Tuesday 26 August 2014

Imperial Germany's Invasion plans for New York

Following some comments on my War Plan Red post, I did a bit more digging on Kaiser Bill's plans to 'put America in her place'.

Apparently, this increasingly ambitious series of late 19th Century plans included dispatching a significant fleet to cross the Atlantic, conducting a decisive engagement in the vicinity of Norfolk Virgina, dashing north to shell Boston, and then sending battalions of Prussian chaps ashore in New York to install panic and plunder the city.

Cheeky Blighter!

Not sure how successful that might have been but there has to be some games in that!


Saturday 23 August 2014

War Plan Red

In doing some research into the US War Plan Orange this week, I stumbled across some other interesting plans developed in the aftermath of WW1, mostly to exercise War Planning and Strategic staffs learning, but also useful as the basis for contingencies.

Of striking interest to me was the US War Plan Red, which was to fight a war against England, and potentially Japan also as per the provisions of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.  War Plan Red had a number of subset plans, notably War Plan Scarlet against Australian, New Zealand and Commonwealth interests in the Pacific, and War Plan Crimson against Canada.  Interestingly, War Plan Red had the US assume a strategically defensive posture against what they saw would be a mostly Atlantic affair and prepare for a landing of British Troops on the east coast of the Continental USA.  At the same time, the planner saw that a invasion of British interests in Canada and the Caribbean would be the best way to reduce British interests on the continent.

All very interesting, particularly when one then lays on top of that the Canadian Defence Scheme Number 1 which was for a counter invasion of the US to stall for time and allow British support to cross the Atlantic.  The Canadian plan saw flying columns seizing territory along the Pacific and Atlantic US coasts.  An audacious plan indeed but one that was seen as sufficiently desperate it might just succeed if the dice rolled correctly.

And so were laid the plans of what might have been, but more interesting is to consider them being executed in the 1890s...with a few VSF elements thrown in...


Wednesday 20 August 2014


Scenes from a Japanese film "Clouds on the Hill", which I have been unable to get a copy of so far.  Some good imagery in these clips, particularly the low freeboard on the capital ships.

There is also a great (and unfortunately hard to find) Japanese film "Battle of the Japan Sea" made in 1969.  The first few minutes are available on YouTube.

One of the more interesting written accounts of the whole battle that I have read is "The Fleet that had to Die" by Richard Hough.  Originally written by a Russian only a year or so after the battle, it has some very interesting perspectives regarding the Baltic Fleet and its epic journey from Russia to Tsushima and its subsequent destruction.  Well worth tracking a copy down.

And if you ever find yourself in Japan near Tokyo, you must go to the outlying city of Yokosuka and go onboard Admiral Togo's Flagship: the Battleship Mikasa.  I had the privilege in 1995 and it was fantastic.

Friday 15 August 2014

Maine Maritime Museum

The Maine Maritime Museum in Bath is mainly focused on the old wooden schooners built there in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.  However like the great Museum in Paris (see here), there are some lovely warship models and these caught my eye during my visit last week:

USS Katahdin
Built in 1893, she was an innovative ironclad ram designed for inner harbour defence.  Armament was four 6pdrs but the maim weapon was the ram.  Rendered rapidly obsolete she was decommissioned and sunk as a target vessel in 1909.

pic from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Katahdin_(1893)
USS Machias
Built in 1893 this was a schooner rigged gunboat.  Her main armament was eight 4 inch guns, backed up by four 6 pdrs and four 1 pdrs.  She had three separate commissions and ranged far and wide before being sold to the Mexican Navy in 1920.

pic from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Machias_(PG-5)
USS Dahlgren
Coastal Torpedo Boat built in 1900 she was fitted with four 1 pdrs and 2 torpedo tubes

Pic from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Dahlgren_(TB-9)

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Awesome Aeronef scale terrain

I was visiting the Boston City Hall this week and received a brief from the town planners.  In their office they had this fantastic model of the downtown area.  Superbly detailed and yes its in 1:1200 scale just like the Aeronef model range!  I can also see it with Tripods marching their way downtown sweeping all before them with their heat rays...

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Review of Ragnarok 60

SFSFW have released issue 60 of their journal Ragnarok.

This issue has some great articles and among my favourites are: an Aeronef Campaign set in the Dark Continent, a scenario for Land Ironclads set during the British invasion of France, a variant for Zombies!!! that pits one against a horde of Triffids, and an article regarding gaming in a Battlestar Galactica setting.

Issue 60 continues the new format started in #59 and the editor (Steve Blease of Wessex Games fame) has done a great job with it.   Its clear, crisp and easy to read with lots of nice colour pics throughout.

Highly Recommended -  get your copy from Wargame Vault, or you can join SFSFW here:

Saturday 2 August 2014

Reviewed in a White Wine Sauce

If you are a follower of the Steampunk Miniatures Review blog, you may have seen last week that I have joined a growing team of contributors there.  I'm looking forward to writing a few bits and bobs as I get to them.

Of course, if you aren't a follower of the Steampunk Miniature Review, you're probably wondering what the heck it is!  Well its pretty much exactly as the title promises: reviews of a range of steampunk miniatures in a variety of scales and styles.  Click on the link and check it out.


An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!