Tuesday 30 October 2018

Olpae 426BC

 We continued our progress through the Peloponnesian War with another showdown between the Athenians and Spartans, each with allies.  Martin as Eurylochus led the Spartans (right) while John as Demosthenes led the Athenians, assisted by Tim C.
 As usual many of the toys were genuinely ancient - these (Spartan) hoplites being veterans of at least 40 campaign seasons!
 The Athenians looked more like clean living lads.
 The Spartans opened hostilities on the left...
 ...but the offensive soon stalled.

 A general Spartan advance followed...

 ...and the main bodies of both armies were soon in contact...
 ...and dead hoplites were soon piling up.
 On of the casualties was none other than Eurylochus himself - his demise being followed by that of his subordinate!

 The finger of Demosthenes points - at er, Demosthenes.

 As usual this game went to the wire - with victory possible for either side as the casualties mounted.
 By now these peltasts were the Spartan's strongest unit!
The coupe de grace was administered by Demosthenes and his chums - killing off an already damaged light infantry unit to secure victory.

Friday 26 October 2018

The Long Walk Home

I hope you'll support my son Louis in this excellent charitable endeavour.  He's already secured a £500 donation from the St. James's Place Charitable Foundation but more is needed!  Please feel free to repost this on your own blogs. 

The Long Walk Home is Haig Housing’s national event commemorating the centenary of the ending of the First World War. The event will consist of a pilgrimage on foot of 100 Veterans and Serving Personnel from across the United Kingdom who will walk the 100 miles from the Menin Gate in Ypres to the Cenotaph in Whitehall, timed to arrive for the National Service of Remembrance on Sunday 11th November 2018. Planned as a mark of respect to those who died in the Great War, it will also raise funds for the charity.

My name is Louis Blackwell and I am a serving member of the Royal Navy. I am proud to have been selected to be one of the walkers for the Long Walk Home. I will be walking 25 miles on 4 consecutive days from Belgium to London. The walk will begin at Ypres in Belgium - scene of three major battles and Headquarters of the British salient in the First World War.

I will be walking for those who came home and those who didn’t.

Haig Housing Trust started its life to meet the needs of Veterans returning from the Great War. Today they aim to provide homes at affordable rents to the ex-Service community, providing tailored housing solutions to severely wounded and disabled Veterans.

“The Long Walk Home recognises the great sacrifice given by so many and the pilgrimage to walk the route from Flanders to the Cenotaph to take part in the National Act of Remembrance by today’s serving personnel and Veterans will be a poignant commemoration”. General Sir John McColl KCB CBE DSO

I would be grateful if you felt able to support me in raising funds for the Long Walk Home. Please make your donation at my JustGiving page

Thank you for your support.

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Holiday shopping

In late September/early October we had a couple of weeks away in the Netherlands.  While touring (in the Command Bus - as seen here) we again visited Den Helder.  This has nothing to do with the motorhome parking being (a) very nice and (b) bang next to the Dutch Naval Museum.
While there I felt it would be rude not to visit the rather good model shop.  Sadly this is now at the other side of town but we have bikes.  As indeed does everyone in that country.
A brisk 3km of pedalling duly brought us to the requisite emporium wherein I uncovered a few bargains.  Accustomed to the brand Marklin being a prelude to a ruinous price tag, I was pleased to secure the bridge above for a reasonable amount,
More so this even larger structure (c40cm long), seen here with a Solido Sdkfz251 standing in for Hauptsturmfuhrer Grabner's finest.  Did I mention I'd been at Arnhem and Oosterbeek a few days earlier?

Saturday 6 October 2018

Aeronavale Corsair part 2

With the kit built and base coated I faced up to,the tricky task of painting the yellow and black ‘invasion stripes’. Some thin masking tape came to the rescue here and the result was less appalling than it might have been.

Friday 5 October 2018

Aeronavale Corsair - part 1

As part of the Suez project - one of many I have on the back burner - I built this Hobbyboss Corsair kit.  It's as crisply moulded as I have come to expect from Hobbyboss and went together very well.

Tuesday 2 October 2018

Gnuston Heights - part 5 - Last ditch defence?

 As we return to the action some Syrian M-8 are heading west.  As it turned out there was a mechanical failure and they weren't seen again.
 Meanwhile Syrian armour thundered across the AT ditch
  Israeli infantry forming a second defence line
 Kuneitra had been reinforced by a mech battalion and some elderly M-51 Isherman tanks.
The Syrian air attacks just kept coming... (this and next two photos by Ian)
 ...while Israeli tanks took casualties reinforcing the strongpoint line

 By now Israeli reinforcements were gathering in some strength, with M-48...
 ...and M-51 tanks gathering
 Incidentally, the lone figure on the roof of the large building is a senior officer with an eye patch....

Intriguingly, the Syrians spent a lot of time assaulting strongpoints
and only in the south was real progress made
 but by now the Israelis had deployed the best part of two brigades and were poised to put in an effective counterattack.
I think this photo (by Ian) says it all.  A mighty Centurion in a hull-down position.

On the ground the front ends of two Syrian divisions – two tank brigades and two motor rifle brigades confronted a thin crust of Israeli tanks and strongpoints.  Both sides were also well supplied with air support. The scenario was broadly historical but supposed that the Syrians had gone with their preferred option of attacking early in the day, rather than delaying until noon at the behest of their Egyptian allies.  Several crossings were made over the AT ditch although one of the Syrian bridgelayer companies had perished in an Israeli airstrike.  Syrian casualties were relatively light, reflecting their deliberate approach.  The flip side was that they didn’t push forward as aggressively as I’d have liked but that’s the joy of having real players!

The game proceeded at a healthy pace – it’s always pleasing when game time runs faster than real time.  Even the players who were new to LCW soon picked it up, such are the benefits of simple mechanisms. Despite the breaks for tea, coffee and lunch (this was Knuston, remember!) we made good progress and all present claimed to have enjoyed the experience.  Lunch-table conversation inevitably turned to other possible scenarios so it may be that the ‘big’ Little Cold Wars game at Knuston becomes an annual event.  Watch this space…