Friday, April 27, 2012

Taking It On The Road - SALUTE, 'The Rejects' and The Dordogne

My apologies for the absence from the blog. We've been on vacation since the 15th and I bodged through this update on the go using our overstressed iPad which was a supreme test of nerves and patience.

We touched down in London on the 18th to visit with friends, check-out some sights and get a few last-minute details sorted before our hop over to France. I also got a chance to attend 'SALUTE' with my good friend Dallas (from The Fawcett Ave Conscripts), which was a complete blast.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book: 'The Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle the Changed the World' by Holger H. Herwig

I remember when Holger Herwig's 'The Marne, 1914' was first released in 2009. The reviews were quite favourable and it was often applauded that he utilized previously unreleased German archival material to support his work. So when I saw that the book was available in unabridged audiobook format I jumped at the chance to 'read' it.  To be clear whenever I listen to a 'dense' history in audio format I alway make an effort to get the book in paper as well (analogue format!). This way I can re-read passages, refer to any enclosed maps, footnotes, bibliography, etc. in order to better reflect on the writer's work as a whole, allowing a more balanced view.

Herwig's thesis is that the battle of the Marne "was the most decisive land battle since Waterloo" to which he follows that his book "raises a fundamental question: Was it truly the Battle of the Marne?" Okay, my first impression was that this seemed somewhat overwrought and perhaps a little pedantic but I forged ahead.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Vimy - 95th Anniversary

A recent commemorative pin showing the colours of the four Canadian Divisions as they were arrayed against the German positions at Vimy Ridge.
Today is the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. As the calendar would have it, this year's anniversary falls on a Easter Monday, just as it did on that vicious day in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, 1917. It is a battle that is often overlooked by the larger histories of the Great War as it was essentially a diversionary action supporting the larger (and very tragic) French Nivelle Offensive. So while it is true that Vimy was not nearly as large as the battles of the Somme, or as depressingly bloody as those in Passchendaele,  it has nonetheless become to many Canadians an important part of our national identity as it was the first time during the Great War in which all four Canadian divisions fought together under a Canadian commander for a common purpose. It was a distinctly Canadian effort

Saturday, April 7, 2012

'The Agony and the Ecstasy' - The 2nd Annual Analogue Painting Challenge Awards

'I don't know what it is, but I always seem to make a hash of the drybrushing...'
Well the votes are all in and I'm delighted to be able to announce the awards for the 2nd Annual Analogue Painting Challenge.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

'The Fighting Cocks of the Army': Portuguese 6th Line Infantry from Porto

For the past few months the excellent Napoleonic forum 'La Bricole' has been hosting a painting competition focusing on 'bog average' troops. You know these lads, these are the dust-pounders, the beetle-crushers, the poor dog-faces that make up the vast majority of any army. So members of the forum have been busy producing a fine assortment of units ranging from Austrian Landwehr, French Chasseurs a Cheval, to Prussian Musketeers and Bavarian Chevauleger (just to name a few)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

20mm Viet Cong

Several weeks ago I posted a few American GIs from the Vietnam War and so I thought I'd paint-up some of their counterparts, the Viet Cong in their distinctive 'black pyjamas'.