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Battle of Fraustadt, 13 February 1706

Battle of Fraustadt, 13 February 1706

Battle of Fraustadt, 13 February 1706

The battle of Fraustadt was one of the most one sided Swedish victories of the Great Northern War (1700-1721). A Swedish army 9,000 strong under Karl Gustaf Rehnskiöld attacked and defeated an allied Russian and Saxon army 18,000 strong under Johann Matthias von Schulenburg. The Saxon force was largely made up of French, Bavarian and Swiss mercenaries with a core of Saxons.

The allied army had been deployed carefully. The army was lined up between two villages, which protected its flanks. On each flank a battalion of infantry was turned to face outwards in case the Swedes did manage a cavalry attack. The line was protected by Spanish Riders – wooden spikes driven into the ground in front of the army to stop cavalry. Their precautions did not stop protect them.

Swedish infantry at this period was unusual in that it relied more on the sword than the musket. Swedish tactics emphasised the value of the attack on the charge. Muskets of the period might have been able to fire five or six volleys at incoming infantry, but most of them would be at extreme long range for the musket. The advancing Swedes might fire once during the charge, but would not stop to reload and fire again.

At Fraustadt the Swedish cavalry attacked on both flanks, drove off the allied cavalry and then attacked the allied centre. Meanwhile the Swedish infantry advanced on the charge, receiving three rounds of artillery and one of musket fire before reaching the allied lines. The Russians and Saxons were effectively surrounded. The result was a massacre. After fifteen minutes of combat, the allied lines broke and attempted to flee. Between 7,000 and 8,000 men were killed, many after surrendering. In all over 14,000 men were killed or captured at Fraustadt.

The defeat forced Peter the Great to evacuate Grodno. Charles XII was able to invade Saxony, and even to briefly depose Augustus of Poland. This was the high point of the war for the Swedes. At the start of 1708 Charles turned back towards Russia, suffering a defeat at the Battle of Poltava that forced him into a period of exile in the Ottoman Empire.


Battle of Kletsk (1706)

The Battle of Kletsk took place on 30 April 1706 (Gregorian calendar), in- and outside the city of Kletsk, Belarus during Charles XII's Polish campaign of 1701–1706, in the Great Northern War. The Swedish forces were led by Carl Gustaf Creutz who defeated a larger Russian–Cossack force under the command of Semjon Nepljujev and Danylo Apostol. Many of the Russian and Cossack regiments participating in the battle were wiped out and ceased to exist as fighting units. [1] [3]


Battle of Fraustadt

King Charles XI’s Polish campaign had been highly successful, and after taking Warsaw in 1704, Charles decided to take out Saxony, so he gave a small detachment of 3,700 infantry of the line and 5,700 Cavalrymen to his trusted General Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld.

When Rehnskiöld reached Saxony he did encounter the last remnants of a broken Polish army, 9,000 Saxons, and a Russian relief force of just under 5,000.

Rehnskiöld decided to move his army in a tactical retreat, as he saw his numerical disadvantage, by leaving the battlefield, and tricking his opponent to foolishly following him into a well-planned trap, skillfully orchestrated by Rehnskiöld and his subordinates.

Rehnskiöld initiated a pincer maneuver by careful placing the line infantry in the center and splitting up the cavalry into two units and placing them on each flank.

The fighting began with a Polish offensive. The Swedish cavalry quickly flanked the enemy from both sides simultaneously, effectively cutting their lines apart, causing mass panic, the Swedish Line infantry started advancing shortly after, cutting down any and all survivors, with no mercy.

The battle of Fraustadt ended with a decisive Swedish victory and a crushing defeat for the Commonwealth. Fewer than 1,500 casualties for the Swedes, with only 427 dead, and a staggering 15,000 for the Commonwealth (with allies), with 7,377 dead, and over to 10,000 wounded or captured.

Swedish Tactical Doctrine

Swedish King Charles XI obstinately refused to follow contemporary tactical fashion. Even though flintlock and bayonet were standard issue in Swedish armies – indeed the Swedish bayonet was better fixed and hence superior to many western versions – the pike was retained, not because Sweden was backward, but because pikemen, who constituted about a third of each battalion, still had a role to play. Charles had a healthy contempt for firepower, placing far greater trust in cold steel. Each Swedish infantryman was armed with a sword, the design of which was of great concern to Charles. Swedish infantry regulations, from those drawn up by Magnus Stenbock at Lais in the winter of 1700–1, played down the role of firepower and stressed the importance of infantry attack at the double. Salvos were to be delivered as close as possible to the enemy, and attacks were to be pressed home with maximum vigour: eyewitness accounts describe how the Swedish foot charged at the run even during its doomed attack against overwhelming odds at Poltava, the weary infantry was running so fast it was ‘almost leaping’. At Fraustadt (2/13 February 1706), most of the Swedish foot did not even bother to fire a salvo as it attacked in one line, five ranks deep, with pikemen between the second and third ranks only the right wing loosed its muskets. Elsewhere, the infantry pressed forward across the last hundred yards through three artillery salvos and one musket volley, brushed aside the bristling Spanish riders chained together in front of the Saxon ranks, and plunged in at the run with sword, pike and bayonet. At Holowczyn (July 1708), which Charles considered the best of his battles, ‘the King himself went from one battalion to another, … ordering them above all things, instead of firing, to use their pikes, their bayonets and their swords.’

It was not that Charles failed to appreciate the importance of firepower: Swedish artillery and musket technology remained the equal of any in Europe and he was perfectly capable of using artillery effectively where he felt it appropriate, as at the forcing of the Dvina in July 1701, or to cover his surprise crossing of the Vabich at Holowczyn which, despite Charles’s urgings, was largely a bitter firefight. Yet Charles judged weapons in terms of effectiveness not fashion. Although technology had certainly improved, the profound limitations of contemporary firearms still shaped tactics. Flintlocks might be better than matchlocks, but their rate of fire was still slow and their reliability uncertain, especially in damp weather battleplans consequently tended to emphasise the defensive over the offensive. Charles, however, believed in speed of movement and the seizure of the initiative this led him to downplay the role of the musket and of field artillery. For, if cavalry was no longer capable of breaking ordered formations of infantry, a disciplined, aggressive charge by well-drilled, motivated infantry with high morale could achieve what cavalry could not. Even troops experienced in the handling of firearms were vulnerable to a coordinated and rapid infantry assault. At Fraustadt, where much of the Saxon army was composed of French, Bavarian and Swiss mercenaries, each infantry platoon, firing in turn, should in theory have been capable of unleashing five or six salvos in the time it took the Swedes to approach. In practice they only managed one or two, since they were ordered to wait until the Swedes were eighty paces away. If, as one source suggests, some of the Saxons fired high, the damage inflicted would have been minimal.

Swedish success was not dependent upon infantry alone. Cavalry still played a central role on the battlefield, protecting the flanks and preventing envelopment by the enemy. With the division of the Commonwealth’s forces in what became a civil war, the Swedish cavalry were able to play a more central role than had been possible in the 1650s. Backed by substantial quantites of Polish medium and light cavalry, either recruited directly into the Swedish army as Vallacker (Wallachian) regiments, or as part of the pro-Leszczyński forces, Swedish cavalry enjoyed the freedom to roam widely. On the battlefield, mounted on robust, powerful horses, they were direct and devastating. According to Stenbock’s 1710 regulations, a cavalryman was to charge ‘with sword in hand’, and never to ‘caracolle or use his carbine or pistol’ in preference to his sword. The cavalry charged in closed wedge formation, with knees locked together. It is a matter of some controversy as to whether it was possible to maintain an attack in such close formation at high speed in part it depended on the terrain, but eyewitness reports make it clear that Charles’s cavalry charged home at the gallop, even if they did not always maintain close formation.

The superior Swedish cavalry proved decisive in several battles, including Pułtusk (June 1703) and Ponitz (September 1704). At Fraustadt, where Rehnskiöld was outnumbered nearly two to one (and nearly three to one in infantry), he used his cavalry on both wings in a double envelopment of Schulenburg’s force which was deliberately deployed in a position thought to be impregnable to cavalry attack, with each wing resting on a village, and battalions turned at right angles to offer flanking cover. The Swedish cavalry, attacking at the gallop, drove off the Saxon horse on the wings and pressed in on the allied centre as the infantry mounted a frontal assault against the allied foot. The result was a massacre. Of some 18,000 Saxons and Russians, 7–8,000 were killed, including the Russians cut down in cold blood after surrendering. Four-fifths of the allied army was killed or captured.

The spectacular results of these aggressive tactics themselves played an important part in their success, since they ensured that morale remained high. Faith in Charles’s powers as a general and a feeling of superiority towards other armies took root. Belief in the king, trust in the providential protection of a Lutheran God and the confidence which stemmed from an unbroken run of success drove Sweden’s armies forward. Charles’s oft-criticised insistence on leading from the front and exposing himself to danger helped strengthen this belief: his preservation from harm, especially given the mounting toll of men killed or wounded at his side, seemed to confirm that he enjoyed divine protection.

Battle of Fraustadt 1706 scenario for Pike & Shot

Here are the design notes

1) According to the map on Tacitus’ site all the Saxon artillery pieces seem to have been battalion guns. They were 3 pounders located between the gaps in the infantry battalions in the front line. Therefore I have not given other battalions light guns. The Swedes do not seem to have had any artillery, which seems very odd to me, but I have decided to represent their battalions without light guns.

2) The Russian Infantry battalions are represented in red coats. This is because on the day of battle they were ordered to turn their coats inside out, so that the red lining showed, to make them look like regular Saxon infantry. Schulenberg (and the Swedes) believed that they were inferior to his Saxon infantry, and did not want the Swedes to identify them in his line of battle and so single them out for attack.

3) I have reduced all infantry units (except Swedes) using less sophisticated firing techniques to 80% Musket. As the Swedes have the Salvo capability, they are already reduced at short range and if I reduce their Salvo percentage that would affect their impact capability.

4) I have created the Chevaux De Frise by renaming the light fortification as low wall, and modding the texture .dds file to show Chevaux De Frise. The effect in the game is the same as a low wall. Unfortunately, they cannot be moved.

5) This scenario uses the RBS socket bayonet mod, which also allows Swedish salvo infantry to charge cavalry.

6) The scenario uses Adebar’s Winter (No snow) objects, combined with his Winter (Snow) tiles, slightly modified by me to give a less snowy appearance.

7) Difficulty Rating Medium

8) Sideicons are as follows

Swedish General Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld, commanded at this battle.

Saxon General Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg, commanded the Saxon army at the battle.


2 Comments

Song MeaningThe song is clearly about the battle of Fraustadt in 1706, a decisive Swedish victory in the Great Northern War (1700-1721). The battle was decisive in in ending the Polish campaign of Charles XII (Carolus Rex). The opposing sides consisted of almost 10 000 Swedish Caroleans, mostly cavalry, led by famous (infamous) Swedish lieutenant general Carl Gustaf Rehnskiöld, facing a Saxon-Russian force totaling more than 20 000, plus several dozen cannons, all under the command of Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg.

It was Rehnskiöld who, in spite of the threatening odds, decided to attack the enemy, instead of retreating to the main army led by Charles XII himself. In deploying for the battle, Rehnskiöld and his experienced Caroleans ensured almost every advantage. As the battle begn early in the february morning, Rehnskiöld siezed the initiative. He attacked on both flanks simultaneously, and soon followed up with a full on attack in the center. Although the enenmy enjoyed the benefits from being on the defese (granting full use of cannons and cover), the Carolean cavalry eventually broke through both flanks and surounded the infantry, now being engaged in meele with the Swedish line infantry (standard Carolean procedure). Although their numerical advantage worked in their favour, it was not sustainable to fight in all directions for very long. Many were captured, the rest fled.

Rehnskiöld's army counted about 400 dead and 1000 wounded, whereas the Saxons and Russians had over 7000 dead and around 7500 that were captured by the Swedish forces in the ending phase of the battle. It is considered a perfect use of Hanibal's tectics used at Cannae, surrounding the enemy with a numerically inferior army by defeating their flank protection. Had the same been possible if the Swedish army had consisted of less cavalry and more infantry? My guess is that it would be difficult to go on the offensive without control of the flanks, but then again, the Caroleans sure could hold their own in battle. The Carolean doctrine was an offensice one, and in battles such as Narwa (1700), the infantry carried the day in spite of the odds being stacked against them.

The song also refrences the alleged massacre of around 500 Russian POWs that is supposed to have taken place after the battle. According to contemporary sources, it was authorized by Rehnskiöld himself. Some claim that he believed the Russians had turned their coats the other way in order to escape prolonged imprisonment (as the Saxons were about to be thoroughly defeated and a peace presumably would follow), whereas they actually had been ordered to do so to avoid confusion and friendly fire between the Saxons and themselves. Rehnskiöld later denied giving that order (while himself being a POW in Russia).


Augustus II of Poland (1670-1733)

“Friedrich Augustus. Elector of Saxony (1694-1733) king of Poland (1697-1704 1709-1733).” A member of the Wettin dynasty and an elector of the Holy Roman Empire (Saxony), Augustus was elected king of Poland in 1697, after deeming that Warsaw was worth a Mass, converting to Catholicism, and agreeing to permit extraordinary privileges to the szlachta, even beyond the broad powers the nobility already enjoyed. In time this deal fatally weakened the monarchy within Poland. In foreign policy, however, Augustus enjoyed an independence his Vasa predecessors never had. This was facilitated by his personal control of a separate Saxon Army of 26,000 excellent troops, along with a discrete diplomatic service and bureaucracy. Together, these resources permitted him to conduct diplomacy and even war without consulting the szlachta in Poland or the Sapiehas in Lithuania. In 1699 Augustus forged an aggressive alliance with Peter I of Russia and Fredrik IV of Denmark that aimed to take advantage of the immaturity and inexperience of the new Swedish king, Karl XII. He immediately besieged Riga, launching the Great Northern War (1700-1721). Like the other members of this rapacious anti-Swedish alliance, Augustus greatly underestimated Karl XII. He and they all paid a heavy price for that mistake: Augustus’ Polish territories were invaded by Swedish armies. He lost and fled Warsaw in early 1702. Augustus subsequently was soundly defeated and lost most of his army at Kliszow (July 8/19, 1702). After recruiting over the winter, he took to the field with a new but undertrained and poorly equipped force, only to be smashed again by the Swedes at Pultusk (April 10/21, 1703). Augustus was expelled from Poland in favor of Stanislaw I in 1704, when the “Warsaw Confederation” that opposed him was supported by armed Swedish intervention. Civil war ensued in Poland, in which Augustus had support from the “Sandomierz Confederacy” of anti-Stanislaw nobles. This drew Karl back into Poland, where he completely defeated Augustus and his Polish allies in two small but sharp battles. Early in the new year Augustus lost again at Fraustadt (February 2/13, 1706). That opened the door to a Swedish invasion of Saxony and the fall of Dresden and Leipzig. Their fall compelled Augustus to agree to the Treaty of Altranstädt (September 13/24, 1706), renouncing his claim to the Polish throne. What saved Augustus was no effort of his own but the disastrous decision by Karl to invade Russia, which resulted in decisive defeat of the Swedish army at Poltava (June 27/July 8, 1709). That catastrophe, along with Karl’s wasted years spent in Ottoman exile, permitted Augustus to reopen the Polish war with Stanislaw I. With help from Tsar Peter, Augustus was restored to the Polish throne in 1709. He held onto it through the remaining years of the Great Northern War and afterward, until his death in 1733.

The battle of Fraustadt (February 1706) was next to the battle of Narva the greatest Swedish victory in the Great Northern Wart. A Swedish army of 10 000 men commanded by Carl Gustaf Rehnsköld attacked and almost annihilated a two times larger Saxon-Russian army near Poland’s western border. The Swedish war effort in Poland was before the battle seemingly close to a complete collapse because the Swedish main army led by Charles XII had their hands full in the east. But thanks to Rehnsköld’s victory at Fraustadt and Charles XII’s encirclement of the Russian main army in Grodno the campaign instead ended in a complete Swedish triumph. Before the year was over would Saxony sue for peace and accept Stanislaw Leszczynski as Polish king. The Swedish army could thereafter direct all its effort on defeating the last remaining enemy, Russia.

The battle itself, which according to the Swedish calendar happened 3 February, but according the Gregorian calendar (used by the Saxons) 13 February and according to the Julian calendar (used by the Russians) 2 February, have often been called a Swedish variant of Hannibal’s pincer movement in the battle of Cannae 216 BC. But the battle was actually planned by Rehnsköld as a frontal attack in which the Swedish numerical inferiority would be countered by thrusting through the enemy line with cold steel weapons before the enemies superior fire power could make an impact. Circumstances in the battle resulted however in the cavalry wings moving around obstacles and attacking the Saxon’s flanks in classic Hannibal style. In any way the battle ended with a total victory for the Swedish army. Over 7 000 Saxons and Russians were killed and just as many were captured. The Swedes only lost 400 men.


Historical Events In February - 13

1658 On February - 13 jan B Wellekens, Dutch poet/painter

1660 On February - 13 johann Sigismund Kusser, composer

1660 On this day in history charles X Gustaaf, king of Sweden (1654-60), dies at 37

1662 Elisabeth Stuart, English daughter of James I, dies at 65 on this day in history.

1668 Spain recognizes Portugal as an independent country on this day in history.

1668 Treaty of Lisbon Spain recognizes Portugal on this day in history.

1668 On February - 13 treaty of Lisbon: Spain recognizes Portugal

1678 On this day in history tycho Brahe 1st sketches "Tychonic system" of solar system

1682 Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, Venice, painter (Fortune Teller) on February - 13.

1689 On February - 13 british Parliament adopts Bill of Rights

1692 MacDonald clan murdered on orders of King William III on this day in history.

1692 Under orders from King William a Royalist force, under the command of Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon, carried out the Massacre of Glencoe which resulted in the death of 38 MacIan MacDonalds on February - 13.

1693 College of William &Mary opens on February - 13.

1693 On February - 13 college of William & Mary opens

1693 On this day in history johann Kaspar von Kerll, German composer, dies at 65

1706 Battle at Fraustadt Swedish army beats Russia/Saksen on this day in history.

1706 On this day in history battle at Fraustadt: Swedish army beats Russia/Saksen

1713 On this day in history domingo Miguel Bernaube Terradellas, composer

1721 On this day in history john Reid, composer

1724 On this day in history francisco Jose Coutinho, composer, dies at 43

1741 On February - 13 andrew Bedford publishes 1st American magazine (The American Magazine)

1741 On this day in history andrew Bedford publishes 1st American magazine (American Magazine)

1741 Johann Joseph Fux, Austrian composer/music theorist, dies at about 80 on this day in history.

1755 Rebel leader Mangkubuni signs Treaty of Gianti Java on February - 13.

1755 Francois Alexander Sallantin, composer on February - 13.

1756 Joannes van der Linden, lawyer/judge (Ware Pleiter) on this day in history.

1757 John C Hespe, Dutch journalist/politician on this day in history.

1759 On this day in history in Halifax Nova Scotia the first use of secret ballot in Canada in Nova Scotia Assembly first legislature in British territory to permit secret voting

1764 On February - 13 talleyrand, France/Napolean's foreign minster

1777 On February - 13 marquis de Sade arrested without charge, imprisoned in Vincennes fortress

1777 On this day in history de Sade arrested without charge, imprisoned in Vincennes fortress

1778 Fernando Sor, composer on February - 13.

1782 On this day in history french fleet occupies St Christopher

1784 Charles Gravier, French earl of Vergennes/min of For affairs, dies on this day in history.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

British Diary Part 3: War in America

Grenadier of the 52nd Regiment of Foot, Don Troiani

Dear Reader,

In the previous two posts, we have explored William Digby's journey to North America, and his life experiences on campaign. Digby, a Grenadier in the 53rd Regiment of Foot, accompanied John Burgoyne's Canadian army south in an invasion of New York. In this post, we will explore his combat experience in North American during the 1777 Saratoga campaign.

For ease of reference, here is a map of the 1777 Saratoga campaign.

The British army which Digby was a part of, under the command of general John Burgoyne, hoped to reach Albany, which would split the rebellious American colonies in two. Attacking from Canada, the British army reached the first major obstacle, Fort Ticonderoga. Digby records the experience in his journal from July 4th 1777:

"About noon we took possession of Sugar loaf hill on which a battery was immediately ordered to be raised. It was a post of great consequence, as it commanded a great part of the works of Ticonderoga, all their vessels, and likewise afforded us the means of cutting off their communication with Fort Independent, a place also of great strength and the works very extensive. But here the commanding officer was reckoned guilty of a great oversight in lighting fires on that post, tho I am in formed, it was done by the Indians, the smoak of which was soon perceived by the enemy in the Fort as he should have remained undiscovered till night, when he was to have got two 12 pounders up tho their getting there was almost a perpendicular ascent, and drawn up by most of the cattle belonging to the Army. They no sooner perceived us in possession of a post, which they thought quite impossible to bring cannon up to, than all their pretended boastings of holding out to the last, and choosing rather to die in their works than give them up, failed them, and on the night of the 5th they set fire to several parts of the garrison, kept a constant fire of great guns the whole night, and under the protection of that fire, and clouds of smoke they evacuated the garrison, leaving all their cannon, ammunition and a great quantity of stores."


Fort Ticonderoga
With Ticonderoga in British hands, Digby and the rest of the army move south, hoping to reach Albany by the winter. On August 16th, a contingent of Germans allied soldiers in the British army were defeated at the battle of Bennington. The British army regrouped, and attempted to break through the American forces to reach Albany. The resulting battle, called the battle of Freeman's Farm, ended in victory for the British, but they failed to break through to Albany.

"About 3 o'clock, our heavy guns began to play, but the wood around being thick, and their exact knowledge of our small force, caused them to advance in great numbers, pouring in a superiority of fire from Detachments ordered to hang upon our flanks, which they tried if possible to turn. We could not receive a reinforcement as our works, General Hospital Stores, provisions &° would be left defenceless, on which an order was given for us to retreat, but not before we lost many brave men. Brigadier General Frazier was mortally wounded which helped to turn the fate of the day. When General Burgoyne saw him fall, he seemed then to feel in the highest degree our disagreeable situation. He was the only person we could carry off with us. Our cannon were surrounded and taken — the men and horses being all killed — which gave them additional spirits, and they rushed on with loud shouts, when we drove them back a little way with so great loss to ourselves, that it evidently appeared a retreat was the only thing left for us. They still advanced upon our works under a severe fire of grape shot, which in some measure stopped them, by the great execution we saw made among their columns during which, another body of the enemy stormed the German lines after meeting with a most shameful resistance, and took possession of all their camp and equipage, baggage. Col. Bremen fell nobly at the head of the Foreigners, and by his death blotted out part of the stain his countrymen so justly merited from that days behaviour."

While Digby's criticism of the Germans has no basis in reality, the rest of his account gives an idea of the confused nature of fighting in 18th century North America. The German forces were outnumbered and outflanked, and any 18th century army would have collapsed under these conditions. While the British were often able to get the better of the Americans on the field of battle, they were often unable to turn it into battlefield success.

British Diary Part 2: Life in North America

Ensign Downing's Escape, Don Troiani
Dear Reader,

When we last left our hero, (confused? I'm talking about William Digby) the 53rd Regiment had finally gotten off their ships near Quebec, and William and the other men of the regiment headed inland to face the American rebels. Much like modern amphibious landings, Digby expresses concern about being part of the initial landing party, and said that he would be comforted when the rest of the army landed.

While pursuing the American rebels fleeing from Quebec, Digby described his first experience with American Indians:

"July 5: We were joined by a nation of savages, many more were shortly expected at our camp, and I must say their appearance came fully up or even surpassed the idea I had conceived of them. They were much encouraged by General Carlton, as useful to our army in many particulars, but their cruel and barbarous custom of scalping, must be shocking to an European though practiced on our enemies. They walked freely through our camp, and came into our tents without the least ceremony, wanting brandy or rum <. >their manner of dance and war dancing is curious and shocking, being naked and painted in a most frightful manner. When they give a war whoop or yell, (which is a signal for engaging) they appear more like infernals than the human kind. "

From the above, its clear that many of the practices of Native Americans still shocked European observers, even though they might have previously known what to expect. The Native Americans were far from the only troops in the War of Independence wanting brandy or rum. In many panicked situations, such as the fighting around Ticonderoga in 1777, the American soldiers broke into the alcohol stores and got so drunk that they could not offer any effective resistance.

An 18th Century Military Camp

A little further on, Digby describes the Canadian summer:

"The weather was then intensely hot, scarce bearable in a camp, where the tents rather increased than diminished it, and the great number of men in so small a space made it very disagreeable, though we all went as thinly clothed as possible, wearing large loose trousers to prevent the bite of the moscheto, a small fly which was then very troublesome. Our men in general were healthy, and not much troubled with fevers and fluxes, so common when encamped in a warm climate, and lying nights on the ground under heavy dew. The tree spruce, which grows there in great plenty, as indeed in most parts of America, is an excellent antiscorbutic, and when made into beer is far from a disagreeable flavour. The Canadians in general are a very happy set of people. They pos sess all the vivacity of their ancestors, the French, and in the country appear on an equal footing their noblesse choosing mostly to reside in Montreal or Quebec, both good towns and many English settled there."


While I think that Digby's assumption that flavorful beer makes for a happy people a bit far reaching, his insights into Canadian life give us an excellent depiction of what life was like for the British army on campaign in North America.

The majority of 18th century military life was not the glamorous battles that so often get discussed by historians. Most of the life experiences in the 18th century do not involve great battles, but, much like today, endless patrols, boredom, and occasional sickness. Digby himself experienced a bout of illness:

"In the evening I was seized with a violent shivering and lightness in my head, which was attributed to cold, I must have got the pre-ceeding night on guard. About 10 o clock I was quite delirious and out of my senses, after which I cannot tell what happened. I was blistered on my back, and all the next day continued in the same distracted situation. Indeed, I believe my friends thought it was all over with me, but it pleased God to spare me, and on the 30th I returned to my senses. "

Fortunately for Digby, he made a swift recovery, and rejoined his regiment. In the third and final post on this journal, we will discuss the actual fighting which occurred in Digby's experience, and what he though of the battles with the American rebels.


Thanks for reading,

Alexander Burns

British Diary Part 1: Journey to America

The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, by Don Troiani

After the polling concluded, we had one vote for a spotlight on British soldiers in North America, and two votes for examining an 18th century soldier's diary. So, in an effort to appease both parties, today, we are examining the Journal of William Digby, a British soldier in the American War of Independence. Digby's journal chronicles his experience from 1776 to his capture by the American rebels at Saratoga in 1777.

William Digby's journal was printed in the late 19th century by James Phinney Baxter. While Baxter describes Digby as "a manly spirit guided by an unswerving instinct to justice," Digby's motives for joining the British army were likely similar to most other soldiers in the Kabinettskriege period.

Lt. William Digby joined the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment, and was a member of the Grenadier company. (For quick reference, one of those guys in the furry hats at the top of the page.) Even if he had not specifically told us this, we could guess, as only the Grenadier and Light Infantry companies of the 53rd participated in the events he describes. Like many soldiers, Digby composed his journal in an unspecified time after the campaign concluded, possibly at the request of "a particular friend," who he alludes to in the preface of the journal. Digby wisely adds that a disclaimer that some of his information may be incorrect, as he is only human.




Soldiers to North America:
Digby begins his narrative with the 53rd's journey to America aboard the transport ship Woodcock, in April of 1776. Like many of the soldiers fighting for the British crown, Digby had never been aboard a ship before in his life. He describes what it felt like to see an iceberg for the first time, and lists the numerous types of wildlife encountered on the Atlantic voyage. The sea still held mythic appeal for many soldiers, and despite complaining about the cold and fog, he often describes fanciful, non-factual events, such as swordfish attacking whales. While the specifics of his account are non-factual, he is probably relaying information he received from the sailors on the ship, who might have witnessed a blue marlin impale a whale at some point. (This does occasionally happen- see here for details.)

On the 7th of May, Digby described confusion, as the fleet approached the shoreline at night, and many ships, including his own, nearly went aground on the southern tip of Newfoundland. As the fleet neared America, Digby shared that many soldiers believed that Quebec and the rest of Canada had already fallen to the American rebels.

On the way up the Saint Lawrence seaway, the Woodcock met with the Hope, a messenger ship headed back to England. The soldiers were told that if they wished, this ship would carry letters to loved ones back home to England. Transatlantic mail was a tricky business in the 18th century, and family back in England often heard almost nothing from soldiers for the entire length of a campaign. For servicemen currently overseas, who have the ability to call home, having to wait six weeks for letters from home would seem unbearable.

Digby makes it clear that the soldiers felt extreme uneasy while on board ship. At one point in the night, on May 20th, Digby's transport ran into the warship Providence. One the Grenadiers in his regiment panicked, thinking that the ship was about to sink tried to jump onto the Providence, and was killed in the process. Upon finally reaching mainland Canada, the regiment was, "all in great spirits on leaving the ships." Most of the soldiers felt much better upon reaching dry land. With life on board ship concluded, Digby and the rest of the men of the 53rd prepared to face the rebel forces still in Canada.

The adventures of William Digby will continue, with a post about his life in North America, and a post about his combat experiences in the 1777 Saratoga campaign.


The Great Northern War

The Great Northern War lasted from 1700 to 1721. The Great Northern War was fought between Sweden’s Charles XII and a coalition lead by Peter the Great. By the end of the war, Sweden had lost her supremacy as the leading power in the Baltic region and was replaced by Peter the Great’s Russia.

The Great Northern War had a number of distinct phases: 1700 to 1706 1707 to 1709 1709 to 1714 1714 to 1718 and 1718 to 1721.

Though the Great Northern War started in 1700, the causes of it had been fermenting throughout the 1690’s. An anti-Swedish coalition was created from 1697 to 1699 and included Russia, Denmark and Saxony-Poland. All three states believed that a fifteen years old king – Charles XII – would be an soft target. They also had a shared belief that Sweden by the 1690’s was a spent force and that her territory was waiting to be cut up by a superior force.

Charles V of Denmark wanted to regain Scania and other territories on the Swedish mainland lost by Denmark to Sweden during the Seventeenth Century. Denmark also wanted to remove Swedish troops from the Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp – a Swedish satellite state.

Augustus II of Saxony-Poland was known as Augustus the Strong. He was also the Elector Frederick Augustus of Saxony and in 1697 he was elected king of Poland – hence his combined title of Saxony-Poland. Augustus wanted to conquer Livonia to put an end once and for all to Swedish economic predominance in the Baltic. He wanted to develop Poland’s industrial base by using Poland’s raw materials and Saxony’s economic know-how. However, he could not do this while Sweden remained a commercial rival in the Baltic.

Peter the Great simply wanted a foothold in the Baltic as a move towards greatness in the region. Russia could never be great in the Baltic while Sweden was pre-eminent especially as Sweden possessed Karelia, Ingria and Estonia – thus blocking Russia’s advance west.

This anti-Swedish alliance was knitted together by J R von Patkul and other anti-Swedish noblemen living in Livonia. The was started badly for the alliance.

In March 1700, the Danes invaded Holstein-Gottorp. The Swedes, aided by an Anglo-Dutch fleet as well as their own navy, invaded Zeeland and threatened to overrun Copenhagen. In August 1700, Denmark withdrew from the war via the Treaty of Traventhal.

While Sweden was fighting Denmark, Augustus invaded Livonia but quickly withdrew when Charles XII transferred his army to Livonia from Denmark.

Charles was now free to attack Russia who were besieging Narvia and Ingria. 8,000 Swedes destroyed a Russian army of 23,000 in November 1700 – this was to give Charles XII legendary military status and it also confirmed to western nations that Russia under Peter the Great was backward.

From 1700 to 1706, Charles spent time in Poland building up a firm military base there before his planned invasion of Russia. Charles courted anti-Saxon and anti-Russian Polish nobles for their support. Charles’ campaign in Poland lead to him conquering Warsaw in May 1702, and he defeated a Polish-Saxon army at Kliszow in June 1703. Thorn was also captured in 1703. After such military success, Charles organised the election of a puppet leader – Stanislas Leszczynski. He became king of Poland in July 1704.

Charles signed the Treaty of Warsaw with Poland in February 1705 which was for peace and commerce and defeated and he defeated the Saxons at the Battle of Fraustadt in February 1706. By Spring 1706, Charles was in control of Poland having forced out both the Russians and the Saxons. The final blow came in September 1706 when Augustus II recognised Stanislas as the king of Poland in the Treaty of Altranstädt and allowed the Swedish Army to winter in Saxony.

While Charles XII had been concentrating on Poland, Peter the Great had made incursions into parts of the Baltic controlled by Sweden namely, Dorpat and Narva – both in 1704. However, such was the military status of Charles, that Peter ceded these conquests in order to make peace. Charles would not accept this and considered Russia a permanent danger to Sweden in the Baltic. He prepared a campaign against Russia – a march on Moscow.

The invasion of Russia started in 1707. Charles had planned for a two-pronged attack. Charles XII, himself, invaded Russia via Smolensk while Count Lewenhaupt invaded Russia via Riga. From 1707 through to 1708, Peter the Great withdrew his forces. Peter made his first stand at Holowczyn in July 1708. The Swedes won but it was at a price. As Peter withdrew, he used a scorched earth policy destroying anything that might be of value to an advancing army.

Charles did not follow Peter. Instead, the Swedish army wintered in the Ukraine. There was a logic to this as Charles hoped to link up with Mazepa, the Hetman of the Ukraine Cossacks, who was seeking to build an independent Cossack state and, therefore, saw Peter as a potential enemy who needed to be defeated. Charles also hoped to build an anti-Russian alliance with Devlet-Girei III, the Khan of the Crimea. Charles was confident that this group of three – the Swedes, the Cossacks and the Crimeans – would defeat Peter.

However, Devlet-Girei III was forced to remain neutral. His master was the Sultan of Turkey and the Sultan did not want to be embroiled in a war that he felt he would only lose out if he joined in or gave his blessing for one of his underlings to get involved. Mazepa of the Cossacks, was simply not in a military position to assist Charles. Therefore, the alliance came to nothing. Charles also had other problems to face.

The winter of 1708 to 1709 was one of the worst on records and had a major impact on Sweden’s army that was wintering in the Ukraine.

Also, the advance of Lewenhaupt was stopped at the Battle of Lesnaya in 1708 where he lost his entire supply column.

Charles XII lead a weakened and under-equipped army into Russia. He also had to lead his army on a stretcher as he had been shot in the foot during a skirmish. In June/July 1709, Sweden suffered a serious military defeat at the Battle of Poltava. Many Swedish soldiers were killed and those who were not surrendered at Perevolochna.

The defeat immediately turned around the position Sweden and Russia held in Europe. After this one decisive battle, Sweden was no longer supreme in eastern Europe. The victory put Peter the Great where he wanted to be – dominant in eastern Europe and a power to be reckoned with. Charles had to escape to Turkey.

Charles now found that he could not return to Sweden. All the potential routes were fraught with danger. As a result, Charles stayed at Bender, Bessarabia in Turkey. With Charles isolated, the alliance of Denmark, Poland and Russia revived itself.

Augustus reclaimed his title in Poland as Stanislas fled.

Demark invaded Scania in 1710 but was repelled.

Russia continued her conquest of the Baltic states and Finland. Russia defeated the Swedish navy at Hangö in July 1714 and had the potential to invade Sweden itself.

In the absence of Charles, Sweden was governed by the Swedish Council. They raised a new army which was sent to North Germany in preparation for an attack on Poland. However, Sweden had come to rely on mercenaries and the attempt to produce an army in a very short space of time failed. The army got to northern Germany but it became stuck there as the navy of Denmark destroyed the transport ships used to supply them. With few supplies and little chance of getting back to Sweden, this army surrendered against a combined Russian/Danish/Saxon force at Tanning, Holstein in May 1713.

In Turkey, Charles XII persuaded the Sultan to launch an attack on Russia in the south at the same time as Sweden was launching an attack on Russia in the north. In fact, just one of the major problems Charles faced was lack of communications with Sweden. After Tanning, Sweden simply could not produce an army of any substance. However, the Sultan’s attack was successful in that Russia was defeated at the River Pruth and the Sultan got effective control of the Black Sea and gained Azov. In June 1713, the Sultan signed a settlement with Russia which guaranteed peace between the two for 25 years.

Charles was no longer welcome in Turkey and he made his way to Stralsund in Pomerania. Stralsund and Wismar were the only two possessions Sweden had in northern Germany. For the next few years Charles attempted to make alliances with numerous states – including recent enemy states. It is difficult to know what Charles’ plan was but some believe that he had no intention of maintaining peace and only a desire for Sweden to get back her reputation and status in eastern Europe. In this sense, it seems that Charles was willing to negotiate with any state but probably had no desire to keep to the terms of whatever treaty he signed. Some historians believe that Charles was becoming more and more divorced from reality and that he refused to accept that Sweden’s golden days as the dominant state in eastern Europe were over.

In 1715, two more state joined the alliance against Sweden – Brandenburg and Hanover. Stralsund fell in 1715 and Wismar in 1716. By 1718, Charles had somehow managed to put together an army of 60,000 men. He invaded Norway but was killed at Fredriksheld in late 1718.

The death of Charles XII removed a major stumbling block in the peace process. Charles could not accept that Sweden was a spent force and that the dominant state in eastern Europe was Russia. It is not clear what he intended when he invaded Norway. In the previous 18 years, Norway had not been a problem to Sweden if Charles had intended to use Norway as a base to attack Denmark, it was a failure.

Fear of Russia extended further than the Baltic. Britain and France were both concerned at the potential extent of Russia’s power and as a result of this, pressure was brought to bear for peace treaties to bring stability to the region as it was reckoned that Russia would use war as a lever to expand. She would have found it more difficult to do so if there was peace in the area.


An Update On The "Plastic Olympics"

As you all no doubt know, both Ralphus and I have been trying to keep abreast of all of the new 1/72nd plastics releases that are either already out or in the pipeline. And there have been many announced sets that have sounded very exciting and some that even showed stellar box art to whet our appetite's. Well, here is an update of sorts on what we now know, what we perceive, and what we suspect:

Zvezda - So far, so good, With only a few minor glitches reported by Will McNally on the Russian Artillery here, here and here, the great review of the Prussian Grenadiers on PSR here, and the advance shots of the Swedish Artillery, it certainly looks like Zvezda has captured the Gold medal.

BUM/GerMan - With all of the announced sets for the Catalan theater of the WSS, there was some real excitement building for these figures. And, to be completely fair, judging by both the PSR reviews and some samples that I've picked up, the quality of sculpting has improved. The inclusion of the resin-cast pre-terrained pieces will either be to your liking or not, but some are quite good. The inclusion of different troop types or artillery mixed in with the main, advertised troop type will probably be an annoyance unless one carefully factors in these "extras" when planning their orders. The biggest drawback is that they are still using that awful plastic that is a bit like an old artist's gum eraser. If one isn't careful, and uses a sharp knife or snips, you can actually tear a figure in half trying to de-sprue it! I say a Silver medal for Quality and Variety, but just barely.

Strelets - Haven't done a lot recently in their GNW range, but the "Narva to Poltava" set, reviewed here, is finally out and contains quite a few useful figures. Ideally, if one already had a GNW collection, these would provide several good character/officer/personality figures and enough infantrymen to still do a decent unit or just provide some variety in existing units. They still suffer from Strelets variable sculpting quality, but are better than some others out there. I would award Strelets the Bronze medal just on the basis of this one very large set.

Mars - Ah, now we come to real disappointment. After years of making copies of other's products, Mars finally set out to do some sculpting of their own and picked some useful subjects. I was really looking forward to their Saxon Infantry set, as well as their Polish Haijduks and possibly some of the TYW stuff. However, based on PSR's review of their Swedish GNW set here, and their Polish Haijduk set here, the excitement is fading fast. To quote PSR's review of the Swedish Infantry,

"They say that pictures are worth a thousand words, and that is something we firmly believe here at PSR. Our pictures of these figures speak as loudly as any, and seem to say, well, ugly!"

And, to make matters worse, Mars apparently have no idea what wargamers actually do with their figures based on the box contents. Each new set has contained exactly four (4) of EACH and every figure, command and non-combatants included. To be fair, the sculpting and casting quality of the Polish set is an improvement over the Swede's, and one can hope the Saxon's continue in this vein. However, based on their previous contents decision and extrapolating the total number of figures contained times the number of poses, the Saxon Infantry will contain the same four (4) of EACH pose (14), for the advertised total of 56 figures. While some of the ranker's poses look decent (assuming the sculpting and casting hold up to comparison), and you can actually simulate a 3-deep firing line if you wish, exactly 50% of all of the figures in the box will be command or other non-combatants! For the sake of argument, if one were to buy, say five (5) boxes to have enough ranker's for a few proper units, does anyone need 20 each of fifers, drummers, sergeants, ensigns, officers, colour bearer's and sappers? And I'm waiting to see someone use their Poles and do a 20-figure unit of "Young Rotamaster's Boys" carrying the great sword over their shoulder! Overall, I'm afraid I would have to give Mars a 10 for Intent, maybe a 7 for Effort, a 4 or 5 for Quality and a 1 for Performance. So far, they not only don't medal in this competition, they might want to consider if they're in the right game.

As always, my opinions are my own, your tastes may vary from mine. And, while I did award Zvezda the Gold, we still need those Russian Dragoons and some types of proper Heavy Cavalry before this range is close to complete.


The Battle of Almanza

A decisive engagement in the War of Spanish Succession was fought on April 25th, 1707.

James Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick, was the illegitimate son of the future James II of England by his mistress Arabella Churchill, elder sister of the great Duke of Marlborough. Born, brought up and educated in France, he joined the French army, in which he would prove a notably competent commander in the War of the Spanish Succession, which began with a dispute between Louis XIV and the Austrian Habsburgs over the vacant Spanish throne.

The war drew in the English, the Dutch and the Portuguese on the Austrian side against the French, who in Spain were supported by Castile, but opposed by the Catalans.

There was fighting in Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, and the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy won brilliant victories for the allies, including Blenheim in 1704. The French seemed to have lost the war and in Spain an Anglo-Portuguese army under the Earl of Galway (a French Huguenot named Ruvigny) and General de Las Minas for the Portuguese for a time occupied Madrid. In February 1706 Louis XIV created Berwick a Marshal of France and sent him to take charge in Spain. The decisive battle occurred on Easter Monday in 1707 when the allied army arrived at the walled town of Almanza, south-west of Valencia, and found Berwick waiting for them. About half Berwick’s army were French and half Spanish, with a single Irish regiment.

Berwick organized his army in two lines in front of the town, with his infantry in the centre, the French cavalry on the left and the Spanish cavalry on the right. The allied army had British, Portuguese, Dutch and Huguenot French contingents, and at Las Minas’s insistence Galway gave the Portuguese cavalry the place of honour on the right, which proved to be a crucial mistake. According to Berwick’s own account, the Spanish cavalry charged the enemy left and broke them, but were then driven back by the fire of the allied infantry in the centre. They withdrew, regrouped and charged again with the same result. Berwick then moved some of his French infantry forward to the attack and with the cavalry charging again, the allied left wing was beaten. Things were also going well for Berwick on his right wing, but some of the allied infantry in the centre broke through and reached the walls of Almanza. However, they were charged by Berwick’s cavalry and driven back, at which the Portuguese cavalry ran away. Las Minas, who was in his eighties, stood his ground bravely, though his mistress, who had dressed as a man to fight, was killed by his side, but the disappearance of the Portuguese cavalry left the British, Dutch and Huguenot infantry’s flank completely exposed and they were overwhelmingly defeated.

Berwick reckoned the allied casualties at about 5,000 killed and 10,000 taken prisoner, while he lost some 2,000 men, though that figure is generally considered much too low. The victory was a major factor in securing control of Spain for the Bourbons.


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Among my dad's coursemates, most of the guys who reached the rank of brigadier general are northerners, most of them were among the worse in courses and had lower education than their southern counterparts who were compulsorily retired at the rank of colonel for most of them.

Exaggeration? Come NE abeg.

Many of you don’t know what’s popping down here. Continue reading NE war from Twitter.

Stop giving us lamba abeg, which course was your father to start with let's cross examine your claims.
Did you even know that at the senior level from Colonel upwards promotion is based on slots across each region, even at that level they still try to balance things maybe your father was retired because age on rank has caught up with him, or even failed his promotional exams and be giving you guys lamba at home.
The Army has its own issues, I agree and I do point it out here but the way you're portraying the institution is as if it is made up solely by a particular group of people which is not true.

Number of soldiers killed has nothing to do with coming to NE. This is purely statistics realeased by institutions that have no relation to the Government or the military. Even soldiers fighting in North East cannot accurately tell you the number of soldiers KIA compared to terrorists killed without statistic report. The difference is really far bro, no just go there. I know being there would definitely affect your emotions but statistics and emotions are different, Emotion would make you think 10 soldiers KIA is more than 100 Terrorists eliminated when you start hearing about their names, history, bravery, personality and so on. That's what emotion does, but statistics puts everything straight.

Bro’s I don’t argue on this at all.

Where are we killing the Terrorists? In our ducking FOBs and Supercamps?

We are conducting ambushes? Wulgo, Kirenowa, Logomani?

We are attacking their locations?

I don’t bring emotions into my thinking I’m a Rugged Dude. I’m saying what the real scores ongoing here.

Baba boys Dey go down unnecessarily

It’s well sha. God Bless Nigeria

Nice to see I generate such interests, but you need to sharpen your comprehension skills

To be truthful, most of you are not sufficiently intelligent to understand the world you live in.
I don't blame people for not being smart, but I don't debate them neither. I can educate you guys though, for a pay but I already have a job and I don't think you can match my salary.

I want to believe you're talking about the 1963 model, for me it was close to the best system of governance we had before the military struck. That been said the Swiss model is quite attractive, Canada also practice something similar.

NB:
The U.K route I was talking about is wrt to the union of Ireland, Britain and Scotland.

Have you heard about Mambila militia in Taraba before?
When next you go to Taraba, ask the right questions, don't sit like a Zombie to be fed tales by moonlight, the likes of Danjuma et al were funding the militia to protect the farms against Fulani terrorists & herdsmen that over run their crops.
The militia refused to be coalesced into the state armed forces structure, unlike almost all the vigilantes & support armed groups in every state including the Civillian JTF in Borno.

Mambilla militia succeeded for a while but over zealously set out on a vendetta mission to oust peaceful fulani settlers in the state, military came in with the mandate to disarm both groups, !diots like Danjuma started crying fowl that military took sides with the Fulanis but forgot to tell you that the militia had no evidence that those settlers were responsible for the attacks in the farm to have butchered them.

Do you expect the military to fold her arms & watch a total break down of law & order?
That's the issue in Taraba, they are unhappy their militia was disarmed but won't tell you their militia lost their mandate from protection of farms to attacking settlers.

The same thing is about to happen in the SE, IPOB launched ESN with the pretext they will protect farmlands, instead of remaining in the farms, they are everywhere attacking police, army, vigilantes & Innocent people.
Why should they not be disarmed?

Every group hides behind a security challenge to arm themselves against their perceived enemies then expect the army to fold arms & watch?

Bro’s I don’t argue on this at all.

Where are we killing the Terrorists? In our ducking FOBs and Supercamps?

We are conducting ambushes? Wulgo, Kirenowa, Logomani?

We are attacking their locations?

I don’t bring emotions into my thinking I’m a Rugged Dude. I’m saying what the real scores ongoing here.

Baba boys Dey go down unnecessarily

It’s well sha. God Bless Nigeria

Let's factor in air interdiction and CAS. One of the videos released by NAF around February (the battle for Marte I think) featured so many dead and wounded terrorists. About 4 gun trucks were totally destroyed, a few others sustained some degree of damages that would have resulted in casualties on the part of the terrorist. Not to even talk about the terrorists who were trying to hide in a trench that were picked up by the helicopter.
Then at the initial stages of Operation TT bango, we saw large numbers of dead terrorists. We also have casualties from artilleries and mortar strikes. The army might not be performing well against the terrorists but the airforce extends the gap by far. The military doesn't release pictures of dead enemies so we might not know the real extent of the casualties on both sides.
When we consider the poor quality of life the terrorists have and numerous infightings and lack of access to reasonable health care which will definitely lead to losing more of their wounded fighters than NA. Then diseases too, early last year some of the terrorists camps were dealing with cholera outbreaks.
When you consider so many other factors, it will be reasonable to conclude that the terrorists lose far more men than the military.

On average, how many men do we lose when the terrorists attacks garrisons? Even by the terrorist's own accounts, it is usually very low.
NA loses more during raining seasons due to increased success chances of ambushes but apart from this, I don't know any other scenario the army loses soldiers more than 10 per attack.
Check Tomasz thread for the terrorists account of the battles. In many of the attacks on army bases, the terrorists claim they "killed and wounded several soldiers" which Tomasz has interpreted as the terrorists not knowing whether they killed anyone.


Sounds like an unemployed youth dreaming for a job all his life.


Have you heard about Mambila militia in Taraba before?
When next you go to Taraba, ask the right questions, don't sit like a Zombie to be fed tales by moonlight, the likes of Danjuma et al were funding the militia to protect the farms against Fulani terrorists & herdsmen that over run their crops.
The militia refused to be coalesced into the state armed forces structure, unlike almost all the vigilantes & support armed groups in every state including the Civillian JTF in Borno.

Mambilla militia succeeded for a while but over zealously set out on a vendetta mission to oust peaceful fulani settlers in the state, military came in with the mandate to disarm both groups, !diots like Danjuma started crying fowl that military took sides with the Fulanis but forgot to tell you that the militia had no evidence that those settlers were responsible for the attacks in the farm to have butchered them.

Do you expect the military to fold her arms & watch a total break down of law & order?
That's the issue in Taraba, they are unhappy their militia was disarmed but won't tell you their militia lost their mandate from protection of farms to attacking settlers.

The same thing is about to happen in the SE, IPOB launched ESN with the pretext they will protect farmlands, instead of remaining in the farms, they are everywhere attacking police, army, vigilantes & Innocent people.
Why should they not be disarmed?

Every group hides behind a security challenge to arm themselves against their perceived enemies then expect the army to fold arms & watch?

If some of us are going to be talking about the ethnic makeup of the Nigerian Military, we had better back it up with statistics from reliable sources.

Its not wise to allow our sentiments to be guided by emotions

For those who love to see combat through the lens of soldiers, visit this reddit page:

When some monickers begin to tell me not to compare our military with others, I need to remind them that in the last 7 years, our military's budget has been unprecedented. So what are the service chiefs and military high command doing with all the money?

The men on the ground know this and thus they don't feel its fair to give their lives for a country they feel has abandoned them

Absolutely correct. But they were 2000+. They formed a swimming school at 3rd marine commmando division occupation area. Issac boro's men were even involved in the invasion of mainland portharcourt in 1968!. His men were superb. Infact, they were called special forces. They were our first special forces

3rd marine commandos that performed the first Amphibious landing in Africa, was victorious in operation tiger claw which successfully blockaded the Biafrans from the Sea, was commanded by Benjamin Adekunle the Black Scorpion, he decimated Major Ogbo Orji of the Biafran army & further led an incursion to Bonny & Opobo for a total Water Blockade.

Adekunle was later redeployed to DHQ Lagos when Ojukwu distracted the blockade by making a desperate land incursion to Ore through Benin, his task as he was told was to protect Lagos, Before then he had terribly lost in the first battle of Owerri (the last capital of Biafra), Operation OAU where his men were brutally crushed by Kalu & Joe Achuzie, two formidable Biafran commanders.

two years later, command of the 3rd marine commandos went to Olusegun Obasanjo who returned to Owerri in the final days of the war & dealt a severe blow on Kalu & Achuzie leading to the surrender of the Biafran forces by their 2nd in Command Gen. Affiong, understandably because the Coward Ojukwu had taken to his heels through Uli improvised airport.

Ardent historians of the Nigerian civil war unanimously agree the 3rd marine commando was the Bulwark of the Nigerian federal forces.

There was no time Adaka boro commanded the 3rd marine commando, never!!

See movement and coordination

This isn't about hardware, its result of the right training curriculum


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCVzwIa5EOw

Blueelf:
When some monickers begin to tell me not to compare our military with others, I need to remind them that in the last 7 years, our military's budget has been unprecedented. So what are the service chiefs and military high command doing with all the money?

The men on the ground know this and thus they don't feel its fair to give their lives for a country they feel has abandoned them

The NCOs ain’t willing to fight. They all believe this war isn’t coming to an end due to some Bosses at the top.

Like they’ll all say “Baba let me do my time and find my way”

Blueelf:
If some of us are going to be talking about the ethnic makeup of the Nigerian Military, we had better back it up with statistics from reliable sources.

Its not wise to allow our sentiments to be guided by emotions

No emotions involved, it is a known fact that every honest soldier or family member of soldiers would tell you. It is so well known that northerners even boast of it.

Statistics from a reliableble source ? Get the f out of here.

Borno youth being rushed into the army without competing with the rest of the country, do you need "statistics from a reliable source" to see that ?

No emotions involved, it is a known fact that every honest soldier or family member of soldiers would tell you. It is so well known that northerners even boast of it.

Statistics from a reliableble source ? Get the f out of here.

Weird question, you guys love to use the expression "being emotional". But I don't think most of you even know the meaning.
I am discussing facts, you chose to be ignorant on purpose. How old are you ? I would guess you are a teenager.

The age at which you are not smarter than a 13 year old kid but believe you are smarter than professors.

Weird question, you guys love to use the expression "being emotional". But I don't think most of you even know the meaning.
I am discussing facts, you chose to be ignorant on purpose. How old are you ? I would guess you are a teenager.

The age at which you are not smarter than a 13 year old kid but believe you are smarter than professors.

I ask again, now who's being emotional /> />

Say the above without tearing up your retinas next time.

I ask again, now who's being emotional /> />

Say the above without tearing up your retinas next time.

There is no insult in my comment, look we are of different generations, I don't do the trolling thing your generation loves so much.

How do you nknow my generation??

Who resorted to insults on a simple statement directed to everyone on this thread /> />

No one came at me with insults except you. It speaks a lot about your age or upbringing can't really tell betwixt the two

How do you nknow my generation??

Who resorted to insults on a simple statement directed to everyone on this thread /> />

No one came at me with insults except you. It speaks a lot about your age or upbringing can't really tell betwixt the two

You are entitled to your opinion.

Pointers:
Your emojis show your age.
The way you reason shows your age (maths teachers easily recognise these things)

I have been at that age and reasoned the same way as you before, I have made the same inadequate statements as you before. I was once at your age and level.

You will understand what I am saying in the future, especially if you have kids and watch them do the same stupid stuff you used to do.

Bro’s I don’t argue on this at all.

Where are we killing the Terrorists? In our ducking FOBs and Supercamps?

We are conducting ambushes? Wulgo, Kirenowa, Logomani?

We are attacking their locations?

I don’t bring emotions into my thinking I’m a Rugged Dude. I’m saying what the real scores ongoing here.

Baba boys Dey go down unnecessarily

It’s well sha. God Bless Nigeria

You're right on the part of not engaging in more offensive, we should have a strike force tasked with the purpose of conducting operations throughout the year.

But to say casualties are competing is an outright exaggeration.

Since 2011 to 2020, we've lost about 3000+ soldiers, yeah that's alot but it's far compared to 21,000+ losses on BH side. That's a far difference and shows nothing like competition.

1st division was 50% hausa extraction. 2nd and 3rd division were really mixed. [/b]Infact majority of Nigerian army recruits during the war were from benue and the minority tribes[b]

Blueelf:
When some monickers begin to tell me not to compare our military with others, I need to remind them that in the last 7 years, our military's budget has been unprecedented. So what are the service chiefs and military high command doing with all the money?

The men on the ground know this and thus they don't feel its fair to give their lives for a country they feel has abandoned them

Odunayaw:
If you're asking this it must mean you have zero idea on what training is like in the Army. So what chest have you been using to chide them?

Anyway, there's a documentary of how life is for fresh recruits and NDA cadets on YouTube. If you truly want to rid yourself of ignorance, you can find it


Heyy, are you a cadet?
Im preparing to enroll for the NDA this year. Will I survive in the academy? I'm nowhere near the strongest teenagers out there. Which means, I'm average

AIRING OF DOCUMENTARY TITLED, “NIGERIAN AIR FORCE @ 57: RENEWED VIGOUR.”

Watch out for an interesting documentary, titled “Nigerian Air Force @ 57: Renewed Vigour,” which will be aired on NTA (Available on DSTV Channel 251) and TVC (Channel 418 on DSTV) as follows:

NTA - Monday, 17 May 2021, from 5.30 to 6.00pm.

TVC - Wednesday, 19 May 2021, from 9.00 to 9.30pm.

The documentary highlights the progress the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has made over the past 57 years, with particular focus on the giant strides recorded under the current NAF leadership.

Thank you for your continued interest in the NAF

You are entitled to your opinion.

Pointers:
Your emojis show your age.
The way you reason shows your age (maths teachers easily recognise these things)

I have been at that age and reasoned the same way as you before, I have made the same inadequate statements as you before. I was once at your age and level.

You will understand what I am saying in the future, especially if you have kids and watch them do the same stupid stuff you used to do.

My emoji's show I'm not taking this as serious as you are

Sorry bro, emotional outbursts would take you nowhere

Heyy, are you a cadet?
Im preparing to enroll for the NDA this year. Will I survive in the academy? I'm nowhere near the strongest teenagers out there. Which means, I'm average

No I'm not a cadet. I was an aspirant not too far in the past.

Yeah, you would survive and thrive. Military training is more about mental toughness than physical toughness. In fact the muscular friends I had all dashed out before they could finish their first year. I wish you luck


Watch the video: The battle of fraustadt 1706 (December 2021).