Cretan Gendarmes, 1941

These are typical of the minor conversion jobs that I often find myself carrying out to get the miniatures that I want. Reading about the fighting in Heraklion, it’s clear that the Cretan gendarmes (many of whom were veterans of the Balkan Wars and WW1) played an important role in the defence of the city, so I wanted to represent them on the gaming table.

A Greek contact kindly shared this photo of WW2 uniforms – Cretan gendarme is on the left.

In common with all these kinds of conversions, I hunted around for the right kind of uniformed bodies, but without excess equipment. I found what I was after in the Woodbine (Gripping Beast) Ottoman Turks range, where they had a couple of packs that would do the job. (I also used a few Footsore Miniatures BUF from their Very British Civil War range and some Tiger Miniatures Balkan War Greeks). The heads are Woodbine French kepi heads – conveniently available separately.

After filing down the puttees, green stuff is added to suggest boots and the new heads are glued on. The Bren gun is a Warlord plastic spare.

Some of the finished chaps out on the streets of Heraklion!

This duo represent Sgt Stromakias and his loader, who helped to drive back the German attack in the centre of Heraklion. (Both Tiger Miniatures)

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