To re-cap, I was doing some amateurish research into the sort of vehicles that the Finns used during the later part of the Second World War for radio trucks. The Rapid Fire! game rules demand that HQ Sections be equipped with such vehicles and although I am only using these rules as a loose with which to provide a structured composition for my model collection these type of truck are interesting and novel subjects.
When I last posted I was studying a rare photograph of a column of Finnish radio wagons - as far as I know this is one of the very few photos of this type of vehicle from the period...
As it turned out this unit was a specialist radio intelligence unit and when I read up on what was available in English on the web I discovered that the Finns were very adept at intercepting and decoding Soviet transmissions. In fact, a great deal of their success - when you consider what a small army they had - was due to the fact that they often knew what the Red Army was up to so could utilize what forces they had very wisely.
So I could not resist the opportunity of including one of these vehicles as my HQ Section radio wagon. It just too interesting historically not to - but before I could I had to identify just what type of vehicle it was.
To cut a long story short, I got some terrifically useful help from the guys over at the Finnish section of the Axis History forum. A very nice fellow called Jarkko translated some information he had in one of his reference books on the period which showed that the Finnish Army had the following types of radio trucks in it's inventory during WW2...
- 18 Volvo
- 7 captured Ford (Soviet GAZ AA, AAA etc)
- 6 Ford
- 4 Steyer
- 1 Federal
(Source: 'Motor Vehicles of the Defence Forces 1919 - 1959' by Markku Mäkipirtti, page 157.)
It was then just a case of Googling these vehicle types from the period until I hit a match. Before long I found a Volvo that matched the type in the photo - it was a Volvo B 12 Radio Bus...
Rather unfortunately there isn't a 1/72 model available for this, but looking at the simple boxy design I reckon that this could be a good subject for my very first scratch build?
Additionally, the information that the Finns did also have 7 captured Soviet GAZ AAs is good, as this model is easy to get hold of and I was already planning how to convert a similar vehicle (the Zis-5V) into a radio truck. And finally, for my Armour Battalion I will be equipping them with the Steyr 1500 Kfz. 17 Radio Car, again a very common 1/72 model.
So, there we have it, all my radio trucks for my Finnish Army (1943-44) chosen.
Next: Planning the Volvo B 12 radio bus scratch build...