Hey guys, this is a painting log about some of my own miniatures for a change. As often with those projects I usually tend to do something very different from my commission work and this one came surprising even for myself: I'm going 20mm (1/72th [rougly at least]) early to mid-1980s British Army of the Rhine!
The ruleset I'm looking at of course is Ambush Alley/Osprey's Force on Force and its Cold War Gone Hot supplement book.
Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the cover art either.
This probably explains the rather large scale I chose for miniatures. Cold War, due to scope and focus on mobile warfare, very often is played at small scales, focus on vehicles, helicopters and all of that. With Force on Force, games usually take place at platoon level though and I like it that way. I just like infantry and things that have a face and which I can feel sympathetic for. Apart from that, a surprising number of people around here already have 20mm Cold War stuffs so that's rather cool. So I went with my currently preferred modus operandi when getting into a new period: Gathered info on what armies are present already, avoid the overrepresented ones. Then I check if there were outstanding uniforms around at the time or overlooked armies/formations with characteristic quirks (you know, funny hats, beards, colourful uniforms or camo patterns, very individual vehicles or gear, etc.). In this regard I was let down a little to be honest because at the time we were going for (1980s), basically all western armies present looked alike already. Boo.
So I thought I'd just go with the British army. IIRC, just one other guy in the area got them (along with much other stuff) and on top of that, I already have a WW2 British army that ties in rather well with this new one. And not any British army but the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR):
BAOR HQ badge
The British Army of the Rhine was formed as the British occupying force stationed in Germany after the end of World War 2. Its first commander (and administrator of the British occupied zone) was field marshal Montgomery of desert fame. Over time the army changed from administrating and occupying the zone to security force and when Cold War came in full swing and Soviet attack through Germany became a distinct possibility BAOR became somewhat of a first line of defence. In the case of war BAOR's general would become NATO's Northern Army Group (NORTHAG).
Formations were stationed across the North German Plains (including the famous Fulda Gap) which was the most likely area for Soviet attack. Battle in these regions often were the go-to scenario for NATO armies and had a clear impact on the development of tactical nuclear weapons and other systems such as the A-10 Warthog.
Probable axes of Soviet attack
Despite varying numbers over its almost 50 years of existance, BAOR numbered around 50,000 to 55,000 servicemen on average (plus many families brought over, civilian personel, etc.). Defence aspects aside, BAOR played a significant role in improving German-British relations after the end of WW2 including an annual festival open to the public and a general sensibility for West Germans of not getting given up on in case of war. Militarily, the strategic value of BAOR was sometimes critisized by US command as, in the case of the war going "hot", being a waste of precious manpower in a futile attempt to stop an all-out Red Army assault.
After the end of the Cold War and budget cuts, BAOR was disbanded and reorganized into British Forces Germany. Permanent stationing of British troops in Germany is planned to end in 2019.