Monday, 5 March 2018

Monday, 11 December 2017

Maps from the military history classes at St Cyr Officers Academy in France - in 1926

I've popped these up for sale here

I found them in France a couple of summers ago.   They are very evocative. This officer studied in 1926. I'm quite sure they would have been at war in 1940.  They were being taught the lessons of the Napoleonic wars, 1970, 1914.  These maps - 80 or more of them, show the battles they studied and maybe shows why, in part, they were unprepared for what was coming.

Friday, 10 November 2017

30mm Napoleonic Flat Figures Zinnfiguren Painted - Wurttemberg Infantry Battalion - for sale

Right folks - I've listed these .   Now RELISTED at a starting price of just 99pence - you lot decide what they are worth! 

They were an indulgence - me just having a crack at painting something unusual. A real pleasure to.  Now going as part of my clear out.

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Batlle of Amiens August 1918 and the Australian War memorial

The road from Amiens to Perrone is long, straight and undulating.  It's takes you under huge skies through a battlefield fought over many times and past the Australian War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.

If you can stop here.  Allow yourself some time. Take a walk and have a think.
8th August, 1918, by Septimus Power

This ground was covered as part of the German spring 1918 offensive

"On 21st March 1918, the Germans launched one of the most successful battles of the Western Front, in the aim of taking Amiens and its vast communication lines. Only the town of Villers-Bretonneux, located just 15 kilometres before Amiens, was in their way. The Germans failed in their initial attempt to take Villers-Bretonneux on 4th April, but supported by tanks, they broke through British lines on 24th April and captured the position.
This attack also resulted in the very first tank versus tank battle, seeing three British tanks battle against three German tanks in the fields south of Villers-Bretonneux."
We are told on the Australian War Memorial site
"In the quest for Amiens, the Germans' next aim was to capture Hill 104 (where the Australian National Memorial stands today), making it vital for the Allies to recapture Villers-Bretonneux as quickly as possible. Two Australian brigades were rapidly brought in to assist the remaining British troops, and, that same evening, the 15th Brigade swept around the north side of the town, while the 14th Brigade covered the left flank.
To the south of Villers-Bretonneux, the 13th Brigade attacked near Cachy and by dawn the Australians had Villers- Bretonneux almost completely surrounded. By the 26th, most of the ground captured by the Germans had been retaken and the threat to Amiens was over.
The Australians suffered over 2400 casualties, the British lost 9500 men, mostly captured during the German attack of the 24 April, while the Germans lost approximately 10,000 men."
For more reading on this there is:

Later the same ground was fought over as the Australian sought to push back the German's. 


The Day We Won The War: Turning Point At Amiens, 8 August 1918


The Australian Victories in France in 1918     


The memorial looks out across the jumping off point for the Australian Attack on August 8th 1918 - a sophisticated all arms assault on the withering German Army.  The thing that struck me about the ground was how exposed the trenches must have been - how easily overlooked positions were and how wide an expansive the fields of fire were. In the picture below Amiens is to your left and Peronne is to the right - the direction in which the attack went.

The view from the memorial across the cemetery and out onto the wide open land that the Australians attacked across.
A map of the attack from  
German Prisoner being lead away towards Amiens - August 8th 1918

This was the first time I'd stopped to look at the valley of the Somme as a battlefield, until now I'd at best driven through it.

The memorial itself and some of the headstones bear the damage of artillery fire from fighting in the area in 1940.

When I visit a cemetery in France I try to take the time to walk and look at the names - as many as I can. All of them if I can, although it becomes a little overwhelming.  You can find the pictures I took here.  Some are below...

Here are some picture of the ground East of the memorial out toward Perronne that the battle was fought across..

Monday, 2 October 2017

The Silk Roads - a new history of the world. Quick Review

Like many of us I absorb history books. Not just military history books but almost any.  Context really improves my appreciation of a game - this book is rich in context.

The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan does just that.  It's range stretches from pre Alexandrian times, through to 9/11 and the current political an economic turmoil.
For me the last few chapters post WW1 were very detailed but the least helpful. Maybe it's an area that I already have some context on, even a period that I have lived through.

The earlier Chapters fascinated me.  The fluctuating relations between Rome, Persia and China.  The shifting sands of religious affiliation and the way in which cultures absorbed and overwhelmed each other.  The issues of trade, against the growth in demand for luxury all help explain why conflicts happened, indeed why peace took hold.

The arrival of Islam and it's spread at a time of economic contraction during the 7th century wars between Persian and the declining Roman Empire.  The construction and wealth of Baghdad. The overlapping of Islam, Christianity, Judaiam and Zoroastrianism spreading deep into a darkened central and Norther Europe.

The spread of the Viking Rus into the area we now call Russian, with their trade in furs slaves (Slavs) and the returning gold, silver, jewels and silks.

The extraordinary reach of the Mongols and the Black Death, the growth of European technical prowess and the new empires of the 1500's.

This is a sweepingly useful book, it helps us understand alliances and wars against the religious, intellectual and economic changes that brought them on. 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Are these napoleonic war Shako's really what the seller describes?

Garde d'Honneur Shako?

I have a penchant for perusing stuff for sale online.  Here are a couple of eye wateringly expensive things that an antiques dealer has on ebay.

The first they describe as a Rare 1813-1814 Napoleonic Wars Chasseurs Of The Imperial Guard Shako  (take care clicking through on the link - it's quite absorbing!)

Obviously the Chasseur a Cheval of the old (and young?) guard wore busby type headgear. 

Is this more likely to be for Gardes d'Honneur (a la these lovely Perries). Initially I thought the cockade was wrong but if you look closely on an enlarged picture it could well be Imperial French Colours.  

Also, given that the Garde d'Honneurs tended to be wealthier families I can see these shako's having an improved chance of surviving, given that the owners may have plenty of space to store and people to look after them.

So what about shako two? 

Same dealer but this time they describe it as  Extremely Rare 1806–1808 Kingdom Of Naples And Sicily Joseph-NapolĂ©on ~ Bonaparte Shako.  there are lots of lovely big pictures on the listing.  

This one shows the front - which really does look to me like a Russian Shako plate - but this isn't a specialist area of mine.  

I love the tone and quality of the leather and it does have the look and feel you might expect of something 200 years old. 

Below thought is my favourite picture - which shows the net that keeps the helmet on the head - very similar to the webbing inside WW1 and WW2 helemts.

Any thoughts on what they might be greatly appreciated.


Saturday, 16 September 2017

How to replace broken or brittle plastic lid on Wargames Foundry paint pots

After a few years the lids on Wargames Foundry and Coat d'Arms and Formula P3 and similar paints can become brittle and break.

It's not only messy, it is also expensive if the paint spills or dries up.

Below is a very quick video on how you can fix this.

You will need to buy some replacement lids.  Here are some links on where to buy them. You are looking for lid only for a 20ml plastic paint pot.

In the UK  buy them from  SHC and The Plastics Bottles Company.

You can also buy empty pots on amazon with this link.

Have fun

For Sale - 20mm German WW2 battlegroup - painted including amrour, artiller, infantry and soft skins

A well balanced force for the gaming table.... would work on the Eastern or Western Front - to see the auction AND MORE PICS please click  ...