For this edition we visit two different worlds. We introduce Martha Cavalry for the Battle of Assaye. Availability expected April / May 2022!
For our second world we visit an old favorite and return to the Knights of the Skies and introduce the Sopwith Camel. Availability expected Summer 2022!
The Battle of Assaye was a major battle of the Second Anglo-Maratha War fought between the Maratha Empire and the British East India Company. It occurred on 23rd September 1803 near Assaye in Western India where an outnumbered Indian and British force under the command of Major General Arthur Wellesley (who later became the Duke of Wellington) defeated a combined Maratha army of Daulatrao Scindia and the Bhonsle Raja of Berar.
The battle was the Duke of Wellington's first major victory and the one he later described as his finest accomplishment on the battlefield, even more so than his famous victories in the Peninsular War and his defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo.
The Maratha cavalry in the 1803 campaign was probably their weakest arm, yet by far the most numerous.
The Marathas employed three classes of cavalry. The first were the BARGIRS, the cream of their cavalry, paid for and maintained by the state. At the death of Shivaji in 1680, they made up two thirds of the cavalry force, yet by the Battle of Panipat in 1761, their numbers had dropped to just 6,000 out of 38,000 cavalrymen.
Pindarries were an irregular light horse formation who were paid a fee or provided their retainers with a percentage, normally one sixth of any booty taken for the right to plunder. They were used in the military role for screening the movement of troops, reconnaissance, raiding and cutting supply lines. They were not good against formations of steady infantry or cavalry, but were perfectly capable of cutting down unwary troops.
The Sopwith Camel was a British First World War single seat biplane fighter aircraft that was introduced on the western front in 1917. It was developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company as a successor to the Sopwith Pup and became one of the best known fighter aircraft of the Great War.
One of the new Sopwith Camels will be CAMEL B6299 of Flt. Lt. N. M. MacGregor, of 10 Naval Squadron, Teteghem, late 1917.
"Naval 10" was a famous unit long before the arrival of the Sopwith Camel, its pilots having been excepcionally succesful with the Sopwith Triplanes. Ray Collishaw's famous "Black Flight" was well known.
Norman Miers MacGregor was from London, and became an Ace flying with Naval 10 Squadron in late 1917. He claimed a Fokker triplane as his seventh score on 15th September, which was flown by German Ace, and leader of Jasta 11, Kurt Wolff who was a 33 victory Ace. Flt. Lt. MacGregor gained his last two victories with this aircraft. The plane then briefly served with 9 Naval Squadron, before being passed on to a training depot at Chingford. Squadron markings were two vertical bars which encircled the fuselage. Flight markings were an A, B or C, and unusually in late 1917 three broad white horizontal bands were painted over a flight colour, black, red or blue, depending on the flight. This was only to last a month, before the white vertical bars would be replaced by a white circle aft of the roundel.