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Erinyes over Denmark (1/72 464 Squadron Tamiya Mosquito FB.VI)


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'The prisoner is marched into a tent lit by one flickering lantern. There is a good deal of side play. The interrogator snaps out the routine questions: "Name—rank—number?" When the next question is greeted with silence, the sentry is ordered to leave the tent. The interrogator fingers his revolver. "I don't want to resort to methods we dislike," he says, and hopes the prisoner will believe the opposite. He may be taken into a confined space, such as an armored car. The interrogator talks in a low voice. He explains that he wants some important information and that he is determined to get it. He is candid. "You are alone; you have a family. You want to live. It is nice to be a hero when someone is looking, but you are alone."'


-- Military Intelligence Service, "Prisoners of War (German)", Intelligence Bulletin, December 1942

 

 

"I admire you, but in the end everybody talks."

 

-- SS-Hauptsturmführer Nikolaus "Klaus" Barbie, to Lise Leserve, who he tortured for nineteen days. Her husband and son were both killed by the Germans.

 

 

"Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves."

 

-- George Orwell, 1984

 

 

"Undergrunden i Jylland er ved at blive revet op af Gestapo."

 

[The Resistance in Jutland is about to be torn up by the Gestapo.]

 

-- Brigadegeneral Vagn Bennike, Head of Danish Resistance Operations in Jutland, in a message to London, 15 October 1944

 

 

 

THE FURIES:

Our anger never works against
a man whose hands are clean—
all his life he stays unharmed.                                          
But those men guilty of some crime,
as this one is, who hide away,
concealing blood-stained hands—
we harass them as testament
to those they’ve murdered.
Blood avengers, always in pursuit,
we chase them to the end.                                

 

-- Aeschylus, Eumenides

 

In 1943, SOE agent Jacob Jensen was captured by the Germans after parachuting back into Denmark. This was not unusual: SOE was in many ways an organization of enthusiastic amateurs, and their agents had been, for the most part, ordinary people before the war, leavened with a handful of professional soldiers who remained in or returned to their home countries to continue the fight. Like many before him and many after him, Jensen, who had been a fisherman before the war, broke under torture. The Geheime Staatspolizei in Denmark, better known as the Gestapo, was able to roll up almost the entirety of the Danish resistance operating in the Jutland peninsula.

 

To compound matters, Grethe Bartram, ostensibly a Danish communist, began informing to the Germans for money, even turning over her own brother, and causing the collapse of the communist resistance groups in the country. (Bartram was sentenced to death after the war, but it was commuted and she was released from prison after a decade. She had informed on over forty people; fifteen were tortured, and eight were taken into Germany under the nacht und nebel decree, never to be seen alive again. Bartam herself lived to be 92, dying in Sweden in 2017.)

 

Matters came to a head on 7 October 1944, when the Gestapo captured one of the couriers for the resistance, who reported directly to Vagn Bennike, a prewar officer in the Royal Danish Army now coordinating the activities of all resistance cells in the Peninsula. If the Germans could identify, locate, and capture Bennike, they would be able to completely wipe out any trace of resistance in the region. In desperation, Bennike signalled London on 15 October: "The resistance in Jutland is about to be torn up by the Gestapo. More important to get the archives destroyed and save our people than getting our people destroyed and save the archives. I implore that residence hall 4 and 5, repeat 4 and 5, be destroyed by air strike. They are the two farthest to the west, repeat farthest to the west, buildings of the university complex. Urgent, repeat urgent." The two buildings in question were located in the densely packed university campus, with three hospitals, Århus Kommunehospital, Århus Amtssygehus, and Marselisborg Hospital all nearby.

 

In 1944, there was only one air force in the world who could even attempt such a task.

 

A single Mosquito from 544 Squadron surveyed the area on 26 October. A wing attack was planned for Halloween, with 24 aircraft drawn from 21 Squadron and two of the Article XV squadrons, 464 (RAAF) and 487 (RNZAF). Wing Commander R W "Reg" Reynolds DSO DFC and his navigator, Squadron Leader (later Air Commodore) Edward "Ted" Sismore DSO DFC, who had helped to plan the prior Amiens raid, were to lead. Mustangs from 315 (City of Deblin) Squadron would escort them in.

 

Flying in four waves, the Mosquitos came roaring in at extremely low level. The first wave hit at 1141, dropping 500-lb bombs with eleven second fuses; one of the weapons bounced away and exploded against the main university building, killing ten civilian workers, the only collateral casualties of the raid. Four minutes after the first wave, the next three waves came in, one after another, dropping incendiaries.

 

The raid was a stunning success. The critically important resistance courier Ruth Phillipsen and the distinguished theologian and saboteur Harald Sandbæk were both able to escape. 27 Gestapo officers, including the local commander, Sturmbannführer Eugen Schwitzgebel, were killed. Their files were burnt to ash. A single Mosquito, damaged by flak, force-landed in Sweden, and the crew were interned. The resistance in Jutland experienced a resurgence, even managing to sink three German ships in harbor before the end of the war.

 

 

So obviously I'm building a Tamiya Mosquito FB.VI. I have decals for SB-S/HR352, flown by Flt/Lt. W. C. Henderson & Fl/Off. R. S. Hawke on the raid, but the proooooooblem is that they're for how she appeared in early 1945. At least as late as August 1944, we know that 464 was using an extremely annoying and likely difficult to mask properly form of invasion stripes: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C288048

 

And in this footage from the RAF B.IV camera ship that went along on the Aarhus raid, we can see, at 0:27, that at least some of the aircraft had their stripes up the whole side of the fuselage, obturating the squadron code, but not the individual aircraft letter: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060030265 Which seems very sloppy, not having the wing standardize on one style of marking.

 

SO. Anyone with a copy of The Gestapo Hunters, which is presently unobtainable in this country, I'd be much obliged for your help.

 

In any case, we start in earnest tomorrow.

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3 hours ago, Procopius said:

Mustangs from 315 (City of Deblin) Squadron would escort them in.

Oooh Happy to be here, just so happens Im planning on a 315 Sq. Mustang in the very near future PC. Very fortunate that we will have a connected build. 

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1 hour ago, alt-92 said:

Great choice of subject :)

 

Although if this is supposed to become a WIP thread, it might be advisable to have it moved ;)

 

Hngghahh! This is what happens when you post after caring for a vomiting five year old all day.

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Moved that for you, and you're not an idiot, you're human like the rest of us.  Do it a hundred more times and we'll be rethinking that opinion though ;)

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9 hours ago, Procopius said:

In 1944, there was only one air force in the world who could even attempt such a task.

 

In 2021, there is only one American modeller I know who could even attempt to commence another superb WIP whilst caring for a vomiting 5 year old all day.

 

Looking forward to this one Edward!

 

Terry

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8 minutes ago, Fukuryu said:

@Procopius, FWIW, it seems that they are a couple of used copies of The Gestapo Hunters right now in Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1450256449/ref=sr_aod_dp_ttl

Regrettably, there are two books titled The Gestapo Hunters -- this one is a novel. The one I'm in need of is this: The Gestapo Hunters: 464 Squadron Raaf 1942-45 https://smile.amazon.com/dp/1875593195/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_XSGZQRH5WAFGX568PFFC

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2 minutes ago, Procopius said:

Regrettably, there are two books titled The Gestapo Hunters -- this one is a novel. The one I'm in need of is this: The Gestapo Hunters: 464 Squadron Raaf 1942-45 https://smile.amazon.com/dp/1875593195/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_XSGZQRH5WAFGX568PFFC

 

My bad, sorry for not doing a bit more of research. Now I want that book too!

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10 hours ago, Procopius said:

SO. Anyone with a copy of The Gestapo Hunters, which is presently unobtainable in this country, I'd be much obliged for your help.

Can do, maybe PM me & let me know what you require from it.

Steve.

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I’m currently building a pair of Tamiya Mossies- a B.IV (being done as a B.XXV) and an FB.VI. Lovely kits. One tip though: it’s worth enlarging the locating holes for the tyres, as I found I needed  a bit more wiggle room to get them perfectly aligned. Other than that, I found the fit to be exemplary. 
I just wish there was more choice as far as decals go. There’s a huge number of squadrons that haven’t been represented, whilst others have been done over and over.

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Room for one more? Love the Mosquito and there pin point attacks in various locations

 

     Stay safe               Roger

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3 hours ago, keefr22 said:

Don't know which I admire most PC, your intro writing or the modelling that follows them. Nope, they're both equally as good!

 

Ooof, a stinging indictment of my writing, which I had hoped was at least passable, since I sort of get paid to do it at work!

 

In any case, here was state of play this morning:

 

PXL_20210911_213202966

 

As you can see (i) my bench is still a mess, (ii) I'm using the following aftermarket: Barracudadecals stencils (which include some handy cockpit placards), the Eduard photoetch set (which is before they figured out how to do them in colour, but does have the seatbelts, always handy), a mask set, a Yahu IP (the lazy man's choice!), and some Eaglecal decals which will hopefully obey me in a pleasing fashion when the time is at hand.

 

Twin-engined aircraft are always slightly more daunting than single-engined ones, so I spent some time puzzling over the instructions for the stencils, PE, and even the kit, to see where I would have to do which to what.

 

Ideally you then head in clear-eyed and clear-headed, but not me, that's not how I operate. Fortified by a cup of PG Tips to stave off an incipient caffeine withdrawal headache, I plunged onwards. I fumbled around a bit before I got the PE radiator grilles in properly.

 

PXL_20210912_015129094

 

Interestingly, neither the kit as it comes or the PE really seems to get things quite right. You can sort of get a glimpse of what I'm talking about here:

 

4340281812_4d91570631_b.jpgDe Havilland Mosquito DH98 NFll HJ711 Elvington by woodytyke, on Flickr

 

There are three metal tubes positioned in front of the radiators, presumably some form of structural support. Not really sure how or even if I should duplicate these, but I welcome suggestions. And of course if someone happens to be by the Yorkshire Air Museum and can get some better snaps, well...my flat cap is off to you, sir.

 

Regarding the wings -- I need to drill the holes, if needed, for either auxiliary tanks or bomb pylons. In the video footage of the raid, it doesn't seem any of the aircraft have either tanks or external bombs (which jibes with the tonnage of bombs dropped by the first wave, as it's exactly right for eight aircraft each carrying two 500-lb bombs in their bays only). I'm just stalling a bit, because definitive evidence one way or another always seems to turn up right after you've crossed the Rubicon, as it were.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Procopius said:

There are three metal tubes positioned in front of the radiators, presumably some form of structural support. Not really sure how or even if I should duplicate these, but I welcome suggestions

 

I think I see the tubes you mean, but it looks to me as if there are three on the port side and only two on the starboard? I zoomed in on the picture but couldn't detect any tell-tale hole to indicate a missing one on the starboard side. 
 

As to how you could duplicate these, I have some very thin Albion Alloys nickel silver rod that would probably do the trick. Except I certainly wouldn't bother, given what's likely to be visible when completed and barring the likelihood that the model was going to be entered in a competition where the judge was a particularly pedantic Mosquito fan - I won't go as far as to say you shouldn't do it, only that I wouldn't :D 

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

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3 minutes ago, Stew Dapple said:

 

I think I see the tubes you mean, but it looks to me as if there are three on the port side and only two on the starboard? I zoomed in on the picture but couldn't detect any tell-tale hole to indicate a missing one on the starboard side. 

 

You could well be right! GET ME A YORKSHIREMAN

 

4 minutes ago, Stew Dapple said:

As to how you could duplicate these, I have some very thin Albion Alloys nickel silver rod that would probably do the trick. Except I certainly wouldn't bother, given what's likely to be visible when completed and barring the likelihood that the model was going to be entered in a competition where the judge was a particularly pedantic Mosquito fan - I won't go as far as to say you shouldn't do it, only that I wouldn't :D 

 

Stew, but now that I've acknowledged it, in front of god and everyone, I have no choice but to make a hash of it in the name of retaining what little modelling street cred I have left after exposing my shortcomings here for the last decade.

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39 minutes ago, Procopius said:

I fumbled around a bit before I got the PE radiator grilles in properly.

Looking at your photo above, I think you might have them the wrong way around, the horizontal bars appear to go to the outside against the engine rather than against the fuselage as you have them, maybe. :unsure:

Steve.

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