Friday, January 14, 2011

Soldier Story USMC M1917A1 Machine Gunner Tarawa 1943 Preview

Soldier Story has done it again! They have released pictures of their WWII US marine based in the Pacific and fighting in Tarawa 1943. He is loaded and he is GOOD! The Battle of Tarawa was a battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II, largely fought from November 20 to November 23, 1943. It was the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region.

The Battle of Tarawa was one of the bloodiest episodes in the history of the United States Marine Corps, which saw a total of nearly 1,000 Marines killed. The 2nd Marine Division suffered 894 (48 officers and 846 men) killed in action, with another 84 (8 officers and 76 men) later dying of their wounds. A further 2,188 (102 officers and 2,086 men) men were wounded. Of the roughly 12,000 2nd Marine Division Marines on Tarawa, 3,166 officers and men became casualties. [source: wiki]

Only one Japanese officer, 16 enlisted men and 129 Koreans were alive at the end of the battle. Of the 4,836 Japanese and Korean laborers that made up the garrison, 4,690 were killed.

American casualties on the beach were so severe that over a hundred corpses were never repatriated. Staff Sgt Norman T. Hatch, a combat cameraman who filmed the bodies on the beach, produced images that were so disturbing that he had to obtain permission from President Franklin Roosevelt before they could be shown to the public. The footage was included in the 1944 short documentary "With the Marines at Tarawa", and was the only film to contain gruesome scenes of American dead up to that date.

Soldier Story will be releasing this Second World War USMC M1917A1 Machine Gunner wearing the famous totally reversible camouflage uniform. The fabric was printed on both sides, with a green pattern on one side and a brown pattern on the other. The Duck Hunter a.k.a. Frog-Skin camouflage pattern was used extensively by the USMC from 1942 to 1944. It began to be discarded when commanders found that the pattern made movement more obvious even if it made unmoving soldiers less visible. The camouflage only had the advantage when held still, such as when used by a sniper placed in a static position. This is the most accurate Duck Hunter/ Frog-Skin camouflage pattern in 1/6 scale to be produced!

The Marine also has his USMC M1941 suspenders that attach to a cloth pistol belt, Pre- and early war USMC first aid pouch, M1941 haversack and knapsack (with frog skin poncho) PLUS all the other things a Marine needs in battle.

The Japanese flag was a personal item carried by Japanese soldiers, called a "hinomaru yosegaki" (literally meaning "rising sun autographs"). When a soldier was called to active duty, his family or co-workers would purchase a flag and sign their names and write a good luck or patriotic message. This was a popular souvenir for Marines to pick up on the battlefield.

The Marine also comes with the asbestos gunner's mitt for handling the M1917 Browning machine gun. The M1917 Browning machine gun was a belt-fed water-cooled machine gun that served alongside the much lighter air-cooled Browning M1919. This 1/6 scale M1917 Browning machine gun and ammo cans by Soldier Story is incredibly detailed and works almost like the real thing.

Here's the complete layout with all the stuff that Soldier Story's USMC M1917A1 Machine Gunner (Tarawa, 1943) will come with :)

This is another of those MUST HAVEs if one is a World War II military figure collector because this US Marine M1917A1 Machine Gunner is as complete with all his gear as he's going to get.


Marcio Sampayo said...

Is that a James Badge Dale headsculpt, from HBO´s THE PACIFIC????

ethan said...

If only Soldier Story to enter Hollywood, it would sure give Hot Toys a run for their money.

Need to have some competition out bring the price down a little :)

ethan said...

Even though not really a WWII collector, this kind of tempt me of getting one...darn it...SS is getting better by the days.

logan said...

Great, Soldier Story is the BEST NOW.. Really I love the Figure with the complete gears. I even ordered 2 pcs of this Box set. Thanks to Soldier Story.....:):)

alex teo said...

hey ethan, if you find yourself really drawn to this figure, it can only mean ONE thing - you want this bad ;p if it's any consolation, this is a FINE looking piece haha

ethan said...

@Alex: that's right. So time to buckle up and get my kid to prepare for marathon visit this CNY. Time to make some monies for daddy to get new year toys ...haha

WL a.k.a Wee Loong said...

The M1917 with the cloth ammo belt makes up for a significant part of the value of this set.


any idea who the HS is sculpted after?


I couldn't agree more with SS giving HT a run for their money.. haha

Haha, I can just picture posing this like how Jon Basilone handled this MG..



WL a.k.a Wee Loong said...

Hi Alex,

I finally found time to start blogging again and I started off w a review for this figure. Do check it out and feel free to give your feedback. Thanks