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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Ian's Toy soldiers attack

After three years, my wife let Ian get a set of these figures which are a Toys R Us series, similiar to GI Joe. Tonight, we set up a little game to play.

We had his Star Wars figures hold a ruined house and each side needed to capture a specific amount of supplies

 His Star Wars figures and snipers take the ruins out.

Chinese lunch with the kids at Gyoza No Oh Sho

 It's sooo good, 

 Japanese/Chinese fried chicken

 What's a Chinese lunch without fried rice?

Can I eat it all? Daddy, is this the kids size?

 It's right some good!
I took the kids to a Japanese Chinese food chain restaurant called Gyoza No Oh Sho. It's famous for making really tasty Gyoza, or fried meat dumplings, and fried rice. I showed the kids the menu, and showed them the kids section, but they saw the ramen set on the front, which had pictures and looked good. So, that's what I ordered.
I ordered Sweet and Sour Pork, Pork Chow mein, Fried Rice and Gyoza. 

Friday, 30 January 2015

Totems in Kiba

So I have another new walking route, part of which I used to use when I was teaching in Chuo-ku, Tokyo seven years ago. This one is in Kiba, Koto-ku
This totem is in the central plaza of Shin-Kiba station on the JR Keiyo Line, 

 The sign indicates the Totems in the area are a gift from the Amerindians of British Columbia, Canada. 

 This totem is just inside a part which I forget the name at the moment.

And I couldn't help myself but snap this in a convience store at the station. It's a small corner where people can sit and eat if they have time.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Building a Pirate, Privateering force

I got Osprey Publishing's On the Seven Seas yesterday in the mail. It's an interesting set of rules for doing Pirate and Age of Sail boarding and landing actions. It fits into my own wargamming interests. I may pass on purchasing metal pirate figures, and see if I can build groups with the figures I own now.
Added with my historical literature I have here, I can set up some interesting games.
Pictures of Privateer and Naval crews from some of my previous games

 this shot taken at the Maritime Museum of The Atlantic, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Friday, 23 January 2015

British Regiments of the American Revolution: 4th Regiment of Foot

The 4th King's Own Regiment landed in Boston in June 1774. It was one of the most senior regiments to have been sent to America. The Regiment served until 1778 when it was sent to the west indies.

The first actions the regiment would have fought in was Lexington and Concord in 1775. They then went on to serve in the New York campaign of 1776. As well, it served in Philadelphia in 1777. It's final main action was Monmouth Courthouse in 1778.

Pictures to follow of my own versions.

Osprey Campaign Boston 1775
Osprey Campaign New York 1776
Osprey Campaign Philadelphia 1777
Osprey Campaign Monmouth Courthouse 1778
Osprey Men-at-Arms The British Army in North America 1775-83

My Monmouth Courthouse 1778 Crown Forces

From Osprey Campaign 135 Monmouth Courthouse 1778 (Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 2004 pg 82-84)
For those who note descripencies, I have only listed the figures of units I have painted.
June 28, 1778

4th Battalion Royal Artillery
Hesse Kasel Artillery
2nd Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers.

First Division:

1st Light Infantry, made up of Light Infantry companies of 4th/5th/10th/15th/17th/22nd/23rd/27th/28th/33rd/35th/38th/42nd

Composite battalions of Grenadiers, made up of the above regiments.

Hessian Grenadiers, made up from companies from Linsing, Lengerke, Minnigerode

3rd Brigade:
15th/17th/42nd and 44th Foot

4th Brigade:
33rd/46th/64th Foot

5th Brigade:
7th/26th/63rd Foot.

Second Division:

2nd Light Infantry, made up of the companies of 40th/43rd/44th/45th/46th/49th/52nd/54th/63rd/64th/1st and 2nd Battalions, 71st Highlanders.

Composite battalions of Grenadiers, made up of the above regiments.

17th Light Dragoons
40th Foot

Jager Korps
Hesse-Kassel Jager (foot) Hesse-Kassel (mtd) Anspach-Bayreuth Chasseurs

1st Brigade:

2nd Brigade:

Hessian Brigade:
Regiment Von Knyphausen
von Woellworth

Loyalists Corps
Philadelphia Light Dragoons
Maryland Loyalists
New Jersey Volunteers

British Regiments of the Seven Years War/French and Indian War: The 44th Regiment.

The 44th Regiment, which was part of the Irish establishment in 1755, was sent to Virginia to take part in Braddock's campaign to Monongahela. It had yellow facings. Upon arrival in America, the regiment recruited more men for the regiment.
I have painted up this regiment as it would have looked in North America. The big difference, is that the breeches are not red but white. This also allows me to use them in the American Revolution.
I will post shots of my modeled regiment later. The figures are Accurate/Revell minatures.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Osprey Publishing - Osprey Military History Calendar 2015

Osprey Publishing - Osprey Military History Calendar 2015

I ordered mine today, as I want to have an interesting way to record my schedule this year.

Momotaro story and the Wako pirates

Wokou (ChinesepinyinWōkòuJapanese: わこう WakōKorean: 왜구 Waegu), which literally translates to "Japanese pirates" or "dwarf pirates",[1][2] were pirates who raided the coastlines of ChinaJapan and Korea.[3] Wokou came from a mixture of ethnicities.[4]
The term wokou is a combination of  (倭) referring to "dwarfs" or Japanese, and kòu (), meaning "bandit".
During the last time I was teaching in elementary school, I had to do the Momotaro story. 
from wikipedia: According to the present form of the tale (dating to the Edo period), Momotarō came to Earth inside a giant peach, which was found floating down a river by an old, childless woman who was washing clothes there. The woman and her husband discovered the child when they tried to open the peach to eat it. The child explained that he had been sent by Heaven to be their son. The couple named him Momotarō, from momo (peach) and tarō (eldest son in the family).[1]
Years later, Momotarō left his parents to fight a band of marauding oni (demons or ogres) on a distant island. En route, Momotarō met and befriended a talking dogmonkey, and pheasant, who agreed to help him in his quest. At the island, Momotarō and his animal friends penetrated the demons' fort and beat the band of demons into surrendering. Momotarō and his new friends returned home with the demons' plundered treasure and the demon chief as a captive. Momotarō and his family lived comfortably from then on.[1]
1885 English Momotaro published by Hasegawa Takejirō.
Momotarō is strongly associated with Okayama, and his tale may have its origins there. The demon island (Onigashima (鬼ヶ島?)) of the story is sometimes associated with Megijima Island, an island in the Seto Inland Sea near Takamatsu, due to the vast manmade caves found on that island.[2][3]
While I was teaching the same lesson for about two months, I made a comment which was misinterpreted that I compared the story to North Korea. The teacher spoke to the vice-principal who contacted my company and noted that they were not upset, but wanted to clarify what I had said.
Now, I remember reading in some of my history texts, and books, that the Wako pirates originated outside Japan, in the area that was also the same as where Momotaro is from. From Stephen Turnbull's "The Book of The Samurai: The Warrior Class of Japan. (Bison, London, 1982) On Pg 59 it notes that Japanese pirates, as well as Chinese and Koreans raided the coastal regions of Ming China from about 1368. Rice was the main treasure these pirates were after. 
As to their actual ethnic identity, the wikipedia article notes:
The current prevailing theory[23] is that of Shōsuke Murai, who demonstrated in 1988 that the early wokou came from multiple ethnic groups rather than one singular nation.[20] Murai wrote that the wokou were "marginal men" living in politically unstable areas without national allegiances, akin to the Zomia thesis.[20] Supporters of this theory point out that one of the early wokouleaders, Ajibaldo, was variously claimed by period sources to be Mongolian, Japanese, Korean, and an "islander";[24] his name is apparently Korean and Mongolian in origin.
So my mentioning of the link of Korea and Momotaro are not that far off. The idea of Oni, which translates as Devil or Orgre, reflects the attitude the Japanese had for those who were not of the Yamato race. The traditional ideas behind the story, can be reflected in the fact that the protagonist, embarks on a raid on an island where these onis live. The fact that Momotaro returns to his families village with the plunder the devils had taken, could perhaps also be viewed in this historical view of a pirate raid.
I have ordered the Osprey Publish work On the Seven Seas, which is a piracy wargamming book, which I shall be working on with future wargamming battles.

Friday, 16 January 2015

British Regiments of the American Revolution: The 10th Regiment of Foot

The 10th Regiment, was first raised in 1685. It saw service in the American Revolution serving in the Boston campain from 1775. It took part in most of the northern campaigns, and returned to the UK in 1778.
I chose to model this regiment as I served with them in reenacting events in North-eastern North America in the 1980s and 1990s.
Pictures to follow of Grenadier, and battalion companies. These are modeled with Airfix, Accurate/Revel

British Regiments of the American Revolution: 23rd Regiment

The 23rd Regiment, the Royal Welch Fusiliers served all through the American Revolution. They were at most engagements save the Quebec 1775-76 campaign and Saratoga 1777.
I choose to paint this regiment as I served along side them in many reenacting events in the 1980s and 1990s. Their main regiment distinctions were first, that as a royal regiment, the facing colour is blue, and the entire regiment, save the Light Infantry company, wore Grenadier bearskins.
I modeled them with Grenadiers from Airfix.
Pictures to follow.

British Regiments of the American Revolution: The 49th

Now why did I choose to start with this Regiment? Not sure, maybe because it was one of the first ones I finished painting.
The 49th Regiment of Foot was raised in 1744 in Jamaica from eight independent companies.
Their main participation in the American Revolution was in the Philadelphia campaign of 1778.
The facing colour was green.
In the French Revolutionary Wars, the regiment was used as Marines in the Royal Navy. During the War of 1812, the Regiment served in Upper Canada as one of the British regular regiments.
Pictures to follow. The figures are modeled with Accurate/Revell minatures.

Battle of Jersey 6 January, 1781

This painting depicts the final action between the British and French on the island. My game of it shall follow
 by John Singleton

From wikipedia:

 Aware of the military importance of Jersey, the British government had ordered that the island be heavily fortified. Gun batteries, forts and redoubts had been constructed around the coast, and round towers were in the process of being erected as well. The Royal Militia of the Island of Jersey comprised some 3000 men in five regiments, including artillery and dragoons. Regular army units—the entire 95th Regiment of Foot, five companies each of the 83rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Glasgow Volunteers) and 78th Highlanders, and around 700 "Invalids" (semi-retired reservists)—were also present. The total force amounted to about 9,250 troops of all types. A naval force, the "Jersey Squadron", was also based in the island, but was on a cruise against the Dutch at the time of the invasion.

Despite the misgivings of the French military, who believed that an attack on Jersey would be a futile waste of resources, with any success being short-lived, the government approved a plan put forward by Baron Philippe de Rullecourt. De Rullecourt was an adventurer and a colonel in theFrench Army. King Louis XVI had promised de Rullecourt the rank of General and the Cordon rouge as soon as he had control of the town of Saint Helier, the island's capital. The Second Commander was an Indian prince, named Prince Emire, who had been taken by England in wars in India, had been sent to France with other French prisoners and whom the French had since retained in their service; a member of the British force wrote of him: "He looked quite barbarian, as much as his discourse; if our fate has depended on him, it would not have been of the most pleasant; he advised the French General to ransack everything and to put the town to fire and to blood."
Officially the expedition was a private affair; however, funding, equipment, transport and troops were provided by the government. In order to conceal their involvement, the government went so far as to order the 'desertion' of several hundred regular troops to De Rullecourt's forces.
On 5 January 1781 the expedition, consisting of some 2,000 soldiers in four divisions, set out. Jersey still celebrated 6 January as 'Old Christmas Night', and the French landed undetected. The 800 men of the first division landed at La Rocque, Grouville, and passed close by the guards without being noticed; a French officer even said that he had slept beneath the guards, but that the guards had not heard the French. The guards were subsequently put on trial, where it was found they had abandoned their post to go drinking. The French first division stayed there most of the night. The 400 men of the French second division landed amongst rocks and was entirely lost. (The initial British report was that a privateer and four transport vessels had been lost, together with "upwards of 200 men".[1]) The boats that contained the third division, consisting of 600 men, were separated from the rest of the fleet and were unable to join it. The fourth division, consisting of 200 men, landed early in the next morning at La Rocque. The total of the French troops landed on the island was therefore about 1,000, half the number of soldiers that France had expected to take into battle.

The attack began. The British forces in the Grande Rue included the 78th Regiment, the Battalion of Saint Lawrence, the South-East Regiment and the Compagnies de Saint-Jean. The 95th Regiment of Foot, with the rest of the militia, advanced down the other avenues. The British had too many troops for the battle, a British soldier later saying that a third of the British troops would have been more than enough to destroy the French army. Many British soldiers, confused and having nothing to shoot at, fired most of their shots into the air.
The French resistance was of short duration, most of the action lasting a quarter of an hour. The French only fired the cannons that they had at their disposal once or twice. The British had a howitzer placed directly opposite the market in the Grande Rue, which at each shot "cleaned all the surroundings of French" according to a member of the British service. Major Peirson and the 95th Regiment advanced towards the Avenue du Marché; just as the British were about to win, Major Peirson was killed by a musket ball in the heart, but his saddened troops continued to fight. When de Rullecourt fell wounded, many French soldiers gave up the fight, throwing their weapons and fleeing; however, others reached the market houses, from where they continued to fire.

Historical re-enactment soldiers of 1781 Jersey Militia marching in the Royal Square, St. Helier, site of the Battle of Jersey, during ceremonies marking the anniversary of battle on 6 January 2007. At right, the house of Dr Lerrier where Baron de Rullecourt died (now the pub called The Peirson)
The British took 600 prisoners that day, who were subsequently sent to England. The British losses were 11 dead and 36 wounded among the regular 
De Rullecourt, through Corbet, told the British that the French had two battalions and an artillery company at La Rocque, which could be at the town within a quarter of an hour. The British were not intimidated, knowing that the number of French troops there was less than 200. A guard of 45grenadiers of the 83rd Regiment resisted against 140 French soldiers until the arrival of a part of the East Regiment, whereupon the French were defeated, with 70 prisoners taken and 30 dead or wounded. The remaining French soldiers dispersed themselves throughout the countryside to reach their boats, though several were caught while trying to do so.
The French take up positions in the square of St. Helier. One gun is on the French right. 

The Jersey militia with grenadiers from the 83rd and 95th Regiments with the 78th Highlanders in reserve.

A further group of French troops with sailors hide in the side streets awaiting the British attack.

The Grenadiers begin to advance, while the St. Lawerence battalion moves into the square, supported by a lone gun on their far left.

The militia and 78th Highlanders trade volleys with the French, both sides take heavy casualties.

The French left keeps up.

The 78th move into the square while the French left move down to swing and flank the British. 

The Grenadiers and militia begin the fire but then

the French volley devistates the British. The Royal Artillery take out the French gun. With the loss of their firepower, the French fall back. A very near run thing.