Saturday, 28 August 2010

Till The Boys Come Home trailer (an EPM Production)

Pat of my Radstock in the Great War season.
Winner of an RTS Award for Best Independent Production, this is a drama documentary based on Somerset people's experiences of the First World War.

Directed by Colin Thomas and narrated by Paul McGann, this 3-part programme features the war memories of 110 year old Harry Patch. Drama re-enactment is performed by children and adults from Midsomer Norton and Radstock, with the help of the historical re-enactment group, The Great War Society.

Inspired by Somerset author Chris Howell's book: No Thankful Village, in which he recounts the tales of First World War survivors.

Produced by Every Picture Media, UK. (formerly Wild Fire Productions, Bristol)

Belgian army before 1914

Interesting gallery of images of the Belgian forces.
I suppose the book HANDBOOK OF THE BELGIAN ARMY 1914 is pretty useful for research purposes.

August 1914

More early war footage. I have been looking to see if there are any specific rules for the early phase of WW1 and haven't really had any luck. Maybe it's time to create my own set - maybe call it 'The Guns of August' although that isn't original. Check out the events of August and September on the Western front here.


Useful little film about this decisive battle in East Prussia in the August of 1914.

Zvezda World War One

Out in October
- 41 figures in 10 different poses
- Rifles
- Machine gun
If you don't know Ukrainian 1/72 figure producer Zvezda then you won't know how exciting this will be. Zvezda are easily the best manufacturer of this medium with high quality research and execution. So far only Russian and German infantry are listed - here's the box art for the Germans - wearing the pickelhaube so that makes them doubly worth waiting for. Presumably for the Tannenberg campaign. Anyone have any more information on these sets?

Early machine-gun cars

This image from the Heritage of the Great War illustrates the mobile nature of the conflict in the first weeks with these auto-mitrailleuses. Belgium was quick to adopt the armoured car and produced many types.
Fraxinus reviews model Belgian armoured cars here

Second Battle of Bull Run

Fought today in 1862. Also known as Second Manassas.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Austrian prisoners - Russian front 1915

Another astounding early colour image from the Heritage of the Great War site (see below). These early colour photos are a link to the past.


Even if you don't speak Russian this is still worth watching. An exhibition on the Crimean War.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Heritage of the Great War

One of the sites I really like about the Great War is this Dutch webpage that has some astounding colour photos from the period. This is a genuine colour photograph of French soldiers.

The illustrated world 1859

Thanks to Patrick for these images of which he says
two images for today , both engravings from original french newspapers "le Monde illustré" (the illustrated world)

first is from April 30 1859 issue , scene inside the Napoleon barracks in Paris , the 84th of line leave for Toulon and italy , from a sketch by Mr Robert , a lieutnant in this regiment says the newspaper...
second , may 7 1859, Lyon railroad station In Paris , the infantry leave for Italy
note the cantinières in both images ...

Battle of Le Cateau 1914

This battle was fought today in 1914.
As it was an artillery battle primarily I thought I would use this image from Irregular miniatures 42mm British army range painted by Clive Jebbett. There's some lovely images on the site for their range of 42mm figures.

Eugene Jacques Bullard

You might think the black pilot in Flyboys movie is a bit of Hollywood tokenism but he is based on a real man and this is a blog posting I did before the Flyboys movie came out
Biography here and wiki here
While reading 'Retreat Hell! We Just got here' - the story of the AEF in the Great War I read about this man who might make a suitable subject for a biopic. The above link gives a good version of his story - my idea for a title 'All Blood Runs Red'. Roughly his story begins; Grandson of a slave, making a living as a boxer in Paris when war breaks out - joins, like many Americans, the Foreign Legion eventually serving as a pilot. When America enters the war the experienced 300 or so American pilots were needed to create an American air corps - Bullard's call never came - because he was black. Later trumped up charges of insubordination mean that he is transferred back to the infantry. Eventually Bullard is honoured as a hero. Short piece here.

From the wiki

Early life

He was born Eugene Jacques Bullard in Columbus, Georgia, United States. His father was known as "Big Chief Ox" and his mother was a Creek Indian; together, they had ten children. Bullard stowed away on a ship bound for Scotland to escape racial discrimination (he later claimed to have witnessed his father's narrow escape from lynching as a child).

While in the United Kingdom he worked as a boxer and also worked in a music hall.

Military career

Bullard in 1917

On a trip to Paris he decided to stay and joined the French Foreign Legion upon the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Wounded in the 1916 battles around Verdun, and awarded the Croix de Guerre, Bullard flew as a member of the Lafayette Flying Corps in the French Aéronautique Militaire, assigned to 93 Spad Squadron on 17 August 1917 where he flew some twenty missions and is thought to have shot down two enemy aircraft.

With the entry of the United States into the war the US Army Air Service convened a medical board in August 1917 for the purpose of recruiting Americans serving in the Lafayette Flying Corps. Although he passed the medical examination, Bullard was not accepted into American service because blacks were barred from flying in U.S. service at that time. Bullard was discharged from the French Air Force after fighting with another officer while off-duty and was transferred back to the French infantry in January 1918, where he served until the Armistice.

Wargames rules WW1

Free wargames rules for the Great War. Image is of the new Airfix giftset
which seems to use their 1914-attired Germans and British with a tank and trenches...


Good thing about the Red Baron is the film of the Albatros - one of the best fighters of the War.

Radstock in the Great War

This is me in some borrowed British kit (photo by David Wilton) - from the 90s - I wasn't a WW1 reenactor though I nearly got into it a few times. There's actually been a lot of interest in the Great War in the area where I live - Radstock area (photo is of the Bristol artillery recruiting in the town in 1908) - several books have been written on the subject 'No Thankful Village' and 'In the Company of Heroes' are both excellent studies of the men who lost their lives around here. As a mining area lots of the men finished up fighting underground. My father's father joined the Coldstream Guards in 1914 but later volunteered for mining duties and became a 'Proto Man' rescuing expired tunnellers. Another Grandfather fought in Mesopotamia.

French soldier 1914 era

When I was trying to be an illustrator I reworked this photo - can't find the end result but you can see how it's done. Most artists work from photos these days, usually using models if there are no actual photos.

Army Uniforms of World War I (Blandford colur series)

As a kid I used to get this out of the library all the time - I really like the plates - sort of worked over photos by Pierre Turner - who incidentally has a new book out on British army accoutrements 1750-1900.

World War One in 1/72

So according to Plastic Soldier Review Strelets-R are about to release a load of Great War figures and there is a WW1 Playset coming out from Airfix. Here's what is available so far.

WW1 dioramas of Carlos Briz

These 10mm/N gauge dioramas of WW1 subjects are well worth a look. They combine N scale trains with Pendraken figures and vehicles as well as buildings etc, and the results are inspiring.

Aces High (1976)

As I was doing the post below my daughter looked over my shoulder and said 'what's that one with Malcolm Mcdowell in' and so here it is - it's a great movie with real stunt work and a neat storyline based on the play 'Journey's End'. Wiki

Digital dogfight double bill

So inspired by Andres comment here's two fairly recent WW1 movies dealing with subjects from history - Flyboys - which deals with the Lafayette squadron of American volunteers fighting for France and the Red Baron - a German film based on the life of Richthofen. Both are good and worth watching.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

1914 footage

The best bits of any World War One video to me is the early war footage or even better pre war manouevres - it all looks jolly fun as everyone marches off with a spring in their step unaware of the attrition and horror that awaits them. This sequence has some of that type of material - ok its colourised but I think it's worth a watch - maybe with the sound down.

Belgian infantry of 1914

As I have said before it's a great thing Hat Industrie are producing Belgians in 1/72 - its the mobile phase of the war and theoretically more fluid as a wargame. The Belgian uniform of 1914 must also be the easiest to paint too.

Bicycle infantry

According to the wikipedia on Bicycle Infantry the first use of the bike in war was in the Boer War. It says
The first known use of the bicycle in combat occurred during the Jameson Raid, in which cyclists carried messages. In the Second Boer War, military cyclists were used primarily as scouts and messengers. One unit patrolled railroad lines on specially constructed tandem bicycles that were fixed to the rails. Several raids were conducted by cycle-mounted infantry on both sides; the most famous unit was the Theron se Verkenningskorps (Theron Reconnaissance Corps) or TVK, a Boer unit led by the scout Daniel Theron, whom British commander Lord Roberts described as "the hardest thorn in the flesh of the British advance." Roberts placed a reward of £1,000 on Theron's head—dead or alive—and dispatched 4,000 soldiers to find and eliminate the TVK.[4]

Monday, 23 August 2010

Cycling and the Great War

As someone interested in cycling AND the Great War I am very interested to see someone actually putting the two together. Check out the article on how they did it on the The Army Cyclist Corps and The Khaki Chums.
BBC article on the Khaki Chums

Peloton of Belgian cyclists August 1914

Image from this excellent site on the history of cycling
Sur cette photo, chaque militaire emporte sur son vélo un morceau d'une mitrailleuse.
See 1/72 masters for Belgian cyclist troops
See German landsturm cyclist 1914-5

The cyclist at war

I have wondered what was the first usage of the bike in war - presumably the 1914-18 war but if anyone knows any different... be a good way to celebrate the centenary in 2014 - a cycling tour of Flanders.
Image from here. Where the description is
Bicyclette pliante, 1893 Elle fut inventée par le capitaine Gérard et utilisée durant les grandes manoeuvres de 1896. Elle se repliait en 35 secondes, roue contre roue. Son poids était de 11 kilos.
Photographies de 1893

War photographs of Donald Thompson

Been looking at these exceptional images taken by American Thompson on my favourite Great War site - these capture the early weeks of fighting. There's a modern look to these images - well worth a look.

Reglement für die kaiserlich-königlichen Fuss

Book from 1862 for the Austrian infantry. Looks like a useful book for the study of the Austrian army of 1866.

More from Patrick's family album

Thanks to Patrick for sending these in - he says
'I forgot to send you these two others photos of great uncles, the chasseur and the sailor just before the starting of the WW1
the chasseur is in the 14th battalion, 3rd company at this time
the sailor wears the winter uniform on this image (winter 1913/1914 ? )'

Dreyse versus Lorenz - behind the legend

Article in Czech but (worth translating) on the mythology of the story of the needle gun and the Lorenz rifle. This image of an Austrian is from 1862.

Belgian troops in Mexico

There's a group in Belgium who recreate the expeditionary troops in Mexico. See them here

Old Glory 15mms

Old Glory do a fairly large range for the 19th century - see them here at Timecast models.

Austro-Hungarian Land Forces 1848-1918

This English language website is good. Lots of useful stuff including information on the Mexican expedition, orders of battle for the Saxons in 1866 and much more.

Austro-Prussian war

Today the Austro-Prussian war ended with the Peace of Prague. So here's a list of battles from the wikipedia. If any of you have 15mm figs for this period send in some photos. This isn't a definitive list by any means by the way but it's a start
The battles of the Austro-Prussian War (1866) were:

Papers on subjects connected with the Royal Engineers

This book in full on Google is interesting. Published in 1866 it is a series of papers on recent developments within the field of Engineering for the military.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Juarez (1939) battle scene

Thanks again to Patrick for uploading this - a battle scene from the epic Hollywood film about the French Intervention in Mexico. I am sure you will enjoy this. Patrick reckons this might represent the battle of Puebla. Imdb