Thursday 27 February 2020

Berezina 1812 part 3 - Finishing the French

As the casualties mount up the remnants of the Grand Armee trudge wearily westward.
These Bavarians were thinking wistfully of home.
Some of the French huddle behind a wrecked wagon as the Russians closed in. Cossacks from the rear....
...and infantry from the front.  More of this in a bit.

The overall look by now was one of carnage.

The French rearguard were eventually overcome by the Russians.
Remember the French infantry cowering behind the wagons?  As the Russian infantry charged the French were helpfully struck by artillery.  French artillery, that is....

The end - and probably the enduring image of the game - Cossacks plundering another wagon. Only one wagon escaped!

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Berezina 1812 part 2 - Fighting the French

Back in the frozen wastes of Holy Russia, the French infantry battalion skulking in this ruined monastery is losing men to desertion. The chaps who run off into the snow and don’t freeze fall victim to either wolves or Cossacks. In as far as there’s a difference...
Speaking of Cossacks, here come more of ‘em!
An unhappy juxtaposition of 1/32 figures and 1/1 feet!
The Cossacks had plenty of opportunity to plunder undefended wagons.
Helpfully, they also overran a French battery in the village.
The sight of frozen French deserters in the snow was particularly poignant.
Ian’s bit of the Russian steamroller grinds forward.
For artillery fire we used polystyrene ‘cannon balls’ fired from Britains cannon. Entertainingly, an enterprising Russian musketeer skewered one on his bayonet. Tough lot, these Russians!  Mike  - he of Black Hat figures - fired the shot in question and poses here proudly with the result of his marksmanship.
Coming soon - part the last.

Sunday 23 February 2020

Berezina 1812 part 1 - following the French

Last Monday an elite band gathered in London to push some 54mm toys around.  The game was based on the Battle of the Berezina in 1812 when Russian forces finally got stuck into the renmants of Napoleon's Grand Armee.  The playing area stretched for 30 feet of wintry wilderness  Strictly speaking a few trees and buildings on sheets shouldn't look this good.  Toys were provided by Brian (see also his post here), PW and myself.  PW ran the game, the French were Mike S (main army), Anthony M (the convoy) and Mike L (rearguard).  The Russians were Brian C (harrying the French rear), Ian D (flanking force) and Your Humble Correspondent (Cossacks).
The snow of Holy Russia before it was profaned by the French.
Some of (my) Russians ready for deployment.  Figures from Armies in Plastic, HAT, Tehnolog, Supreme, Chsrbens, BMC, Mars and Tradition.

While Brian kept up pressure on the rear of the French column, Ian was to keep the main force from relieving Anthony while my Cossacks and I made a constant nuisance of ourselves.  Every time we could goad the French into deploying slowed the column.
Being Russia, the woods were of course full of bears  You can tell it's winter 'cos he has his jumper on.
The French column straggles through the village.
At the rear a rolling battle was underway.
Clouds of Cossacks swarmed out of  the forests - though they were easily scared off by artillery and wouldn't take on formed troops.

The Cossacks were really after the baggage wagons and picked off a few stragglers.
Fun at the rear continues
The Cossacks were a bit rubbish but there were rather a lot (45 in all) of them!
By now desertions were sapping the French strength

Thursday 20 February 2020

Esci 7.5cm light infantry gun - part 1

I’ve always liked these German infantry guns so when I spotted this antique kit at a decent price I clearly had to have it.
Helpfully it includes five crew figures.
Despite the kit’s antiquity the figures went together well. The gun was more of a challenge as several of the parts were warped but it all came good in the end. I suppose I’d better paint it now....

Saturday 15 February 2020

Diekirch military museum

I forgot to post these photos from last September. Diekirch in Luxembourg is home to - among other things - the national military museum. It’s a cracking little museum with lots of exhibits, mostly from the 1944/45 campaign. The photos are in no particular order but we start with the most important - the field bakery!
Jeep with chilly looking crew
Kubel - I particularly like the copy of ‘Signal’ in the door pocket. 
River crossing vignette 
M-24 Chaffee. To my eyes one of the most cohesive looking tank designs of WW2.
Freezing mortar crew
PAK-40 and crew
15cm infantry gun
Looking at this weekend’s weather forecast I can’t help but think one of these would be useful!
37mm Door Knocker with obligatory Stielgranate
Nice to see the Schwimmwagen crew have a Plan B in case the engine fails....
Muddy Ketterkrad
Ex Belgian Army M-47
57mm M-1 AT gun. What us Brits call a 6 pounder. 
Still worried about the Luftwaffe!
M-4A3E8 stuck at the Westwall
1940 Luxembourg Army uniform 
The Sherman again 
155mm gun and ammunition