Mark Armor Dioramas

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Re-Capturing a B1 bis battle tank

When Germany invaded France in 1940 they met little resistance. During the only WWII battle between the two nations, named “The Battle of France” or “The Fall of France,” the French made a determined resistance, but ultimately were unable to overcome Germany’s air and armored onslaught. As was typical of German tactics, after they captured enemy tanks, they put them to use in their own army. This diorama depicts the recapture of a French B1 bis battle tank that had been used by the German army. Apparently, a recent melee took this B2 740 (as was the name attributed by the Germans) out of commission. The tank was found by a random group of French Resistance fighters and American soldiers (who were charged with liberating France on their way to Germany).

The tank was debilitated by a blown track (maybe from a bazooka or a well-aimed grenade) and crashed into the façade of a French automobile repair shop. A US infantryman and paratrooper are ready to enter the tank, wary of any Germans lurking inside. Obviously, at least one German made it out as there is a bloody track of footprints leaving the wreckage. The remaining soldiers and fighters are conversing, smoking and helping with the re-capture. The tank may not be operational, or even salvageable, but even symbolic victories count in times of war.

The garage has three stories. The ground floor is the shop itself, the second floor is a warehouse for parts, and the top floor is the office. Hiding on the top floor is a Waffen-SS soldier with a Panzerfaust. Will he fire upon the enemies below or flee? Either way, the soldiers and fighters are bound to search the building, so his time is running out.

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