Saturday, 16 April 2011

All El Presidente's Men

A different time, a different Imagi-nation. Last week I played my French Foreign Legion (c 1985) vs a colleague's "AK-47" army. Great fun. I have some other various 1960s/70s bits and pieces in 1/300th scale and was thinking of rounding it out into a Banana Republic army to face him (In the rules we play ( CWC ) c 15 - 20 models = 1 battalion). I put the question about what it might consist of to the gurus on TMP, got an interesting outcome - first, some replies:

Central American forces in 1981, according to Janes'

Stuart, Sherman, M3 scout, M8 a/car, M3 halftrack, HWK11 (Postwar German) APC, M8 Scott HMC, M7 Priest, 105mm M101 howitzer, 75mm M116 pack howitzer

1 British infantry Bn, 1 recce troop, 1 arty bty, so probably Scorpions, 105mm light gun or pack how etc

Stuart, Sherman, M3 scout, M113, RBY-1 Israeli APC, Commando APC, 105mm M101 howitzer, 75mm M116 pack howitzer

El Salvador:
AMX-13, Stuart, UR-416 Postwar German APC, 105mm M101 howitzer

Sherman, Staghound, M3 scout, 105mm M101 howitzer, 40mm Bofors AA

Costa Rica:
no army

M8 or M20 a/cars

Check Out Peru :-)
- 300 T-55 main battle tank
- 110 AMX-13 light tank
- 130 M-113A1 APCs
- 130 UR-416 APCs
- 30 BRDM-2/Malyutka armored car
- 45 Fiat 6616 armored cars
- 45 Fiat 6614 APCs
- 12 BTR-60 APCs
- 12 HMMWV light utility vehicle
- 60 M8 Greyhound armored cars
- 20 Casspir APCs
- and Russian helos as well….


Guatemala still has C47s and Hueys at their International Airport. Troops (and they are all over he place are in US kit that looks right out of Vietnam. The police are in brown Technicals. The special/private police are in the black Technicals.


(Refurbished) Mustangs were popular with a number of South American airforces [via US MAP programs], as were turreted TDs such as the M36.

SU100, there are still quite a few parked around the airport near the Special Forces barracks in Havana.

As per the recent article in the SOTCW Journal, no less than four Renault FT-17s have recently been found in Afghanistan…. (37mm turreted versions). They aren't in terribly good condition though:)

Plus this link to a thread on longest serving WW2 equipment.

In other words, seems the most flexible option is to build out a bog standard late US or British WW2 force (US - M3, M4, M5, M8, M36, a few M24 - British replace with Comets, Humbers etc) and then add interesting bits and pieces one can find to supplement it. So, for example - an Ex British colony might have British 1950/60's, Russian/Chinese stuff given to 3rd world countries in 60's/70's, some US Military assistance Plan stuff in the 80's (of 60's/70's gear) and a smattering of French light stuff through the period (AMX 13, AML etc). Top of with a tiny bit of fairly modern equipmenet for El Presidente's guard and there you are.

There were some states that were initially Russian (or on-aligned) so you could also potentially start out with a Soviet Late WW2/early 1940's base (T34/85 instead of M4, Katyushkas etc).

And of course a few obligatory oddities - the last Marmon Herringtons saw service in the Cyprus civil war, A few WW2 German and pre WW2 French kit survived in the Balkans, Pz IVs served in the Middle East.

But the most interesting thing (to me) is you can build it off a "standard" WW2 force so you get 2 armies for (almost) the price of one!


  1. You should take a look at this guys AK47 site:

  2. Interesting site, had a good nose around, I cans ee they take it very seriously :-).

    I have also found that my WW2 US force (in HO Scale) is the ideal basis for El Presidente to play at a skirmish or battalion level game - against my WW2 Russians :-)

  3. Similar to my own concept, except that my Latin Imagi-Nations are strictly ... well, perhaps not. The ambitious Republic of Orotina (actually a Dictatorship) has acquired as much German equipment as it could, both during and after WW2. As such, they stole something of a march over their neighbours, and are set for a military expansion. Contrary to common belief, the United States did not park the 'Prinz Eugen' heavy cruiser at Bikini Atoll to be bombed, but sold it to the Orotinian Kriegsmarine (so many German escapees fetched up in Orotina that the place has taken on a distinctly Teutonic patina). With some difficulty the Soviet Union has supplied the landlocked Pan-Andean People's Republic with equipment (including flicking their way a medium battalion of US lend-lease Sherman tanks...). However, there are routes of entry through sumpathetic States - and/or sympathetic officials... Gran Bolivaria struck up a fruitful arrangement with the United Kingdom, which is shovelling off much of its lend-lease US equipment - partly to pay off its huge debt, but also in favour of the good cruiser tank that they finally managed to build - the Centurion.