Christmas is coming …

Yes, I know that it is not yet the end of November, but Christmas seems to be very close … and I seem to have lots to do beforehand.

I’ve decided to finish at least one more batch of figures for my Napoleonic project, I want to finish one writing project, and to make more progress with my book of PORTABLE WARGAME rules. I also want to sort out the data I have on the warships used by both sides during the Spanish Civil War, and to make it available as a series of blog entries … if only to help David Crook with his proposed SCW naval project.


Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 20th November 1936

Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera (the leader of the Falange), who had been stranded in Republican Spain at the time of the Rising, was executed in Alicante.

A painting of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera in Falange uniform.


Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 19th November 1936

Buenaventura Durruti (a leading figure in the Anarchist movement) was wounded in the front-line at Madrid. He died the next day.

Buenaventura Durruti, surrounded by some of his supporters.


Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 18th November 1936

Italy and Germany recognised General Franco’s government.

A cartoon predicting what would happen as a result of Italian and German support of Franco’s government.


Vive l’Empereur! Some more Line Infantry are added to my Napoleonic French Army

Using my ‘slowly but surely’ approach, I have managed to add three more units of French Line Infantry to my collection.

I have another batch of French Line Infantry to complete before I can move on to what I think will be the last batch of French Light Infantry I will need to renovate, varnish, and base.


Nugget 295

In order to ensure that the December issue of THE NUGGET arrives well before Christmas, the editor sent the latest issue of the journal to me over the weekend so that I can take it to the printer this week. It is my intention to do that today so that it can be posted out to members of Wargame Developments as early as possible.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the fourth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2016-2017 subscription year, and that members who have not already re-subscribed can still do so if they want to. This can be done by visiting the relevant page on the Wargame Developments website.


Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 15th – 17th November 1936

The German Condor Legion went into action for the first time. The air attacks were made in support of further Nationalist attempts to capture Madrid.

A Ju-52 Bomber. These formed the backbone of the Condor Legion’s bomber force at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.


Britannia’s Amazon: The Dawlish Chronicles: April – August 1882

I’ve just finished reading the latest addition to Antoine Vanner’s excellent DAWLISH CHRONICLES, BRITANNIA’S AMAZON (ISBN 978 1 943404 08 7).

Unlike the previous books in the series, Florence Dawlish – Royal Navy officer Nicholas Dawlish’s wife – is the main character. The events covered in the story take place whilst Nicholas Dawlish is in command of HMS Leonidas during her cruise to the Far East (I reviewed that book last December … and it was a thundering good read!) and it deals with certain very dark aspects of Victorian life. Be warned, this is no rip-roaring yarn about naval battles but it is an excellently told social detective story about child abuse and prostitution as well as the social and working conditions that many members of the working class had to live and deal with on a daily basis.

The book also contains a short story about Nicholas Dawlish’s early life which explains why he joined the Royal Navy.


Vive l’Empereur! Some more French Light Infantry are added to my collection

The first figures I decided to tackle on my return to my painting table were four units of French Light Infantry.

By doing the renovation work as and when I felt like it, it ended up taking me not much longer to complete these units than it would have done using my previous method … and I made fewer mistakes in the process.

The next batch of figures that I hope to tackle is some French Line Infantry, and hopefully they will take a week or so to complete.


The Battle for Warsaw

I bought this DVD some time ago, but have only just got around to watching it.

When I bought it I expected the film to be about the Warsaw Uprising … but it isn’t. It is actually the film version of Aleksander Kaminski’s novel THE BATTLE OF WARSAW (A.K.A. STONES FOR THE RAMPART).

It is a fictionalized account of the lives of three members of the Gray Ranks or Szare Szeregi, which was part of the Polish Scouting Association or Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego within the Polish Underground. The three leading characters are known by their noms-de-guerre – Rudy (real name: Jan Bytnar), Zośka (real name: Tadeusz Zawadzki), and Alek (real name: Maciej Aleksy Dawidowski) – and much of the film deals with their preparation for fighting the German occupiers and their attempts to rescue Rudy (Operation Arsenal) after he is captured and interrogated by the Germans.

Be warned, the interrogation is depicted in all its brutality, and the story does not have anything approaching a happy ending. That said, it is an excellent film, and certainly increased my understanding of the role and importance of the Polish Scouting Association in the fight against the German occupiers of Poland.