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Caesar

Set H053

WWII German Panzergrenadiers II

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2009
Contents 36 figures
Poses 11 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

Although the name Panzergrenadiere was coined in the early 1940s, the concept of infantry working in conjunction with armour was much older. It tended to refer to both motorised divisions and the infantry in Panzer divisions, but in both cases they enjoyed an advantage over those divisions that continued to rely on horse-drawn transport throughout the war. Having already created one set for these men (reviewed here), would set number two simply build on the first, or focus on something new?

An initial study of the uniforms of these men gives the impression that they are late war - perhaps from the end of 1943 onwards. All are identically dressed, with a smock tied at the top which is showing the collar of the tunic. All the helmets seem to have covers, and all have the short gaiters of later war years apart from one man, who retains his earlier high boots. Equipment is mostly the usual bread bag, field flask and mess tin, with occasional appearance by other kit such as entrenching tools and gasmask cases. All this is quite appropriate for these men and accurately portrayed here.

Much of the weaponry was available throughout the war, with four of the poses holding the Kar 98k carbine and five having the MP38 or MP40 submachine gun. However the late war feel is reinforced by the second figure on the top row, who holds an MP43/StG44 assault rifle, and the first figure in the second row. He holds both a machine gun and what looks like a Panzerwurfmine, which was a hand-thrown anti-tank grenade. This weapon, which was first introduced in 1943, required some training to use and was therefore not widely issued but was instead used by specialist anti-tank squads. Also late war is the Panzerschreck at the end of the second row, which was an improved copy of the American bazooka. Finally the first figure in row three is in the process of attaching a Hafthohlladung, a 3kg shaped charge mine, to some target.

Apart from the brave man attaching the mine, which we thought was unusual and particularly well done, all the poses are unremarkable but appropriate. For many that is all the praise they need, but with so many sets of German infantry available it would have been nice to see more than one figure delivering something different. As we have come to expect, all the anatomy is beyond reproach and the detailing is very good, with good three-dimensional poses where they are called for and entirely realistic positions. Areas such as weapons are pretty well done, and always as slim as they should be to keep to scale, so along with the complete lack of any flash there is nothing to complain about here.

So the answer to our original question is that set two shows the same subject but in the last years of the war. Although as always older equipment and uniform items persisted for different lengths of time on different individuals. Our previous comments about the neat but unrealistic uniformity between all these figures applies equally here as to the first set, and of course there are always other weapons that some would have liked to see (and the proportion of submachine guns is noticeably high in this set). With the increasingly long war and the growing supply problems, a more dishevelled and motley appearance would if anything be even more important for a late war set such as this, yet taken as individuals all these figures are perfectly accurate and well executed, making for yet another Caesar set that will readily find a place in the collection of anyone with an interest in this subject.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 10
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"German Combat Equipments 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.234) - Gordon Rottman - 9780850459524
"German Infantryman (2) Eastern Front 1941-43" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.76) - David Westwood - 9781841766119
"German Infantryman (3) Eastern Front 1943-45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.93) - David Westwood - 9781841767802
"German Soldiers of World War II" - Histoire & Collections - Jean de Lagarde - 9782915239355
"Infantry Weapons of World War II" - David & Charles - Jan Suermont - 9780715319253
"The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II" - Amber - Chris Bishop - 9781905704460
"The German Army 1939-45 (4)" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.330) - Nigel Thomas - 9781855327962
"The German Army 1939-45 (5)" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.336) - Nigel Thomas - 9781855327979
Magazines
"Militaria (English Language)" - No.5

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