WW2 Little Soldiers

Crossfire French Battalion

I had been planning a French unit for a while, but after reading Blitzkreig by Len Deighton, I decided to get serious about putting together a 1940 French unit for Crossfire.

Figures

I had no French figures, so I started this from scratch. There are not a lot of options for WWII French, and at the time Caesar had not released their set. So I looked at WWI figures and bought the Airfix set when I couldn't find the one from Revell.

Currently everything came out of the single Airfix box. I don't quite have enough figures for a Leg or Motorized company, but I'd rather supplement with a set other than Airfix to get some additional poses.

Order of Battle

The first thing I noticed is the OOB in the rules that there is an extra platoon compared to the other nations. It either ends up as a heavy weapons group or is incorporated into the line companies. Also the only HMG stand is listed at the batallion level. But until I acquire enough figures to match the rules, I'll use a more standard layout.

French Infantry and CC
French CC, PC and Rifle stands

Battalion HQ and Support

1 x HMG
1 x FO for off-table Heavy Artillery (10 FM)

1 x Rifle Company
1 x CC (+0)
1 x FO for off-table 50mm Mortar (12 FM)
3 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+0), 3 x Rifle

Anti-Tank Guns

At first I wanted to convert a prone rifle figure to have a anti-tank rifle, but discovered that they weren't that common. So I set about to acquire a few 25mm anti-tank guns. Unfortunately, there are none in plastic, and the metal ones are expensive. Fortunately I found a set of "blueprints" for the gun and designed one in paper. After three tries I am pretty proud with how it turned out.

1 x Anti-Tank Platoon

2 x 25mm ATG
2 x Horse Limbers

Hotchkiss 25mm ATG
Hotchkiss 25mm ATG

Although trucks or halftracks were the standard transport for AT guns, there were still many horses in active duty. The 25mm was light enough to pulled by such a horse limber, so I made one out of card. There is room for an ammuntion box and the crew on top of the limber, but I haven't made those yet.

25mm Limbers
Limbers for the 25mm ATG

Armor

2 x Light Tank Platoons

4 x FT-17 or R-35

1 x Medium Tank Platoon
2 x S-35 Souma

France had a lot of tanks, but only used them a few at a time in most cases.

The FT-17 was used a lot in WWI and the Spanish Civil War by was obsolete in 1940. Still it was used by units who had not yet switched to newer models. These tanks are made out of card. In Crossfire the stats for the light tanks are all grouped together, so I went with what was available rather than try to get a R-35/R-39 or H-39 that would be more WWII-ish.

FT-17
Renault FT-17

The Souma S-35 was a well armored tank that was let down by the turret design that had room for only the Tank Commander, requiring him to loading and firing the gun in addtion to everything else. This is a plastic model from Heller.

Souma S-35
Souma S-35

References

French Trucks

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