Monday, February 21, 2022
Prost! The Last Bavarians
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
In Which Rabbitman Sounds "General Quarters!"
I have found a hopefully easy and low cost distraction from the endless Russian and Prussian musketeers, which I hope will also scratch my winter itch to buy all the things!
Naval warfare in the Pacific during WW2.
Yes, you heard me. Tiny ships.
It will be very different, so I hope it will be the palate cleanser that 1940 French or Middle Earth Dwarves would not be. I have also caught myself looking at WW1, and Epic 40k. So the itch is bad.
Ever since I read this book last year to get some context for my Bag the Hun projectBlazing Star, Setting Sun which covers the campaign from November 1942 to March 1943, and an Osprey on IJN and USN destroyers (the volume IJN vs USN cruisers was sold out). I could easily incur Mrs. Rabbitman's disapproval and buy the 5 or 6 titles going into more detail on both navies destroyers but I shan't.
Saturday, February 12, 2022
Hanau 1813, Napoleon's Retreat from Leipzig
I treated myself with some of my Christmas bonus and bought this book from Ken Trotman Books. At £35 plus £10 postage and packing (Cdn$75), it seems a bit expensive. I reasoned a low print run book on an obscure battle would be on the expensive end, and this is an important battle for my Bavarian army, plus I figured I was worth it.
A very securely wrapped parcel arrived within two weeks via airmail.
The book is a large hard cover the same size as my copy of Black Powder and 140 pages with colour print through out. It is easily equal to two Osprey campaign books, so amply justifies the higher price tag.
Some sample pages:
The book is densely packed with tables of data and primary source material covering the retreat from Leipzig and the condition of each army leading up to the battle, plus the battle itself. Some of the personal accounts have not been previously translated into English before either. My only complaint is that the personal accounts are all printed in italics and in lines spanning the width of the page. Long passages of italic print are hard to read. Two column layout would have also been easier on the eyes as well.
The main section of the book is Major Becke's analysis of the battle. Becke was a Royal Artillery officer in the Boer War, so he has some solid first hand experience with horse drawn artillery, and was fascinated by the development of artillery tactics during the Napoleonic Wars. The same publisher also has a book featuring his study of Friedland in 1807. Becke suffers from Napoleonic hero worship and is rather harsh on Wrede. Drouot's handling of the Guard Artillery and finding a solution to the tactical problem is worthy of praise, even if Becke does indulge in quite a bit of over flown prose when discussing his heros.
|maps of the battle|
The section of primary source accounts of the battle and Dr. Summerfield's conclusions give more balance. Wrede is criticized by Becke, among others, for deploying where he did with his back to the Kinzig river. But deploying anywhere else would have allowed the French to emerge from the woods, set up a strong flank guard and then march on to Frankfurt unmolested, which would have left the Bavarians open to criticism for not really being committed to the new alliance. Wrede, operating under misleading intelligence and disingenuous orders from Schwarzenburg did the best he could really. By trying to pin the French in the Lamboy Woods with a strong gun line, he was making the best use of the terrain and resources at his disposal to achieve his objective of slowing the French retreat.
|the battle was noted for both the artillery and the cavalry playing the most signifcant roles|
The retreat from Leipzig and the battle of Hanau are usually treated as a footnote in histories of the 1813 campaign, so anyone seriously interested in this campaign really should get this book.