Friday, December 23, 2011

On vacation!

To all I'll be taking some much needed time of for a while and will return Next Year! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.


More accurate view of Washington crossing debuts

More accurate view of Washington crossing debuts

A painting by artist Mort Kuntsler, shows "Washington' s Crossing:
McKonkey's Ferry, Dec. 26, 1776." On Monday, Dec. 26, 2011, the New York Historical Society will unveil the more historically accurate version of George Washington's 1776 Christmas crossing, showing his troops in the dead of night during a snowstorm, and without the stars-and-stripes flag, which hadn't been adopted yet. (Mort Kuntsler | The Associated Press)

The Associated Press
© December 25, 2011
One of America's most famous images, a painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware River, got much of the story wrong: The American commander wouldn't have stood triumphantly on a rowboat in daylight, but on a ferry bracing himself against a fierce snowstorm on Christmas night.
That's the historic scene depicted in a new painting that goes on display this week at the New-York Historical Society museum in Manhattan. "No one in his right mind would have stood up in a rowboat in that weather," artist Mort Kunstler said. "It would have capsized."
He told The Associated Press that he's "not knocking the original" — the well-known 1851 painting by German-born artist Emanuel Leutze, who Kunstler says "was glorifying Washington using what he knew at the time." But Kunstler said his new piece is aimed at righting the historical mistakes.
Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware from Pennsylvania to New Jersey to mount a surprise attack on Hessian forces at the Battle of Trenton on Dec. 26, 1776. The Americans killed 22 Hessians, wounded 98 and captured nearly 900 while losing only three of their own men. The Hessians were hired by the British to fight against the American rebels in the Revolutionary War.
It was a daring feat led by the man who would become the nation's first president, and boosted the morale of the fledgling American army. Relying on military experts and historians, plus visits to the river site, Kunstler came up with a list of inaccuracies in Leutze's painting and set out to correct them in his new work. The most obvious is that Washington would not have used the earliest Stars-and-Stripes flag that appears in the Leutze work; it wasn't adopted until 1777.
Instead of a rowboat, the troops probably boarded a flat-bottomed ferry big and stable enough to carry cannons, plus the horses to pull them, Kunstler said. Such boats were hitched to cables to stabilize them.
The Leutze painting shows the New Jersey shore clearly in the distance. But Kunstler says documents show a storm had swept in that night, bringing freezing rain, hail and snow that would have cut the visibility.
The new painting shows a determined Washington holding onto a cannon, illuminated by a torch as he heads into battle outnumbered and underequipped. His troops were a ragtag bunch. Instead of military uniforms, they likely wore hunting jackets and wool caps, Kunstler said.
While he was able to verify the weather, time of day and vessel type, the artist said, he based other details like clothing "on probability. " "I don't see any reason you can't make this scene dramatic and exciting — and historically correct," said Kunstler, an 81-year-old Brooklyn native.
His painting, entitled "Washington' s Crossing: McKonkey's Ferry, Dec. 26,
1776," debuts Monday.
Leutze's painting is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on the other side of Central Park. But art lovers will have to wait a few more weeks before they can compare the two paintings in real life: The Leutze piece is in storage pending the opening of the new American Wing on Jan. 16. "It's always been the one work of art people ask for," Met spokesman Harold Holzer said. The museum recently had the painting reframed in the style in which it was first shown in New York in 1895 at a charity benefiting Civil War soldiers.
Leutze "made the scene as dramatic as he could, and it obviously has had an impact on people," Holzer said.
Holzer, who is himself a historian, planned to participate in Monday's
presentation of Kunstler's painting.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

MARENGO 1800, Conclusion!

The movement of the lines throughout the day historically!

L'Emperuer directs the action (K. Rocco)!

The Austrian breakout!

Austrian cavalry charges!

When we last left off a minor cavalry skirmish had just taken place outside the French (Right Flank) defensive positions!

But instead as in this picture the French cavalry was defeated. This was O.K. as I was merely attempting to try and halt the Austrians mass and make them slow a little bit!

Meanwhile on our (Left Flank) we have lost our second BUA and front line units that were engaged since the beginning of the battle were staring to suffer from fatigue and heavy losses! We were unable to effectively Rally some of these troops and they started to fall back (Red Puffs) & rout (Yellow Puffs). Our Heavy cavalry attempted to hold our flank at the river ford!

They are however to close to the ford and unlike this depiction will suffer for it as they suffer some disruption for having to cross a linear obstacle during their counter charge (As they were on React orders and positioned to closely) similar to the Right Flank's cavalry!

The Austrians emboldened by their success prepare to charge once again, but as stated earlier are surprised to find that the initial charging unit was smaller than we all thought!

Their charge commences on our Left. The Center units try and force our line to fail, and our Right is shored up by some Artillery (The best unit of the game for the French).

The Left flank cavalry is initially successful with their charge (White Puff). While the whole in our line becomes apparent!

Some Austrian cavalry starts taking damage from combat and Artillery (Red puff)!

The Austrians cavalry had charged again only to have to cross the bridge and be fired into point blank by my cavalry as well as our artillery and pay for the brashness! Their charge fails and they start to try and regroup!

So the Right flank holds while the rest of our army is in bad shape! The Austrians are prevented from taking their Main objective, but are successful overall in defeating the French. Notice my reinforcements hiding behind the BUA!

This is a view of the overall situation at Endex as the Austrians would not be able to accomplish their Main Obj by the end of the game.

Note: Center units which had to be rallied (Red Puffs)!

Italian infantry! If you like any of these prints by Patrice Courcelle the originals may be purchased here; My thanks to Patrice for allowing me to use them. 

A close up of my defeated cavalry!

And of our line troops who needed to try and Rally!

And the Heavies who held the Left Flank!

The Center with it's GAP!

The well handled Austrian artillery.

French final defensive positions!

Austrian reserves!

The Austrians attempting to regroup for the final push!

A view from the Austrians perspective!

Overall view of the Left flank and Center!

The initial BUA #1 which fell way before we thought it would!

Alas there would be no Gen. Desaix arriving to help us this time!

Final view of our Left Flank!

And the overwhelming Austrian forces which soon would have crushed it!

Address to the Troops on the Conclusion of the First Italian Campaign, March, 1797
"Soldiers: The campaign just ended has given you imperishable renown.  You have been victorious in fourteen pitched battles and seventy actions.  You have taken more than a hundred thousand prisoners, five hundred field-pieces, two thousand heavy guns, and four pontoon trains.  You have maintained the army during the whole campaign.  In addition to this, you have sent six millions of dollars to the public treasury, and have enriched the National Museum with three hundred masterpieces of the arts of ancient and modern Italy, which it has required thirty centuries to produce. You have conquered the finest countries in Europe. The French flag waves for he first time upon the Adriatic opposite to Macedon, the native country of Alexander [the Great].  Still higher destinies await you.  I know that you will not prove unworthy of them.  Of all the foes that conspired to stifle the Republic in its birth, The Austrian Emperor alone remains before you.  To obtain peace we must seek it in the heart of his hereditary State.  You will there find a brave people, whose religion and customs you will respect, and whose prosperity you will hold sacred.  Remember that it is liberty you carry to the brave Hungarian nation."
And so victory this time goes to the Austrians!

An Austrian veteran's display case in commemoration of the War of the Sixth Coalition
first half of the 19th century. Wood, historical glass, fabrics, paper, polychrome and gold-plated. Patriotic arrangement of the own victorious weapons used in the wars against Napoleon I. Symmetrical composition, fan-shaped arrangement of flintlock bayonet rifles and two gold-plated flags showing the Habsburg double-headed eagle, a three-dimensional gold-plated double-headed eagle finial at the top. Underneath a cannon and mortar barrel, bullets, drum, spade, edged weapons, helmets, hats, shakos and czapkas. Handpainted inscription "Rufft jubelnt die vereinte Krieger-Schaar. Errichtet im Jahr (blank)" and "Begrüßen dankbar jubelnd hier sich die vereinten Waffenbrüder vieder". "Gottes Segen umschwebe stets unser allgeliebtes Herrscher Paar" and "Beschützt, beglückt durch des Vaters Allmachts Güte im heißen Kampf der Kriege." at back. Glass cover. Original as found condition, partially damaged. Height 43.5 cm. Very rare!

But there will always be other opportunities/scenarios in the future for the Emperor to win! 

"I was at MARENGO"

Following the victory of Marengo, private industry, develops a saber mount for the Cavalry Officer, which is called "The Marengo" and whose design is inspired by a design created by Boutet for the saber.

For officers who were in Marengo, it was a way of saying "I was at Marengo"

This blade is born and dies within the Consulate & only officers who were in Marengo are allowed to purchase this model.

You will see the similarity with the sword of Napoleon, at least in its general characteristics, save an "S" attached to the curved Gabilan through a rectangle, pin to secure the sheath in the form of half circle equipped with a Egyptian motif.

Of course these weapons were made for combat and have virtually no-frills.

"The sabre that Napoleon used at Marengo"

A gold-encrusted sword Napoleon wore into battle in Italy was sold on June 19th, 2007 for more than $6.4 million at an auction south of Paris, the auction house said. 

The sword was owned by eight direct descendants of Napoleon, including Prince Victor Napoleon. Applause rang out in a packed auction hall across the street from one of Napoleon's imperial castles in Fontainebleau,a town southeast of Paris where the sword was sold. 

The last of Napoleon's swords in private hands, it had been expected to fetch more than $1.6 million, the Osenat auction house, managing the sale, said. The buyer was later identified as another descendant of Jerome.

Strong enough for battle, the sword is uncommonly ornate, with geometric designs in gold covering the hilt and most of the blade. The intricately decorated blade is 32 inches in length and curves gently— based on an inspiration Napoleon drew from his Egyptian campaign, auctioneer Jean- Pierre Osenat said. The sword was carried by Napoleon — who was not yet Emperor — into the battle of Marengo in June 1800, where he launched a surprise attack to push the Austrian army fromItaly and seal France's victory.

"It's at the same time a weapon of war and a very beautiful work of art. It symbolizes more than anything else the power, the force and the incontestable strength of the Emperor Napoleon," Osenat said as he handled the sword. He wore white gloves to protect its steel and gold surfaces.

The sword was declared a national treasure in 1978, meaning that under French law it could be sold to a foreign buyer but had to remain in France for at least five months per year. 


Monday, December 19, 2011

MARENGO 1800, REDUX Part Trois!

When last we left off "Napoleon Halts the Retreat at Marengo"!

“Well, what do you think?”
“This battle is completely lost, but there is time to win another”
– First Consul Bonaparte
and General Desaix
On 14 June 1800, the French army under Napoleon Bonaparte was taken by surprise and attacked by the Austrian army under General Melas. Outnumbered and outgunned, the French were defeated and forced to retreat. But later that same day, French reinforcements arrived under General Desaix, and in what amounted to a second battle the French counter-attacked and won, taking thousands of prisoners and driving the Austrians from the field.
Thus was won the battle of which Napoleon was always the most proud – Marengo.

The defenders of BUA #1 attempt to flee and save themselves after being massively overrun!

And BUA #2 catches fire! Things are not going so well for the French!

The enemy received reinforcements on turn 3 (3 Bdes and Arty) and presses forward en masse!

Austrian artillery bombards la Stortiglione!

Austrian Artillerymen!

BUA #2 catches fire and the occupants are forced to vacate in the face of the enemy! While the Artillery continues to hold out.

French Artillerymen!

Our reserves rapidly deploy to attempt to stem the Austrian tide as some continue to flee (White Puff) & others are badly mauled (Red puff)!

The Austrians attempt to break our lines but are fortunately stopped and sent back across the river (R)!

Hopefully we can stave of this mass as they rapidly move towards my position?

And since BUA #1 has now been cleared they decide to move on towards my positions!

And BUA #2!

Deployed French artillery at BUA #2 decide to flee area!

Our lines attempt to stabilize, stop the fire, and plug the gaps! Will it be to little to late?

I feel a little like the bottom right figure at this point in the game!

But our Left flank holds instead of collapsing!

As the masses move on!

Our units from BUA #1 rout (Yellow Puff)!

And our cavalry & artillery on the left flee we're slowly losing BUA #2 to the enemy (Red puff)!

BUA #2 holds out!

As my troops prepare to defend my position!

The enemy encircled BUA #2 and it's only a matter of time!

French Heavy Cavalry protect the river ford!

Hopefully our left won't collapse?

As we manage to hang on somehow! Actually by Rallying some but not all of the troops!

A view along the river bank tying my troops (Right flank) into the (Left)!

The enemy charges our position and falls into my deception plan. My smaller force (162) charges when actually it appears as my larger force to it's rear!

And are quickly beaten, but confuse everyone in the game! The troops were correct in the computer 150 troopers of the 9th Dragoons, but were placed wrong with two stands on the table. The larger force (unit 163) 15th Chasseurs actually is supposed to have 2 stands! 

This charge however wears down the enemy.

As my well placed artillery does massive amounts of damage through well placed shots and effective bounce through casualties! Behind tree (R) of Silk farm bldg.

Artillery a Cheval!

The enemy is stunned but defeats my initial cavalry charge!

Stay tuned for the conclusion!