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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
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Wednesday 11 July 2012

San Martin

I have just finished reading John Lynch's biography of the Argentine General Jose de San Martin.
San Martin: Argentinian Soldier, American Hero
San Martin is best known as the commander of the Army of the Andes that crossed that mountain range, defeated the Spanish Royalist armies and liberated Chile. He then went on to liberate at least part of the Royalist stronghold of Peru before he met up with the northern Liberator Simon Bolivar, the subject of Lynch's previous book. He effectively retired from the liberation struggle and retired to France. His house in Bolougne is a museum to him today.

San Martin was a complex individual. He learned his military trade in the Peninsular War in Spain before returning to Argentina, the place of his birth. While he was a key player in the liberation of the Spanish colonies in South America, he was a conservative and a royalist politically.

This is a biography of the man rather than a military history. But a well written study that puts the campaigns into context. His military achievements reflect his considerable leadership skills.

I took an interest in San Martin a few years ago when we took his Andes campaign as a theme for a series of demonstration games in 2007. I built his Army of the Andes and his Royalist opponents in 28mm scale, mostly by simple conversions from other ranges. Details and pictures are on my web site and details of the demo games on the GDWS site. I dusted them down a year or so ago to play using Black Powder rules and they worked very well.

There is now a range of figures in 15mm by Grenadier Productions run by a real enthusiast for the period, John Fletcher, who has also written an excellent guide to the campaign. There is a good Liberators Yahoo group as well. 

A few photies from my collection.

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