Author Topic: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas  (Read 468 times)

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Offline comrade harps

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Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« on: October 02, 2019, 04:52:40 am »


PZL.23G Alkyóna (Kingfisher)
a/c T, 107th or 108th Mira Anaskafikí of the Northern Expeditionary Group (NEG)
“Somewhere in Russia” summer or autumn 1941



Hitler liked to fake the role didn’t often play the role of peacemaker. Yet, that was precisely the role he played with regards to the threat of an Italian invasion of Greece. Although inclined to let Italy’s dictator, Mussolini, have his own way in the Balkans, German intelligence indicated that Greece would be able to withstand an Italian invasion. Hitler saw that this would lead to the unpalatable situation where German forces would have to finish the job for their Italian allies; and this at a time when Germany was preparing to invade the Moscow Pact nations. As an alternative, Hitler recognised that here was an opportunity to carrot and stick the conservative, anti-Communist Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas into an ally. Through a combination of German diplomacy and intimidation, Mussolini’s threat of invasion could be used as a means to draw Greece away from a likely alliance with the British and into the Tripartite (Axis) Pact. From there, Greece could function as a defensive bulwark on the Axis’ southern-eastern flank and would likely contribute forces to the up-coming anti-Communist crusade of Operation Barbarossa. By playing the role of a geopolitical bully statesman, Hitler persuaded the Metaxas regime to sign-on to the Tripartite Pact, which it did on 25 March 1941 (the same day as Bulgaria), thereby thwarting Mussolini’s invasion plans. Greece declared war on the Moscow Pact nations on 24 June 1941 (two days after Operation Barbarossa’s commencement) and the all-volunteer Greek I Army Corps entered battle on the Eastern Front on 23 August 1941, fighting in Ukraine.




The PZL.23G was the most numerous bomber of the Hellenic Air Force's "volunteer" Northern Expeditionary Group (NEG) during its 1941 deployment on the Eastern Front. Although officially referred to as reconnaissance squadrons, the NEG’s two Mira Anaskafikí conducted more bomber missions than photo-reconnaissance sorties, performing both close air support and tactical interdiction in support of the Greek I Army Corps.




Greece acquired two versions of the PZL.23. The first 30 were Polish-built PZL.37Gs, with Greek-assembled Pegasus IIM2 engines, two forward-firing Karabin maszynowy wz. 33 7.9mm machine guns mounted in the cabin ahead of the pilot, different radios and a tail wheel instead of a skid. These were followed by a batch of 40 PZL.37Hs built by the Hellenic State Aircraft Factory (HSAF) and powered by locally built Bristol Pegasus XX engines. The most notable visual difference between the G and the H are their propellers: the G has the original, broad two-bladed prop and the H has the thinner, three-bladed prop of the similarly-powered PZL.37H twin-engined bomber that was also built by the HSAF.






Visually attentive observers may have noted that the top rear and lower rear guns are different, being a Vickers K and a Vickers F, respectively. The PZL.23G was delivered with two Vickers F machines guns, one for each flexible mount, but by mid-1941 these elderly machine guns were in short supply, as were the Vickers Ks that replaced the Vickers F on the PZL.23H. To rationalise its machine gun inventory, the HAF acquired MG 15s for the PZL.23H and delivered the Vickers K to the units flying the PZL.37G as the German machine guns became available. Photos show that some NEG PLZ.23Gs armed with two Vickers F, some with two Vickers K and others (such as aircraft T) armed with both.




Photographs show a variety of bomb loadouts of 50kg and 100kg bombs. Aircraft T has been modelled as photographed with 12 mission (bomb) markings and a loadout of six 100kg bombs.

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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2019, 05:14:07 am »
That's nice! The IBG kit, I assume? Looks very crisp.

Offline comrade harps

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2019, 05:23:02 am »
That's nice! The IBG kit, I assume? Looks very crisp.

Thanks, it is and it is.

Btw, I dropped the kit's top Vickers F into the fuselage and it still hasn't come out, hence to need to go with a Vickers K from a spares box.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 05:55:50 am by comrade harps »
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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2019, 07:41:08 am »
Looks good, comrade!

Lucky the Greeks were building their own British engines to power their Polish aircraft. ;)
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Offline Hotte

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2019, 11:00:30 am »
Nice Greek Karas  :thumbsup:

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Offline Leading Observer

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2019, 12:59:07 pm »
 :thumbsup: Very nice work
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Offline Sport21ing

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2019, 03:25:03 pm »
He's Alive, he's alive!!! :D - btw, nice work :thumbsup:
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Offline comrade harps

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2019, 06:23:08 pm »
He's Alive, he's alive!!! :D - btw, nice work :thumbsup:

Yes I am! Sorry I haven't responded of late but it's been a tough time and simply walking and  immersing myself in the occasional whif build has been all I've been capable of.
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Offline zenrat

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2019, 03:13:03 am »
Good work comrade.
 :thumbsup:
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Offline NARSES2

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2019, 06:13:02 am »
That's a nice build and I really like the scenario as well  :thumbsup:

I've a couple of the IBG kits in the stash. They are nice kits if a little fussy to my mind. How did you find it ?
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Offline comrade harps

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2019, 06:46:26 pm »
That's a nice build and I really like the scenario as well  :thumbsup:

I've a couple of the IBG kits in the stash. They are nice kits if a little fussy to my mind. How did you find it ?

A really nice fit to everything and the fussy stuff is mostly on the inside where you can get away with leaving things on the  sprue. It's a beautiful thing.
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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2019, 10:19:54 pm »
Great model, and it makes perfect sense since Greece operated the PZL P.24 in real life.
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Offline comrade harps

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2019, 10:42:24 pm »
Great model, and it makes perfect sense since Greece operated the PZL P.24 in real life.

That was my inspiration and expect more Greek PZLs!
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Offline NARSES2

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2019, 06:22:37 am »

A really nice fit to everything and the fussy stuff is mostly on the inside where you can get away with leaving things on the  sprue. It's a beautiful thing.

Yup, that's what I'll be doing with my second build  :thumbsup:
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Offline Sport21ing

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Re: Eastern Front Greeks: PZL.23G Karas
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2019, 03:55:39 am »
K, no problem, take your time
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