Welcome to the fourth installment of my Royal Hungarian army project. The first three covered basic infantry, officers and veteran troops and then the vehicles. I have taken a break from my Hungarians for a few months while I worked on my Colonial French, but I am back on the Ostfront now and will be looking at some infantry support weapons I have recently added.
44M Buzoganyveto "Mac thrower"rocket launcher
This first weapon needs a bit of explaining. While researching the Hungarians a few of us stumbled on this piece of little known history, Hungary was the fourth nation to develop it's own rocket weapons. Germany was unwilling to share it's rocket weapon technology with it's allies, so Hungarian scientists developed their own local version of the Nebelwerfer, Panzershreck and Panzerfaust.
On top of this they created the Buzoganyveto, aka. the mace-thrower, to deal with really heavy tanks and enemy fortifications. It was a direct firing 100mm unguided shape charged rocket. Two types of ammunition were developed; 'Mace' rounds for anti-armour, which was capable of penetrating 300mm of armour or concrete (tests on captured IS-2's proved very successful) and 'Rain fall' ammunition, which was ant-infantry high explosive.
The Mace-thrower entered service in spring 1944 with 600-700 units manufactured in total. Due to shortages of metal, most were mounted on capture Soviet MMG wheeled trailers! Almost all were deployed in defense of the nations capital, during the 100 brutal days of the siege of Budapest.
There is no rules for this unique weapon system in the Bolt Action Hungarian army list. So I am fielding this model and counting it as either a Medium Howitzer or Heavy Anti-tank gun, and explaining clearly what it is to my opponent before the game. Rumor has it that the creative mind of Anfernee has some unofficial rules in the works, so more to come on that from us later...
The miniature itself is made up from several places. The rocket launcher is made by a guy on the 3D printing site Shapeways, and comes in one piece. It is extremely fragile, but highly detailed. I simply used the crew miniatures form Warlord Games German Nebelwerfer. I wanted an urban base to represent the Budapest siege so I used a resin one from secret weapon miniatures. I added some small details like the Hungarian propaganda posters to help capture this feeling as well.
I have also added a sniper team to my reinforced platoon. With this team I took the opportunity to model up a unit I really love the look of but probably won't get around to converting up squads of: the Mountain Infantry. The Hungarian mountain troops, like their German equivalents were elite troops. the Hungarian troops sported a distinct cockerel feather on the side of their alpine caps, much like the Italian Bersaglieri. These troops were recruited from the mountainous regions of Hungary, many being natural woodsmen and hunters. Thus, I will make my sniper an experienced hunter from one of these regiments.
I've used Afrika Korp figures from Artizan Designs for these guys and simply added the feathers on the side of the hat plus of course the compulsory mustache! The Cockerel feathers are made from plastic feathers I cut off some fantasy miniatures. The scope is a spare from a plastic set.
Throughout WW2 the Hungarian infantry's standard medium machine gun was the same as they used in WW1, the Austrian Schwarzlose. There are a couple of options available for a miniature to represent this, all from WW1 ranges using German maxim machine guns which are almost identical. I have chosen mine from Great War Miniatures.
It's a brilliant miniature and has a diorama like quality to the kit, with the inclusion of ammo crates, spare weapons and great poses from the crew who all link together.
As mentioned before the Hungarian weapons scientists had developed their own rocket weapon systems independently of the Germans. In this case they developed their own copy of the Panzershreck in a 60mm caliber, called the 'Pancelrem'. The Hungarians were also supplied with Panzerhrecks, the main difference being the local version had a thinner tube.
I have chosen to use the standard 'Sheck due to lazyness. But I know Anfernee and some others are working on conversions for the Hungarian version at the moment. I look forward to seeing these on the forums.