Friday 27 August 2010

The Battle of Basing House 2010 - The Sealed Knot

Bank Holiday fun for the Bank Holiday weekend - why not check out what's happened in the revamped grounds. The blurb says
'Witness the Civil War brought to life from the 28th to 30th of August with cannon, cavalry and over 1000 re-enactors to mark the reopening of Basing house.

The Regiments of the Sealed Knot including Hawkins Regiment of Foote will be re-enacting the historical battle of Basing House this weekend. In addition there will be the usual Living History stands as well as other events organised by Basingstoke and Deane Hampshire County Council.'

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Another Passing to Note, and a Reference

By now many of our reader's will have heard that noted wargames author, editor and rules writer Terry Wise passed away on August 17th. Our thoughts go out to Terry's Family. Many of us will remember being influenced either by Terry's writings in Military Modelling's "Observation Post" column, or in "Battle for Wargamer's", or his book "Introduction to Battlegaming", or his many sets of rules published by his own company, Athena. Bon chance Mr. Wise, and may you join that august group of elders already in that Great Gaming Room above for hours of enjoyment!

Now, for a timely "plug": If you haven't already heard of John Curry Events or the "History of Wargaming Project", then you need to follow the link above to check it out. John began a project a few years ago to "resurrect" as many of the seminal books, rules and printed guides for wargaming as possible and reprint them. In some cases, the original authors are still very much with us and have added new introductions or comments; in others he has dealt with the estates of the original authors and gained the rights for the re-prints.

Two of his first efforts were "Charge! Or How to Play Wargames" by Brig. Peter Young and Lt. Col. Lawford, and "The Wargame" by Charles Grant. Both of these books were published and printed by Ken Trotman with John's involvement, and are available through either On Military Matters in the US or through Caliver Books in the UK. John has also published, through his own company, most of the books and rules by such authors as Don Featherstone, Charlie Wesencraft, Paddy Griffith, Tony Bath, Terry Wise, Fred Jane, Fletcher Pratt, Phil Barker and George Gush, which either are available or soon will be directly from John's site.

Two of John's recent coups have been to arrange for a re-print of WRG's 6th Edition Ancients Rules combined with Phil Barker's classic "Purple Primer" (originally published as part of the Airfix "Guides" series) which are available for order now, and a re-print of George Gush's WRG 2nd Edition Renaissance Rules (1420-1700) with lists and amendments (still working with George as of this writing). All well worth checking out if you still enjoy these rules and books, or if you simply want to complete a collection of the "masters" of our hobby.


Wednesday 18 August 2010

GNW at Narva

Always good to see the Great Northern war going strong. See still images and all the latest on this 1709 blog.

Bavarian Grenadier 1704

Thanks to Bavarian Uwe of the History in 1/72 blog for these images of a Bavarian gren in the campaigns of 1704

Monday 16 August 2010

An Auspicious Day In History

Dear Readers,

On this day in history:

1777 The Americans defeated the British at the Battle of Bennington
1780 The British defeated the Americans at the battle of Camden

One win, one loss, for either side.

1958 Madonna is born
1977 Elvis dies

Again, one win and one loss, depending on one's tastes.

1888 T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) is born

Big win (Peter O'Toole thought so too)

And on this day in history, along with many others through the years, both high and low, Sir William the Aged entered this World, probably already talking (at least if you believe my Family!).

Yet to determine if this was a win, a loss or a draw, time will tell I'm sure.

At any rate, Thank You for checking in from time-to-time and for sharing my Birthday with me. I'll try and think of something a bit more interesting to post in the next few days.


Interesting looking Osprey

Written by Keith Roberts. He seems to know his onions when it comes to this period.

Friday 13 August 2010

Glory of the Sun Cavalry

Got this mail out from Copplestone Castings -
and we get a mention!


Very sorry about the delay in bringing out the rest of the
range - I really
haven't forgotten about it and I am
finally working on some cavalry and

dragoons. The first of these should
appear in September.

Information on the earlier wars of Louis XIV
is hard to find, but the Wiki page

on the Franco-Dutch War is a good place to start:

For uniforms and other military details
you really can`t do any better than a

couple of excellent blogs:

Mark Copplestone

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Kexholm 1710

Boris has been researching GNW sieges with the view to reenact them - he has shared with us the latest siege from 300 years ago so I hope you enjoy it. See a previous reenactment here.

Boris Megorsky
The SIEGE of KEXHOLM in 1710
Korela was the name of a Russian fortress on the frontier with Swedish territories; known since the 12th century, it had repelled numerous attacks and was taken several times, too. The last fall occurred in 1611 when it fell to the Swedish crown after a 6 month siege. Swedes built a modern bastioned fortress near the medieval castle and the town was named Kexholm.
When the Great Northern War started, Tsar Peter first attempted a campaign against Kexholm in the Spring of 1704, but soon after the troops set out to Karelia they were recalled to take part in the siege of Narva and thus re-conquest of Korela was suspended. In the following years no considerable actions were undertaken against Kexholm as the belligerents’ forces were heavily engaged in the West – in Poland, Lithuania, Belorussia and Ukraine. Nevertheless, actions didn’t cease completely; the Swedes with their bases in Viborg and Kexholm threatened newly built Saint-Petersburg. The Russians in their turn constantly harassed Swedish troops and the local population and sent troops from Saint-Petersburg and Olonets towards Korela with the aim of devastating the enemy’s economy and obtaining information. These reconnaissance parties operated throughout the year, including ski raids in winter, and as we can tell from the autobiography of Lieutenant Ivan Naidinsky, 2nd Grenadiers regt. He wrote that for an unaccounted number of occasions he was sent with special parties from Saint-Petersburg to Viborg and Kexholm in 1705, 1706, 1707 and 1708 with orders to devastate, seek enemy parties and to capture prisoners.
The tables turned dramatically in 1709 when the main army of Charles XII was annihilated at Poltava and Peter’s forces were relieved to be redirected to the assault on Swedish Baltic provinces. Field marshal Boris Sheremetiev’s corps was ordered to Riga in July; the siege of this big fortified city started in October and ended in July 1710. After the fall of Riga Russian troops besieged and took Reval (Tallinn), Pernau (Parnu) and Arensburg (Kuressaare). Separate forces under Major-General Nostes operated in Poland and took by assault the town of Elbing (Elblong) in February 1710. Operations in the north started in March 1710 – the corps of General Fedor Apraksin marched to Viborg, besieged it and took it in June. Several regiments that took part in this siege were then sent eastwards towards Kexholm under the command of Major-General Roman Bruce. This General was ‘ober-commandant’ of Saint-Petersburg, in this capacity he took part in the defence of the city and was well informed about the theatre of operations.
On 9th July Bruce came to Kexholm with three dragoon regiments (Lutsky, Vologodsky and Narvsky), two infantry regiments (Arkhangelogorodsky and Apraksin) and two grenadier companies. Another battalion joined this siege force on July 22nd, coming from Olonets under Major Drukort. Mortars were brought from Schusselburg (formerly Noteburg) on August 4th and four more ships with artillery arrived on September 5th.
Kexholm fortress was completely surrounded by water, the River Vuoksa forming an impassable moat around it; it had five bastions (nowadays their elements can be seen in the town) and a citadel (the very medieval Korela, surviving as a museum today). Breaching the ramparts required strong artillery which Bruce didn’t have and an attack over water would have caused considerable losses. Taking into consideration that the garrison was too small for active defence and after the fall of Viborg they had no chances to receive ‘succor’ from outside, Tsar Peter instructed Bruce to limit siege operations to blockading and bombardment only. It meant that unlike the sieges of Noteburg, Narva and Viborg, Russian command weren’t planning to take Kexholm by storming. Experience of the war taught that the majority of fortresses surrendered after heavy bombardment, when governors lost hopes of receiving relief. This scheme was to be followed again.

The besiegers took their positions on July 11th, opened trenches and started building ‘kettles’ (mortar batteries). The Swedish Governor of Kexholm Colonel Johan Stiernschanz ordered the burning of downtown suburbs (so that buildings didn’t aid the besiegers) and in the town all straw roofs were to be dislodged (to prevent fires). The previous Governor of Kexholm Magnus Stiernstrole left the town earlier that year for Viborg and controlled the defence of that city along with the elderly Governor Zacharias Aminoff.
On July 16th Bruce offered Stiernschanz the opportunity to surrender and after the offer was declined the bombardment began. On the first day 68 bombs were thrown into the town; the shelling lasted day and night. Most likely, in this phase of the siege only light regimental pieces were used; their caliber was not sufficient for effective bombardment, so ships were sent to Schusselburg via Lake Ladoga to bring siege pieces. On August 8th the bombardment continued with newly arrived heavy mortars.
On the other hand, blockade did not mean total passiveness of the besieger. It is known that on July 22nd a redoubt was assaulted and taken that was positioned on the bank of Vuoksa river in front of the castle. On August 8th a rocky island was taken near the fortress’ Western front. These must have been the only assaults during the siege. The afore-mentioned officer Naidinsky recalled that he was sent with a party close to a rampart where he took prisoners and burnt down a battery.
About one month after the heavy bombardment started the Governor initiated talks. Over 4000 projectiles were thrown into the town, including bombs, grenades, carcasses, fire-balls and stones - all this inflicted damage on buildings and fortifications. On August 12th a stock of gun-powder exploded in the castle and this considerably decreased the overall supply of powder for garrison. By September 4th Roman Bruce had new ships with artillery arriving and this was probably the last straw for Stiernschantz. Sides started exchanging messages delivered by drummers; when a final agreement was discussed, sides also exchanged hostages.
On September 8th an ‘accord’ was signed and Russian regiments entered the town. The Swedish garrison had the right to leave for Neuschloss (Savonlinna) with their uniforms and weapons, but without colors and music (this measure symbolized that the defence wasn’t too active and that the garrison had no chance). Peter wrote to Bruce that the Swedes could be let go after they had helped Russian soldiers to renovate the damaged fortress.
Although they had the opportunity to leave for Swedish territory, some soldiers preferred to return to a peasants’ life and some enlisted in Russian service. Trophies taken were 77 bronze and iron cannons and 7 mortars. Roman Bruce obtained the rank of Lieutenant-General.

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Seven Years War 28mm

The Herts Volunteers using Black Powder rules which cover the period 1700-1900.

Sunday 8 August 2010

Preiser Seven Years War

Been drooling over the painted 54mm SYW Preiser figures on the TSSD site. If that inspires you - seeing 1/32 Austrians and Prussians then Hat Industrie are on the way to producing Prussians and Austrians in that scale. We're there dude.