Korean Soldiers in WW2 German Army–Part 2

The most commented post here in Thomo’s Hole is Korean Soldiers in WW2 German Army. The comments have ranged from polite to vitriolic. The post concerned a photograph of a Korean soldier in Wehrmacht Uniform from the Second World War. It seems that this story has caught on and the movie makers are currently making a movie about this. The movies is currently titled “My Way”

Director Kang JeKyu has been working on this movies since 2010 and it is due for release late 2011. The movie has a budget of nearly US$28 million – the biggest budget for a Korean movie ever. The stars are Korean, Japanese and Chinese stars – Jang DongKun, Joe Odagiri and Fan Bingbing.

The story appears to have been based on the guy mentioned in the original post here but as it is a movie, it appears as though the story has been varied a lot to bring in the love interest and perhaps make some philosophical or moral comment.

Four links for further reading:

1859-1871

I got a new book the other day. It was one that I had on a wish list for a while now. It was a history of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 – The Austro-Prussian War – Austria’s War with Prussia and Italy in 1866 written by Geoffrey Wawro. Being the kind of wargamer I am, the first reason I liked the idea of wargaming that war was that it really was misnamed. The war actually involved Austria, Prussia and Italy, with the Prussians and the Italians taking on the Austrians with varying degrees of success.

I then got to thinking, Doug has been nagging at me to do some Franco-Prussian War figures so that we can play that with Polemos but i have been manfully resisting. Now, Italians and Austrians, there is an interesting pair, and he can use his Prussians.

I know he also bought some French for the FPW which made me think, “French v Italians? No. Ah, French and Italians v Austrians!”

I recalled that in 1859 there was a little war between those three protagonists and as I plan on gaming this in 6mm, the uniform detail should work for both 1859 and 1866 Italians and Austrians. I need to research the French Uniforms a little to decide whether the 6mm Franco-Prussian War French will work or whether I need to look at collecting some Crimean War French.

Voila, my next project to add to the growing pile of half and incomplete projects. Ah, wargames heaven.

Naval engagements First Schleswig War

In 1848 war broke out between Denmark, Prussia and Sweden over Schleswig, part of the joint Schleswig-Holstein duchies of northern Europe. The main reason for the conflict was nationalism and whether Schleswig should be more closely tied to Denmark than it was with the German population of Schleswig wanting no such thing.

As this war was in 1848, it was fought during a transitional period for naval warfare with the wooden walls of the Napoleonic times soon to be replaced with the steel sides of mid to late 19th Century. One of the neat things about researching for this conflict is that it occurred as Australia was starting to develop an identity through the 19th Century and moreover, as Australian newspapers were developing the craft and trade.

The National Library of Australia has a beta test project running at the moment where they have digitised many old Australian newspapers, going back to the early 18th Century. Subsequently, as Australians have always been a bit curious about how the other folks live, there was always demand for articles of world news, both from Europe and interestingly, from Asia as well.

Heading to the National Library’s newspaper research site and searching on “Naval engagements First Schleswig War”, many links to articles appear. One such article is this one:

Danes and Germans, for Schleswig; a collision took place at Flensburg but the result was not known. The Danish government has called on England to assist her against the Germans. Fears were entertained in Hamburg that the Danes would blockade the Elbe except to English vessels.

This article came from the The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News, dated Saturday, 12 August 1848, and was one of the pieces brought up with the search mentioned above.

The Hobart Courier of Wednesday 9 August 1848 provided a good roundup and summary of the war up to that point, noting, with regards to some of the Danish and Prussian ships, that:

Elsinore, April 19.

This evening the Prussian ships lying at anchor in the roadstead have been laid under embargo by the Danish ships of war.

Another letter from Messrs. A. Von Duers and Co., to the Hamburg Assurance Company, dated Elsinore, April 19th, 10 o’clock at night, says, ” All German vessels are at this moment being detained.”

A traveller who is well-known to us and who returned yesterday from Copenhagen, informs us that the feeling in Denmark, although very excited, is by no means so inimical to individual Germans as is generally supposed. He says he travelled through Zealand, and although he always spoke German, he did not meet with the slightest insult, either in the country or in Copenhagen.

On his application to the Minister of War for permission to go on board the Dronning Maria, his request was immediately granted in writing, and on his mentioning the name of some Hamburgers with whom he was acquainted, he was not only allowed to speak to them, but was permitted afterwards to send them all that they required-clothing, books, &c. The prisoners were kept in strict discipline, but treated with great mildness. The non-commissioned officers receive 12 pence a-day besides their rations. The major in command on board is a very humane man, and is on very good terms with the prisoners; he even permits them to enjoy themselves in playing at cards-smoking is, of course, prohibited.

A private letter from Flensburg positively denies the reports of the bad treatment which the Schleswig-Holstein troops are said to have met with in that city. Both the German and Danish troops are equally well received by the citizens ; few excesses were committed against the Germans on their retreat, and the report that scalding water, &c. was poured upon them was quite without foundation. A miller, who took some Germans under his protection, was seized by the Danes with all his people, but was  afterwards liberated. The inhabitants of Flensburg have maintained a decidedly neutral position. The wounded among the Danes and the Germans are tended with equal care, and honourable treatment is given alike to both.

Go have a look at the site, research the news from this war as if it was happening now.

Cyclone in Apia, Samoa, March 1889

Or, The US and Germany Square Up To Each Other In The Pacific

Like a foam flake tossed and thrown,
She could barely hold her own,
While the other ships all helplessly were drifting to the lee.
Through the smother and the rout
The `Calliope‘ steamed out —
And they cheered her from the Trenton that was foundering in the sea.

USS Trenton
USS Trenton

The harbour at Apia on Samoa over the 15th and 16th of March, 1889 was the site of one of the most amazing naval confrontations in the 19th Century. Both the US and Germany were trying to expand their spheres of influence in the Pacific as well as obtain coaling stations in advantageous areas. One such location was the island of Samoa and the harbour at Apia. The Germans had been trying to take over the island, with the permission of the British, it seems, and there are grounds here for some nice little colonial skirmish Wargames.

The ships involved in this event are all described in Conway’s All The World’s Fighting Ships: 1860-1905, probably one of my favourite books. The page references to Conway’s below refer to this edition of Conway’s.

In Apia Harbour on that fateful day were, amongst other vessels, 7 ships of war. The Americans were represented by USS Trention (pg 126), USS Nipsic ((a Kansas Class Gunboat)) (pg 130) and USS Vandalia ((a Galena and Vandalis class sloop)) (pg 127).

The Germans were represented by the SMS Olga ((a Carola class corvette)) (pg 252), the SMS Adler ((a Habicht Class gunboat)) (pg 260) and the SMS Eber (pg 260).

The British were there too with HMS Calliope ((a Calypso class steel corvette)) (pg 54) flying the Union Jack.

The reason the US and German vessels were there was due to the political unrest in Samoa at the time. The US appear to have perceived the German presence at Samoa as contrary to US interests in the Pacific. The British were also there but more in a position of just watching what was going on.

The US commander was Rear Admiral Lewis A Kimberly aboard the Vandalis and he appears to have ignored the threatening weather. Local advice from Samoa was that the hurricane/typhoon/cyclone season ((actually, as it is the South Pacific Ocean I think that it was technically a cyclone)) was past there was no danger. I think that the fact that the Germans were still there and not moving may have persuaded the Admiral to remain in place as well.

The Germans were also remaining in the harbour, presumably because the Americans were.

The cyclone then arrived.

To find out what happened after the cyclone arrived, follow the link to Apia, Samoa, March 1889 – The US and Germany Square Up To Each Other In The Pacific and be sure to read the poem about HMS Calliope written by A. B. “Banjo” Patterson whilst you are there.