Welcome to my blog!

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. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
or on Mastodon @balkandave@mastodon.scot, or Threads @davewatson1683

Thursday 29 July 2010

French Cavalry Museum

Saumur is also home to the French cavalry museum (Musee de la Cavalerie). The museum is housed in former stables of the cavalry school. Poorly signposted compared to the tank museum, it is near to the city centre next to the Place du Chardonnet, that is still used for equestrian shows.

Not a large museum, but it has an interesting collection of French cavalry uniforms, together with oil paintings and weaponry. The choice of battles is highly selective with many French defeats being omitted from the history!

Tuesday 27 July 2010

German Tanks at Saumur

The French tank museum at Saumur has a good collection of all the main German WW2 AFVs. Here are some of the ones I found interesting.

King Tiger

Marder 38

Marder Hotchkiss


Sunday 25 July 2010

French Tanks of WW2

Just back from holiday in France. A number of visits will feature in blogs in the coming days.

One highlight was my first visit to the French tank museum (Musee des Blindes) at Saumur. This is the French version of Bovington and it is well worth a visit if you are in the Loire region. Saumur has been the home of the French cavalry since 1763, when Louis XV reorganised the French cavalry and formed the cavalry school there.

Here are a few of the more unusual French WW2 tanks that were new to me at least. Starting with a prototype tank the ACG1.

Then a 47mm anti-tank gun.

Then then museum's collection of more familiar early WW2 tanks. Starting with the Renault B1

Then the R35


The H39

The Panhard Armoured Car

and the AMR 33

Finally the 25mm ATG

Wednesday 14 July 2010

International Brigade

First infantry off the workbench for the Spanish Civil War project.

These are the International Brigade. These troops were volunteers from all over the world who came to Spain to fight fascism. Real heroes, one and all. Their individual stories make a great read in books like 'The Real Band of Brothers', 'Heroic Voices of the Spanish Civil War' and for the Scots, 'Homage to Caledonia'. 2500 British and Irish volunteers fought with the International Brigade - 526 of them lost their lives.

As the trade union leader Jack Jones put it:
"For us it was the battle against Fascism... and that inspired and encouraged me to do what I could against it, even if it meant laying down my life."

"Oh brothers, swear on these words: it is better to die than to allow tyrants."

Sunday 11 July 2010

Varangian Guard

Just finished reading Osprey MAA 459 The Varangian Guard 988-1453 by Raffaele D'Amato.

The book includes a short history of the Varangian's in Byzantine service including the early Russ and the later English exiles from Norman England. This is followed by sections on the Guard in service and equipment and weapons. Finally a helpful bibliography and of course the colour plates that are almost always the main selling point of an Osprey publication.

This is a link to pictures of my Comenenian Byzantine army including Varangian's in 28mm.

These figures are from the Gripping Beast range

Sunday 4 July 2010

German WW1 Artillery

Latest addition to the Salonika Campaign project is a German Field Gun.

Not that any project is ever finished, but that should be it for now. Until some new figure range comes out anyway!

Interestingly, we haven't found artillery to be too effective in the Great War rules. Oh, and keep them out of range of HMGs.