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Dioramas
Do you love dioramas & vignettes? We sure do.
Apples on D-Day?
Vierville
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Gauteng, South Africa
Joined: April 05, 2014
KitMaker: 363 posts
Armorama: 351 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 10:22 AM UTC
Hi. I'm planning a diorama showing a D-Day scene with some soldiers sitting around resting.

I've made a few nice looking apples since Normandy is well known for its apple orchards and was wondering if the soldiers would have had access to apples on D-Day (June) considering that the harvest time for apples in Normandy is autumn?

I realise that in the 1940s they didn't have the cold storage capabilities we have today so would an apple have been something a soldier would likely have had in June in Normandy?

I know there are some guys on here lucky enough to live in Normandy so hope you can provide some guidance. Thanks!
Scarred
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 11, 2016
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Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 06:35 PM UTC
I don't think so. Unless they were stored from the last harvest.
Sean50
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Manche, France
Joined: March 20, 2007
KitMaker: 331 posts
Armorama: 319 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 07:43 PM UTC
Hello there

There are stories of soldiers having apples in June 1944. If they were the previous year's they'd be a bit mushy... I think sometimes D-Day and Normandy get conflated both in veterans' memories and in current narratives.
I'll see if I can dig out some examples to vérifier.

I'm not a horticulturalist so I don't know if things have changed in 76 years but apples in early June are very small, about an inch in diameter (2,54cm for the metric types)
The later in the campaign you leave it, the bigger the apples.

Hope this is of some help

Cheers

Sean
RLlockie
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United Kingdom
Joined: September 06, 2013
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Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 07:55 PM UTC
There are plenty of accounts of crews being bombarded with them when driving tanks through orchards as they were knocked off the trees and could make the turret harder to traverse. They would have been hard and small in June though.

By the time they broke out in August, you’d be on safer ground. How about Belgium?
Frenchy
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Rhone, France
Joined: December 02, 2002
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Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 08:33 PM UTC
At least cider was available



H.P.
jon_a_its
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: April 29, 2004
KitMaker: 1,299 posts
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Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 09:28 PM UTC
Apples stored in wooden straw-filled boxes, or cider, or Calvados

MiniArt Cognac crates

MiniArt Cognac crates

Barrels & Crates

Fruit Shop

Vierville
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Gauteng, South Africa
Joined: April 05, 2014
KitMaker: 363 posts
Armorama: 351 posts
Posted: Friday, May 22, 2020 - 06:21 AM UTC
Thanks guys! I thought as much, oh well.

I remember stopping at a motorway service station in Normandy going toward Calais near the Pont de Normandie one September and there were tiny apples on the trees around the service station, about as big as Sean50 mentioned. And that was late in the summer so in June I'm sure they would be tiny.
Chepster
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: February 28, 2018
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Posted: Friday, May 22, 2020 - 07:18 AM UTC

Quoted Text

At least cider was available



H.P.



This is a great photo! I love the idea of the bren gunner stopping mid burst for a refreshing drink of cider.
barkingdigger
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
ARMORAMA
#013
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 20, 2008
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Posted: Friday, May 22, 2020 - 08:07 AM UTC
Ah, no better combo than alcohol and live ammo!

Still, if it was me there in the face of German gunfire I'd probably need more than just one cider to get through it...
TanksForTheMemory
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 31, 2016
KitMaker: 135 posts
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Posted: Friday, May 22, 2020 - 10:13 AM UTC
I've got to say, I think when most people use the phrase 'attention to detail' about our hobby they don't give us enough credit... It's not just nuts and bolts, camo schemes and markings that we care about! But these things are important!

I agree, apples in June sound a little sharp, but we are always seeing pictures of soldiers drinking - so why not have them just enjoying the local wine, etc?
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
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Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 03:41 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Ah, no better combo than alcohol and live ammo!


Sounds like a "good ol' boys" party!
Scarred
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 11, 2016
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Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 06:13 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Ah, no better combo than alcohol and live ammo!


Sounds like a "good ol' boys" party!




You just described our family reunions and with the addition of several sticks of 40% 'stump remover' things can get a little loud.
Jmarles
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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: November 02, 2008
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Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 07:24 AM UTC
Much like North America, apples in Normandy are harvested from September to November, with October being the heaviest month. Trees are planted about fifteen feet apart. The soil is chalky, and not useful for grapes; that's why they grow apples and pears. Of course, they make cider and brandy too. This is a list of varieties grown in that region:

Bittersweet varieties:
Bisquet 
•  Binet rouge
•  Frequin
•  Douce Moën
•  Mettais
•  Noël des champs

Sweet varieties:
•  Rouge duret
•  Douce Coetligné

Acid varieties:
•  Petit jaune
•  Rambault
•  Cidor

Bitter varieties:  
•  Judor
•  Avrolles

You could use "last year's" crop which are stored in open crates called "pallox".

HTH



weesiep
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Drenthe, Netherlands
Joined: October 30, 2010
KitMaker: 142 posts
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Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 07:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

At least cider was available



H.P.



That is just fantastic. Brave lady!
Sean50
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Manche, France
Joined: March 20, 2007
KitMaker: 331 posts
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Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 07:50 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The soil is chalky, and not useful for grapes; that's why they grow apples and pears.




Please excuse the pedantry but this isn't strictly true.
There used to be vineyards in Normandy but a combination of cold winters, floods and infestations more or less wiped them out. Other factors contributed too. There are currently a few local small scale producers but the industry has never really recovered.

The soil is also quite varied, from chalk to clay and a lot more besides.

Cheers

Sean