Friday, May 1, 2009

Action Man 'Colditz' German Stormtrooper

"The 'Colditz' Story" is a book written by Patrick Robert Reid, a British army officer who was imprisoned in Oflag IV-C, Colditz Castle, in Germany during the Second World War. Although focusing mainly upon life inside Colditz Castle and the development of an 'escape academy', the final chapters of the book are devoted to Reid's own escape. Reid was one of the lucky few to escape successfully, although he did not return to England until after the war.

'Colditz' is a British television series aired in the early 1970s which dealt with Allied prisoners of war interned at the supposedly impregnable Colditz Castle during World War II and their many attempts to escape captivity, as well as the relationships formed between the various nationalities and their German captors.

Action Man released this 'Colditz' German Stormtrooper following the airing of the BBC series. The cut of the tunic remained the same as the First Issue version (see previous post) but the material is thinner and the color is more of a bottle green. This set came with M1935 German Stahlhelm helmet, tunic and trousers, cartridge belt, stick grenades, Luger pistol and holster, MP38 submachine gun, Iron Cross and Jackboots/marching boots.  

Besides the thinner material used for the uniform, the red Waffenfarbe are of red textured fabric rather than the sewn piping of the earlier sets. A cheaper plastic is used for the buttons, which are now transparent. The epaulettes are also unhemmed.

The symbol of a eagle grasping the swastika on the helmet, a symbol of Nazi Germany. Later releases would omit the swastika symbol, leaving just the eagle in the black shield. You can see the poorer quality of the material and finishing of the epaulettes as compared with the earlier version (see previous post).

The MP38 or Maschinen Pistole 38 (incorrectly referred to as 'Schmeisser') submachine gun and Luger pistol included with this set.

As mentioned in the previous post, the Stormtrooper has a MP38 SMG but cartridge belt with ammo pouches for carrying six five-round clips of 7.92mm Mauser cartridges for the Mauser Karabiner (Kar) 98k rifle. That's just WRONG!

I added a camouflage smock of the 'splinter' pattern, first adopted for the Zeltbahn shelter half/tent section as early as 1931.

Close-up showing details of the 'splinter' pattern (Splittermuster) camouflage. The Germans adopted quite a few types of camouflage patterns during World war II - there were also the Patanenmuster (plane tree) pattern, Rauchtarnmuster – "blurred edge" pattern, Palmenmuster – "palm pattern", Eichenlaubmuster – "oak leaf A", Beringtes Eichenlaubmuster – "oak leaf B" and Erbsenmuster – "44 dot"

I also added the M1931 breadbag, mess tin, water bottle, gas mask canister to his load

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