The galleries visible contained mostly WW1 aircraft but were closed when I visited. So I'll need to go again...
Tuesday, 30 August 2022
Brussels Military History Museum - part 4
Saturday, 27 August 2022
The Great Herring War of 1912
THE GREAT HERRING WAR 1912 (2022 after taking into account inflation)GENERAL BRIEFING
Shamelessly plagiarised and mangled by BTG from original notes by PHW.
The expression ‘flogging a dead horse’ has never been more appropriate than in the case of the ‘Herring War’. But first. Some history….
The 1909 Herring War Campaign followed a tense standoff in the Skagerrak between the fishing fleets of Norway and Denmark. War was declared in early December, with the stronger Norwegian forces aiming to blockade, or close, the ports of SKAGEN and HITSHALS. The Danish defenders had the task of keeping these ports open and stopping the blockade.
This campaign saw two brief but bloody actions at sea, followed by a coastal engagement and a rather abortive Norwegian landing. See more here (these games were played three years apart so expect some continuity errors!):
Now, three years later, a series of scandalous articles in the Norwegian press have called into question some of the er, personal habits of the esteemed Queen of Denmark, Brigitte the Foxy. The Danish response was swift and took the form of a concentrated disruption of the Norwegian herring fleet. It always comes back to fish, doesn’t it? A declaration of war has followed from MOFFF (The Ministry of Fish, Foreigners and Fighting) in Norway’s capital, Kristiania.
Objectives remain much as per the earlier conflict.
Since 1909, both nations have striven to modernise their fleets, with larger battleships, monitors and modern cruisers much in evidence.
This time round the Norwegian Admiralty was headed by PHW, with John and Pete as his trusty admirals and Martin as the Austro-Hungarian Naval Attache. (A-H had flogged them the ship designs). Bob presided at the Danish Admiralty, with Simon and Russell as his chaps at sea.
The DK fleet: (This and all other ship data courtesy of: GOW’S FIGHTING SHIPS – SPECIAL HERRING CRISIS EDITION, ©The Lobby Press, Dundee, 1912)
Knusden Nyborg (Coast defence battleship) 2 H, 6 M, 2 TT
Sorensen Fonsmark (monitor) 2 M, 2 L
Malling Friis (monitor) 1 H, 1 M, 2 L
Laugensen (modern cruiser) 8 L, 4 TT, 3 mines
Olsen (modern cruiser) 8 L, 4 TT, 3 mines
Larsen (TBD) 2 L, 4 TT, 2 mines
Herkind (TBD) 2 L, 4 TT, 2 mines
The Nor fleet:
Mestad Berg (modern battleship) 6 H, 6 L, 2 TT
Torp Norum (modern cruiser) 8 L, 4 TT
Bo Morkid (modern cruiser) 8 L, 4 TT
Heltberg Rygh (Monitor) 2 H, 2 L
Vold (Torpedo boat leader) 2 L, 4 TT
TB 1 / TB2 / TB3 / TB 4 1 L, 2 TT each
On Tuesday evening most of the players joined me on a Zoom call during which I plotted the movements of ships and squadrons as revealed to me by players in separate breakout rooms. This produced the following rather confused picture:
The original Herring War may be read about in this fine book:
Yesterday John and Simon joined me to fight the engagement(s) thus created with 1/1200 ships and a modified version of the 'Fistful Of Herring' rules I wrote for the games in 2016. I'll let the photos tell most of the story. They're not great as it has been very sunny here.
So what happened? In a desperate night action a lot of ammunition was exchanged and some of it worked. Each side has now lost a cruiser, and the Nor a TB and TBL The Nor monitor is damaged, as is the DK battleship and a cruiser. Both sides have decided to break off and run for home under cover of the remaining couple of hours of darkness. A hard-fought action which may have saved - at least for now - the Danish fishing fleet but is likely to result in complaints to certain Austrian manufacturers about dodgy ammo and vessels. A Nor Admiralty spokesman is quoted as saying "I hope we kept the bloody receipts..."
Friday, 26 August 2022
Brussels Military History Museum - part 2
Back in Brussels, the next door took us into the Great War hall. Probably my favourite bit of the museum.
The photos are again a rather random jumble - something to do with being taken on an iPhone and transferred to PC via Onedrive.