German Retreat from the Eastern Fron
The setting takes place in 1944, springtime and muddy; the German soldiers are retreating from the Eastern Front. As the sign points out, they are 700km from Moscow. A year before or so, a Borgward was attacked and destroyed while crossing the bridge and ended up in the river. I painted it German grey as to tell it happened before/early 1943 since ’43 was when dunkelgelb (dark yellow) was primarily used. These “heavy demolition charge vehicles” carried a 500kg payload and were remote controlled as targeted bombs. (Amazing that they had remote control back then.) Anyway, this Borgward didn’t make it, but it did do a number on the bridge when it exploded; the bridge was subsequently repaired with felled trees. I took some artistic license with this vehicle since the demolition Borgward Ausf. A were rare and not used on the Eastern front. Here the Kubelwagen (later in America called “The Thing”) is part of a propaganda company who are currently having engine trouble. In the backseat is a camera and accordion to help fit the story. The 20mm Flakvierling Sd.kfz 7/1 was also not a common sight on the Eastern Front, but I think the vehicle is fascinating and wanted to build one. The Flak was intricate and challenging to build- would not want to be on the other side of that weapon. The soldiers on the right-hand side will defend the bridge valiantly; they have quite a stash of weapons. They will also bury anti-tank mines once the last German vehicles have crossed. You can’t see from the photos, but the wooden crate inside the ‘bunker’ has Bundeslade written on it…a little joke from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark: it translates “Ark of the Covenant”. Towards the end of the war, many soldiers were scattered, so I put a tanker dressed in his black uniform to signify some of the chaos during that portion of the war. Obviously, his company is lost and he has to hitch a ride with the Wehrmacht Soldaten.