Battle of Malplaquet

Battle_of_Malplaquet,_1709Just when I was settling into decisions for next years projects it occurred to me that today, 11 September 2013 is the 304th anniversary of the Pyrrhic victory at the Battle of Malplaquet fought between England, Austria, Prussia and the Low Countries on one side and France and Bavaria on the other. It was a battle that was famous for the commanders, John Churchill of the English (the Duke of Marlborough) and Prince Eugene of Savoy on the one side and Claude de Villars and Louis Boufflers on the other. Overall there were 86,000 in the armies of the Grand Alliance with 100 guns and and 75,000 and 80 guns on Bourbon side.

The Army of the Grand Alliance found itself at Malplaquet near the modern Belgian/French border. In the morning of 11 September 1709 at 9.00am the Austrians attacked with the support of Prussian and Danish troops. These were commanded by Count Albrecht Konrad Finck von Finckenstein. They pushed back the French left wing into the forest behind them. On the French right wing the Dutch under the command of the Prince of Orange, John William Friso, attacked to distract the French and prevent them from coming to Villars’ aid.

Later a decisive final attack was made on the weakened French centre by British infantry under the command of the Earl of Orkney. This attack occupied the the French redans. Allied cavalry was then able to advance through this line and engage the French cavalry behind. By this stage, de Villars was off the field having been wounded earlier so Boufflers was in command. Boufflers was leading the Maison du Roi and six times drive the Allied cavalry back before finally deciding the battle was lost and surrendering the field.

The victory for the Grand Alliance had come at some cost however with 21,000 casualties from within the alliance compared to 11,000 casualties on the French and Bavarian side.

Now I am torn again between the War of Spanish Succession and the Great Northern War. Of course, I could just do this as Imagi-nations. Oh yes, and I am still planning something with the Thirty Years War.

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Armies of the Seven Years War

The postman brought another book. This time it was Digby Smith’s Armies of the Seven Years War: Commanders, Equipment, Uniforms and Strategies of the ‘First World War’, ISBN 978-075245-923-3.

I have been looking forward to this one as well. Smith’s Uniform works are quite good and I have an interested in the Seven Years War that remains unsatisfied still – both at a naval level and a battle level.

In fact, I have been pondering this war for the start of my own Imagi-Nations of that period, sort of like the Grand Duchy of Stollen. If not the Seven Years War period, then the Great Northern War or the War of Spanish Succession.

I digress.

Smith’s work is supposed to supply information on the senior commanders, uniforms, weapons, equipment, artillery, strategy, tactics and combat involvement (military and naval) of the forces engaged from 1756 to 1763.

States covered include Austria, Bavaria, Britain, Brunswick, Denmark, Hanover, Hessen-Darmstadt, Hessen-Kassel, Holland, France, the Palatinate, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Wurttemberg and the Holy Roman Empire. He has attempted to cover the uniforms of the protagonists and given that some of them had large forces, I am not sure that he will be able to manage that in a work this size. I am ready to be pleasantly surprised however.

There are over 150 illustrations and maps in this work. I will write more about this when I have had a chance to have a long look.

Königgrätz – Another Distraction

ST275-2So there I was, walking around Funan Digital Mall today, looking for some decal set. A trip to the Battle Bunker failed to get any decal set so on my way downstairs for some lunch, and to try some other shopping malls, I stopped into the Soldier’s Story. Strategy and Tactics volume 275 was there – just the magazine, not with the game.

The feature of this issue is the Battle of Koeniggraetz which took place on 3 July 1866 between Prussia and Austria. Other nations were also involved. The Italians also used this war to take Venetia off the Austrian Empire. The Kingdom of Bavaria and the Kingdom of Saxony were also involved.

I first read about Königgrätz when I was about 14 and was amazed at that time. This issue of Strategy and Tactics along with my recent purchase of Bruce Weitz’s 1866 rules really has my interest fired again. In between the other 6mm projects underway at the moment, and the 15mm American Civil War, I think I have one more project on the boil again!

Oh well, one more day, one more project.

Gefecht_zwischen_k.k._Husaren_und_preussischen_Kürassieren_in_der_Schlacht_von_Königgrätz_(A._Bensa_1866)