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Operation Anthropoid
Frenchy
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Posted: Friday, March 16, 2018 - 08:15 PM UTC
You're welcome Tim
You're right about the missing word in the French caption : could be "fenętres" indeed, or "vitres" as well (a "fenętre" is made of "vitres" ). Good find about tram car #624. I must have missed this one . Here are hi-res views from Wikipedia :

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/Pr%C5%AFvod_tramvaj%C3%AD_2015%2C_07c_-_tramvaj_275_a_624.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8f/Muzeum_MHD%2C_tramvaj_624.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Muzeum_MHD%2C_vle%C4%8Dn%C3%BD_tramvajov%C3%BD_v%C5%AFz_624.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/09/Muzeum_MHD%2C_vle%C4%8Dn%C3%BD_tramvajov%C3%BD_v%C5%AFz_624%2C_reflektor_a_zvonec.jpg/1280px-Muzeum_MHD%2C_vle%C4%8Dn%C3%BD_tramvajov%C3%BD_v%C5%AFz_624%2C_reflektor_a_zvonec.jpg

Side view drawing :

https://technet.idnes.cz/foto.aspx?r=tec_technika&c=A150917_184322_tec_technika_rja&foto=RJA5e010b__275624.jpg

I'm not sure about the windows frames being maybe slightly different, but all things considered I think it should fit the bill...

H.P.

panamadan
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Posted: Friday, March 16, 2018 - 10:56 PM UTC
what does the letter "V" in the trams windows mean?
Dan
guni-kid
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Posted: Friday, March 16, 2018 - 11:31 PM UTC
Alright, my girlfriend (for the credits: her name's Zdenka ) and I went through the article provided by Frenchy written in Czech. There's a lot of info in it to tell here, so I'll have to sort it somehow. Let's see where to begin. All I'm writing now is coming from the article. It will be a lot, so I will not discuss or conclude here in this post. It is the base for further discussion and I'll provide my own conclusions in a later post...

First of all the article underlines what we know today and clarifies what is still based on assumptions. It is today absolutely clear, that NONE of the known/existing pictures is of the actual assassination just simply due to the fact that there was no one present with a camera back then. All the pictures we know and share here are from one of the several reconstructions/reenactmens by the police investigation mostly. That is the very first and most important thing to keep in mind.

Concerning the reconstructions by the police it has to be considered, that many of the eye witnesses left the scene after the attack. The ones who were interrogated by the Gestapo later told (for obvious reasons; most of them were Czechs NOT liking the Nazi German occupants) not always the truth, left certain facts out or even outright lied about the events. So it was very hard to paint the right picture here... The thing is, that no one can clarify what was a lie and what not by the eye witnesses, because what they said after the war was not only quite different but could also be very likely have been lies, since they were seen as collaborators by the then Czechoslovakian communist regimne. So they were bitten twice: first the Gestapo, then the communists... so what they told was both times obviously to safe their own lifes in the first place. And not to mention that many Gestapo documents were lost and/or destroyed in the last months and the aftermath of the war.

Nevertheless does the current research on the topic confirm that there must have been two trams at the site when the attack happened. One (line No.3) coming from the left and just passing the scene when the attack happened. That is the one we always see in the pictures. But remember, the one in the pictures is NOT the actual one. More on the trams and car specifics comes further down in this post.
It seems to be obvious, that there was a second tram (line No.14) coming from the right going uphill the same way as the No.3 after the intersection (compare to the tram line map in the document on page 87 to see what I mean). The view on Heydrichs car was blocked by tram No.3 standing there but they (No.14 staff) seemed to have noticed something (most probably the explosion), but the staff decided to move on as quickly as possible to not get into any trouble with Gestapo, i.e. acting as if they hadn't seen anything and therefore don't know anything. The staff on that No.14 also decided to NOT talk to anyone about it. Only by accident the police found out a couple of weeks later about that other tram No.14. This is the reason why in all the reenactment pictures we only see No. 3 directly in front of Heydrichs car. If there is the need to clarify this, I will do a little sketch on it. Just tell me, and I'll post it here then.

Some stuff of what I said will be clarified also by the pictures' captions which are following (I'm talking about the pictures in the article here, please see the link Frenchy posted on page two of this thread; most of what I'm writing here is not a literal translation but rather what it actually says in my own words ):

Page 86:
1. View on Heydrichs car in the V Holesovickach street from the tram tracks Liben-Kobylisy. You can see the joining of the tracks into the triangle/intersection called "Vychovatelna", enabling the connection from Troja to Liben as well as the possibility to U-turn the trams.

2. View on the tracks from Kobylisy to Liben. The stop for Tram lines 3 and 14 are seen before the intersection farther down the street in the direction of the view.

Page 87:
1. Map illustrating the Tram lines (also connecting bus lines from the terminal stations) in 1941. You can see the intersection and the nearby terminal stations for Tram lines 3 and 14.

Page 88:
1. The intersection layout is nowadays completely different. The trams (i.e. the triangle) eventually disappeared in 1980. The only remainder from the 40ies is the transformer station building built in 1937. Picutres are from 1942 and 2014.

Page 89:
1. Since September 1940 the staff of Prague Tram Transportation Services were obliged to take German language courses and do exams accordingly. You see the preserved exam sheet of one of the staff members who was supposedly in one of the passing trams during the attack.

Page 90:
1. Tram cars of serial numbers 2275(front)+640(back) during the reenactment by police or Gestapo. You can see the escape routes and the objects found at the scene. You can also see trams of line 14 behind the intersection. The fact that it is there at the reenactment set a theory into motion that there could have been a train from Kobylisy to Liben at the time of the assassination. If you take a closer look it is evident that there are more trams of line No. 14 lining up at the station behind. (they all had been stopped by the investigating police so not to disturb the actual reenactment we see in the front). Missing on the photograph is the No. 14 directed Kobylisy (uphill) because obviously the police might have not known it was there. But one of No. 14s ticket clerks' (name: Opletal) witness accounts was recorded only a week later.

The red captions on the picture itself are written in German (what a nice coincidence that I'm German and can easily read them ) and read from left to right as follows:
- projectiles [a name 765]
- site of throwing the bomb
- 3 shells [another name
- coat and machine gun
- escape route
- escape route
- eye witness Schranek (he was one of the tram passengers chasing Gabcik after the attack until he realized that Gabcik had a firearm and ceased chasing -> that's what he told Gestapo)


Page 91:
1. View on the cars 2275+640 simulating the position of tram No. 3 at the time of the attack.

2. The opposite view documents Heydrichs damaged car. In the trams you can still see the letter "V" which stands for "Victory for the 3rd Reich". It was used in Germany and the occupied territories since July 1941 right after the attack on the USSR. Beginning 1942 it was ordered to remove them again but some remained still for quite some time (visible here).

Page 92:
1. Map of intersection in fall 1942 with the positions of the stations. The original stops are in yellow.

Page 93:
1. This picture is showing the power pole in the background as the reason for the tracks being so far apart from one another. (because the poles were standing in the middle)

2. Reconstruction of the intersection took place in 1953 with changing the overall layout. On the picture you see a tram coming from Kobylisy going to Troja.

Page 94:
Detailled view on the second car (serial 640) and Heydrichs damaged car in the so called "Heydrich curve" where the hill slopes by 68‰ (per mill) within a distance of 20 meters.

Page 95:
1. Pulled/towed car "Krasin" with (production?) No. 1469 on a picture from 1970. It was most probably this very car going through at the 1942 assassination (instead of the one in the reenactment pictures).

2. The motor car with (production?) No. 2275 which is shown on the reenactment pictures (here also with towing a "Krasin").

Page 96:
1. This photograph from 1936 is documenting the original layout of the intersection when the trams were still going on the left side of the street (indicating that it was changed sometime in between to right-side traffic. It remains unclear from the caption though if it was changed between 1936 - 1942 or between 1942 - today) According to eye witness F. Zima (staff member) it seems like that 1942 Tram No.3 had the "Krasin" type (with middle door) as pulled/towed car which is depicted here on a Tram No. 14.

Page 99:
1. Picture from 1936 showing the original intersection with the power poles standing between the tracks (i.e. in the middle).


So much for now. There's much more info in that article but I think my post's long enough already and excels on the most important stuff IMHO. If there's more details needed I can still write about it later (the article examines especially the roles of all the eye witnesses and when they said what and why and what to make out of all the accounts etc.)

Cheers!
guni-kid
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Posted: Friday, March 16, 2018 - 11:33 PM UTC

Quoted Text

what does the letter "V" in the trams windows mean?
Dan



See my above post: It means "Victory" and was put on by the Germans since 1941 just after attacking the USSR. It was ordered to come down later again but was still in place for quite some time later. Why did they use the english "Victory" and not the German "Sieg"? Well that I would also wanna know...
Frenchy
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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 12:54 AM UTC
Well done Marian and thanks to Zdenka !

Here's a view of a "Krasin" car :



Full size

and a side view drawing (I guess it wouldn't be too far-fetched to imagine that such a combination may be similar to the one present on the scene when the attack began) :

https://technet.idnes.cz/foto.aspx?r=tec_technika&c=A150917_184322_tec_technika_rja&foto=RJA5e011c__3571314.jpg

I'm no tram expert, but there's something weird about tram car #2275 seen on page 95. It's not exactly the same as the one used in the reconstruction : it's fitted with a pantograph whereas the tram car #2275 used on the crime scene is fitted with a trolley pole....(was this tram car upgraded later ?)


Quoted Text

Why did they use the english "Victory" and not the German "Sieg"? Well that I would also wanna know...



Maybe because the Czech word for Victory is "Vítězství" ?

H.P.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 01:09 PM UTC
Thanks again H.P. - so no excuse for me getting anything wrong on 624 now eh? Looking at the drawing in your 1st post/4th link I was going to say it looked like the reconstruction’s combo until I counted the windows again. Perhaps 1905 drivers had 4 windows and 1909 models had 5 ? That’s what I’ll be saying in our co-authored Doctoral thesis on Prague trams 1900 – 1942 anyway. Certainly the pantographed-driver in your 2nd post photo looks right (5 windows) although the linked drawing ain’t that one as it only has 4 windows. I’m not sure about pantographs vs. trolley-poles but I think I’ll arbitrarily stick with the latter for ease of construction – the challenges are multiplying enough.

But any decision about which trams to represent now looks like it depends on what the Czech Report says…talking of which:

Marian & Zdenka, WOW! Thank you both so much for translating, this information looks very valuable indeed. Taking it in your order of play;

1)OK so this seems to confirm there are no photos of the original scene – and although it must be still Heydrich’s car, it’s now open to doubt whether they put it back exactly in its original final position. I’d always wondered if it actually halted several metres back towards the apex of the curve. Further translation may help here, but as I understand it Klein stopped the car in front of Gabcik right on the apex, and as he ran off towards the parked trams Klein initially started moving again, only to be told by Heydrich to stop while he aimed at the escaping Gabcik. Then Kubis lobbed the grenade (also on the apex) and Klein was ordered to run after Gabcik while Heydrich got out intending to chase/shoot Kubis. Even if the car rolled forward on its own in neutral with no handbrake engaged it would have tended to straighten up and couldn’t have gone right round the bend on its own. (Marian – is there any reference to Klein making a statement? And is there any clue about exactly when the reconstruction took place?)

I should say I’ve deliberately not looked at this scene in any of the movies mentioned earlier, in an attempt to keep my mind as open as possible.

2)Regarding the Trams, I need to spend more time incorporating all this new information into my projected mini-scale 3D layout & see what all you guys (& gal) think. Schranek’s an interesting new player if he is to be believed. Is there anything in the report text to help identify trailer 1469 as the real thing or do you think the caption-writer was just guessing? I assume 2275 wasn’t the original drive-tram, but only because I can’t see any damage...but it might be if the trailer took most of the shrapnel (Marian – that’s another aspect I’m particularly interested in, and whether any civilians were wounded)

3)Your reference to p.96 – aha, a classic research nightmare, where evidence is rejected as false only to find later on that it might be correct after all. So not only did relevant trams run in the opposite direction at some time(s), the real one might have had doors in the middle! Maybe Heydrich’s car really was green…

Thank you again, and H.P. for finding it. Could I also ask you all what kind of magazine this article came from (if you can tell) and when it was published? It doesn’t seem to quote any sources so I’d be interested in contacting the author to find out. We’ve come this far, might as well go all the way
Frenchy
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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 03:13 PM UTC
The article has been published in a 2014 issue of a magazine called Československý Dopravák.

http://www.busportal.cz/modules.php?name=article&sid=12199

Now that we know that the trams used for the reconstruction were probably not those present on the scene, more options are concievable regarding the trams combinations......

H.P.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 04:08 PM UTC
Yep agreed but I'm not counting chickens yet. Thanks for the link, so my target’s the Editor & article’s author Libor Hinčica & I found the email address. However I’ll wait to see what else Marian & Zdenka can find in the report before contacting him, I may have more questions.
guni-kid
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Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 04:35 PM UTC
You're welcome Tim and we are happy to help to see this diorama coming to life.

Unfortunately the article doesn't mention anything about Klein and the correct order of things. What is very important though is the fact, that the tram No.3 that was there at the assassination moved on afterwards. Only half an hour later when the police arrived, they stopped a different No.3 there for the reconstruction. That's the reason, why you don't see damage on the pictures. Because it wasn't the actual tram.

The reconstruction started immediately after the police arrived, so Heydrichs car is probably still were it was during the attack.

Which tram cars were damaged is also not 100% clear from the witness accounts. It seems that at least one of them had broken windows, but it seems like later both ticket clerks (from each car) said they remembered broken windows in their car (meaning that maybe windows were broken in both cars). But again: It is not sure what to believe and what not concerning those witness accounts.

To the picture on p.96: This is supposed to be the actual car that was there, again according to a witness. So unfortunately again: it might be true or not, but seems at least to be likely. The author refers to reports of the witness accounts as far as I understand it.

It can be stated that we probably will not find out for sure but only to a certain degree how it looked during the actual attack. But see it from a positive perspective: Whatever you build will come very close to it and there is noone to prove you wrong either... simply because noone knows for sure...
Dioramartin
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Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 06:59 PM UTC
Danke/ Děkuji Marian & Zdenka, this information’s so important for the diorama - I’m really delighted, you’re very kind.

So - that’s really what I was hoping (& what I imagined), that the reconstruction took place later the same day, as the long shadows suggested. It also probably means the image of the abandoned Sten on the sidewalk is authentic...even though I thought it more likely dropped on the road in front of the car, but I’ll go with the photo. I’m still a bit sceptical about the car’s final position too, but again I’ll replicate it.

Great news about the trams in terms of choices, although I still want to write to the author in case there’s anything further about the real ones - the article’s 4 years old so maybe some new information might have turned up since. I haven’t got down to this level of detail yet but the car’s body must have shielded most/all of the blast shrapnel from the tramcars so presumably the window damage was caused by pressure wave...i.e. no holes in the glass, just shatter-effects.

This project has sure taken on a momentum of its own, I’ve started seeing it when I close my eyes at night..like last night my sub-conscious must have been working on dio-base issues – here’s the outcome from this morning after taking some measurements:



Luckily there’s an ideal fixed distance in most of the photos – the tram rails at 1.435 metres gauge. From that I could estimate the Kobylis/Liben road width (kerb-to-kerb) at 6.45m., and then all distances could be calculated. If there are any measurements on that map I can’t read them. The next step was working out how much of the scene to depict, and how big the base would have to be.

The blue square was my first/ideal choice...until the arithmetic showed that a 1/35th scale diorama would need to be 2.37 metres (7 ľ feet) each side - even if constructed in pieces that’s just not practical for several reasons. Back at the drawing board (yep, I was trained for that) I settled on the red square at 1.5 metres as an absolute maximum, maybe in one piece or two. It might move position slightly depending on how the curving backdrops on all four sides work photography-wise, and also depending on how much forced-perspective will be needed.

This map’s handy because it shows the overhead powerlines...which are going to be nightmarish, so I’m thinking about a full-size perspex or glass sheet suspended over the dio at the height of the pole-connectors with the powerlines gummed (as opposed to glued) to the underside...easier than rigging it, provided I can avoid reflections etc. I’m not sure about that idea yet, taking liberties with the connecting points etc & I’d need to do camera tests too (most if not all photos will be looking from ground level), but just the thought of trying to rig it all gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Galwitz
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Posted: Monday, March 19, 2018 - 10:52 PM UTC
Years ago the Czech Ministry of Defense released a 100-pages publication on the subject and its wider context. It appears still available online (in English):

http://www.army.cz/images/id_7001_8000/7419/assassination-en.pdf

Some of the info could be a bit dated about the specific details. For instance, there is a reasonable theory of not just 2 but 3 trams in the vicinity. This supposedly forced Klein to zig-zag among them to avoid collision, possibly surprising Gabcik. Here is an article in Czech:

https://zpravy.idnes.cz/nova-zjisteni-k-atentatu-na-heydrich-dv4-/domaci.aspx?c=A121018_161329_domaci_jav

BTW, I am native Czech and I lived in Prague till my twenties (now in the US). I am familiar with the area, but it looks very different today. Happy to help, if you need anything.
Galwitz
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Posted: Monday, March 19, 2018 - 11:04 PM UTC
And BTW the best non-documentary movie on the subject is - IMHO - the Czech b/w "Atentat" from 1964 directed by Jiri Sequens. Note that for some reason they did not use real protagonists names.

https://www.csfd.cz/film/8301-atentat/prehled/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0174476/

~A
guni-kid
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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 02:50 PM UTC
I also received some new links, which might be helpful due to some close up pictures and pictures of the surroundings:

https://zpravy.aktualne.cz/domaci/atentat-na-heydricha-unikatni-fotografie/r~i:gallery:30385/r~i:photo:543263/

https://zpravy.idnes.cz/atentat-na-heydricha-nazor-historika-ds5-/domaci.aspx?c=A120519_1780273_domaci_wlk

http://www.ceskatelevize.cz/ct24/domaci/1531932-po-73-letech-je-jasno-pri-atentatu-na-heydricha-se-gabcikovi-vzpricil-naboj

@Tim: Wow that will be a big one... but I think its safe to go with your red marking... maybe you can even cut one or two corners where not so much will be going on... and yes, I don't envy you for rigging those poles but I tell myself always when it comes to stuff like this: I'll do this only once now (not my whole life) and when it's done it will be very nice to look at... that does the trick for me most of the times
Dioramartin
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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 04:47 PM UTC
Gentlemen! I’m overwhelmed by your generosity – lost for words in fact. Having spent an absorbing couple of hours studying your respective links my vocabulary has now returned:

Aleš - thank you so much, your 1st link is such a moving, inspiring and horrifying document and I strongly recommend anyone reading my blog to take the time to read it. Putting this diorama in historical context is important, it symbolizes the heights of heroism and the depths of depravity simultaneously frozen together in time. As far as I’m concerned it’s a memorial to all those Czechs and Slovaks who suffered and died as a result of it, so I hope I can do it justice.

The 2nd link mentions 3 trams as you said although it wasn’t clear to me if all were in motion. Here’s what Google Translate turned the Czech narrative into:

“He tried to destroy Heydrich in a great deal of trouble and stress with a machine gun, Kubiš responded to an inconvenient situation (driver Klein was avoiding the tramway at a considerable speed) by throwing a bomb whose death was injured by Heydrich. The British archives also show that Kubiš had a heavy car first to stop by a bomb and after it had to hit Gabčík: a wounded or explosive disoriented vehicle crew had to sprinkle a dose of a sten-gun submachine gun.”

To make of that not sure am I what to…Czenglish must it be. Please kind sir, can you tell me if the text gives more detail about the trajectory of Heydrich’s car – another paragraph refers to it being “. ..knocked between 3 tram trains…”. And I’ve read more than one tantalizing reference to another car (possibly driven by a woman of the attack group?) driving just ahead of Heydrich to slow him down even more as he turned the corner – is that what the “heavy car” reference is about?

Marian - thank you so much too, that 1st link is superb not only for picture-quality but it looks like the most comprehensive collection of reconstruction photographs. Some I’ve never seen before and they perfectly fill in the gaps in the 360˚ panorama & your timing is perfect because that’s what I’m focusing on right now. It sure is a daunting size considering what’s going into it, and yes I’m thinking about curving the background round all of the corners. I’ve had a new idea about how to do the power-lines, I’ll explain next time. (PS I’ve posted a message in your Member In-Box)


Frenchy
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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 05:22 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The 2nd link mentions 3 trams as you said although it wasn’t clear to me if all were in motion.



The third tram (tram line #14) also appeared in the 3D reconstruction I've mentionned in one of my previous post.

A few close-ups from the reconstruction :







Here's a prewar picture of the scene. Of note is the pictured type of towed tramcar :



H.P.
Galwitz
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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 05:37 PM UTC
Here is a brief summary of the article about the 3 trams. The theory is based on a detailed reconstruction done by Czech historians and film-makers.

First they noticed from the Gestapo investigation photos that Klein was forced to avoid a tram No 14 standing in the station right before the fatal curve. The car would not fit between the tram and a sidewalk. It is also unlikely that Heydrich (being Heydrich and already late) would wait for passengers to get in and out.

The tram #14 had three cars and it would completely obscure Gabcik's view of the Mercedes at that moment.

Another tram #14 was approaching the spot in the opposite direction and it is believed that Klein had to accelerate rather abruptly to avoid collision. At the same time yet another tram - #3 - was coming up towards Klein and he had to avoid that as well.

This traffic chaos with speeding and zig-zagging Mercedes led to the situation when it suddenly appeared some meter and a half in front of Gabcik. He as well as Kubis had to react instinctively in matter of split of a second.

The article also briefly mentions that tram passengers tried to stop Kubis until he fired into air multiple time to clear way. There is also a note on missing archive documents - Heydrich's and Klein's interrogations in particular. It is believed this was to hide rather amateur behavior of both. Especially Heydrich had to look like a fallen hero...

There is also an interesting side note on the Mercedes 320B. There are at least 3 different cars of the type thruout Europe, all of them advertised as Heydrich's. Historian Jaroslav Cvancara believes that the actual one is in the possession of Czech collector Vladimir Macek. It has damage and repairs consistent with the temporary photos.

https://zpravy.aktualne.cz/domaci/foto-heydrichuv-mercedes/r~72471a6402c011e599590025900fea04/v~nahledy/

~A
Galwitz
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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 05:58 PM UTC
The story of the V letter is a bit more complicated.

In January 1941 BBC broadcasted a program asking resistance in the German occupied territories to express their belief in Allied victory by displaying a letter "V" (victory) in various ways (including music for which the intro for Beethoveen's 5th symphony was supposed to be used, it is similar to V in Morse code).

It became rather popular the Protektorat - less danger of brutal response and made-up connection with the presidential motto "Veritas Vincit".

Prompted by the successes on the East, Goebbels launched a counter-propaganda using the same letter in July 1941. The Protektorat was literally flooded with Vs, even some public places or restaurants were renamed to Victoria. Naturally, attempts to remove, alter or make fun of the Vs were criminalized.

Needless to say that outside of the Protektorat the effort was received with skepticism. "V" (Victoria) was considered non-German while "S" (letter or rune) as much better symbol (Sieg).

(In Czech): http://www.fronta.cz/akce-victoria-a-jeji-ohlas-v-protektorate

~A
Dioramartin
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Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 03:23 PM UTC
Thanks Aleš – that green Merc was one of the contenders for “actual” car I posted on March 13. Thanks too for the translation, it mostly correlates with the 3D animation Frenchy posted on March 16 - sorry H.P. I’d forgotten about it because it kept failing to load before, now it works. So here the third, on-coming #14 tram is indeed shown & the stationary #14 tram appears about the same distance from the hairpin bend as in the March 15 reconstruction photo, in fact it shows that tram slowing to a halt as the car overtakes, which seems plausible…



I’m still unclear whether the #3 tram ever actually stopped as it crawled round the bend, it didn’t seem to be a designated tram stop. I’d not heard passengers tried to intervene before, highly unlikely given normal human reaction to duck/flee from guns – it sounds more like statements from witnesses trying to ingratiate themselves with the Gestapo. Besides if Kubic had a gun in his hand why would he fire into the air when Heydrich was a few metres away? The only guns fired at the scene were Heydrich’s and possibly driver Klein’s. Interesting aside about their apparent silence too, makes sense. Schranek claimed he got off to chase Gabcik but if true & assuming the doors could be opened manually in motion, maybe it didn’t stop…but if it didn’t, at what point in time is the reconstruction? Anyhow it’s easy to see how it got in the way of the action, and also how the forward left side of the driving car might just have been hit by some shrapnel.



The animation represents both # 14 trams with only one car, and #3 with two. However if they both comprised 3 cars (I’ve read that somewhere credible) I’m looking at up to 8 tram kits @ A$82 each = A$650 (US$ 505) if I go with MiniArt’s European tram, which seems to be the one generally needing the fewest modifications. Although on closer inspection the “European” and “German” trams are effectively the same with superficial variations…









I could reduce the overall wallet-hit, partly by ensuring all three tram combos are never seen together in the same photo and partly by scratch-building rear trailers as shells. The good news is my mega-railway-layout mate has offered his 3D copier to help…the bad news is that he’s sent it to Melbourne for repairs. But I’ll still have to buy minimum 3 (2 drivers 1 trailer) and after adding the cost of all the other items required…what a wonderful sponsorship opportunity this is for either BNA Model World or the Czech government

jrutman
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Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 06:13 PM UTC
The decisions I have to make with my tiny little vignettes certainly pale in comparison to the ones needed here buddy ! Good luck with whatever you decide. All of those tram kits look very nice.
J
Dioramartin
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Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 03:00 PM UTC
Thanks Jerry - yep biggest mistake so far was not checking the scale of the street-map before going public. Next project: inside von Stauffenberg’s briefcase.

Here’s a first look at a 1.5 m base as per the red-square option in the map posted a few days ago. Playing with foam packing here, the real base will be plywood probably in two sections. The Horch 4x4 makes an OK stand-in although it is a tad larger than the Type 320…



Reasons for the red-square position are firstly the useful number of power-poles included within the boundary for powerline connectivity. Secondly the majority of the photos will be taken from viewpoints around the right-hand half of the base so I’ll need the deep-ish foreground to take both close-up and stand-off shots. Moving the red-square left-wards would just mean making more trees in the peninsular formed by the hairpin bend without getting much more road-perspective on the lead-in or lead-out roads. Moving it to the right would make the overall composition too unbalanced, with the semi-featureless open area on the right even bigger than in the preferred position where at least the car & trams are nearly central.



Thirdly, I can just fit the whole façade of the Bauhaus-style building (at the foot of the map) along that edge of the base with slight distance-cheating. Whether I make it in 3D or paint it onto the backdrop is a decision hopefully to be informed by the next step, the 3D origami mock-up with sketched-in backdrops on all sides.





Re-thinking the powerlines problem - instead of a suspended transparent panel maybe a lightweight acetate sheet(s) cut to the shape of the outer boundary of the complex of lines & supported by the poles themselves would be easier…with the lines drawn on with a fine permanent marker. It’s hard to predict if that’ll look convincing, and whether the difference in the sky between looking at it directly & looking through acetate (through the camera) will be too obvious - only one way to find out.

BUTA46
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Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 04:46 PM UTC
Glad I picked up a ticket for this tram ride! The building in the background looks like the opportunity to try some of that there Hollerwood magic they call forced perspective. If anyone can, Diomartin Man can. Hope the Minister of War and Finance doesn’t mind the loss of the kitchen floor for the duration.
ColinEdm
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 07:27 PM UTC
Good Lord Tim, that is going to be huge. That is a very ambitious project you have chosen, in many ways much more challenging than the chaos of a combat diorama. I am along for the ride on this one!
Dioramartin
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Posted: Monday, March 26, 2018 - 05:01 PM UTC
Welcome aboard gents there might be seats up back, strap yourselves in for a rollercoaster ride through forensic Nerd-dom. Consumption of food, beverages & mind-altering substances is strictly forgiven.

Phil – it’s an interesting building alright…




It might look OK as a half/half 2D/3D, the latter being the bits that jut forward so they create shadows. The Minister’s OK with it thanks, it’s actually part of an outside balcony now enclosed & an excellent greenhouse/sauna in the current mid-30C’s Indian summer. While she’s still in the moonboot which has zero grip (go figure!) it’s a no-go area.

Colin – hah maybe so, the Chaos of Cobblestones! Either I make a mo*ld of one of MiniArt’s street-sheets or that 3D printer’s going to be running hot when it’s fixed.

Housekeeping: Brian – sincerest apologies for confusing your comments (March 15) with Marian’s when I responded – meaning I didn’t acknowledge yours, sorry. I just re-visited your post searching back for reconstruction-link background images, and what you were saying then is now front ’n’ centre. I’m sure you’re right that in the immediate aftermath the only things left in the frame would have been the car, Heydrich collapsed in the gutter, and a few hesitant civilians wondering whether to help. However I’ve only recently realised something about Tram #3 which puts it literally in the frame with the action. I’m sure I can’t be the first to have worked this out although I don’t recall reading about it before:



I present Exhibit A - which is actually the base of my half-scale [1/70] mock-up now under construction. We’re told Driver Klein overtook the decelerating Tram 14 (blue) as it reached its tram-stop, and then had to swerve back into his lane partly to make the hairpin & partly to avoid colliding with the other Tram 14 (red) coming at him on that side of the road. At the same time Tram 3 (green) would have just left its tram-stop (yellow) and as it crawled round the bend must have halted because that second Tram 14 was crossing right in front of it, on the same line it was joining.

After the grenade exploded Tram 3’s driver probably did move off fast as soon as Tram 14 had passed by, but it must have been effectively stationary (presumably in the position shown in the reconstruction) for the entire 5 or 10 seconds of mayhem, if not longer. So for the passengers on Tram 3 with glass shattering around them, it must have been a tough choice whether to bail out or stay inside on the floor.

I now present Exhibit B, the original German investigator’s crime-scene diagram with my additional colour-key/translated notes:



BTW my dio-base is more accurate, sourced from the Czech transport dept.’s 1936 map. The above diagram was presumably drafted by the same guys seen in the reconstruction photos, although their numbering must have been subsequently revised; in the photo of the car taken from inside the tram there’s a card labeled “4” on the ground, in the position now marked as “13” in the diagram. I’ll welcome any other observations, but for me the main clues which will help accurate placements in the main diorama are these:

The spread of car debris (blue) and shrapnel (yellow) suggests that Kubis’ grenade exploded right on the apex of the hairpin, so close to where Gabcik dropped his Sten that the car could have only advanced 3 or 4 metres after halting in front of Gabcik. So I’m still surprised it proceeded neatly round the rest of the hairpin before stopping, as the reconstruction suggests.

The position of spent shells is ambiguous in terms of determining the car’s movement. Klein’s Kynoch ammunition (pale green) is identified by item 27 being to the east of Tram 3, because he chased after Gabcik in that direction; his first three shots were presumably rapid-fired from across the damaged rear wing of the car. This suggests he first came round from his side of the car to see how injured Heydrich was at the kerbside. Heydrich therefore must have fired the single Patrone/Geco round (dark green) at Kubis who was cycling off back round the hairpin - but the position of that shell in front of the driver’s side of the car means it must have rolled some distance down the slope from where it was fired on the passenger side…back near the apex, because he fired several seconds before Klein stopped the car/got out/saw to Heydrich/unholstered his own pistol. I also think that Heydrich could only have got his sights on Kubis because the car was still near the apex, and Kubis was at that moment riding due north before turning northwest out of sight.

I’m not so sure about Tram 3 and its debris (red) which could have come from the front or rear carriage. If it was stationary as I’ve theorized above (and if it was in the reconstruction position) then it looks like the trailer caught the blast that wasn’t shadowed by the car, and the shrapnel causing that damage was then carried away in the tram.

I don’t think they got the abandoned bike right (purple) even though a map (orange) was found next to it, because Kubis rode off north-west, and Gabcik ran from the scene eastwards…later dropping his briefcase (lilac, item 30) to evade Klein faster. There is a police studio-photo of what they said was Gabcik’s bike (a lady’s bicycle) which I’d have expected to be left at the hairpin apex (as the sketch posted earlier in this thread shows)…perhaps it was moved to the diagram’s position later?

But Helene Pechar (white) deserves the last word on this re-reconstruction – in the circumstances she had an ideal position as an eye-witness…

BootsDMS
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Posted: Monday, March 26, 2018 - 05:24 PM UTC
Tim,

Re Housekeeping: no problem - I just hadn't realised the scale of the project - so my suggestions re a "sawn-off" tram don't really cut the mustard.

Good luck with all this though - a magisterial undertaking - and I'm looking very forward to it.

Brian
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Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 05:19 PM UTC
Thanks Brian - as it happens sawing trams in half is a serious option, or rather splitting them into two with each having one long/one short side for the camera & I could do a basic fabrication of the hidden sides. After all the above theorizing about the 3 trams’ positions it looks like a minimum 4 tram-cars will be in view in many photos...and yet…8 complete tram-cars…hmmmm…