Svenmarck Invaded: EWM 20mm Danish Infantry 1940

***** Svenmarck Invaded ****** Troops Mobilised ****** Border Crossed by Hostile Forces *****

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry versatile figure with rifle grenade option and spare Madsen LMG curved round – masking tape repair to the left hand rifle which I clumsily broke.

Over the last weekend or two I have been painting a strange mixture of metal 20mm figures in my collection, as varied as 1940s Boy Scouts and Girl Guides from Sergeants Mess, some more colourful 1910-20 Mexican Infantry from Jacklex and these Early War Miniatures 1940 Danish Infantry, along with their Dutch equivalent.

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry with rifles and grenades

One of the best films or programmes that I have seen in the last couple of years that isn’t weird sci-fi (Star Wars / Stranger Things / X-Files) is 9.April, the Danish film about the first few hours of Blitzkrieg as German forces cross the border of Denmark on 9 April 1940.

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry with rifles amid EWM scenic boxes and oil barrels

This tense drama focuses on the fate of a small handful of conflicting characters (including some usual war film stereotypes) in a platoon of bicycle mounted troops desperately to hold off the motorised columns of the German Army until reinforcements arrive.

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry with rifle and grenade

The film has that ‘against the odds’ feel of a western with an outnumbered and outgunned retreating outpost of troops with little chance of the cavalry arriving. The cinematography and its eerie soundtrack captures well the chaos and confusion of the short lived resistance.

Anyway, film club over …

I have posted about the 9.April film before in 2020:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/remembering-denmark-april-9th-1940/

EWM three man Madsen LMG and rifle team with EWM scenic boxes

Svenmarck? Gaming scenarios?

I don’t intend gaming the historical scenarios from Denmark or the Netherlands in 1940.

Instead I will be recreating those insteresting small scale infantry skirmishes in the forests, heaths and border villages of a small Scandinavian ImagiNations setting called Svenmarck. The kind of small country like Leichtenstein that you go through to reach somewhere else. Further north in Nordweg, it’s a bit more snowy forests with beautiful Fjords. It all exists somewhere on or in my ImagiNations map, probably near Tradgardland from Alan Gruber’s blog Duchy of Tradgardland.

No doubt an ImagiNations equivalent or renaming of Nazi Germany will be required, such as Großreich or GrosReich. All ethical issues about gaming the modern period swept aside, then …

***** Update ***** see blog comments below for brief outline of the political and military geography of Tradgardland and Svenmarck and surroundings *****

It was from Alan Gruber and also from Bob Cordery of Wargaming Miscellany that I first heard of this film. Alan has converted some 54mm figures with the help of Danish helmets from the late Les White. Alan’s conversions here show the mix of traditional old black, grey and newer khaki greatcoats in 1940 that Danish troops wore, many of the updated newer khaki uniforms still in store and unissued:

http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2020/04/finished-danish-conversions.html

Uniform References / Painting Guide

Preben Kannik, Military Uniforms of the World in Colour (Blandford)

*** EWM Dutch or Netherlands 1940 Infantry are next on the painting table. ***

Uniform notes from Kannik
Danish Infantry in black greatcoats, Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Uniforms of WW2

There is a useful painting guide for Great Escape Games 28mm WW2 Danish troops range and well painted examples of their figures – download the PDF painting guide at https://www.greatescapegames.co.uk/danish-infantry

This mentioned the useful research into the history and uniform of the Danish troops in WW2, thankfully published in English by Per Finsted, well illustrated with photos and almost paper soldier like illustrations from an old chakoten.de magazine. https://www.chakoten.dk/The%20Danish%20Army%20on%20April%209th,%201940_complete.pdf

EWM Danish 1940 figures – Madsen LMG group

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madsen_machine_gun

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9qbbr-_QdyY&feature=youtu.be

Mistakes were made …

Painting took longer than expected on these figures as I undercoated using a bulk craft acrylic Mars Black that dries shiny rather than matt, leading it to look in some awkward areas like unpainted shiny metal even after I thought I had first finished painting. This showed up in nooks and crannies in photos, after I had already once overcoated the black greatcoats with Revell Aquacolor Acrylic Teerschwarz / Matt Tar Black. A second overcoat of tar black and targeted infill was required.

Forstærkninger?

Unlike the bicycle troops of the 9.April film, there are forstærkninger or reinforcements on the way. More EWM troops from the Danish, Dutch, Norwegian (and Mexican!) range have been ordered from Paul Thompson at EWM for the Christmas cupboard including Tankette Tuesday material and bicycle troops!

Like Annie at Bad Squiddo’s little extras on postal orders, there’s sometimes the odd complimentary surprise item from EWM as a thank you for ordering, such as resin items (from the EWM scenics range?) like the oil barrels and boxes seen in the photographs. Peter Laing used to do this with his 15mm ranges, such as a new sample figure from a new period, in his rapid post returns.

Good customer service touch, tempting your customers with new ranges of shiny figures …

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 12 September 2021

B.P.S Blog Post Script

One of my blog readers left me a comment (thanks!) that others may also be interested in re. a free Memoir 44 scenario and hexmap for Denmark 1940 on Kaptain Kobold’s site Hordes of the Things site:

https://hordesofthethings.blogspot.com/p/free-stuff.html

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7jivXekpX0LOUtiZjdmekFTR0thd0tQcEFWWUFaQQ/view?resourcekey=0-q3kwDaC4R27pi4A_yiRb-g

11 thoughts on “Svenmarck Invaded: EWM 20mm Danish Infantry 1940”

  1. Lovely figures these Svenmarck lads. They have painted up well and I shall look forward to seeing them in action. I do hope we wil see some Nordweggers ( is that the correct term, l do hope so) also. Regarding Svenmarck, you are indeed correct in stating that Tradgardland is a very near neighbour with a peaceful ,though patrolled , border between them. Both armies have similar uniforms and have historically been confused one for another. An 18th Century mutual defence pact between these illustrious nations is believed to be still valid and the document can be found in an attic in Tradgardstadt Castle it is rumoured.

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    1. I shall set the Svennish archivist to seek out Svenmarck half of the ancient mutual defence pact. In the days of the growing threat from the GrosReich to the South (and the Nedslidts and Bjorneggens to the East), such old documents are very important.

      Hopefully GrosReich collaborationist spies and saboteurs have not found and destroyed, hidden or skilfully altered it.

      Hopefully mutual assistance of intelligence, ammunition, bicycle inner tubes and other military aid (Låne- Leje) will support the threadbare coffers of Svenmarck.

      The Nordweggers from the snowy North have an appearance rather like this – but won’t be mobilised until at least after Christmas https://earlywarminiatures.com/product-category/early-war-1939-1942/early-war-1939-to-late-1942-norwegian-army-of-1940/

      The marshes, swamps, dikes and Zealand / Lowland sea coast of Svenmarck (near Tradgardland) are guarded by these Svennish troops, also on the paint table
      https://earlywarminiatures.com/product-category/early-war-1939-1942/early-war-1939-to-late-1942-dutch-army-1940/

      Some of the FMS Forgotten Minor States of Mittel Mittel Europe may help out, or offer similar mutual defence pacts, threatened as they all are by the growth and unification of the GrosReich and of the bolsjevik Bjorneggens and the faltering collectivised Five Year Plans economy of their vassal state of Nedslidt to the East.

      If only the FMS could get those northern allies to adopt Esperanto instead of their harsh northern tongues, far less chance of konfuzo.

      (I think that ImagiNations disguise dodges all the ethical issues of modern gaming there.)

      Some useful EWM figures ordered for the Christmas cupboard ranging from Mexican civilians to Early War Norwegian figures, plus some individual additional Dutch and Danish including bicycle troops.

      Mexican Expedition Corps relief to Svenmarck anyone?

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  2. P.s Sgts Mess are full of really useful bits and bobs. I have quite a few Homeguard figures bought from them as well as unique items like a Northover projector and Smith gun. I also got civilians and a post box. Excellent castings.

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    1. The Sergeant’s Mess 20mm scouts and guides are camped on the paint table and already half painted, I bought the scout set with bell tent / tents, trek wagon etc.

      Home guard figures noted … thanks for the top off, suitable for Sealion and My Look Duck and Varnish blog.
      Plenty of Home Guard figures in 28mm Warlord and Bad Squiddo civilians but I don’t do 28mm and don’t want to start another scale …

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    1. The early part of WW2 (and indeed WW1), ‘what ifs?’ and early scrambling sideshows are I think for me the most interesting for me, a year or two of improvisation and interwar preparation before the “big history” set piece battles that everybody makes figures for.

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      1. Harry Turtledove’s alternate history series The War That Came Early might be good inspiration; WWII starts in 1938 with the invasion of Czechoslovakia, and alliances shift (for example, Poland ends up on the Axis side). So WWII, but with interwar tech.

        I am slowly reading For Whom the Dice Roll, a Spanish Civil War ruleset.

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  3. Very nice. Love those early war miniatures. I bought some Dutch once for a project and was sorely tempted to let get out of hand with the range available but I held back.

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