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"WW2 gear for El Presidente's 1980's - 90's army " Topic

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freecloud12 Apr 2011 7:04 a.m. PST

I have some 1960s/70s bits and pieces and was thinking of rounding it out into a Banana Republic army (Talking 6mm, so c 15 models = 1 battalion). What WW2 or just post-war gear would you think is still usable in say the 1980's / 90's?

I was thinking:

Armour: Sherman, older Centurions, M24, T34/85

Armoured cars: Greyhound, Humber, Marmon Herrington IV

Armoured Transport: US M3 halftracks, BTR 152s

Aircraft: DC-3 (and similar), and i was wondering about some of teh late war/just post-war piston fighter-bombers

Artillery: Katyushka, most guns

Soft skin – most trucks, esp US 6 wheelers

anleiher12 Apr 2011 7:13 a.m. PST

When I was in Central America in the 80's, I saw M3 Stuarts and Hueys(El Sal). Still in working order too. There were also a weird mix of US and Israeli armored trucks with .50 cals. No two seemed to be alike.

Doc Ord Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2011 7:13 a.m. PST

Some P-51s and B-26s would be useful and maybe some of the older Migs.

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2011 7:14 a.m. PST

Mustangs were popular with a number of Banana Republic airforces, as were turreted TDs such as the M36.

SU100, there are still quite a few parked around the airport near the Special Forces barracks in Havana.

As per the recent article in the SOTCW Journal, no less than four Renault FT-17s have recently been found in Afghanistan…. (37mm turreted versions). They aren't in terribly good condition though:)

Altius Inactive Member12 Apr 2011 7:34 a.m. PST

There were also a weird mix of US and Israeli armored trucks…

That must have been originally Nicaraguan. I was there in the early 90s. The Guardia Nacional had bought a lot of stuff from the Israelis through the 70s, but I'm not sure if any of their neighbors did.

Freecloud, if you're doing that period, you might want to consider which major power was supporting your banana republic during the 80s. If they were a client state of the US, they'd have hardly any ex-Soviet stuff. But whatever the case, there would be a wide variety of stuff.

Personally, I'd ditch the APCs, as I don't think they were used much, and take a bunch of trucks instead: US, Russian, and civilian models of all types, usually flatbeds. But that's just me.

And if you're doing a Soviet client, think about some PT-76s. Small, fast, cheap, and amphibious. I just love those things.

freecloud12 Apr 2011 8:18 a.m. PST

@Altius re political support, I think the main watchword is exclusivity of recent US vs Soviet/Chinese stuff as they can't serve together, but older gear from either country is probably fine as it could have come from anywhere (El Presidente is not fussy about where the toys come from…..)

You can probably roll in British, French etc gear with either.

Re Mustangs, I think the US had an assistance program going in the 1970's for supplying refurbed/re-engined ones and some other stuff.

Rooting around my bits drawer, so far the Banana Republic Air Force has 2 x S-58s, a Hughes 500, 2 Cobras, 2 A-4 Skyhawks and 2 Hawker Hunters.

I can also put together El presidente's First (and Only) Mechanised Battalion (c 1 model = 1 platoon scale):

- HQ
- Recce 1 x Fox AC, 2 x Jeeps
- Armoured Co 2 x Scorpions, 1 x Saladin
- 3 x Infantry Co's each of 3 M113 and 1 Jeep with HW
- AA 1 x M113 20mm Rotary Cannon
- M 113 w/ 81 mm Mortar

Not only that, but we are the proud owner of an armoured squadron of 4 x Centurian 20 pdr tanks!

I'm starting to think of an ex-British colony with WW" gear taht uses Britsih post war stuff, then flirts with Russians/Chinese in 60s/70s, then uses 1970/80's US Aid programs and there is always a French arms deal with kickbacks.

Or I'll just go to Salute and see what I can pick up at the B&B for a tenner :-)

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2011 8:28 a.m. PST

Sounds like you are off to to a good start

I agree with Altius, a lot would depend on who your sponsor was, as that was a way of getting surplus heavy gear cheaply

In South/Central America a lot of WWII stuff hung along for a very long time – so, Shermans, Greyhounds, M3s would all be OK, along with a lot of trucks – I agree that the militaries of the time tended to use some tanks/armoured cars but a lot of trucks and jeeps

Old Brit stuff is also a good idea – Saladins, Saracens, Centurions and maybe also some Dingos, Humbers or Daimlers

For those with Soviet partners, T-34/85s, SU-100s and perhaps some T-54/55s along with BTR-152s – PT-76s would seem to be an attractive vehicle for a South American venue as well

Altius Inactive Member12 Apr 2011 8:40 a.m. PST

Sounds like a really cool project. What scale are you using and with what rules?

freecloud12 Apr 2011 8:51 a.m. PST

It's 6mm, I have a French army in that scale already and I fancied putting up a Developing World force built from all the leftovers/other bitz for my French light force to play against.

Probably CWC rules as that is what our club uses, I used to play WRG years ago.

Having said that, it does rather suggest itself as a 15mm or 20mm game…but I shall resist!

Re Corsair, I do have an F-4 Phantom rather than F-4 Corsair, that could go in – I see in the Ecuador/Paraguay war SU-22s and Mirage F-1s were used.

Sundance12 Apr 2011 8:55 a.m. PST

You can also throw in a couple of Corsairs for air support.

CPBelt Inactive Member12 Apr 2011 8:57 a.m. PST

What about M5A1's?

freecloud12 Apr 2011 9:40 a.m. PST

Ha! At this rate I will have built a small Allied style WW2 force to boot…hmmm….

The G Dog Fezian12 Apr 2011 9:41 a.m. PST

No Central American force is complete without the obligatory M8 and M20 armored cars.

Norrins12 Apr 2011 9:51 a.m. PST

Check this previous TMP discussion,

TMP link

Deserter12 Apr 2011 1:53 p.m. PST

I'd add to the list:

M41 Walker Bulldog
Land Rover
Panhard AML
Cadillac Cage Commando

donlowry12 Apr 2011 1:58 p.m. PST

M24 Chaffees
M3 Halftracks
more jeeps with recoiless rifles
T28 trainer aircraft used as fighter-bombers

Timbo W12 Apr 2011 2:01 p.m. PST

Hi all,

Central American forces in 1981, according to Janes'

Stuart, Sherman, M3 scout, M8 a/car, M3 halftrack, HWK11 (Postwar German) APC, M8 Scott HMC, M7 Priest, 105mm M101 howitzer, 75mm M116 pack howitzer

1 British infantry Bn, 1 recce troop, 1 arty bty, so probably Scorpions, 105mm light gun or pack how etc

Stuart, Sherman, M3 scout, M113, RBY-1 Israeli APC, Commando APC, 105mm M101 howitzer, 75mm M116 pack howitzer

El Salvador:
AMX-13, Stuart, UR-416 Postwar German APC, 105mm M101 howitzer

Sherman, Staghound, M3 scout, 105mm M101 howitzer, 40mm Bofors AA

Costa Rica:
no army

M8 or M20 a/cars

So nearly all US WW2 surplus really, at least until Nicaragua gets Soviet supplies.

(Nameo Falso) Inactive Member12 Apr 2011 2:54 p.m. PST

Your best bets if you want to approximatef actual holdings of surplus kit in in Central America would be ex US trucks M8 and M20 armoured cars and US 105mm howitzers, followed by M3 Stuarts.

Quite a few Shermans show up in Latin American armies from the 1950s onwards and some soldiered on into the '90s.

M-24s on the other hand were fairly rare in the hemisphere. Uruguay is the only country I can think of off hand that possesed them.

Bear in mind that from the late 1970s early eighties onwards many actual regimes became subject to arms embargoes due to their endemic human rights abuses Israel became the default supplier to many, due to its willingness to ignore world opinion. Thus you start seeing RBY-1s, Galil rifles, Neshers/Daggers and the like as well as a few M-51 Shermans showing up.

With the exception of Cuba and to a lesser extent Nicaragua Latin American didn't receive much in the way of Soviet kit. Peru bought a few Migs and some T-55s. Very few PT-76s were delivered, outside of Cuba nobody fielded T-34s. If your notional country is a Soviet client you would be more likely to see T-54/55s.

Of course it's your creation, you can use whatever you like.

freecloud12 Apr 2011 3:07 p.m. PST

Check Out Peru :-)

* 300 T-55 main battle tank
* 110 AMX-13 light tank
* 130 M-113A1 APCs
* 130 UR-416 APCs
* 30 BRDM-2/Malyutka armored car
* 45 Fiat 6616 armored cars
* 45 Fiat 6614 APCs
* 12 BTR-60 APCs
* 12 HMMWV light utility vehicle
* 60 M8 Greyhound armored cars
* 20 Casspir APCs

And Russian helos as well….

(Nameo Falso) Inactive Member12 Apr 2011 3:32 p.m. PST

The T-55s in Peruvian service have been problematic from the outset. Apparently T-55s ae not an optimal vehicle for operation in high altitude, dusty environments but that should come as no surprise especially for 40-50 year old tanks with a poor maintenance record to start with. They've been re-engined more than once and Peru is looking at replacing them or at least some of them, possibly with Chinese/Pakistani tanks. In the unlikely event that they ever faced off against Chile, their only remotely likely opponent, they would up against Leopard 2A4s. Not a balanced match up that one.

Since the early part of this century Russian kit has started to appear in small numbers in quite a few parts of Latin America. The Mexican Marines have BTR-80s, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina have all bought small amounts of Russian kit and then of course there's Venezuela.

Lion in the Stars13 Apr 2011 10:05 a.m. PST

I was just tripping on the idea of what looks like a WW2 US army in terms of ground vehicles (with PAVN troops for the AKs and RPGs), with Mi24 Hinds flying CAS…

Or is that just my imagination?

freecloud13 Apr 2011 12:27 p.m. PST


Better still – make it your Imagi-Nation! Set up your army list and away you go.

But yes, this thread has made me realise you can build a perfectly respectable WW2 allied force and then with judicious use of a few extras field a very respectable 1980's/90's banana republic.

Timbo W13 Apr 2011 1:19 p.m. PST

Oh and in the late 70s Mexico still had US 37mm AT guns and French First World War era M1897 75mm howitzers.

Quite possible for many third world countries to go through a bunch of military equipment suppliers, though I'd say more common in Africa and Asia than South and Central America.

-some odds and ends left by the colonial power, eg British Saladins and 25pdrs or French AMLs and ex-US M8 a/cars

-the 'Democratic Republic of..' bringing WW2 Soviet artillery, T-34 85s, PT-76s, T-55s

-the Maoist era- Type 62 lights, Type 59s,

-Democracy (sort-of), or at least free market – whatever the 'big boys' are selling off cheap at the end of the Cold War, eg M60s, Leopard I, T-72s, Scorpions etc

jony66313 Apr 2011 4:35 p.m. PST

Guatemala still has C47s and Hueys at their International Airport. Troops (and they are all over he place are in US kit that looks right out of Vietnam. The police are in brown Technicals. The special/private police are in the black Technicals.

I love Central America


donlowry13 Apr 2011 5:21 p.m. PST

I like the Imagi-nation idea.

La Republica Democratica del Pueblo vs. La Republica de la Banana.

Brits in Belize (British Honduras) could add fun to the mix. And maybe a landing by U.S. Marines.

Or you could do a Southeast Asia setting, such as Thailand vs. Burma and/or Cambodia.

kabrank14 Apr 2011 1:41 a.m. PST

Timbo W

Just the route I have been planning to use + some WW2 German vehicles obtained early post war!

(Nameo Falso) Inactive Member14 Apr 2011 2:24 a.m. PST

Central and South America of course never went through a Maoist phase, unless of course you count the brutal and idiotic adventures of Abimael Guzmán and the Sendero Luminoso.

Altius Inactive Member14 Apr 2011 6:34 a.m. PST

Maoism is really just a political concept and doesn't reflect a level of support from China. I don't think anybody in Latin America even operates the Types 59 and 62, do they?

Besides, Sendero Luminoso is the only distinct example of pure Maoism in the region, and it hasn't been very popular at all. It's dogmatic, unbendingly monolithic, and very, very brutal. None of which are qualities that endear it with Latin Americans.

(Nameo Falso) Inactive Member14 Apr 2011 6:51 a.m. PST

I wish that were true but a significant number of Chilenos found the brutal unbending dogmatism of Pinochet appealing, probably a majority of Argentinos were prepared to accept the equally brutal dogmatism of Jorge Videla and co. Then there's Banzer and Stroessner. Sad to relate there are even a few well off Brazilians who still harbour fond memories of the years of lead.

Altius Inactive Member14 Apr 2011 7:00 a.m. PST

Depends on whether they were on the receiving end or not, I suppose. I've met Salvadorenos who still speak fondly of D'Aubuisson, and Nicaraguenses who have declared the Somoza dynasty "pretty good, as long as you minded your own business". Of course, they were those who benefited from the systems, and didn't have relatives or friends who were tortured or killed.

The problem that Sendero Luminoso ran into is that they applied that brutality to the very campesinos they relied on for support. Pretty dumb.

(Nameo Falso) Inactive Member14 Apr 2011 7:32 a.m. PST

Of course. I was merely pointing out that not all Latin Americans are of the 'they sing, they dance and won't knuckle down under brutal ideologies' characterisation.

Altius Inactive Member14 Apr 2011 7:39 a.m. PST

Yeah, I don't believe in that either, and didn't mean to sound like I was putting anyone into a pigeonhole. I know many Latin Americans, and they cover the full spectrum of opinion on politics.

freecloud15 Apr 2011 5:01 a.m. PST

El Presidente thanks all the contributors…seems the most flexible option is to build out a bog standard US WW2 force (M3, M4, M5, M8, M36) and then add the bits and pieces one can collect to supplement it. British 50/60's, Russian stuff given to 3rd world countries in 60's/70's, some US MAP in the 80's (of 60's/70's gear) and a smattering of French light stuff seems about right.

WarHighlander Inactive Member15 Apr 2011 12:02 p.m. PST

This website is really good:

I'm particularly a fan of the X1A1 light tanks Brazil built based on the Stuart armed with a 90mm gun.

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