Thursday, 10 September 2015

Monday - DBM - opening game of new round - Late Macedonians v Late Carthaginians.  Sneaky use of Elephant expendables - had they got into the pike blocks it could have been disasterous.  Lack of time prevented this battle from being anything but a draw..

On the other tables - Square Bashing again - Turks v French;  Sci-Fi again - rules still not right though (Andrew & Tim still experimenting).

Wednesday - finished reading Volume One - so here's a review:

"The first Colonial Soldiers - a survey of British overseas territories and their garrisons, 1650-1714"
Volume 1: the British Isles, Europe, Asia and Africa.
by Wienand Drenth & Jonathon Riley
Published by Drenth Publishing
ISBN 978-90-818887-2-1

Well first of  it is a survey so there are plenty of lists of officers, garrisons and artillery numbers.  For the most part I only skimmed through these preferring the notes and secondary text.

1)  Around Britain - the Channel Isles, Isle of Man, Dunkirk & Mardyck, Tangier, Gibraltar & Minorca.  The major theme here is religious intolerance - Catholics v Protestants.  Erratic 're-balancing' of the garrisons to match the flavour of the month or latest political manouvreing did not enhance esprit de corps.

There was even an 'albatros' for Charles II:

"Article III ceded the city and castle of Tangier to the Crown of England - not the nation or its parliament - thus saddling Charles's privy purse with costs that were to  prove near-ruinous over the next twenty years."  [p103 para 1]

2)  West Africa and East Asia

What stood out here was just  how ephemeral some of these footholds were.  The most common threats to their existence being - other European colonial powers (notably Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish), native opposition, local climate and commercial rivalry.

"Goree is a small island before the coast of present-day Dakar, Senegal." [p205 para 1]

1444 - discovered by Portuguese
1617 to  approximately 1664 - seized by the Dutch
"by a later date" to 1664 - captured and occupied by the English
1664 to 1667 - Dutch rule restored
1677 to 1678 - occupied by the French
1678 - ceded to France by the Treaty of Nijmegan
1693 - brief British occupation
1693 - back into Frnch hands.

The local population must have been in some confusion - "who do we belong to this week?".

3)  Conclusions

There are no uniform plates or details - this book is about how these colonies came into existence and  their trials and tribulations.   However as a source for potential wargaming scenarios it is a treasure trove.  Well worth a read  

I have just started on volume 2.1 New England & the Middle watch this space.

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