The 83rd Naval participated in the Red Army’s first major amphibious landing. With only two weeks planning, they were loaded onto a makeshift flotilla including fishing vessels to cross the Kerch Straights. Whaleboats dumped them on a frozen, remote beach with the goal of linking up with 4 other landings on the Kerch Peninsula. As they waded ashore, some men drowned in the surf or fell to hypothermia. Despite the abysmal start, the 83rd spotted Germans gathering near the beachhead and launched a vicious spoiling attack. The amateur amphibious landings succeeded in deposited the 51st Army on the Kerch Peninsula where they took up a defensive position. This second front took some pressure off the besieged city of Sevastopol. Due to bickering and a series of incompetent actions between Kozlov and the Front commissar, the 83rd was nearly destroyed with the rest of the Soviet forces during Manstein’s Operation Bustard Hunt. Three armies, 21 divisions, 176,000 men, 347 tanks, and nearly 3,500 guns were lost to the German offensive. The remains of the 83rd were evacuated. The reconstituted 83rd played a crucial role in the Caucasus by stopping the Germans at the Proletary Cement Factory in Novorossiysk, 8/9 September, 1942.
Figures all Black Tree Design (helmets) and Warlord Games (Naval caps). I also finished two units of Naval Tank Hunters and a Maxim MG unit that I left them out of the photo.
I'll also field a ZiS-3 76mm gun pictured above, an early war BA-10 armored car, a GAZ transport and GAZ AAA truck. I'm happy with how they turned out, especially my first airbrushed vehicles.
Vehicle weathering is a work in progress. There are so many options and methods its a bit overwhelming. For now, I'm satisfied to get a nice panel lighting effect. The brightness is not everyone's cup of tea but I like it quite a bit. I even took my first stab at streaking oils.