After painting my British Paratroopers platoon, I wished to add an historical opponent to them. Quite obviously my choice was to paint units of the 21. Panzer Division. The fact that Warlord Games released some typical transport was a great opportunity to collect a nice historical force.
First I went back to my archives. I remembered that Jean-Philippe Imbach wrote a great article in the french magazine Vae Victis about the 21. Panzer Division more than 10 years ago (issue #57 - 07/08 2004).
I needed panzergrenadiers with a hooded smock with a sumpfmuster camo pattern. Unfortunately, these are not really common, the ss panzergrenadiers minis have a smock but without hood and with a visible jacket collar. The only correct miniatures that I knew where the Artizan Designs ones sculpted by Mike Owens. I already painted several of them for my waffen-ss platoons.
In his article Jean-Philippe Imbach insisted that if the hooded smocks where numerous, there are also mixed with with standard heer uniforms and a zeltbahn (and a splitter camo pattern) over them. The Artizan Designs late war german also mixed figures with zeltbahn. I knew that some of them had no hood but it was less than 20%.
I have been painting a squad where all the figures had a hooded smock in order to train myself with the sumpfmuster camo pattern. The helmets have been painted with dunkel gelb with patches of brown and green.
Then I have the Platoon leader and two men with additionnal hoods in green stuff.
I also prepared a Panzerschreck team though the initial Gliederung did not mention them. Jean-Philippe Imbach pointed that german units from south of France had to send their weapons to Normandy in July and August 1944. There is also a man of the 21. Pz Division with a Pzschreck in the Osprey Men-at-arms 336.
I added some hoods to the two other squads for the coming weeks. I also bought two MMG and two mortars teams.
The last point was the transport means of the division. At the moment I bought four U-304(f) from Warlord Games ( one with a Pak-36 for the Platoon Leader). The real issue is that there were two types of U-304(f).
The U-304(f) Leitche is a little longer than a Sdkfz250 and it equipped the 1st battalion of the Panzer Grenadier Regiment 125. The problem is that a squad needed 2 U-304(f) leitche and it explained why companies of the I / 125 had 40 MGs (instead of 30 for a standard unit).
The U-304(f) mittlere is wider and longer than a Sdkfz250 and it equipped the 1st battalion of the Panzer Grenadier Regiment 192. The U-304(f) mittlere has no MG mounted and it explained why companies of the I / 192 had 20 MGs (instead of 30 for a standard unit).
There is no U-304(f) mittlere at the 1/56 scale at the moment which is a bit frustating as it served as a base for the Pak40 version.