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

Sunday 24 June 2012

Campaign in Greece

My latest Balkan reading is a reprint of the Air Ministry, Air Historical Branch study, Campaign in Greece 1940-41.

This is a history and analysis of the British air campaign in support of the Greeks in 1940-41. The resources were limited as the campaign was viewed as a distraction from the western desert campaign, at a time when the Germans, under Rommel, were arriving to bail out the Italians. However, as this study shows, even if more aircraft were available it would have been difficult to deploy them given the lack of all weather airfields. Like the land campaign, organisation was patched together and there was poor communication between the allied commanders, including poor AA cover and observer support.

Most of the campaign was fought by Blenheim and Wellington bombers protected by Gladiator fighters. Obsolete, but still did a really good job. Some Hurricanes arrived in the spring of 1941. The RAF claimed 231 enemy aircraft confirmed and 94 unconfirmed, for a total aircraft lost of 209. Of these 72 were lost in combat and 83 destroyed or abandoned on evacuation. The rest in low flying attacks on poorly protected airfields.

This is a reprint of a typewriter study so the production quality is very poor. None the less it has lots of useful data and a fairly frank assessment of the campaign successes and failures.

More German armour

Latest additions from the painting tray for my early war German project. We have some light armoured cars, Pkw 1 command tanks and some trucks. All from the Forged in Battle range.

Foot next with the Gebirgsjager being based up.

Sunday 17 June 2012

The Parthian

My latest historical fiction read has been Peter Darman's book 'The Parthian'. First time I have read his work and very mixed reviews for a book that is very good value on the Kindle.
The Parthian
First the story. Our hero is Prince Pacorus, a Parthian prince who gets captured by the Romans and ends up a slave in Italy. He is liberated by Spartacus and he creates a Parthian style light horse unit in the slave army. So the book is really about the slave revolt, a popular fiction theme at present. His unit helps give Spartacus the edge over his Roman opponents in a series of battles the length of Italy, until eventual defeat when Pacorus slips back to Parthia.

Other reviewers seem to either love or hate this book. It is certainly hard work in places and could have benefited from some aggressive editing. Typos are particularly irritating and unnecessary in a professional publication. The story line is less than plausible in places, but then the story of Spartacus is pretty amazing. On the plus side the battle scenes are well described and the historical context well researched. I certainly had no problem putting it down, but I equally never felt the urge to give up. I won't rush to get the next title, but could be tempted. 

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Greek WW2 figures in 28mm

I reviewed the new Rif Raf range back in August when David Burns kindly sent me some samples.

I have eventually got round to getting them ready for the tabletop. Not quite up to David's standard but they still make very presentable figures. Not sure what I am going to do with them as I am not going to start this conflict in another scale. famous last words!

Might make an appearance as an overseas legion in VBCW. Communist exiles from the Metaxas regime perhaps?

Naval mutiny!

The navy has mutinied in Glasgow and joined the Clydeside Brigade. useful reinforcements as these are trained troops in the best Battleship Potemkin tradition.

These are First Corps figures supplemented by some villainous looking Blue Moon characters. Oh and one of Simon's converted steam lorries that I picked up at Falkirk.