On 6th April 1941 Yugoslavia was added to the long list of countries German invaded, and within two weeks the conquest was complete. Even before then (just four days after the attack) Croatia was declared as an independent state, and immediately annexed Bosnia. As a result, the army of the new state included numbers of Bosnians, while others found their way into the German armed forces for service on the new Eastern Front, most notably the 13th Waffen SS Mountain Division 'Handschar'.
The uniform of the Croatian army was varied but naturally tended to be German in style, and most of the figures in this set are wearing smocks of the German style, which hides much of their uniform, so these figures could serve for either the Croatian or German armies. They all wear the Muslim fez, but have no other identifying features apart from one officer, who wears the German eagle on his right breast (and is therefore a German rather than a Bosnian). The webbing and equipment are also a mixture, which matches the fairly motley appearance of these troops.
The detail on these figures is pretty variable, with some areas being OK but others being very indistinct. In places the sculpting goes completely awry as in one side of the face on several poses, which is basically missing. The proportions of the figures look fine in our picture, but this does not reveal that they are fairly flat, while the horse practically disappears when viewed from the side! The saddle is also too small to accommodate the rider's legs, so the only way he can sit is leaning well forward as if whispering in the horse's ear. There is some flash in certain areas while others are entirely flash-free.
Following the recent trend the prone figure in this set has a separate head. This fits into the torso via a peg, and with a little trimming of the hole the fit is quite good. While the plastic used does not bond well with conventional polystyrene glue, using the right glue produces a good result, and the figure certainly benefits from this two-piece construction.
The poses are reasonable although we were not fond of the man with the grenades. The mounted officer is an interesting and unusual addition, and the selection also includes two dismounted officers and a prisoner.
At a time when World War II is already well covered it is good to find something different for the conflict. Sadly the bloodbath that occurred between 1941 and 1945 was merely one more chapter in the violent history of the Balkans, and events there had little impact on the wider war, but these are worthwhile figures even though close-up they are not good looking.