As we approach the New Year, I will do my usual look forward to military anniversaries. 2015 will see some pretty significant commemorations that I suspect we will see represented on wargame tables across the globe.
There are a few in the Balkans.
The Gallipoli campaign started in April 2015 and in May Italy joined the war on the side of the Entente. In October, Bulgaria joined the Central Powers and invaded Serbia, which together with the renewed German/Austrian offensive, spelt the end for Serbian resistance and led to the long and terrible retreat over the Albanian mountains.
Talking of Albania, they will undoubtedly celebrate the birth of Norman Wisdom, a somewhat bizarre cultural icon on Albania. His films were one of the few western productions allowed in that country during the Hoxha regime.
In April 1815, the Second Serbian uprising against the Ottomans started and this led to the recognition of Serbia as a semi-independent state. The Ottomans had more success a hundred years earlier in July 1715 when the fall of Nauplion in the Peloponnese, effectively ends Venetian resistance to Ottomans in the Morea.
Five hundred years ago, 615 is the date usually ascribed to the Slav invasion of the Balkans that led to the modern day Serbian and Croat states. Actually, the Slavs slipped into the Balkans gradually over many years, but 615 saw significant events such as the siege of Thessalonica.
Interesting though these anniversaries are to me, I suspect one or two others might get more prominence. The 200th anniversary of Waterloo is of course the big one, alongside the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt 1415. I see the Perry’s are ahead of the game with their new plastics for the period.
In Scotland, we have the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion and the Battle of Sheriffmuir. While in England the 1215 signing of Magna Carta will no doubt be remembered, with probably less attention given to the subsequent First Barons War.
The Swiss will want to make a noise about the November 1315 Battle of Morgarten, when they defeated Leopold’s Austrians and went on to found the Swiss Confederation. For gamers of a certain age, the William Tell TVseries will be a reminder of the period. Even if it was filmed in Snowdonia.
And finally, not to miss out our American cousins who may wish to mark the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the first combat troops (US Marines) in Vietnam 1965. More significantly, it is also the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War.
More than a few events here to keep us busy painting and gaming in 2015.