Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Operation Tiger -The Slapton Sands Disaster

As part of the build up for D-Day the allied forces starting practising for the invasion by conducting number of exercises along the British coast the area called Slapton Sands in Devon was chosen due to how similier it was to the Utah beach area .The  entire area was evacuated and live fire excercises took place causing alarge amount of damage to the area but also causing caualties amongst the US forces as some off them were unaware of the use of live ammo ,however the worst incident occured on the night of the 28th April 1944 when a number of landing ships were attacked by E Boats ,the protection force of 2 Royal Naval ships was already at a disadvantage as one of them HMS Scimitar had collieded with a landing ship and returned to portand the remaining ship was on a different radio channel to the US landing ships so when they spotted the e boats they believed they had warned the convoy ,but the convoy was totally un aware and when the e boats opened fire thought it was part of the live fire excersises until ships started to explode . Two of the large landing ships were sunk and 2 more damamged with almost 1000 lives lost .Due to the secrecy of the excercises news f the deaths was kept secret for along time starting conspiracy theories and rumours of lies of how the disaster happened . The incident has had very little coverage and the only monument officially placeed was one to the local people thanking them for giving up their homes at the time .In 1974 Ken Small local business man arranged for a Sherman Tank which had sunk during the excersises to be raised and placed just off the beach at Torcross the nearest village to Slapton Sands with plagues to the dead and describing the disaster ,this was done with little or no help from the British or American governments with small actually having to pay the americans for  the tank .Ken Small sadly died just before the 60th anniversary of the incident but his book the forgotten dead about the struggle to build amonument to the lost service men is a nice read and the monument is afitting tribute to those men who died ,ironically more US service men died in the excercise than did in the actual battle for utah beach .
The official monument to the people of Devon 


The Sherman raised by Ken Small








Sunday, 18 June 2017

Rorkes Drift Defenders Graves-J.R.M.Chard VC

During my recent holiday we made slight detour and visited the Grave of John Chard VC ,portrayed in the movie by stanley Baker ,Chard stayed at Rorkes drift for a few weeks after the battle building the new stone defences .He was awarded the VC and this was resented by his superiors who disliked him and were doubtful of his part in the battle.He stayed in Afica awhile and was present at Ulundi .He had a long career and was promoted to Colonel in 1897, shortly after this he was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue and after a operation to remove his tongue he was told his cancer was terminal and he retired to Hatch Beauchamp to his Brother Charles 's rectory he died in November after terrible suffering and was buried in the church yard there .


Friday, 9 June 2017

Battlegroup Tobruk -Vickers tanks

Received another order from EWM of Vickers tanks and some Armourfast Valantines plus bits of stowage and crew.The vickers are lovely little models fitted together in a couple of minutes ,no flash ,told lines etc really nice each one came with different bits of stowage for each one included as well .Inow have evrything I need (i think) as I received my last bits from SHQ as well .10/10
the EWM vickers with a SHQ LRDG chevy in the background with some 28mm boltaction bits as well 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Battlegroup Tobruk -more vehicles .

Another 3 trucks finished ,this time Tillys from any scale models and another Dingo from early war miniatures ,the transports will be for my heavy weapons teams and the Dingo will be my recon officer . I have ordered some more tanks from EWM and I'm still waiting for a order from SHQ (not happy with the service from SHQ this time) and then I should have every thing I need just need to get them built and painted along with my PSC 25pdrs and that'll be Tobruk finished .

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Naval Thunder ,second game

Played our 2nd game of Naval thunder last night at the club ,this time we tried the rules for Battleships .We did a fictional encounter between the Royal Navies warspite and Valiant against Vichy France's Dunkerque and Bretagne . The Fench ships displayed some fantastic long range gunnery and while the British gunfire was terrible they did manage to knock 2 secondary turrets off the Bretagne and started a fire on the Dunkerque but the French damage control teams were just as good as their gunners and put the fire out before it did any real damage . The 2 British battle wagons had to (very slowly) leave the table only just managing to stay afloat . A great game the rules are fast play but are realistic and we are looking forward to trying out the aircraft and sub rules and bigger fleets before we begin our campaign .sadly i forgot to take any pictures but the Topside minis stole the show with the club members showing a lot of interest in them .

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Naval Expansion -my new Topside Minis for Naval Thunder

Just recieved some more top side Minis for my proposed navl campaign ,these are just fantastic I did a game Sheffield War-games Society a few weeks ago and another club member was hooked so we split the P&P and Import duties . Another game tomorrow of Naval Thunder will post a AAR soon.
Royal Navy 

Merchants

More French

More Italians

Axis Merchants

all sorts of Air power

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Battlegroup Tobruk -British

Forward HQ -SHQ figures anyscale staff car
Managed to get my Brits up to fighting strength ,altough far from finished I still have a lot of kit to paint but at least I can have a small game .
Dispatch Rider-Early War Miniatures,nice to but rider way out of scale 
Platoon HQ and 2" mortar -SHQ figures and Anyscale lorry

the 3 sections of the platoon each includes a bren -SHQ with PSC lorries



My infantry Tanks -Airfix

Forward Observer-Early war miniatures

Recce foot patrol -SHQ

Tomahawk -Oxford die cast

Hurricane -Easy model -(yes wrong mark)

Spitfire against the African sky(sheffield actually and yes wrong MK again but the 3 came as a set form amazon for a tenner 

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Flames of War Desert Terrain

Not being very good at it or having the time to build it ,I do buy lots of ready made terrain ,on my recent trip into the War-games emporium I thought I would buy some of the flames of war desert stuff to use with my Battlegroup Tobruk game ,the stuff is made for 15mm and I game in20mm but hey what scale is a hill? .First box is the escarpment set ,I like these ad they fit well with the 20mm toys ,if the sand had been the colour on the box it would have been perfect for my basing but I will have to dry brush them a little . The second box is the palm tree set ,this is not so good the base boards dont sit level they are warped ,the tree bases don't accept the plugs on the trees so I am going to have to drill the bases or cut the plugs and glue them down it would have been good if they plugged in to make transport easier and again the very dark sand finish.Not at all happy with this set. I think they retail about £25 each I got a SWGS club discount and bought a lot of other bits so not too sure.Both sets are ok for 20mm scale .

Escarpments 8 out of 10

palms 5 out of 10









Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Battle of Cape Spada

Did my first proper game of Naval Thunder last night at Sheffield wargames Society ,we did the battle of Cape Spada scenario ,it almost was an accurate refight ,then things started going dramatically wrong for the Brits with some really poor shooting .The game ended with a British destroyer sunk ,one failing a command test and leaving and the Sydney clinging on for dear life flooding and listing badly ,luckily the remaining British Destroyers valiantly got in the way and some great gunnery saw one of the Italian cruisers disappear in a sheet of flame and the other on fire failed its command roll and left with its tail between its legs. The rules played brillliantly after turn 2 we were only refering to the rule book when the quick play sheet instructed us to .We both enjoyed it and so did then onlookers  and my Topside minis caused quite a stir as well ,getting a order together between some of us so we can split postage and import costs. A great night lots of fun and chat between the club members we  are going from strength to strength well done to our new committee .
set up at start of game 
The Australian cruiser closes in on the unsuspecting Italians who were busy chasing the destroyers about 

oops feet getting wet