In the months leading up to the liberation of Denmark in May 1945 a group of the local resistance movement north of Copenhagen built their own improvised armoured car. They named it 'V 3' (a reference to the German 'Vergeltungswaffe' V 1 and V 2). Not known by many, another armoured car was built by a group of resistance fighters from Nystrup and neighbouring Skovby.
|Two shots of V 4 in the early hours of May 5, 1945. The armoured car is ready to move out of Nystrup toward the German air field. Both images are from Nystrup Gravel employee Thorleif Petersen's family archive.|
The resistance movement probably expected fighting around the large
German air field at Mellemaaen. It turned out that the air field
presented no problem, but V 4 saw action when it stopped a car full of
fleeing 'Hilfspolizei' HIPO at a check point. The HIPO was manned by
Danes in German service, spreading terror and fear in the last years of
the German occupation.
|An image from May 5 1945 of V 3 having returned from a raid against a platoon of HIPOs. The homebuilt armoured car is preserved at The Museum of Danish Resistance in Copenhagen. The V 4 that I built a model of was scrapped in 1946/1947, probably considered too heavy for preservation - all the more reason for me to honour it with a model!|
The group must have been in contact with the designers of V 3 as the cars' layouts are very similar and the Nystrup car was named V 4. In some ways V 4 was more advanced, taking advantage of a three axled lorry to carry more weight and thus better armour. In places the armour was spaced to provide better protection for the 5 man crew.
|Front view of my 1:35 model of V 4. The loudspeaker is in resin from Plus Models.|
|The left side of V 4 was completely devoid of markings on May 5. In the days that followed the crew added another Danish flag and the slogan 'HIPO killer' to celebrate their successful (for them) encounter with a car full of HIPOs.|
My model of the V 4 was built completely out of the box - the spares box! I used an old GAZ-AAA lorry chassis and the front mud guards are leftovers from a ICM-kit that came with two sets. The rest is basically plastic card with only the hatches added - again from the spares box. Armament consists of two German MG34's and a British Lewis machine gun.
|The Lewis machine gun is a Scale Link kit. I made the sandbags on the roof from Miliput. The plastic sheet is to avoid the Miliput sticking to the roof.|
In contrast to V 3 the V 4 was elaborately camouflaged with green and brown dots on a light grey background. As the unit building it was a combined conservative/communist group it sported both the British colours of the resistance movement and a red star - along with the Danish flag. With such prominent markings the idea of camouflaging it escapes me, but I suppose the painters had a lot of fun!
|Here I'm half way through hand painting the markings. I marked out the Danish flag with pencil before starting to paint.|
|V 4 during construction. Most of the build is from plain plastic card - the rest is from the spares box. The gas torch marks on the plates were made with a hot needle.|
The crew manning the car had fighting experience, a rare thing in the Danish resistance movement. A period newspaper mentions that two of the communists had fought for the Republic in the Spanish civil war, while one of the conservatives had been in Finland in 1940 to help defend the country against the Soviet attack. Another from the conservative group had fought in a British financed Danish 'private army' against the Soviets in Estonia in 1920 (it's his Lewis on the roof).