We're thankful to our team member Kraetzer who just recently joined us from the BGF team and who created some beautiful models within a short time period. We have already showed you the Panhard 178 armoured car in one the recent news updates and promised you more surprises - and here they are! Let's begin with the STZ-3, a Soviet artillery tractor which had been developed from a civilian tractor and modified for military use. The STZ-3 production started in 1937 in large numbers, and it was able to tow even heavy guns over difficult terrain. During the war it proved itself as the work horse for the Red Army. Because of its sturdiness and reliability in Russian climate the Germans also used the STZ-3 whenever possible. In Battlegroup42 the STZ-3 will be used to tow the 152mm ML-20 howitzer.
Our second new addition for today is also a tractor: The ZIS-42 was the Soviet attempt to create a half-track tractor based on the ZIS-5 truck in order to compensate for the heavy losses during the battles of 1941. But the ZIS-42 could not fullfil all the hopes put into it - the engine was too weak and it lacked a powered front axle, severely limiting its all-terrain abilities. Nevertheless it proved to be quite useful on snowy terrain for which it was more suited as normal wheeled trucks. Besides its role as a gun tractor it was also used as a supply vehicle and troop transport. In Battlegroup42 it will serve as a gun tractor for the ZIS-3 gun.
Let's change the scenario from the Eastern Front to the Western Front in 1940. During its attack on France the Wehrmacht encountered enemy tanks which where among the best in the world. But due to obsolete French tactics and the German air superiority this advantage could not be played out. One of these superior tanks was the Char B1 bis, which Kraetzer has modelled and textured for Battlegroup42. The B1 bis was designed as an infantry support tank - slow, thickly armoured and with the ability to pass even difficult obstacles. It was armed with a 47mm gun and a 6,5mm machine gun in a full traverse turret and a 75mm howitzer in a bow mount. It became legendary during a battle in the village of Stonne in May of 1940, where a single B1 bis, commanded by Lieutenant Bilotte, defeated two Panzer IV, eleven Panzer III and several guns all on its own. During the battle the tank was hit 140 times without getting any severe damage.
Everyone who follows Battlegroup42's development knows that we take every opportunity to replace old content with newer equipment. This time we were able to replace the the DICE MG42 with one from BGF which was skinned by Dauntless. Coding for all models was done by Sarge31FR.
That's it for today. More news are to expected in the coming weeks as we haven't fired off all our guns yet. So stay tuned and visit our website at www.battlegroup42.. regularly. If you'd like to join the team you you can apply there.