I will show you my last mannequin, a 5th infantry division GI during the liberation of Angers (Western France)
On July, 9th 1944, the 5th infantry division leaves the United-Kingdom for France, where it lands, on Utah Beach. Launched in the liberation of Europe, the division knows its first combats in Vidouville area (Normandy). Then, it progressed to Avranches and Vitré. On August 4th, the division is transfered from Bradley's 1st Army to Patton's 3rd Army. On August 7th, the division receives the order to capture the city of Angers and its bridges on the Maine and the Loire rivers, in order to cut German troops retreat from Brittany. Whereas some troops have already entered in the Maine-et-Loire, releasing Pouancé on August 4th, Segré on August 6th, other troops were advancing in the north, to Châteauneuf-sur-Sarthe. On August 8th, the division is to Angers doors. All bridges on the Maine river were destroyed. All except one, the Pruniers bridge, near Bouchemaine, at the south of Angers. Guided by civilians, The L Company, 11th IR seized the bridge on August 8th, before the Germans had time to blow it up. These elements were progressing south of Angers, while others came further north, in the neighborhood of the Doutre, on August 9th. In the evening, heavy fighting took place, especially in Saint-Jacques street. During the day of August 10, shots were exchanged between the left shore (U.S.) and the right (Germans). In the afternoon, when the fire subsided, U.S. troops cross the Maine river by civilian boats. Later, other elements cross the bridge of "la Basse-chaîne", the least damaged of the three bridges. In the evening, the last enemy defenses are destroyed. Angers celebrates its liberation, which costed a hundred dead American . Note that the division continued its advance, and had the order to will not cross the Loire. The department of Maine-et-Loire is only totally liberated on September 1st, the southern was freed by combined actions of the French Resistance and french SAS airborne troops.
To achieve this mannequin, I tried at best to reproduce this GI's outfit, photographed on August 9-10th, Saint-Jacques street in Angers. Our man, probably immortalized between two street combats, has still his bayonet fixed on his M1 rifle and holds a MK2 grenade in his hand. He has one month campaign marks on his. Despite August heat, he's wearing a M41 jacket, together with his complete kit, supplemented (probably) by a ammunition bag which looks quite full. His helmet is feature of men ones, trimmed with hessian and a net. Note that he removed his M1910 shovel from his haversack to fix it on his M1923 belt.
Thank you for reading. Hope you understood despite my mistakes !
Edited by cutiger83, 19 August 2014 - 10:50 AM.
update dead photo link