Friday, 13 January 2012


The South was at a relative disadvantage to the North for deployment of artillery. The industrial North had far greater capacity for manufacturing weapons, and the Union blockade of Southern ports prevented many foreign arms from reaching the Southern armies. The Confederacy had to rely to a significant extent on captured Union artillery pieces (either on the battlefield or by capturing armories, File:Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, USA-1May2010.jpgsuch as Harpers Ferry); it is estimated that two thirds of all Confederate field artillery was captured from the Union. The Confederate cannons built in the South often suffered from the shortage of quality metals and shoddy workmanship. Another disadvantage was the quality of ammunition. The fuses needed for detonating shells and cases were frequently inaccurate, causing premature or delayed explosions. All that, coupled with the Union gunners' initial competence and experience gained as the war progressed, led Southern forces to dread assaults on Northern positions backed up by artillery. A Southern officer observed, "The combination of Yankee artillery with Rebel infantry would make an army that could be beaten by no one."
Confederate batteries usually consisted of four guns, in contrast to the Union's six. This was a matter of necessity, because guns were always in short supply. And, unlike the Union, batteries frequently consisted of mixed caliber weapons. Confederate batteries were generally organized into battalions (versus the Union brigades) of four batteries each, and the battalions were assigned to the direct support of infantry divisions. Each infantry corps was assigned two battalions as an Artillery Reserve, but there was no such Reserve at the army level. The chief of artillery for Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, Brig. Gen. William N. Pendleton,WilliamNPendleton.jpg had considerable difficulty massing artillery for best effect because of this organization.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Charles Trenet (born Louis Charles Auguste Claude Trenet, 18 May 1913, Narbonne,File:Narbonne panorama.jpg France – 19 February 2001, Créteil, France) File:Creteil prefecture.JPGwas a French singer and songwriter, most famous for his recordings from the late 1930s until the mid-1950s, though his career continued through the 1990s. In an era in which it was exceptional for a singer to write his or her own material, Trenet wrote prolifically and declined to record any but his own songs.
His best known songs include "Boum !", "La Mer", "Y'a d'la joie", "Que reste-t-il de nos amours ?", "Ménilmontant" and "Douce France". His catalogue of songs is enormous, numbering close to a thousand. While many of his songs mined relatively conventional topics such as love, Paris, and nostalgia for his younger days, what set Trenet's songs apart were their personal, poetic, sometimes quite eccentric qualities, often infused with a warm wit. Some of his songs had unconventional subject matter, with whimsical imagery bordering on the surreal. "Y'a d'la joie" evokes 'joy' through a series of disconnected images, including that of a subway car shooting out of its tunnel into the air, the Eiffel Tower crossing the street and a baker making excellent bread. The lovers engaged in a minuet in "Polka du Roi" reveal themselves at length to be 'no longer human': they are made of wax and trapped in the Musée Grévin. File:Grevin musee facade.jpgMany of his hits from the 1930s and 1940s effectively combine the melodic and verbal nuances of French song with American swing rhythms.
His song "La Mer", which according to legend he composed with Léo Chauliac on a train in 1943, was recorded in 1946. "La Mer" is perhaps his best known work outside the French-speaking world, with over 400 recorded versions. The song was given unrelated English words and under the title "Beyond the Sea" (or sometimes "Sailing"), was a hit for Bobby Darin in the early 1960s, and George Benson in the mid-1980s. "La Mer" has been used in many films such as Bernardo Bertolucci's 2003 The Dreamers, and more recently in the closing scene (on the beach) of Mr. Bean's Holiday. The song was also used in the opening credits of the 2007 film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which used the song to highlight the paralyzing effects of a stroke that felled his fellow Frenchman, Jean-Dominique Bauby. It was also used as the opening title song in Steve Martin's L.A. Story in 1991, and in a popular commercial for South Australia, promoting the wine region of Australia. Other Trenet songs were recorded by such popular French singers as Maurice Chevalier, Jean Sablon and Fréhel.
if you go here theres another of my blogs, this is just Authenticast models

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

the fettermann massacre

In November 1866, Captains William J. Fetterman image 1and James Powell arrived at Fort Phil Kearny from the 18th Infantry's headquarters File:FettermanHeadstonePhilKonstantin.jpggarrison at Fort Laramie to replace several officers recently relieved of duty. Unlike Carrington, Fetterman had extensive combat experience during the Civil War. He lacked experience fighting American Indians, however. Fetterman disagreed with Carrington's strategy. Reportedly he said it was "passive" and allegedly boasted that given "80 men," he "would ride through the Sioux nation." Carrington later reported Fetterman's boasts while trying to defend his own reputation.
On December 6, Second Lieutenant Horace S. Bingham, commanding Company C, 2nd Cavalry, 002-Cavalry-Regiment-COA.pngwas killed by Indians while driving off a force that had attacked a wood train. He had followed them as they retreated over Lodge Trail Ridge fettermanbattle.jpgand been overwhelmed. Carrington worried about his officers' tendency to blindly follow such Indian decoy parties. Fetterman was outraged by what he considered the ineffectiveness of Carrington's leadership. He understood the commander of the Department of the Platte, Gen. Philip St. George Cooke,File:Philip St. George Cooke.jpg to have ordered the garrison to mount an aggressive winter campaignColonel Carrington stated he ordered Fetterman not to cross Lodge Trail Ridge, where relief from the fort would be difficult
Fetterman was joined by Captain Frederick Brown, until recently the post quartermaster and another of Carrington's critics. Carrington stated he told Grummond to remind Fetterman of his order not to cross over Lodge Trail Ridge. (The cavalry had to retrieve its mounts before it could follow and catch up with the infantrymen.) The relief party numbered 79 officers and men. Two civilians, James Wheatley and Isaac Fisher, joined Fetterman, bringing the total force up to 81 men. Instead of marching down the wood road to the relief of the wood train, Fetterman quickly turned north and crossed the Sullivant Hills toward Lodge Trail On the morning of December 21, 1866, the wood train was attacked again. Carrington ordered a relief party, composed of 49 infantrymen of the 18th Infantry, 27 mounted troopers of the 2nd Cavalry and ordred Captain James Powell to command. Captain Powell had led a similar effort two days earlier and declined to pursue the Indians over the ridge. However, by claiming seniority as a brevet lieutenant colonel, Fetterman asked for and was given command of the relief party. Powell remained behind. Another officer of the 18th, Lt. George W. Grummond, also a vocal critic of Carrington, led the cavalry. It had been leaderless since Lt. Bingham's death in early December.Within a few minutes of their departure, a Lakota decoy party including Oglala warrior Crazy Horse File:Crazy Horse sketch.jpgappeared on Lodge Trail Ridge. Fetterman took the bait, especially since several of the warriors stood on their ponies and insultingly waggled their bare buttocks at the troopers. Fetterman and his company were joined by Grummond at the crossing of the creek, deployed in skirmish line and marched over the Ridge in pursuit. They raced down into the Peno Valley, where an estimated 1,000-3,000 Indians were concealed. They had fought the soldiers there on December 6.
At approximately noon on that day, men at the fort heard gunfire, beginning with a few shots followed immediately by sustained firing. The ambush was not observed, but evidence indicated the cavalry probably had charged the Indians. The cavalry's most advanced group was nearly a mile down the ridge beyond the infantry. When the Cheyenne and Oglala sprang their trap, the soldiers had no escape. None of them survived.File:Patent drawing Henry Rifle.jpg
Reports from the burial party sent to collect the remains said the soldiers had died in three groups. The most advanced and probably most effective were the two civilians, armed with 16-shot Henry repeating rifles, and a small number of cavalrymen who had dismounted and taken cover in the rocks. Up the slope behind them were the bodies of most of the retreating cavalrymen, armed with new 7-shot Spencer carbines, File:Spencer rifle diagram.pngbut encumbered by their horses and without cover. Further up the slope were Fetterman, Brown and the infantrymen, armed with nearly obsolete Civil War muzzle-loading muskets against Indians with equally obsolete weaponry. These foot soldiers fought from cover for a short while, until their ammunition ran out and they were overrun.
Ten Eyck took a roundabout route and reached the ridgetop just as the firing ceased about 12:45 p.m. He sent back a message reporting that he could not see Fetterman's force, but the valley was filled with groups of Indians taunting him to come down. Ten Eyck suffered severe criticism for not marching straight to the sound of the battle, though doing so would have resulted only in the destruction of his force, too. Ten Eyck reached and recovered the bodies of Fetterman's men. Because of continuing Indian threat, they could not recover those of the cavalry for two days.]Carrington heard the gunfire and immediately sent out a 40-man support force on foot under Captain Tenedor Ten Eyck. Shortly after, the 30 remaining cavalrymen of Company C were sent dismounted to reinforce Ten Eyck, followed by two wagons, the first loaded with hastily loaded ammunition and escorted by another 40 men. Carrington called for an immediate muster of troops to defend the post. Including the wood train detail, the detachments had left only 119 troops remaining inside the fort.File:Fetterman massacre.jpg
By that time, Fetterman and his entire 81-man detachment were dead. Carrington's official report claimed that Fetterman and Brown shot each other to avoid capture, though Army autopsies recorded Fetterman's death wound as a knife slash. It remains a subject of debate. The warriors mutilated most of the bodies of the soldiers. Most of the dead soldiers were scalped, beheaded, dismembered, disemboweled, and even castrated; facts widely publicized by the newspapers. The only body left untouched was that of a young teenage bugler, Adolph Metzler. He was believed to have fought several Indians with just his bugle as a bludgeon. Aside from his fatal head and chest injuries, his body was left untouched and covered with a buffalo robe by the Indians. The reason for this remains unknown, although it may have been a tribute to his bravery.
This battle was called the "Battle of the Hundred Slain" by the Indians and the "Fetterman Massacre" by the soldiers. It was the Army's worst defeat on the Great Plains File:Great Plains Nebraska USA1.jpguntil the disaster on the Little Big Horn nearly ten years later.File:Charles Marion Russell - The Custer Fight (1903).jpg
Fort Phil Kearny prepared for a last stand that never came. General Cooke held Carrington solely responsible for the defeat and relieved him of command on December 26, 1866. (While Cooke had planned the relief with the conversion

of the 2nd Battalion to the 27th Infantry, he ordered it immediately to make the point of rebuke to Carrington.) General Ulysses S. Grant, commanding the U.S. Army, was not inclined to blame only Carrington. He relieved Cooke on January 9, 1867.Both an Army court of inquiry and the Secretary of the Interiorconducted investigations of the massacre. The Army's reached no official conclusion, and the Interior's exonerated Carrington. After a severe hip injury, Carrington resigned his commission in 1870. He spent the rest of his life defending his actions and condemning Fetterman's alleged disobedience.
The shock of the Fetterman defeat resulted in public calls to reassess the government's Indian policy. Carrington's views came to be the most widely accepted. He placed culpability on reckless actions by Fetterman. On the other hand, some critics have said that Carrington could have recalled Fetterman before the ambush took place. He could observe from the fort that the attack on the wood train broke off around 11:30. Also in mitigation, Fetterman may have believed that he had to support Grummond, even if the cavalry led the advance in
violation of Carrington's orders. Given Grummond's record during the Civil War, he may have been far out in front
Historians do not believe Red Cloud took part in the Fetterman battle. He may have been present on August 2, 1867, for the Wagon Box Fight File:Wagon Box Fight.jpgnear Fort Phil Kearny, when a small army detachment used new breech-loading rifles to hold off more than 1,000 Lakota and Cheyenne for five hours. The Army had similar success in the Hayfield Fight the previous day.

return to dunkirk

TThe Siege of Dunkirk in World War II occurred from September 1944 when units of the Second Canadian Division surrounded the heavily fortified city and port of DunkirkGerman units withstood initial probing attacks, and as the opening of the port ofAntwerp became a higher priority, Oil being unloaded from the SS Fort Cataraqui in the Belgian port of Antwerp, 30 Nov 1944; this was the first ship to berth at the port following the opening of the Scheldt EstuaryDunkirk was "masked" by Allied troops (notably the 1st Czechoslovak Armoured Brigade) and left to the rear of the Canadian Army. The garrison remained in Dunkirk until the general German surrender in May 1945. In doing so, the garrison denied the Allies the use of the port, whose facilities had been demolished.File:Digue de Dunkerque.jpg The fortress, commanded by AdmiralFriedrich Frisiuseventually surrendered unconditionally to Brigade General Alois Liška, the commander of the Czechoslovakbrigade groupon 9 May 1945.The 1st Canadian Army had been allocated the left of the 21st Army Group's line of advance and General Bernard Montgomery, the commander of 21st Army Group, had directed them to clear the Channel Ports before continuing into the Netherlands. Most of these ports, however, had been heavily fortified and, despite the generally poor quality of the garrisons, it was necessary to mount full-scale major assaults.
The ports were needed to supply the allied armies and the lack of such facilities had halted or slowed much offensive activity. Montgomery had estimated that the Channel Ports would be sufficient for his needs and this view persisted until mid-September. Under pressure from Dwight Eisenhower, the Allied Supreme Commander, Montgomery modified his instructions to the Canadian commander, Henry Crerar,General Crerar.jpg on 13–14 September thus: "Early use of Antwerp so urgent that I am prepared to give up operations against Calais and Dunkirk" and: "Dunkirk will be left to be dealt with later; for the present it will be merely masked.
Action against Calais continued (see Operation Undergo), at least partly due to the need to silence the heavy artillery sited nearby. The forces that might have been used to capture Dunkirk were released to assist on the Scheldt File:Acrossthescheldt.jpgand thus open access to the largely undamaged port of Antwerp. Instead, smaller Allied forces held a perimeter around the city.In the first weeks of the siege, while Allied forces were being deployed on the Scheldt, several units took short turns at containing Dunkirk. The 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade, part of 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, was relieved by the 4th Special Service Brigade (a Royal Marines Commando formation), which was in turn relieved by the 154th Infantry Brigade. However, the bulk of the siege was performed by the 1st Czech Armoured Brigade from early October until the final surrender ;below a company's worth of 28mm Bolt ActionBritish/Canadian infantry.This is the blofg Rabbits in my basement see what the blogger says= I was quite pleased with the detail of sculpting and lack of flash.

For paints I used Tamiya'sKhaki for the uniforms, and Americana Khaki Tan for the webbing. Games Workshop Boltgun for the gun metal and AmericanaLampblack for the boots. Cermacoat Burnt Umber for the wooden stocks, boot soles, hair and bases. I then coated everyone in the Army Painter dip. the dip does leave a gloss finish on the figures but it does give a good hard protective coat. One figure fell onto the cement floor during the photo shoot and received nary a scratch or chip!
The German garrison consisted of a wide variety of units, including Navy and Air Force personnel, as well as Army and Fortress units. There was also a 2,000 strong Waffen-SS detachment. The total strength was in excess of 10,000 men. Many of these were remnants of five Army divisions which had been mauled during the Normandy campaign and had retreated to Dunkirk. The town itself was heavily fortified, and well-supplied for a lengthy siegeThe Canadians approached Dunkirk from the south west. On 7–8 September, the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade captured Bourbourg, File:Eglise-Saint-Jean-Baptiste3.jpgabout 13 km (8.1 mi) from the city itself. The German outer perimeter ran through the villages of Mardyck, Loon-Plage, Spycker, Bergues and Bray-DunesFile:0 Bray-Dunes - Digue (1).JPG, from 7–12 km (4.3–7.5 mi) from Dunkirk. The Calgary Highlanders attacked Loon-Plage on 7 September against very heavy opposition and suffered enough casualties that each of its companies was reduced to less than 30 men.Scouts of Calgary Highlanders advancing north of Kappellen, October 1944. National Archives of Canada 116727. The village was gained on the 9th only when the Germans withdrew. During the next ten days, Canadian units nibbled away at the German perimeter, taking Coppenaxfort on the 9th, File:Jielbeaumadier vliet 1 coppenaxfort 2010.jpgMardyck on the 17th, both west of the city, Bergues on the 15th and Veurne, Nieuport File:Nieuwpoort-pier.jpg(greatly aided by precise intelligence received from the Belgian White Brigade, the national resistance movement) and De Panne, east of DunkirkFile:De Panne Dunes et plage.jpg, in Belgium. Bray Dunes and nearby Ghyvelde, both just within France, were taken on the 15th September, with air support after initial attacks had failed.
It had become clear that the German defenders were not about to be expelled without a major assault. Given the armoured car by die cast models
need to open up the Scheldt to Antwerp and the likelihood that Dunkirk would be of limited use as a supply port as a result of its demolition, the major Canadian units were redeployed. Nearby Ostende had fallen easily to the Canadians when the Germans withdrew, and its port was partially opened on 28 September, easing the Allies' supply problems. Dunkirk was no longer worth the effort of its captureThe Allied forces around Dunkirk were to contain the German garrison and minimise their inclination to fight on by aggressive reconnaissance, artillery and air bombardment andpropaganda. Coastal supply routes used by German E-Boats and air supply drops were to be cut off.
Of all of the German fortress garrisons on the Channel coast, Dunkirk appears to have been the most resilient.They had thwarted early probes by the Canadians with sufficient aggression to dissuade them from a full assault. By this stage, other priorities had come into play, compelling the 'Canucks' to persist in aggressive patrolling and successful local counter-attacks.
On the night of 26–27 September, the Germans attempted to take advantage of the local inexperience of the recently-deployed 154th Brigade. Two serious attacks were mounted, against the 7th Black Watch in Ghyvelde and the 7th Argylls at nearby Bray-Dunes Plage. Both were beaten off, but only after the Argylls' headquarters had been partially occupied and houses in Ghyvelde had been destroyed.
On 4 October, a 36-hour truce was agreed between the two sides, at the initiative of the French Red Cross, to allow the evacuation of 18,000 French civilians and Allied and German wounded. This passed without incident and was even extended to allow the Germans to restore defences that had been removed to allow the evacuation.
Once deployed, Czech forces executed frequent raids into Dunkirk's eastern suburbs, for nuisance effect and to take prisoners. There was a flurry of attacks and retaliatory counter-attacks, mostly on Dunkirk's eastern side, in November 1944. Conditions for besiegers and besieged were difficult in the winter. The low-lying ground outside Dunkerque Dunkirk in France Dunkerque Dunkirk, Third Largest Port City and Popular Vacation Destination in Francethe city had been flooded to form part of the defences and adjacent land easily became water-logged, hampering movement and making life unpleasant. Canadian artillerymen reported that gun-pits needed to be bailed out, the sides of dugouts collapsed and transport became mired. This was mitigated by leave in nearby towns and in Lille. The defenders were stuck with poor food, deficient health care and harsh discipline.After the general German surrender, the garrison surrendered unconditionally to Alois Liška on May 9, 1945.
Substantial reserves of food and ammunition remained in Dunkirk.