organisation and the appearance of some equipment, I am absolutely stumped when it comes to sourcing 1/72 models (aside from tanks and aeroplanes, in every rivet configuration there is or might have been and, sadly, not really my first interest. And Bofors guns of course). Any advice gratefully accepted!

I am also very curious as to how the wheeled APCs were used in Sweden during the war and by whom. While quite a lot (relatively) info can be gleaned about them after WW2 (they were a big hit apparently among international peace-keepers, well into the 70s), I have found very little about domestic use. Did an armoured formation evolve in and after 1944?

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7dot62mm
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Re: A Swedish Wargames Army WW2 period

Post by 7dot62mm » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:07 am

Irregular Miniatures:
Really Useful Guns - Gun Type One A £1.00
“British 15ODR Krupp m.00 as used in the Boer war. It was used with and
without shield. A matter of wargamer individual choice. See later for
another version of this under 3b. Also represents the Danish m02,
Swedish m02” – Do note however that these are usually very small models, more 1/87 or 1/100 though marketed also for 20m scale.

As you said you're covered on the vehicle front:

IBG:
Stridsvagn m/38 Swedish light tank
Stridsvagn m/39 Swedish light tank
Stridsvagn m/40 K Swedish light tank
Stridsvagn m/40 L Swedish light tank

CMK:
1/72 Strv m/37 Praga AH-IV-S Swedish Tankette


There are several people selling 3D prints of various rare vehicles on the net at Shapeways.com

PanzerPrinter:
1/72 Sav M/43 Swedish SPG in White Natural Versatile Plastic

Arctic Skunk
PV181D Landsverk L-120 (1/72)


...as far as infantry goes I'm afraid you'll have to convert some First to Fight Polish (with BARs) or something. :(

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Iztvan
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Re: A Swedish Wargames Army WW2 period

Post by Iztvan » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:21 am

Per "Roll a one" has posted some articles on his blog about his Swedish 15mm project:
https://rollaone.com/category/sweden-ww2/

He has (among other stuff) used 3d prints of the armored apc and the m/42 tank.
Twitter @Staffan_G

gebhk
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Re: A Swedish Wargames Army WW2 period

Post by gebhk » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:25 pm

Thanks guys, very useful info.

Add to the list the 105mm and 150mm Bofors howitzers from Shell Hole Scenics. Alas the KP bil M42 is available from Shapeways in every scale except anything useful like 1/76 or 1/72. Unfortunately, for me, this is all gravy and I wouldn't want to start a project without the meat and potatoes (and veg!). Ie trucks, tractors, cars, motorcycles, horses, wagons, carts, limbers, mortars, engineering equipment, signals equipment blah blah blah. And alas I don't know what some of this stuff even looks like :( .

I believe an armoured division was formed in 1944 - so that is some progress since this morning :D. Presumably that is where the KP-bils went to?

I agree with you 7dot62mm that converting Poles is probably the way to go. However, how does the backpack the Poles are usually blessed with, compare with the Swedish version?

black cavalier
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Re: A Swedish Wargames Army WW2 period

Post by black cavalier » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:39 am

The backpack is one if the reasons the Rollaone blog author suggests using Italians. The 15mm Flames of War ones dont have backpacks. But you do have to do conversions for the various MGs.

gebhk
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Re: A Swedish Wargames Army WW2 period

Post by gebhk » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:10 pm

Hmm, can't comment on 15mm as not my scale. However in 1/72 using Italians will, in my opinion at any rate, cause more problems than it cures. Typically judging by the plastic and SHQ figures and the very limited photographic evidence I have come across, the open collar and tie; ammunition pouches and bayonet; and puttees would have to be converted. This seems like an awful lot of messing about. Aside from adding a central ammo pouch over the belt buckle much of this is unnecessary with the Polish uniform. Also the Polish helmet seems more similar to the Swedish than the Italian job (probably not a coincidence) - just needs to have the visor smoothed off. The avoidance of replacing weapons is also not to be sneezed at...

On my present knowledge, it seems likely that Swedish riflemen went into action with their backpacks (there does not appear enough organic transport at the company level to shift the men's backpacks). However, rather than the satchel favoured by the Poles, the Swedes apparently stuck with rucksacks. These can be obtained in 1/72 and would cover most of the mess created by removal of the Polish backpack.

Ho-hum, it's all academic in any event, until I can get some suitable vehicles etc.

gebhk
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Re: A Swedish Wargames Army WW2 period

Post by gebhk » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:04 pm

We can add Gecko Industries resin:
Strv m/41
Sav m/43
KP-bil m/42

as well as more modern Swedish vehicles such as the very tempting PBV301 (APC based on the Strv m/41 chassis).

gebhk
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Re: A Swedish Wargames Army WW2 period

Post by gebhk » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:33 am

On another tack...

The anti-aircraft and anti-tank defence capability of the Swedish 1943 division seems woefully inadequate. Firstly, I can find no evidence of any AT or AA battalions or even companies at divisional level. And, while there were higher level AA units, I have found no evidence of corps/army-level AT units that could be assigned.

Turning to the weapons. While these (37mm A/T guns, 20mm dual-purpose weapons and 20mm AT rifles) could have been described as good or even excellent weapons by 1939 standards, by the standards of 1944/45 they would have been virtually useless against MBTs of most countries and would have struggled to contain recce vehicles of many. By the late 30's it was fairly clear to most that the 37mm class of AT weapon was not going to be fully effective for much longer and most countries were procuring heavier weapons - even industrially handicapped neighbours such as Poland. I find it hard to believe that Bofors who gave the world the 40mm AA gun and the 37mm AT gun were incapable of producing at least a decent 47-50mm AT gun or 75mm AT gun. I can only assume therefore, that they didn't produce one because no one had asked them to.

Given that the main threat was seen as the Soviet Union, closely followed by Germany, both of which (and particularly the former) were likely to bring 'to the table' large numbers of tanks and light/medium tactical bomber aircraft, this seems a particularly glaring weakness. Also given the very generous allocation of heavy weapons at the lower end of the spectrum (company level) of the Swedish infantry, can anyone explain the thinking behind this approach?

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Iztvan
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Re: A Swedish Wargames Army WW2 period

Post by Iztvan » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:25 pm

Don't you think a lot of this was because we where playing "catching up" from a very low level, having to prioritise limited resources.

I presume we would have ended up similarly to Finland and be forced to improvise. Perhaps using heavy AA and artillery as stop-gap AT. The very limited amphibious ability of the USSR (compared to the cold war) they would have been forced to go through northern Sweden, which i not tank country exactly.
Twitter @Staffan_G

gebhk
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Re: A Swedish Wargames Army WW2 period

Post by gebhk » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:57 am

I do get the 'catch-up' issue, absolutely. However, the fact remains that Sweden achieved a massive build-up of manpower and units (including high-cost 'luxury' items like armoured infantry) which, I would argue, demonstrates a significant level of resource availability. However, most of this appears to have been pumped into creating ever larger numbers of rifle, machine gun and mortar armed infantry with virtually nothing to combat tanks and light bombers. As the Polish experience of 1939 showed, this was not the way to fight an effective defensive campaign in the modern reality - even though, arguably, for its day, the Polish Infantry division was better equipped for this than its 1944 Swedish counterpart.

An obvious candidate would be the divisional 'security battalion' which already had 3 37mm AT guns, but otherwise seems to have been a weaker version of the battalions found in the bicycle infantry regiment. I would expect fitting this unit out as an anti-tank battalion/unit to have been no more expensive and possibly cheaper that the actual thing. What was then the role of the actual Security Battalion and why was that more important than having an AA/AT asset?

When we consider weapons, I am surprised that Bofors did not produce, at the very least, a viable 47-50mm anti-tank gun even before the war. Given the very high standing and success of the Bofors marque, surely they could have anticipated sales abroad to offset the development costs?

To underline, I am not criticising, but trying to understand the thinking that went behind what, on the face of it, seems a very eccentric approach to force balance even by 1939 standards, let alone 1944. However, I am keenly aware that the 'face of it' is often deceptive and a little knowledge etc. I'm afraid the Finnish example is not really helpful because Finland was thrust into the war at a very early stage and had to make do with whatever it could scrape together. Sweden, in comparison, was developing its armed forces without the pressures of actual war and, therefore, should have been developing them in a more planned manner, and backed by a very successful armaments industry. I would have thought that the concept of using 'not tank country' alone as a guarantee of security had been very thoroughly put to rest by 1944 (albeit, to be fair, to their cost the Kwantung Army was relying on just that in their planning for the Soviet Invasion of Manchuria as late as 1945)?

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