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Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Eve in Kremlin ...

The October Revolution in 1917 interrupted this Tsarist tradition of the Christmas tree and the midnight dinner on the eve of New Year in Russia and it was banned by the Bolsheviks, as they considered it a remnant of bourgeois tradition. The New Year's Eve became a regular working day. There were no presents either. No Christmas trees were on sale and cutting down fir trees in the wood was a crime. However, famous Russian author and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov was the first to remind Muscovites about the Christmas tree in the Tsarist Russia. At the beginning of the second act of his legendary play, ‘The Day of the Turbines,’ the audience saw on stage a live and fragrant Christmas tree decorated with garlands and candles and heard the cracking of the candles on the tree branches, reminding people of the wonderful times. Perhaps at that point, after seeing the tree on the stage, Joseph Stalin, who saw the play more than 15 times, decided to return Christmas trees to Russian homes and revived New Year's celebrations in 1937.

Happy New Year 2019 !

Thank you for being with the Toy Soldiers and Real Battles, and we wish you all the best in 2019!🎄🎅🎉🎇🎇🎇

Sunday, December 30, 2018

A band of crusading knights arrived to Portugal ..

Towards the close of the 11th century bands of crusading knights came from every part of Europe to aid the kings of León, Castile and Aragon in fighting the Moors.Among them were many "Franks" from France, England, Flanders and German states, who were afterwards induced to settle in Portugal.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Märklin guns and artillery

The Märklin toymaking business, started in 1859 in the toy and craftmaking region of Württemburg ( Germany) as W. Märklin by Theodor Märklin, is one of the great toymaker brands. Marklin produced a wide range of gun models, many capable of firing small rubber projectiles.
As the 1930s progressed, Märklin's gun range was increasingly displaced by the company's expanding range of model railways.

You can download the Märklin artillery catalog pages by clicking this link below:

Friday, December 28, 2018

Britains toy soldiers : Russian cavalry, Cossacks and the Russian Imperial guards

Today I’d like to share with you photos of the Russian cavalry toy soldiers made by Britains from the Museu Mlitar do Porto. They are real masterpieces!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Nebelwerfer - a German smoke mortar

The Nebelwerfer (smoke mortar) was a World War II German series of weapons. They were initially developed by and assigned to the Wehrmacht's "smoke troops" (Nebeltruppen). This weapon was given its name as a disinformation strategy designed to fool observers from the League of Nations, who were observing any possible infraction of the Treaty of Versailles, into thinking that it was merely a device for creating a smoke screen.
The presented Nebelwerfer crew is displayed by the Museu Mlitar do Porto.

Elastolin Sammler Catalogue 1980 - Historische Hausser Figuren

Please use the link below to see the catalog:

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Visiting Museu Miltar do Porto - CBG Mignot French positions WW1

The material of the museum has two proveniences: particular offers and obsolete material from the Army, with historical relevance. The collection of miniature figures, displaying the evolution of soldiers since pre-history times till nowadays, is the museum's main attraction. This collection is represented by around 16,000 miniatures, proceeding from the most famous producers of European miniatures, such as Britains, CBG Mignot, Segom, Heyde, Elastolin and Lineol.
I found this very nice display of CBG Mignot soldiers showings French trench WW1 positions.

The Renault FT, the first "modern" tank to enter production

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Visiting Porto - December 2018

Sharing some photos of azulejo panels depicting the Battle of Valdevez  and other historic tile images at the São Bento railway station, Porto.

The Battle of Valdevez 1140
 The Battle of Valdevez 1140

The Battle of Valdevez 1140

Elastolin Toy Soldier Catalog (1935 - 1936)

Please use this link to see the Elastolin Catalogue - Germany (1935 - 1936).

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Vintage Red army soldiers from Durso Company

Michel Klimov, a Latvian born sculptor founder and owner of The Durso Company (Liege Belgium 1938-1988), launched production of  Red Army Russian composition toy soldiers wearing their unique pointed caps (Budenovkas) in 1939. 
After the German occupation of Belgium in May 1940 and after Hitlers attack on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 , production of the Russian soldiers was prohibited. 
But  Klimov was able to continue production, as he wished, because he always had a “good answer” for the German authority  questions.
As the tide of the battle shifted against the Germans, Durso figures often were used to make political statements. For instance, Russian figures (which were originally allowed to be produced because Mr. Klimov indicated that they were representative of the war in Finland in 1939), soon became “symbols of freedom” for the Belgians. Durso flag bearers carrying the Soviet flag were openly displayed by Belgian students after the German defeat at Stalingrad.During this time, Belgian children were often seen playing with German toy soldiers whose heads had been broken off.
For this post I used materials from the article “Durso Composition Figures “The Medical Scene””
by Vincent J. Russo and Patrice Servais published in The Old Toy Soldier (Volume 28, Number 1, Spring 2004)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Do you like Dinky military toys ?

Dinky Toys was the brand name for die-cast Mazak zinc alloy miniature vehicles produced by Meccano Ltd. They were made in England from 1934 to 1979, at a factory in Binns Road in Liverpool. Dinky Toys produced three main ranges of green diecast military toy vehicles and accessories, the pre-war Mechanised Army range that was completed in 1939, a post-war range from 1953~1970 (1/60 Scale), and a further range during the 1970s with black plastic wheels.
Military Ambulance, Dinky Toys No. 626 (1958) based on a Ford chassis.
                                       Military Ambulance, Dinky Toys No. 626 (1958) and 
Army Covered WagonDinky Toys No. 623 (Bedford 3-ton chassis)
Dinky Toys No.688 Field Artillery Tractor (Morris C8 "Guinea Pig") with  BL 5.5 Medium Gun (No.692).

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Season’s Greetings from Toy Soldiers and Real Battles !

Thank you for being our subscribers in 2018. Hope you stay among readers of the Toy Soldiers and Real Battles blog in 2019. Next year there will be a lot of new interesting posts covering a variety of toy soldier related topics. Wishing you a healthy and prosperous year ahead !

Sincerely yours,

 Toy Soldiers and Real Battles

A German Christmas card form World War 1 depicting the three kings arriving on the battlefields of the conflict.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The last pre-Christmas week takes off ....The Sopwith Triplane

The Sopwith Triplane was a British single seat fighter aircraft designed and manufactured by the Sopwith Aviation Company during the First World War. It was the first military triplane to see operational service. The Triplane joined Royal Naval Air Service squadrons in early 1917 and was immediately successful.
The Royal Air Force No. 1 Naval Squadron became fully operational with the Triplane by December 1916, but the squadron did not see any significant action until February 1917, when it relocated from Furnes to Chipilly. No. 8 Naval Squadron received its Triplanes in February 1917. Nos. 9 and 10 Naval Squadrons equipped with the type between April and May 1917.The only other major operator of the Triplane was a French naval squadron based at Dunkirk, which received 17 aircraft.
One of the Triplanes was operated by the Greek Helenic Navy and one by the Imperial Russian Air Force.

A bridge too far ...

Operation Market Garden was an unsuccessful World War II military operation fought in the Netherlands from 17 to 25 September 1944, planned and predominantly led by the British Army. Its objective was a series of nine bridges that could have provided an Allied invasion route into Germany. The Allies had failed to cross the Rhine. The river remained a barrier to their advance into Germany until offensives at Remagen, Oppenheim, Rees and Wesel in March 1945. The failure of Operation Market Garden to form a foothold over the Rhine ended Allied expectations of finishing the war by Christmas 1944. A Bridge Too Far is a 1977 epic war film based on the 1974 book of the same name by Cornelius Ryan, adapted by William Goldman.

German soldiers at Arnhem

Battlefield S5/E5 -The Battle of Arnhem , Operation Market Garden