46 Recce Bren Carrier (A snoop at my Grandad's unit)

I painted a haversack last night and that's it! Still, better than nothing.

I am hatching a simple new little WWII diorama. I've been thinking of making a little piece for ages for my dad. There's a photo of my Grandad driving his 46 Recce Rgt universal carrier, though where it may be is impossible to plot exactly. I bought a carrier at Salute this year with intentions to start the project. I know the general history of his unit (46 Division), he landed at Salerno, fought on in the Italian campaign, and then they were sent to Greece during the disturbances there.

Every picture tells a story. A few of things about the pic help me.
1. I know that the Recce Corps Khaki beret was officially changed to the Tank corps Black beret in early 1944, (but as always, there is variation, as some men continued to wear the khaki beret until 45). I can't be sure of the beret colour of the chaps, but they appear to be black.

2. The vehicle appears to be one colour, and displays the correct formation signs for 46 Recce, 46 Div. I know vehicles started the campaign in disruptive camo (specific to the Sicilian campaign), but it stuck out like a sore thumb apparently and was requested to be changed around in the latter months of 1943. Finally orders to change to a suitable darker green shade were issued in early 44.

3. What appears to be a M3 scout car is following the carrier round a corner, whether it is part of grandads formation I don't know, but this scout car was being phased out by the Americans in late 1943 and being replaced by the Greyhound. Grandad spoke of his unit having Greyhounds later in the war. Maybe the M3 soldiered on a limited capacity. Incidentally, it looks like summer in the pic.

4. I showed the pic to a friend at work who is German. We came to the conclusion the buildings look very France/German borderlike, maybe alpine. The Division was sent to Austria in April 1945 until August that year, to advance as east as possible to intercept the Russians, and I have read from a veteran of 46 Div that his unit ended up near Graz. Interestingly, the flag on what could be the town hall at right could be an Austrian civil flag. I'm assuming the Division would have entered Austria from Italy and could be white and green if it is the state of Styria, or white and red meaning it could be one of several states including the Tyrol. Carinthia's state flag is yellow over red, though it appears that the flag in the pic has a white upper. Finally, the little girl is blonde which would suggest a more northern european theatre.

It seems practical for me to come to the conclusion that this is near the end of the war, and to assume the carrier is somewhere in Austria, and is a shade of olive green.

I'll be converting the driver in the carrier kit (from Bolt Action, and its a very nice little resin kit), to a likeness of grandad in his sun glasses, along with his two companions. I'll get some pics up soon to make all this clearer and hope to do work-in-progress updates.


Matt said…
Looking forward to seeing this little project!

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