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Thursday, 26 May 2011

CSM Stan Hollis VC

During our recent tour of the D-Day landing beaches, my friends and I were introduced to a character who has since become one of my all time heroes - CSM Stan Hollis VC.
This incredible man was a real life Captain Hurricane (for those of you old enough to remember Valiant Comics!) who won the only VC to be awarded for actions on D-Day itself.
 He won the medal for two separate acts of immense bravery -
  • Firstly single handily assaulting an MG Bunker (Part of the Mont Fleury Battery) armed with just his Sten Gun and grenades
  • Then, single handily rescuing several men cut off by enemy fire in the village of Crepon.
CSM Hollis Assaulting the Mont Fleury MG Bunker
You can read this guy's inspiring life story in D-Day Hero: CSM Stan Hollis VC by Mike Morgan - I thoroughly recommend it.

When I returned I wanted to bring some elements of D-Day into my gaming and was pleasantly surprised to find that Battlefront produced a "Hero" Figure of Stan Hollis for their Flames of War gaming system.

I'm no fan of FoW but liked the idea of representing CSM Hollis in miniature so I ordered the set from Firestorm Games for the princely sum of £1.04.
You get two figures + a small plastic base. One figure is just a supporting infantryman armed with a No.4 Rifle and spike bayonet. The other figure represents Stan himself armed with a Mk2 Sten and a 36 grenade.
Both figures are in battle order webbing and appear to have MkIII (Turtle) Helmets. Nicely sculpted, the Hollis figure even has an (over-scaled!) representation of a VC between his legs.

Note VC between right hand figure's legs?
 All in all a nice little distraction from the usual. The finished figures look great - whether I ever use them on a table? Well that's another question.......

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