Ringstande APX

£8.75

Product Code: TOB/APX

Tobruks were also used to form the basis for Panzerstellungen using surplus tank turrets like the French APX-R turret with 37mm gun at the strongpoint at St. Marcouf-les-Cougins on the Cotentin coast north of Utah beach. This is represented by this wargames terrain model.


The APX-R turret was developed by Atelier de Puteaux in 1935 for the Renault firm hence the designation R. it was initially used on the Renault R-35 light infantry tank though also used later on the Hotchkiss h-35 and h-39 cavalry tanks.  By 1940 the R-35 was the most numerous French tank in service with more than 1,600 being built. Generally armed with the short-barrelled SA18 (semi automatic, model 1918), which was very similar to that mounted in the earlier FT-17. This is represented by this wargames terrain model.


The Germans managed to acquire about 870 of the tanks from various sources early in the war and they ended up on all fronts and in many configurations. Many of the turrets were used for Panzerstellungen. These turrets were also armed with a 7.5mm coaxial machine gun. Quite often these tobruks were manned by two soldiers, the second to assist the gunner by passing up ammunition.


Whilst Tobruk positions were sometimes located above ground, as part of a defensive sea wall or anti-tank wall (available seperately), they were also commonly partially-buried. In terms of wargames terrain scenery this could be achieved by cutting the relevent shape out from a polystyrene terrain board or from purchasing the Tobruk 'Landscape' model, also available separately, code TOB/L.

Dimensions

This wargames terrain bunker model is approximately mm 72wide by 86mm high (excluding turret) by 128mm front to back. The internal dimensions of the emplacement are 110mm long and 52mm wide. This gun emplacement is complete with a demountable roof and the clear dimension (in which a figure must fit) is 35mm, which should suit most 25mm to 28mm wargames figures.


Background

This wargames terrain model is representative of a 'Tobruk’ position, which was a small reinforced concrete position,  employed by the Germans on the Normandy Coast, throughout the Atlantic Wall, Fortress Europe and indeed elsewhere in the Third Reich. It was one of the most numerous defensive structures and was born out of a need of an expedient device to provide defence quickly and using a minimum of resources; manpower, reinforcement steel and concrete. It comprised an octagonal fronted bunker with up to 1.5m concrete roof construction and a circular opening. More than often, additional protection was afforded by burying the structure, leaving only the roof opening clear. It offered 360o of unobstructed observation for the defender and were extremely difficult to spot, particularly by troops on the ground. There are many of examples where the roof and some of the sides are exposed. Access was via a trench or steps at the side. To represent a partially buried ringstande you can also purchase the wargames terrain 'tobruk' landscape, code TOB/L.


The term ‘Tobruk’ is not entirely accurate as the German Engineers termed these positions as “Ringstande”, belonging to a category of reinforced field works. These were to be found as early as 1940 on the West Wall as the VF51. In 1943 the designs developed into regular construction types not just as observation positions. These are represented in this series of wargames terrain models. In 1942 when Hitler ordered the construction of The Atlantic Wall to form Fortress Europe, the “Ringstande” was at the forefront of designs as it was comparatively inexpensive and allowed for more rapid construction of combat positions.

It is likely that the name Tobruk came from allied forces that had previously encountered similar open positions deployed by the Italians in the defensive perimeter around Tobruk. These comprised positions that were often formed of concrete drainage pipe inserted into the ground vertically, with the opening level with the ground and without any protection over-head. In some cases tobruks were mounted along the seawall immediately along the beach. An example o which was shown in the Longest Day.


A network of trenches and ringstands could form a complex and effective defensive line, which can be represented by the wargames terrain models on this website. Trenches and anti-tank walls are also available as wargames terrain models.


These positions were not just used for  tank turrets but also for machine guns and mortars. These wargames terrain models are also available.

Whilst Tobruk positions were sometimes located above ground, as part of a defensive sea wall or anti-tank wall (available seperately), they were also commonly partially-buried. In terms of wargames terrain scenery this could be achieved by cutting the relevent shape out from a polystyrene terrain board or from purchasing the Tobruk 'Landscape' model, also available separately, code TOB/L.

 

RINGSTANDE APX-R

With the fall of France in 1940, captured tank turrets like the APX-R tank turret were used in Panzerstellungen along the Normandy coastline. Reinforced concrete tobruk bunkers type Vf67v formed the basis for these positions and many examples were found along the Utah and Omaha beaches. These are represented by the wargames terrain models available from this website. For example at Wiederstandnester, WN 5 at a la Madeleine at about halfway between exits 2 & 3 at Utah beach. The Wiederstandnester, resistance nests and Stutzpunkt (strong-point) were not all of equal strength but all were variations on a similar theme of combined anti-tank guns in open emplacements (see 50mm gun emplacement model  50/EMP). The Renault R-35 light infantry tank was the most numerous French tank in service with more than 1,600 being built. Generally armed with the short-barrelled SA18 (semi automatic, model 1918), which was very similar to that mounted in the earlier FT-17. This is represented by this wargames terrain model.


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