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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. I hope you find it helpful and entertaining.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

19C Ottomans

Just completed the monthly update of Balkan Military History. The feature article this month is the Ottoman army of the 19th Century.

Actually the reformed army after the Greek War of Independence that performed adequately during the Crimean War but less well in the Russo -Turkish War of 1877. The exception was the defence of Plevna by Osman Pasha. Osman Pasha’s inspired defence of the town lasted five months.

The siege is covered by several sites in the city. The Museum of Liberation of Pleven 1877 in ul Vasil Levski actually only preserves the house where the Tsar received Osman Pasha after the capitulation, although the surrounding park has two artillery stands and the railings and gates are made from cannon and bayonets. The Mausoleum is impressive but is not open to the public. The main museum is situated in Skobelev Park (known as the Green Hills during the siege), includes a massive panorama built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle. The circular paintings and displays concentrate on Skobelev’s southern assaults on the town and can only be described as superb. 



South of Plevna in the Balkan Mountains is Shipka Pass, the site of an epic battle when Ottoman troops fought to displace the Russian and Bulgarian advanced guard. A smaller monument and museum here is well worth a look.

My 15mm Ottoman army include Minifigs, some old Pioneer figures and the rest from the Awesome Enterprises, Rank and File range. These are particularly nice chunky figures. I haven't seen them advertised recently so they may be out of production.

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