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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Thirty Years War action, 1620-30s

Ian really likes his pike and shot figures. He likes to use his Austrian Musketeers and Spanish Conquistodors to attack my Scottish troops

Yesterdays game was to have the Scots invest a town held by an Imperial force.

The Imperialists were made up of Austrian and Spanish troops.

The Spanish Tercio and Austrian pikes await the order to pounce on the Scots.

Another force advances towards the Scots camp.

The Imperialists crash into the outer defences of the camp.
The Scots horse led the charge.
The Scots attempted to smash into the city gates but were then counter charged by Imperial Pikemen. Their morale failed, and they fell back to their camp.
The next morning, the Imperials continued their pursuit onto the Scots siege camp.

The Scots sallied forth to drive back the Imperials and Spanish.

The Spanish led the way covering some Scots pikemen.

The Imperialists then frontally charged the camp.
The Scots musketeers and single siege gun attempt to hold off the attack.
Eventually, the Imperialists smashed into the camp and broke the siege.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

King George's War 1744-48 Part 4: Siege of Louisbourg 1745

The Siege of Louisbourg in 1745 is one of the most remarkable incidents in military history. A colonial force, raised, equipped, transported and paid for by English colonists to besiege and capture a French fortress. Soldier of the régiment suisse de Karrer, around 1725
Soldier of the régiment suisse de Karrer, around 1725
The Swiss and Irish troops in French service generally wore red uniforms. When the régiment suisse de Karrer was raised for service in the French colonies by the Ministère de la Marine in 1719, it followed this tradition. This is the uniform worn by the unit when it was first posted to Louisbourg in 1722.
Drummer of the régiment suisse de Karrer, around 1745
As in all the Swiss regiments in the service of France, the drummers wore the colours of their colonel's livery (blue and yellow in this case). Swiss regimental drums were generally decorated with a flame design of the same colour as the regimental flag. The 1744 garrison mutiny at Louisbourg began when the drummers of the régiment suisse de Karrer began beating 'The Assembly' at dawn. Reconstruction by Francis Back.  Reconstruction by Michel Pétard.Drummer of the régiment suisse de Karrer, around 1745  ( Soldier of the Compagnies franches de la Marine in New France, circa 1740
Soldier of the Compagnies franches de la Marine in New France, circa 1740
This man of the Compagnies franches de la Marine wears the grey-white coat of France with the blue facings of the Troupes de la Marine. He is armed with a musket, sword and bayonet. Note the anchor decorating his cartridge pouch. This was appropriate given that these troops belonged to the Ministère de la Marine, which was responsible for the navy as well as for France's colonies. This is how the men of the Compagnies franches would appear on parade or in garrison in one of the larger forts. Reconstruction by Michel Pétard.
New Englanders and Rangers assault the King's Bastion. Soldier of the Nova Scotia Rangers, around 1750
Soldier of the Nova Scotia Rangers, around 1750
The Nova Scotia Rangers were the very first British regular corps raised in North America. Also known as Goreham's Rangers, after their commanding officer, the men were mostly Amerindians and Métis. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (
 The New England Artillery failed to make much of a breech here. The French simply shot them down. British Marines, 1740s
British Marines, 1740s
British Marines, 1740s. Detachments from ten British marine regiments took part in the capture of Louisbourg in 1745. These elite troops wore mitres with rounded tops on their heads. ( New England troops land at Louisbourg, 1745
New England troops land at Louisbourg, 1745
Militia from New England, supported by the British Navy, land at Louisbourg in May 1745. After a short siege lasting 48 days, the French defenders surrendered the fortress. (National Archives of Canada)

New England militia charge the Dauphin Gate. At this gate, they didn't do much better. The New Englanders concentrated their guns on the wall to make a breech. However, upon assalting the forward trenches, they were likewise shot down in droves.

More New England Militia await to attack. These troops were then subjected to intense artillery fire from the Cannonier-Bombardier. The French then advanced from the King's Bastion and flanked the New England line. Louisbourg was safe for another day.

King George's War 1744-48 part 3: Le Loutre's Siege of Annapolis Royal 1744

This action took place just after the French raid on Canso in 1744. Le Loutre, the French Jesuit priest to the Mik Maq nation took them on an attempt to retake Annapolis Royal but made the tatical error of not having any artillery.

In the replayed action, Ian was Le Loutre and led the MikMaq warriors. I was Massacrene, the British Commander with only 4 companies of 40th Foot, two RA guns and some armed labourers

Ian's MikMaqs rushed the walls hoping to overrun the British, but despite breaking over the walls, the British were able to use the forts guns to smash them apart. It was a near run thing for the British as they had to contend with two breeches in the walls.

Back to Inzai, and preparing to return to Nova Scotia

My daughter was really upset that we didn't take her back on Wednesday, so we packed a tobbagan and went back.

We then went to Starbucks and had a Vanallia shake.
We came home and had gratin and garlic toast. Not a bad Sunday.
Then we began to plan our trip back to Nova Scotia.


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Spring in Japan 2013

With the end of the school year, I've had a lot of half days. Consequently I've been able to have a lot of time to play with my son. It was 24c when we took this shot.

The first day of spring, I took Ian to a park out in Inzai-Shi, Chiba Prefecture. We call this Big Hill Park because we don't know the name. It is near Route 464 and the Big Hop Mall and Joyful Honda. It was about 21c in this park.

Later on, I took him to another park closer to our house where he wanted to climb trees.
I have to make a comparision between Japan and Nova Scotia.
 back home, they still need to use the snowblowersand cars are still sliding off the roads. (
As much as I'm homesick, I DONT MISS THE WEATHER.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Saint Patrick's Day in Japan 2013

It's a beautiful sunny Sunday in Japan. Though there is a big parade in Tokyo, I won't be going as it's about 90 minutes from here,and too many people.
 Ian and I in our last parade back in 2010

 Our first and last Saint Patrick's Day parade in Tokyo together.
As much fun as I had drumming with the Tokyo Pipeband, I'm too busy with other things to be with a group of Japanese musicians who take it too seriously.

So, my little boy and I went out to a park to play

Then we decided to play outside kicking a soccer ball. I wore my Ulster Defence Regiment beret and my DPM jacket with the 107 (Ulster) Brigade badge. Now to those out there who may think I'm some fellow who chooses sides in the Troubles, I DONT! I grew up in Nova Scotia, CANADA, however, my relatives who were left in Northern Ireland were targeted by republicians as they served food and drink to British troops, because they were human beings!
My mothers people came from Nairn, Scotland to Prince Edward Island in 1803. As well, I have ancestors who were from Ulster, Peppards. They were Protestants, Presbeterians to be exact.
My father's people came from Ennis, Co. Clare. I was raised Presbeterian, my wife and children were baptised in the Church of England. I'm proud of my Irish and Scottish heritage. I am not proud of the senseless violence which still takes place in Northern Ireland. I have a UDR cap badge because I view those soldiers with respect. They had a huge job trying to maintain peace, order and good government, which is many ethos of what Canadians stand for. I was never in this regiment, but was able to purchase the cap badge, beret and jacket from

For dinner we then had potatoes, cabbage and pork.
A nice day to celebrate our Irish heritage.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Battle of Barren Hill May 20, 1778

This battle was a part of the Monmouth campaign in New Jersey in the early summer of 1778. Howe was attempting to take his British army back to New York with Loyalists. The Americans attempted to try and destroy the British army.
Barren Hill was Howe's last chance to defeat the American army, and threw almost his entire force against the position.

The American forces consisted of 4 brigades under the command of Lafayate, his first battlefield command.

Photos of upcoming battle will be posted in the near future
The British troops consisted of:
Grey's Brigade: 15th Foot/17th Foot/42nd Foot, Black Watch:two battalions/44th Foot
Grant's Brigade: 5th Foot/23rd Foot/28th Foot/49th Foot/5th Foot/10th Foot/27th Foot/55th Foot
Howe/Clinton: Hessians, Loyalists, Grenadiers, Light Infantry
This battle is to be refought on March 28, 2013 as a farewell party with my co-worker whose off to his first solo teaching position. 
Howe and Clinton's column: The Grenadiers with 23rd Regiment, Light Infantry and Hessians. During the game, this section was fought over very hard. The Grenadiers took heavy casualties. The Light Infantry were destroyed by the American Riflemen.

Grey's column: 15th/17th/42nd X 2/33rd/37th/46th/64th. This column then deployed into line to attack....

Poor's Militia Brigade of 1st New Jersey Militia. This battalion suffered greatly from concentrated artillery fire.

McLean's pickets of Rifles, and Light Infantry and Oneida warriors. This small unit put up a hard fight and only disperesed after they had taken heavy casualties. 

Grant's column deploy into line with RA gun support 4th/28th/49th/5th/10th/27th/55th. This strong unit opened up with artillery fire to soften up the militia, then advanced calmly up the slope.

Potter's militia brigade: 2nd Militia battalion from New Jersey. This unit was pounded by the RA and broke when the British got within volley range.

Poor's main Continental line regiments holding the village on the ridge. 1NH/2NH/3NH/2NY/4thNY. These units attempted to hold but on seeing the militia break and cut down, they too lost heart and ran to.....

Poor deploys a gun with a militia battalion to guard Matson's Ford. The British objective of the game was to try and encircle the Americans with a Pincer movement. Unfortuantely for the British, the American rifles and lights destroyed the 17th Light Dragoons who were to have rushed ahead with gun support to take the bridge.
All in all, it was an interesting battle. Mr. Coombs took the American army while I had the British. His experience playing D&D helped with his gaming.

Colonial Rangers 1700-1783

(photo courtsey of syw yahoo group) Rangers in their original form were raised as soldiers to "range" or patrol. In the southern colonies, they were mounted, but had to provide their own weapons, clothes and mounts.

Church's men were an early type of rangers raised in the 1680's. They were the first raised to take the Amerindian way of warfare against them.

Gorham's Rangers were the first raised in Nova Scotia.

The New Jersey Frontier Guard were raised to patrol the frontier on the edge of European settlement.

Further down the ages were Butler's Rangers raised from Loyalists to take the war to the American homeland.

Click for larger image, I'd like to get some of these, but they will need to be modified a bit.
Click for larger image, these might be better, but I have metal ones back home which are a bit better. (box art from

(plasticsoldierreview) These figures are actually Swedish Infantry of Charles XII from Strelets. I've painted them as rangers, and light infantry.