Saturday, 13 May 2017

Another Great Find


At last I have found the book that I have been hunting for since it was released in 2014. 24 Hours at Waterloo 18 June 1815 by the author Robert Kershaw. The book has been researched from eyewitness accounts, diaries and letters and it gives you an hour by hour account of that famous battle from both sides. The book contains ten chapters.
I found this second  edition in “The Works” which for those of you outside of the UK, the shop sell’s mainly books at a greatly reduce price. This book retailed at £9.99 pence was on offer for just £3 and as the book is on my want list, I picked a copy up. But my review of this book will be a bit later on in the year, I hope, as I am at present reading another book, which has taking me ages to finish.

Friday, 31 March 2017

The Battle of Waterloo 2015 Commemorative Stamps

The British Post Office made a set of stamps to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
I have completely forgotten about these and I will now have to start looking for them as they do not appear on the Post Office web site now.

The landscape stamps are:


The defence of Hougoumont
The Scots Grey's during the charge of the Union Brigade
The French cavalry’s assault on allied defensive squares
The defence of La Haye Sainte by the King’s German Legion
The capture of Plancenoit by the Prussians
The French Imperial Guard’s final assault

The horizontal stamps are:


92nd Gordon Highlanders
Light Infantry King’s German Legion
Prussian Infantryman
French Imperial Guard Grenadier

These stamps look great but I have never seen them around although how many of us now receive letters in our post from family or friends? 

This one is my favourite one out of the set

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Skirmish 2017 (Zulu Special)

Today I went to the SKIRMISH 2017 Show in Sidcup, Kent promoted by Redcoat Models.. I have never been there before and I thought that it was about time that I did.
The weather was dry but dull and very windy but I managed to get up early and set off by bus to the venue. As I got off the bus in the main road, there was a clear sign to show you which way to go, and so finding the Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School was very easy.
Arriving at just before 10 am The entry fee was a mere £4 and once you left the entrance to the building you came straight into some trade stalls. 

Main Hall For traders
The layout to the show was very easy as most of the trade stalls were in the main hall. This is where the Zulu War exhibition was and it was on the stage. A nice collection of the British 24th foot uniform and weapon’s  including their kit and for the Zulu’s spears, shields and pictures.

British Infantry Kit
In the dining hall was where the wargame/demonstration games were being played  and although it was not that very busy it was great to speak to fellow wargamer’s and take a good look at their set ups.
There were two games that caught my eye the first being a large Zulu demonstration game in 1/32 scale with the building of Rorke’s Drift from 4Ground. This game was a lot of fun to watch with the Zulu’s slowly winning the game.

Maidstone Wargames Society
The other game was by the Maidstone Wargames Society a Roman hill fort being attacked by Celts in 15mm. Also in the hall was the Welling Model Club who were painting up their British Zulu figures and here I had a nice chat to two of the members. With a cafeteria in the side room in another room off the hall was a small bring and buy stall which had all sorts of things from terrain pieces, figures and books. I left the show at about 12.45am  and I must admit that I did enjoy the show and made me think of all the fun that we had when I was running a wargaming club back in the 80s.

Wargaming Hall

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Skirmish Show This Sunday

I have never been to any of the SKIRMISH Show’s in Sidcup although I was going to go there last year and never got round to going.
So this Sunday (19th March) I will be making that trip to the Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School in Sidcup.
It starts at 9am and ends at 2.30pm but the good thing about this is that there is a cafeteria and fee Parking. They usually run two shows a year and this on this occasion it’s the Anglo Zulu War Special.
I am really looking forward to this as it will be my first show of the year and my next one will be the SELWG 17 in October. As always I will be doing a show report here with a few pictures.



Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Marshals and Generals

HANOVERIAN COLONEL

Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Von Ompteda

Born: 26 November 1765 – Ahlden an der Aller, Hanover

Died: 18 June 1815 – La Haye Sainte, Belgium

Rank: Colonel



In 1771 at the age of six, Ompteda was sent to his uncle Dietrich Heinrich Ludwig Von Ompteda to be educated and when he was 12 years old in 1777 he joined the Royal Corps of Pages at Hanover. In 1781 he became a lieutenant in the foot guards. In 1793 Ompteda rose to command a grenadier company in the French Revolutionary Wars and was badly wounded at Mont Cassel, and then in 1794 he sailed to England with Field Marshall Wilhelm Von Freytag.

By 1803 he was a major in a regiment of the Hanoverian guards, and when the Convention of Artlenburg dissolved the Hanoverian army on 5 July 1803, he was one of the first to join what was to become the King’s German Legion. In 1805 he led an unsuccessful expedition to northern Germany during the War of the Third Coalition. A year later he and his battalion was moved to Gilbraltar.
In 1807 his battalion was moved again and shipped out to Zeeland, where they fought against Denmark in the Gunboat War, known as the English Wars. On his return journey his ship sank off the coast of the Netherlands and he was taken prisoner in Borkum until being freed in a prisoner exchange in 1808.

In 1812 Ompteda was made lieutenant Colonel and in 1813 he was put in command of the Legion’s 1st Light Battalion KGL. By 1815 he was a Colonel and a brigade commander in General Charles Alten’s division within Wellington’s army.

Ompteda was killed at Waterloo after being ordered by the Prince of Orange into a counter-attack in column with the 5th Line Battalion to retake La Haye Sainte.
As the 5th Line Battalion under colonel Ompteda was on its way to reinforce the defenders of La Haye Sainte, the French cavalry attached to Jean-Baptiste Drouet, d'Erlon's Corp I rode them down; only a few of the intended relievers survived. Ompteda was shot at point blank range. He was 49 years of age.
After a six-hour defence, without ammunition, or reinforcements, the KGL were forced to abandon the farm, leaving the buildings in shambles and their dead behind. A total of over 4,000 cavalrymen and soldiers were said to have been buried in the communal grave opposite the farm after the battle.
There is a plaque to Baring , Von Ompteda and the KGL on the outer wall of La Haye Sainte.

Allessandro Barbero describes Ompteda's final moments as follows in his excellent re-narration of the battle of Waterloo:
"Suddenly, the order came to deploy in line and advance at a walk; when his men were some sixty yards away from the enemy, Ompteda had the bugler sound the charge and urged his horse into the midst of the thick line of French skirmishers. The tirailleurs scattered. Colonel von Ompteda was encircled by enemy infantry, and the French officers, amazed by his courage, shouted to their men to take him alive; but Ompteda, who was by then beside himself, started aiming sabre-strokes at the heads of the men surrounding him, and someone lost patience. When lieutenant Weatherly regained consciousness, the colonel lay dead two steps away from him, with his mouth open and a hole in his throat."

The Plaque at La Haye Sainte