Sunday, March 3, 2019

'Fellowship' from AlanD: 'Smrt fašizmu! Sloboda narodu!'

'Death to fascism! Freedom to the People!'

My entry for the Fellowship Round is a group of Jugoslavian Partisans from 1943, part of the Balkan project I'm working on at the moment. 'Brotherhood and Unity' was the main slogan of Jugoslavian Communists both during and after the war, a statement of fellowship that has proven all too elusive in the region.

The main reason for the success of Tito's partisan movement in WWII was that it was based on unity through ideology rather than sectarian identity. After the dismemberment of Jugoslavia by the Nazis in 1941 and the creation of the fascist Croatian state, what had been Jugoslavia was wracked by unimaginable brutality. Serbian Chetniks sought to 'cleanse' territory of Croatians and Muslims, the Croatian Ustashe began a genocide of Serbs, Jews and Muslims that made hardened Nazis queasy, and Bosnian Muslims began their own 'ethnic cleansing', especially once they were armed and organised through Himmer's SS.

In contrast, the Partisan movement led by Tito consciously rejected ethnic sectarianism. Its goal of establishing a pan-ethnic Communist state led to conflict with the other main resistance group, the Serbian Chetniks, with the result that the Chetniks ended up by 1943 collaborating with the Nazis against the Partisans.

By the end of the war the Partisans numbered about 800,000 men and women, drawn from every part of Jugoslavia. In addition to the fighters, the Women's Antifascist Front supported the Partisans, took over the burden of agriculture, and also worked to care for and educate the huge numbers of children orphaned by the violence.

The Partisans I painted this week are meant to represent a group from late 1943 in Croatia or Western Bosnia. They have managed to uniform most of their members from Italian uniforms captured after the Italian capitulation, and have managed to get hold of an Italian L3/33 tankette, rapidly painting red stars over the Italian markings. A few men still have civilian clothing, and a couple wear German tunics. Weapons are either of German or Italian origin.

The figures are a mix, based mainly on Perry Italian infantry with heads and bits from Warlord kits and greenstuff caps. The ones in civilian clothing are from Crusader Miniatures. 10 figures, a tank and a couple of crew should get me 175 points, as I edge towards my goal of 1500!


  1. I'm loving this side-project, Dux. Great conversions and a lovely bit of potted history. Well done! (As a post script, I think your math may be a bit off on your points estimation - the Chetniks must have stolen them.) :)

  2. Nice work! Those tankettes are so small!

  3. Lovely unit, but not sure I would want to be in one of those Tankettes!

  4. Great idea and nice conversions. Love the tankettes, as long as I'm not in one!

  5. Great looking bunch of partisans!
    Best Iain

  6. Gorgeous figures mate, truly awesome!

  7. Really liking this project Alan, and thanks for the history, really interesting and little-known to me

  8. They are so tiny that they look oit of scale next to a Stuart!

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  10. Nice work on an often overlooked theatre of WWII

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