A little while ago, we were having a clear-out of the storage area of the Warlord Games HQ shop, when an eagle-eyed staffer spotted a mysterious figure case half-buried in old boxes and dismantled shelving units. Opening it, they discovered a beautifully painted force of German Fallschirmjäger, perfect for the Italian campaign – but nobody knew to whom it belonged. Questions were asked of a few regular customers, and of Warlord staff known to have German armies, but nobody claimed it. At last, with a bit of caffeine-fuelled encouragement our collective memories’ were spurred into action and identified the culprit – none other than Warlord Games European Trade Sales rep, Jürgen Horn!

Jürgen dug out this photo he’d taken before he’d donated the army!

Naturally, we had to ask him all about this army, and how on earth it ended up mercilessly stored away from prying eyes – so we did (naturally this is no longer the case –ed.)! Take it away, Jürgen!

PaK 40

JH – So that’s what happened to my Fallschirmjäger! They actually came about from a never-realised project to support the release of Bolt Action campaign supplement, Italy: Soft Underbelly, where a variety of staffers would complete 1,500 point armies for the Italian theatre, and then… something would happen, I forget exactly what! In any case, the project never ended up materialising, but I’d jumped the gun a bit and already had my army done – rather than have it sit forlorn on a shelf at home, I decided to donate it to the HQ store to use. Clearly, it must have been ‘helpfully’ packed away when received and then lost to the mists of time – I’m glad to see they survived the trip!

Riflemen, Opel Blitz, MMG team, Medium Mortar Team and Flamethrower Team.
SMG and LMG-armed infantrymen, and a HQ team.
A pair of Panzerfaust was more than sufficient for the Sicily-themed Fallschirmpioniere.

When we were given a choice of armies for the Soft Underbelly project, I was instantly drawn to the German Fallschirmjäger in tropical uniforms, as I had already painted the metal boxed set for my Afrika Korps army, and I really liked the combination of colours that the uniform and equipment allowed for. Initially, I planned to paint them as troops from the Hermann Göring Fallschirm-Panzer Division, but after some deeper research into that unit, I realised that they were not using the Fallschirmjäger uniforms but more regular Heer gear and different camo smocks. I decided instead that I would paint them as regular Fallschirmjäger of the 1. Fallschirmjäger Division, as they were involved in most of the defence of Sicily and Italy. As I wanted to focus on the fighting on Sicily in particular, I equipped the squads with mid-war weapons, so no FG.42s and only a few Panzerfaust for the Fallschirmpioniere. I also tried to use some foliage for the bases that fit the vegetation of Sicily.

A trio of StuG III assault guns.

For the tank platoon element of the force, I went with my original idea and used a trio of StuG IIIs, as the Herrmann Göring Division was mostly equipped with these iconic assault guns rather than ‘true’ tanks. I did have to add a Tiger I from the Schwere Panzerabteilung 504, however, as no German Army is complete without a Tiger tank, and all 17 Tigers of that Abteilung were transferred to the Hermann Göring Panzer Division!

Tiger I of the Schwere Panzerabteilung 504 division.

Both units (1. Fallschirmjäger Division and Hermann Göring Panzer Division) fought together on several occasions in Sicily so I thought it would make a good combination for an army and would give me a good pool of units to draw different forces from as needed. The vehicles are actually painted in a desert yellow scheme that will be familiar to Afrika Korps players, as historically both the Hermann Göring Panzer Division and the Schwere Panzer Abteilung 504 were intended for service in Africa, but only made it as far as Sicily!

The full Fallschirmjäger force assembled.

So there you have it – mystery solved! Check out Jürgen’s awesome work in the pictures above, or pop into the HQ store sometime, as they have taken their rightful place in one of the display cabinets – no more dusty store-rooms for these Fallschirmjäger!

Jürgen’s Fallschirmjäger Army is just one of the many miniatures on display in our HQ Store.

If you want to try your own hand at a Fallschirmjäger army, these are the kits for you!

Fallschirmjäger plastic boxed set

Essential Reading – Fallschirmjäger in Italy

If you truly want to follow Jürgen’s example and create a themed force based around the Axis defence of Italy, you’ll find a huge amount of useful information, as well as theatre selectors and new units (such as the Fallschimpioneers) in our pair of Campaign Italy Bolt Action supplements, Soft Underbelly and Tough Gut! The Fallschirmjäger’s actions in Italy earned them huge respect from friend and foe alike, a provide a fascinating focal point for games of Bolt Action.

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