31 January 2008

The Battle of An Loc

A comprehensive account of this large battle from the North Vietnamese Easter Offensive in April 1972.

Unusually for this conflict, this battle featured significant armour action on both sides



30 January 2008

15mm French and Viet Minh

One of the other good news stories from CANCON on the weekend is that sculptor Mike Broadbent, in conjunction with Eureka Miniatures (http://www.eurekamin.com.au/), is bringing out a series of Viet Minh and French Indochina troops over the next month or two.

Mike had a couple of the masters there and they look fantastic. He has even done a 2 man LMG 29 team! I'm certainly considering put together a small force for early Vietnam battles.

If that kind of thing interets you, you might like this website:

http://members.lycos.co.uk/Indochine/index.html

29 January 2008

Review - Bunker by Battlefield Accessories


'Lt' directs, 1st Squad, 2nd Platoon Bravo Company,
USMC to investigate a bunker complex on Hill 203
(Figs by Flashpoint Minis, painted by me)
.
BA237-Painted Wooden Machine Gun Bunker, by Battlefield Accessories

This is a lovely resin model, nicely pre-painted with a flocked base and a removable roof. I dont usually go for pre-painted etrrain but these really grabbed my attention, and I plan to add some more foliage to blend into the rest of my jungle terrain.

The lid fits neatly and there is space for a FoW sized 4 man base inside. Note that this one is the smaller version - there is a second, larger version of a log bunker in the same range

I think its well priced at AUD$17 (for the painted version, $9 for the raw resin version), so I got 2 of course...


You can find Battlefield Accessories online here: http://members.optusnet.com.au/carolynparker/mmmain.htm


The Boys of 1st Squad trudge up the feature to find out the hard way if Charlie is at home...

28 January 2008

CANCON 2008

This weekend was the premier Australian Wargaming convention, CANCON, organised by the Canberra Games Society and held just a few clicks from my house http://users.tpg.com.au/adsl7cnm/Flyer.pdf


There wasnt much in the way of Vietnam gaming, though I did spy a nice Boxer Rebellion style game. My mate Owen and I played in a great demo scenario of Mogadishu in 1994, as famously portrayed in the movie "Blackhawk Down!". The terrain, figs and vehicles were fantastic, and the rules were fast and quick playing. We did even worse than the movie writers thought the Americans did and had a ball doing it. And yes, more than one Blackhawk crashed, as unlikely as the odds were for that!


Over the weekend I also met up with friends old and new, including Mike of Battlefield Accessories who makes the great Pacific scultped bases I used on my USMC troops(http://members.optusnet.com.au/carolynparker/mmmain.htm), Mick from Mick's Metal Models (http://www.micksmetalmodels.com/), who among other ranges is the Australian distributor for Peter Pig, and Glynn from Fernvale Specialty Scenics who does some very nice resin Vietam stuff.
Needless to say, money was spent and goodies were brought home...including some more NVA troops, bases for my new US vehicles, some 15mm vehicle accessories by Skytrex plus the Men of Company B rules from Peter Pig.

CANCON 2008

A quiet weekend from me with no posts from me for two good reasons:

1. Jan 26 is Australia Day, our National Birthday and great cause for BBQ, Beers and celebration; and

2. This weekend was the premier Australian Wargaming convention, CANCON, organised by the Canberra Games Society and held just a few Kms from my house http://users.tpg.com.au/adsl7cnm/Flyer.pdf


Long time subscribers may recall that I went last year and had a ball with the kids http://pauljamesog.blogspot.com/2007/01/cancon-splendid-day-out.html). I was just reading that post and saw my comments "Sadly my mate Owen, who had planned to come up for the weekend and the Con, had to cancel at the last minute. There is always next year though right?". Well this indeed this year was the year and he did made it up for a cracking great time.



There wasnt much in the way of VSF, though I did spy a nice Boxer Rebellion style game. Owen and I played in a great demo scenario of Mogadishu in 1994, as famously portrayed in the movie "Blackhawk Down!". The terrain, figs and vehicles were fantastic, and the rules were fast and quick playing. We did even worse than the movie writers thought the Americans did and had a ball doing it. And yes, more than one Blackhawk crashed, as unlikely as the odds were for that!



Over the weekend I also met up with friends old and new, including Nic of Eureka Miniatures (http://www.eurekamin.com.au/), Mike of Battlefield Accessories (http://members.optusnet.com.au/carolynparker/mmmain.htm), Mick from Mick's Metal Models (http://www.micksmetalmodels.com/), who among other ranges is the Australian distributor for Peter Pig, and Greg of Cannon Fodder miniatures (http://www.canfodmins.com/) who made all the Somali gunmen for the demogame (and they were good shots too!). Needless to say, money was spent and goodies were brought home...

I also was reacquainted with Karsten whom I met last year and who has promised me pics of his and his mates' newly finished Aeronef fleets!

So a great weekend of gaming, gaming shopping and seeing my mate Owen- thanks for coming up buddy!

17 January 2008

Garnet Joseph Wolseley


"La Coloniale" of the silly buggers Brigade at 15mmVSF Blog, has entered this stirling chap in the esteemed White Wine Sauce Hall of Esteemed Gentlemen!


You can read his biography at that blogsite here:

13 January 2008

Vice Admiral Sir Nathan Hewett

Further investigation into some 'Fighting Admirals' of the Victorian era has revealed this man:

Vice-Admiral Sir William Nathan Wrighte Hewett VC KCB KCSI
b.1834, entered RN 1848, d. 1888

Aged 20 and but 8 years after entering the Royal Navy, William Hewett was awarded the Victoria Cross for services during the Crimea War.

In 1854, he was serving as Acting Mate on HMS Beagle but was commanding a Naval Brigade detachment manning a Lancaster Battery at Sebastopol. being threatened by the enemy. Through a misunderstanding he was ordered to spike his gun and retreat. The lieutenant, however, took on himself the responsibility of disregarding the order, shouting 'Retire? Retire and be damned! Fire!' He then pulled down the parapet of the battery and with the assistance of some soldiers, slewed his gun round and poured on the advancing enemy a most destructive and effectual fire until the Russians retreated. For this exploit and for further great bravery during the battle of Inkerman, that he received the Victoria Cross.

A slightly different account of his actions:

Among all the acts exhibiting gallantry, coolness, and judgment, one performed by Mr N.W. Hewett, then acting mate of HMS Beagle, stands conspicuous.

On the 26th of October 1854, the day after the battle of Balaclava, he was in charge of the right Lancaster battery before Sebastopol, with a party of bluejackets under him, when the Russians made a desperate sortie from the walls against Sir De Lacy Evans’ division. The advance of the Russians placed the gun in great jeopardy; and their assault was so vigorous that their skirmishers had got within 300 yards of the battery, and were pouring in a sharp fire from their Minié rifles. By some misapprehension the word was passed to spike the gun and retreat; but Mr Hewett, taking upon himself to disregard what he heard, answered, “That order did not come from Captain Lushington, and till he directs us to desert the gun, we’ll not move.” This proceeding was hazardous, for at the time the gun was in an ineffectual position, in consequence of the enemy advancing on its flank. With the assistance, however, of the seamen with him, and of some soldiers who came to his aid, he got round the gun into position; then, blowing away the parapet of the battery, he opened on the advancing column of the Russians so effective a fire, that they were completely staggered, and their progress was stopped. Seconded by his companions, whom his spirit animated, again and again he discharged his death-dealing gun, till the enemy gave way and retreated.

A story is current that he actually did receive an order to abandon the gun, and that afterwards, while he was reflecting what might be the consequences of having disobeyed it, his commanding officer inquired,
“Mr Hewett, were you not ordered to spike that gun and retreat?”
“I was, sir.”
“And you chose to disregard the order, and fight the gun?”
“I did, sir; but I am sorry if—”
“Well, then, you are promoted.”
Sir Stephen Lushington brought Mr Hewett’s conduct before the commander-in-chief, and he received from the Admiralty, as a reward, his lieutenancy, which he so well merited. At the battle of Inkermann his bravery was again conspicuous, and he was soon afterwards appointed to the command of the Beagle gunboat in the Sea of Azov.

He was promoted to Commander on 13th Sep 1858, Captain on 14th Nov 1862 and Rear-Admiral on 14th Nov 1862, spending much of his career at sea commanding a number of RN vessels, including some of the first ironclad warships. He also commanded the Naval Brigade in actions in West Africa, Egypt and the Sudan, gaining in the process a reputation as the Navy's finest exponent of Combined Operations.

Sir William Hewett rose to the rank of Vice Admiral in 1884 before retiring from the Navy in 1888 and died the same year.

Vice-Admiral Hewett was awarded the following medals:
Victoria Cross
Knight Commander of the Bath
Crimean War Medal
Turkish Crimean Medal
Crimean Medal 'Al Valore'
India General Service Medal
Ashanti Medal 1873–74
Egypt Medal 1882
Khedive Star 1882
Order of Mejidieh 4th
Class Legion of Honour 5th Class

11 January 2008

Admiral Sir Walter Cowan

A true fighting naval officer I have recently been reading about is worthy of much admiration, and I am pleased to share with you my research into a man who is simply inspirational. So much so that I have started a new article category for him: Gentlemen of Renown and Infamy. If you have one of your own to suggest, I would greatly welcome your submission.


Admiral Sir Walter Henry "Titch" Cowan, 1st Baronet, KCB, DSO and bar, MVO
b.1871, joined the RN in 1884 (aged 13), d.1956

Early years - served in verious expeditions in West Africa, commanded the gunboat HMS SULTAN during the Battle of Omdurman and the whole gunboat squadron during the Fashoda Incident with the French during which he was awarded the DSO. Cowan then went south to participate in the Second Boer War, saw extensive sea service as a Destroyer Captain afterwards and then service the the Battlecruiser force during WW1 (including the Battle of Jutland where his ship was heavily damaged) during which he was known to be one of "the most offensively minded of the Grand-Fleet officers."

In his great book "The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command", Andrew Gordon writes:

"Walter Cowan, Captain of the [Lion class battlecruiser] Princess Royal, had been a close friend of [Admiral] Beatty's from both midshipman and Nile-gunboat days. He was a ferocious midget who loved war so much that he spent his leave periods in the trenches in France and wept when the Armistice was announced. "


It was also said that he "was the only Officer in the Grand Fleet that was sorry the war was over"

Gordon continues: "He became the scourge of the Bolsheviks in the Baltic in 1919 [As a Rear-Admiral he commanded a Light Cruiser Squadron from his flagship Delhi and sank 2 Russian Battleships and 1 destroyer], and ended his naval career as Admiral of the Fleet.[not quite true, but he was a full Admiral]"

Cowan came out of retirement in 1940, accepting demotion to the rank of Commander, to join an Indian armoured regiment in North Africa. He was captured by the Italians when he personally attacked a tank by himself armed with only a revolver! Subsequently released by the Italians on humanitarian grounds he joined the Commandos as a Naval liasion officer, aged 72. He saw further action in clandestine actions in Italy and the Med from 1943 where he won a second DSO in 1944 (more than 40 years after earning his first one) before retiring once more.

There are 2 books dedicaed to his service which would be fascinating reading:

  • Lionel George Dawson, Sound of the guns, being an account of the wars and service of Admiral Sir Walter Cowan (Pen-in-hand, Oxford, 1949);
  • Geoffrey Bennett, Cowan's war: the story of British naval operations in the Baltic, 1918-1920 (Collins, London, 1964) - reprinted in 2002 as "Freeing the Baltic" (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Freeing-Baltic-Geoffrey-Bennett/dp/184341001X)

    His Service biography is:
Naval cadet 1884; Benin, Nigeria 1887; Cdr, HMS REDBREAST, Red Sea 1893-1895; HMS BARROSA, Cape Station 1895; Brass River and Mwele Expeditions 1897; commanding gunboat flotilla, Nile during Sudan operations 1898; Aide-de-camp to Gen Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Viscount Kitchener of Khartoum and Naval Aide-de-camp to FM Sir Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts of Kandahar, Pretoria and Waterford, during South African War 1901; World War I 1914-1918; HMS ZEALANDIA, Grand Fleet 1914; Capt, HMS PRINCESS ROYAL 1915-1917; Battle of Jutland 1916; commanding 1 Light Cruiser Sqn of the Grand Fleet 1917-1920; Baltic Force 1919-1920; Battle Cruiser Sqn, Atlantic Fleet 1921-1922; Commanding Officer, Coast of Scotland 1925-1926; Commander-in-Chief North America and West Indies Station 1926-1928; retired 1931; Commando Forces, World War II 1939-1945; liaison officer with Commando Bde, Eastern Mediterranean 1941; attached to Indian Regt, Western Desert 1941-1942; captured at Bir Hakeim 1942; repatriated 1943, Cdo forces 1943-45

01 January 2008

Hangovers...

Like me, you probably have a shocker right now...try Naughty Nelly's patented elixir:

The Almighty Hangover Emergency Cure
2 aspirins
600mg vitamin C
1 tablet vitamin B-complex
1 banana
1 small can V8 (or any vegetable juice)
6 large strawberries
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup orange juice
1-2 cups milk (or soy milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of nutmeg

Preparation time: 10 minutes (or longer depending on just how bad your hangover is...)
Serves 1
Related Posts with Thumbnails