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

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Where the Eagle Landed

My latest reading has been Peter Haining's 'Where the Eagle Landed'. This is badged as the mystery of the German invasion of Britain in 1940.

I picked this up in a second hand bookshop in Hay-onWye, thinking it would be useful in my Seelowe Nord project. The author describes the threat to Britain in 1940 from Hitler's Operation Sea Lion and the many forms of defence planned by the British authorities. These varied from conventional defences to all sort of strange and impractical devices considered by special units, established for just that purpose.

The focus of the book is East Anglia. The author describes the defences there and the testimony of witnesses who discovered bodies and papers that might suggest landings by German troops.

Sadly, the book boils down to a likely short landing by an E-boat crew on a beach near Sizewell. Frankly, it hardly seemed worth the effort to write it and I regretted wasting my time reading it. It took a long time to get to the point and the point wasn't worth it. More a vanity project on the basis that I have done all this research, it didn't lead anywhere, but I am going to tell you about it anyway.

If you want to learn a bit about East Anglia in 1940, by all means read this book. If not, avoid it.

Friday 6 September 2013

Japan's Greatest Victory

Onwards with the Far East project and my latest reading is 'Japan's Greatest Victory - Britain's Worst Defeat' by Colonel Masanobu Tsuji. If you need to read one book about the Malaya campaign, this it it.

Colonel Tsuji, Major as he was in 1941, was a staff officer who prepared the Japanese plan for the invasion of Malaya. In this book he tells the story of the campaign that led to the fall of Singapore from a Japanese perspective. Not only did he write the plan but he was there, very often leading from the front, throughout the campaign.

It's a great insight into the campaign and deals with many myths about the campaign. We get a proper orbat that shows how outnumbered the Japanese were. There was no real jungle training, just some inspired leadership and a short booklet that is reproduced as an appendix. Most of the troops had combat experience in China, but not in the jungle.

As always a bit of reading inspires me to get on with the painting. These are the latest Japanese in 15mm from the Peter Pig range. Two 37mm ATG's and two 70mm infantry guns with command teams. Plus two Nikuhaku teams for close quarter anti-tank duties. There was much cursing and superglued fingers with these guns, due to the poor assembly and totally inadequate lugs for the wheels in particular. But got there is the end. Back to the Russians next.