Monday, 29 May 2017

going to Burma, part 1...

Well 28mm and World War Two seems to be the gut du jour at the Forward HQ. At Salute I got a small squad box of Warlord Games Merrill Marauders

Image result for warlord games merrill's marauders

They are metal figures with separate heads. I will be straight forward, I do not like separate head too much, especially in metal. They are a pain in the literal ass... but in this the case the heads were reasonably well fitting and thy certainly add variation and customization to the figures.  Sculpting was nice, I am on the camp who likes Warlord sculpts and does not find them  bad as some people say. Again I will be blunt as my usual and I will say that the usual criticism is unwarranted.  Introduction and sterile polemics aside here is the result...

The Marauder, the 5037th Composite Unit, or Galahad Force, were an US offshoot of  Orde Wingate first Chindit foray. Ignoring the shortcoming of the whole concept the US military seized on the idea of a deep attack force of highly trained infantry supported by the air to spearhead General Stillwell's reopening of the Burma road.  The Galahad force, composed of skilled combat veterans, some coming from the Americal and 25th Division and their ordeal on Guadalcanal, undergone special training in India and was employed as the tip of Stillwell's CAI (Chinese Army in India,  or X Force) assault toward the Chinese border across Northern Burma. It was under the command of the energetic, but frail, Brigadier General Frank Merrill. He led the unit with distinction but also suffered several heart attacks in the process. Even worse while the units was effective for a while the same shortcoming of the Chindits' concept emerged and in the end the unit self destructed due to illness, exhaustion and supply shortages. It was replaced by the Mars unit, similar in concept, with a core of retained troopers from the 5037th, but also used as a part of a more conventional supply system. Is also worth to note that while the 5037th got a lot of publicity during and after the war, the Chinese troops performed well, in the end winning their part of the campaign, but never receiving proper recognition, possibly because they were Nationalist Chinese...

If you want to see how this bias is enduring still, have a look at the historical introduction of the rules of the upcoming Nemesis game on the 1944 campaign in Burma, the KMT/GMD is the subject of baseless and gratuitous slander and Chiang is insulted with, again, no basis. I preordered the game and the game itself is excellent and gives a good treatment of the Chinese troops, but the designer's comments seem lifted straight from the weak work of Barbara Tuchman on Stillwell (an agiography of a man who had plenty of faults). Say what you want about Chiang, but saying he was not interested in fighting the Japanese is idiocy. Especially if at the same time you think Stilwell had not faults...

Anyway I will discuss the campaign in another occasion  today it is just a miniature parade, of something I bought and paint in around one month (!?!).

Not the best of picture, but you can see the variety of the figures. One of the peculiarity of the unit was the freedom of equipment. Thus more automatic weapons than usual US Army squads, but also more or less lack of standard equipment. Some soldiers wear cut down HBT, some full HBT with rolled sleeves, and some Indian manufactured wolly pully. Webbing is reduced to the essential, ammunition pouches and water bottles. Non essential equipment was supposed to be carried by mules.

Another particular of the unit was the abundance of floppy hats.


  1. Those figs are not to bad. I just wish I could order those separate heads with out having to buy the whole set.

  2. have you tried to contact Warlord? Once I needed some additional metal USMC heads (I wanted cloth overs over the helmets and not netting and the old metal box had to few of the former) and they let me order them with collection at a show.

  3. I sent them a message and then just replied. Try are Chindits, there heads are sold separately. I don't believe they where trying to be rude or anything. But if I wanted the Chindits heads, that what I would have ordered.
    That was a few months ago. Maybe they will have changed there toon.
    I mean I am willing to give them money for the extra work. lol

  4. I think they just get confused, sometime their staff is not really into historicals and probably they were thinking it was the same... Chindits, Galahads... they are heads! I suppose it is all that Cavatore-fantasy influence... funny thing the last few times I contacted warlord I had always Italian people answering me... a conspiracy?

  5. HAHA! Watch, next order will be filled with nothing but ancient Romans and Bersaglieri instead of what I ordered!
    I wouldn't complain, but that would just be more product lost when I ask for my original order.