Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My East Germans get anti-aircraft too!

My post of this past weekend about my Danes needing some antiaircraft capability made me realize that my East Germans also had none! So one quick order to Picoarmor and the problem is solved, apart from the painting and basing, which are now in progress.

East German antiaircraft companies were one of three types. Ideally, the East Germans strove for companies that were one platoon of SAM (surface to air missle) vehicles and one platoon of SPAAG's (self-propelled antiaircraft gun), as that was the model dictated by Soviet doctrine. The most up-to-date SAM vehicle in the East German inventory was the SA-9 Gaskin:
Which was based on a BRDM-2 and carried four Strela-1 missles:
A modified version of the missle fired by the SA-7 Grail MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System) launcher:
Four vehicles would make up one of the two platoons of the antiaircraft company. More on this in a moment. 

The second platoon would be made up of four self-propelled antiaircraft guns, the most modern being the ZSU-23-4 Shilka:
However, there were never enough of these to go around, so the older, obsolete ZSU-57-2 Sparka was still in service with a number of companies:

Now let's come back to the SA-9 Gaskin. East Germany purchased only 12 vehicles from the Soviets and never bought any beyond that. In other words, enough to to equip only three platoons and thus only three companies. Those companies not fortunate enough to have a platoon of Gaskins had to make do with two platoons of SPAAG's. So, the three types of East German antiaircraft companies seen were:

4x SA-9 Gaskin and 4x ZSU-23-4
4x ZSU-23-4 and 4x ZSU-57-2
8x ZSU-23-4

Though the last type was less common due to the shortage of ZSU-23-4's and if seen, it would be with an armored unit. 

And here are my platoons of each:

As you perhaps (i.e. hopefully) can tell from some of the above photos, I've bought a macro lens for my iPhone 5. I don't know why people bitch so much about China. $2.75 INCLUDING postage!! It doesn't take GREAT quality photos, but for $2.75 what do you want? The prices I saw from American companies (selling the identical Chinese-made product!) were all over $10 and as much as $25!! 

That's it for this post. More during the coming weekend!

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