Operation Anthropoid

Welcome to fellow travellers & new lurkers all. This project about the assassination of Reinhardt Heydrich began in March 2018 so here’s a link to the entire content on the old Armorama site before the transition to this new one…

At the time of transition there were approx. 358,000 views, 1,080 comments (or rather approx. 700, the rest were me replying/posting) & approx. 1,100 images. The above link includes a wealth of research contributed by many others to whom I’m very grateful - this project continues thanks to their input as much as mine.

The goal will be to present a sequence of photographs which depicts what really happened in Prague on the morning of May 27, 1942. I’m currently working on the 1.35 metre square diorama base (1:35 scale) which I expect to finish before Christmas 2020. The last stage will then be the scores of figures required to populate the final narrative sequence of photographs. It’s been a journey of discovery to separate fact from fiction, construct authentic models, and attempt new (to me) techniques. I’ve previously likened it all to a tram ride & many of you will recognise the “stations” but for newcomers you’re invited to climb aboard for a fast re-run…

A tiny sample of the pictorial research…

Heydrich’s limo, converted from ICM’s Mercedes Type 320 saloon…

Two Prague trams and one trailer, converted from three MiniArt European Tramcars…

The diorama base constructed in two halves…

The nearby house…

The sunken garden…

General views…

Experimental photo-shopped backdrop…

A passing car (converted from Tamiya Simca 5 German staff car)…

That’s all for now.

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Hello, Tim!
Glad to see you’ve leaped over to the new forum and displayed your genius here. … I’m at the station and I’ll be claiming my seat on the next tram.:tram:

Cheers!:beer:
—mike

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Superbe !!!
No Christopher Lee somewhere?
Seen that he participated to the operation.

Beautiful !! It’s like deja vu all over again … hopefully it didn’t take you as long as it took me to use my cro magnon , neanderthal skills to get here .

Seriously Tim , beautiful work man !!

Gee Mike you sure know how to guarantee that seat! But hey seeing as you’ve been testing & helping to out-glitch this site for a while, I think that’s more than enough evidence who’s got the smarts around here. Glenn & I had to channel our inner hunter-gatherer just to set up accounts & we’re still smashing bones on rocks.

M. Bikerfou thank you, I checked your reference to Christopher Lee – here’s what it says on his Wiki biography page:

Lee mentioned that during the war he was attached to the Special Operations Executive and the Long Range Desert Group (precursor of the SAS) but always declined to go into details: “I was attached to the SAS from time to time but we are forbidden – former, present, or future – to discuss any specific operations. Let’s just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that. People can read into that what they like.”

He served in the RAF mainly in the Middle East & Italy, nowhere near Czechoslovakia. Operation Anthropoid was sponsored by SOE and the participants were all Czechs and Slovaks.

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This legendary movie star was known for his charismatic presence, obvious intelligence, imposing 6′5″ frame and devotion to his craft, he also legitimately killed people in the Second World War.

Christopher Lee was one of the original SAS members, who naturally had to be tough as old boots, intelligent and capable of ruthlessly killing in a heartbeat. Somehow I doubt any credible Hollywood actors have been as truly dangerous as old Christopher Lee.

Lee served in various roles during the Second World War, mainly as an RAF Intelligence officer on the ground during the North African campaign, where he was attached to both Popski’s Private Army and the SAS, routinely operating behind enemy lines. He also served as an officer with the equally legendary Gurkha regiment throughout the Battle of Monte Cassino, it’s difficult to express how impressive this is.

Lee finished the war as a lieutenant in charge of a team hunting Nazi war criminals; he once said the following -

“We were given dossiers of what they’d done and told to find them, interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority … We saw these concentration camps. Some had been cleaned up. Some had not.” - Sir Christopher Lee

The intelligence and danger in those eyes are not an act. Lee faced death and killed people, all the while equipped with a brain capable of speaking eight languages — English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Russian, Greek

“I’ve seen many men die right in front of me - so many in fact that I’ve become almost hardened to it. Having seen the worst that human beings can do to each other, the results of torture, mutilation and seeing someone blown to pieces by a bomb, you develop a kind of shell. But you had to. You had to. Otherwise, we would never have won.” - Sir Christopher Lee

“Have you any idea what kind of noise happens when somebody is stabbed in the back? Because I do” - Sir Christopher Lee

One time, Lee and a director flew into Prague to film a generic monster movie; upon landing the director noticed a military guard of honour and said: “I wonder who that’s for?”

Lee replied: “My dear boy, it’s for me. I was involved in the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich"

On board Tim, Ruck On Bby!

Thanks for the additional information about Lee - as you quoted he claimed to speak eight languages, none of which was Czech or Slovak so that would have put him at something of a disadvantage if parachuted into Prague in early 1942 with Gabcik & Kubis. Along with all other SOE Czechoslovak agents they were trained exclusively in England, so he would also have had difficulty being in two places at once - in December 1941 he was in Africa (Rhodesia, modern day Zimbabwe). During early 1942 he was still in Africa (Durban) & joined RAF Intelligence before being posted to Suez. In January 1943 he was still in Africa (Egypt) with 205 Group RAF.

If he did serve in SOE it can only have been in Italy (and/or operating from Italy) between mid-1943 and May 1945. I can’t explain his reported claim to have been involved in Anthropoid, other than he was clearly an actor who enjoyed blurring the line between reality & fantasy with a wicked sense of humour…and he was distantly related by marriage to Ian Fleming, who incidentally also had no involvement in the mission.

Thanks for providing the opportunity to explode yet another myth about Operation Anthropoid of which I’d previously been unaware.

Cheers Ski take a window seat!

Welcome to the other side… I hope you had a save crossing/passage… As usual, I take up my customary seat overhere to get on with the ride…

The cool thing here is there is an archive in the old forum covering all of the background topics involved with this truly epic build. But now there is also a brief synopsis of it right here on the new forum. Very handy huh ? Well ,I think so anyway.
Nice to read your excellent description of us creaking old tanks puffing up the ridgeline. Hahahahaa perfect!
J

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Thanks guys yep we made it OK & hope everyone else does too, great to welcome you back aboard. Jerry I think all of us mid-project should cross-reference old & new forums, I just did on “old” Anthropoid as I bailed out. The tank metaphor just came to me when I tried to get outta bed the other morning, apologies no offence intended. So, let’s trundle off at a sedate pace as we roll onto the new track…thanks Jim it feels like the same gauge but smoother.

Hard to believe the diorama base needs yet more work but it really does. First on the list were the two traffic islands on the east side, I’d cobbled them based on a couple of 1936 photos but while doing the road signs/furniture a closer look at the 1942 photos showed the cobbles had been removed and/or covered in bare soil. Let’s get this party re-started with a dime in the Anthro Wurlitzer…

It’s the first time I’ve ever had to take a chisel to previous work, but it was kinda reassuring that the external wood-filler I’d used for all the cobbling was so solid. It had to come off because just adding a layer on top would raise the level too high…

In its place a topping of 50/50 sieved garden soil & white glue, scraped on with a palette knife…

Slightly tricky because taking off the filler layer exposed the balsa beneath & as we know balsa & fluid = buckling. Luckily not this time, it quickly dried solid but too dark so I brushed on some (dry) powder-paint to moderate…

…and sorted out the nauseating sandpit too…

Stepping back I think that looks OK tone-wise…

…but it’s more obvious the streets/sidewalks look like there’s been a hard frost. I’ll creep up on that issue by first fixing the several rail channel/cobble gaps, dirtying all gutters where cobble meets kerb, and then randomly varying the shades of some cobbles. After that I’m hoping the solution to the frosting will either have resolved itself, or at least be easier to fix without screwing it up. :tumbler_glass:

(Edit - the reason I’m spending time on these faraway features is that the fleeing Kubis will be sprinting right over the road-sign one scattering tram passengers in his path)

Upgrades/changes look superb as always matey. Those cobbles would’ve taken me about 10 years or so to make!
No offense was taken about the armored metaphore. I was impressed by the turn of phrase!
J

Hi Tim,

Great progress, have enjoyed catching up with your build, the islands look great, especially the one with the ‘grit/salt bunker’ and the surrounding weeds…excellent, :slightly_smiling_face:.

Cheers, :beer:,

G

Nice work, once more :+1:

This box kinds of reminds me of the modern version, to be found in ao Germany these days…

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Sometimes ya just gotta redo a thing or two, but effort is worth it in the end. Great work Tim, Ruck On!

Thanks gents, Jerry it sure felt like 10 years but I think I estimated it took about 30 hours including the sidewalks. Had to get into a trance with headphones on to do it in small sections over a few weeks so lost track of time! Erwin that’s right I guess the sand’s there to grit the rails in icey conditions - what’s odd in the scene is the pile of sand’s outside the box – maybe the agents tried hiding in it (the box, not the pile) ready to spring out…I could start a brand new myth? :tumbler_glass:

If so, they would have quite a challenge, with all the sand in their eyes…! :thinking:

Indeed, it would not only explain why the Sten jammed but also why the grenade missed its target :upside_down_face: :tumbler_glass:

Looking fantastic Tim , great !!