Thursday 7 December 2023

A Confederate counter mine burrow at Fort Mahone, Petersburg, Virginia


Tunnelling in the Crimean War

 From the wiki on Tunnel warfare


As early as 1840 Eduard Totleben and Schilder-Schuldner had been engaged on questions of organisation and conduct of underground attacks. They began to use electric current to disrupt charges. Special boring instruments of complex design were developed.

In the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855) underground fighting became immense. At first the allies began digging saps without any precautions. After a series of explosions caused by counter mine action the allies increased the depth of the tunnels but began to meet rocky ground and the underground war had to return to higher levels. During the siege Russian sappers dug 6.8 kilometres (4.2 mi) of saps and counter mines. During the same period the allies dug 1.3 kilometres (0.81 mi). The Russians expended 12 tons of gunpowder in the underground war while the allies used 64 tons. These figures show that the Russians tried to create a more extensive network of tunnels and carried out better targeted attacks with only minimal use of gunpowder. The allies used outdated fuses so that many charges failed to go off. Conditions in the tunnels were severe: wax candles often went out, sappers fainted due to stale air, ground water flooded tunnels and counter mines. The Russians repulsed the siege and started to dig tunnels under the allies fortifications. The Russian success in the underground war was recognised by the allies. The Times noted that the laurels for this kind of warfare must go to the Russians.

Royal Sappers and Miners in the Crimean War

 Read about them here in volume 2 of their history in the Crimea

Photograph of three soldiers of the Royal Sappers and Miners who served in the Crimean War. From left to right are Colour Sergeant Joseph John Stanton, Colour Sergeant Kester Knight and Private William Bruce. Knight, standing in the middle, is resting his right leg on a metal case and his right hand on his rifle. He is looking slightly right towards Bruce and has a rucksack on his back. Bruce is facing left and is resting his left arm on a wooden table beside him to the right. He is holding a spade in his right hand. All three are wearing military uniform.

Three Soldiers of the Royal Sappers and Miners  1856

From here 

Sergeant R S&M

Musket for artillery and RS&M from here

Colour sergeant J. Stanton Cundall and Howlett

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Tuesday 28 November 2023

The Convert (2024)

If you are interested in the New Zealand Wars you might like this film. Trailer is brand new. Looks good.

IMDB says

A lay preacher who arrives at a British settlement in 1830s. His violent past is soon drawn into question and his faith put to the test, as he finds himself caught in the middle of a bloody war between Maori tribes.