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John Jenkins Future Releases #1 - September 2023

Welcome to the September edition. Here we introduce lots of the new future announcements. We visit the Seven Years War in India, Carthagnians elephant's, our favorite Mountain Men. Also Conquistadors and a new series of Ancient Egypt. Many of these are expected in 2024! We hope you enjoy!

The images shown are Prototype images of the sculpted work, prior to master painting.

We hope you enjoy!


During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 69th and was under the command of, from December 1, 1745, Jean-Francois-Hubert Le Ver, Marquis de Caux and from 1759, Jules-Marc-Antoine de Morel, Marquis d'Aubigny. An ordonnance, dated November 10, 1756, stipulated that the second battalion of the regiment would be sent to India and instructed to increase the effective strength of the regiment to 1,080 men (excluding officers)

Furthermore, for service in India, the second battalion would be split into two distinct battalions (2nd and 3rd). For the duration of the Seven Years' War, the 1st battalion remained in Europe. On March 6, 1757, the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the regiment left Brest on board a squadron under the command of Admiral d'Ache to reinforce the French posts in India. The fleet pursued by British men-of-war loitered on the voyage to lle de France (present-day Mauritius). It then took three months on his passage to the Coast of Coromandel in India. On April 25, 1758, d'Ache's squadron finally arrived before the British Fort St-David. The 2nd and 3rd battalions (a total of 983 men) then took part in the Operations on the coast of Coromandel.

On April 30th, these battalions were part of M. de Soupire's force who joined d'Estaing for the siege of Fort St. David until its capitulation on June 2nd. The two battalions were at the Battle of Condore on December 9th. In 1759, they took part in the unsuccessful siege of Madras

On January 22nd 1760, 400 men of the battalion took part in the Battle of Wandewash. The initial disposition of the French army was formed in a single line with the Lally Infanterie on the left flank, the Bataillon de I'Inde in the centre and the Lorraine Infanterie on the right, formed in line of battle. Artillery was positioned between each battalion. About 400 Indian infantry occupied an area to the rear, with 900 Cipayes on a ridge before the camp. Both lines halted within 200 meters of each other and opened a heavy fire of musketry. The 84th Coote's Foot had fired but 2 rounds, when Lally formen the Lorraine Infanterie on the French right into a column of 12 abreast and ordered it to charge with the bayonet. The British met the column with line, and reserved their fire until the French were within 50 meters and then poured a volley which tore the front and flanks of the Lorraine Infanterie to tatters. The gallant Frenchmen, unchecked by their losses, pressed on the faster and in another minute the two regiments had closed and were fighting furiously hand to hand. The column broke by sheer weight through the small fragment of line opposed to it but the remainder of the 84th Coote's foot closed instantly upon its flanks, and after a short struggle, the French already shaken by the volley, broke up in confusion and ran back to the camp, with the British in pursuit, carrying dismay into the ranks of the Cipayes.

After the surrender of Pondicherry in 1761, the 2nd and 3rd battalions returned to France. On December 10, 1762, when the French Army was reorganised, the regiment was disbanded and incorporated in the newly formed "Aunis Infanterie."


Often called man's best friend, dogs have been partnered with humans and used in warfare since their domestication more than 50,000 years ago. Not just for attacking, work hounds were used for protecting livestock or property, or for simple companionship. The earliest written account of war dogs comes from a classical source regarding Alyattes, King of Lydia. The war dogs are said to have attacked and killed invaders in a battle against the Cimmerians around 600 BC.

Christopher Columbus was the first to use dogs as weapons in the New World. He released them upon the indigenous people of Hispaniola in 1493 and to disperse groups that came to stop his landing in Jamaica in 1494. But it was the Battle of Vega Real in 1495 that awoke Columbus to the potential that dogs had as weapons against the inhabitants of this new land. On March 27, 1495, Columbus and his brother Bartholomew marched inland on Hispaniola with 200 men, 20 horsemen, and 20 Spanish Mastiff dogs to do battle with the natives, who were opposing Spanish rule. The forces were led by Spanish conquistador Alonso de Ojeda, who had learned the art of using war dogs in battles against the Moors of Granada.

With each subsequent voyage to the Americas, hundreds and then thousands more dogs were brought over. The most popular breed was the mastiff, which could weigh up to 250 pounds and crush bones with its massive jaws. Their sheer size and fierce look instilled terror among the native population. Famous conquistadors, like Balboa, Velasquez, Cortes, De Soto, Toledo, Coronado and Pizarro, all used dogs as instruments of subjugation, execution and as a form of psychological warfare. But it was Juan Ponce de Leon, a top military official in the colonial government of Hispaniola, who unleashed the fiercest warrior of them all - Becerrillo.

Becerrillo, a name meaning 'Little Bull,' was a brown-eyed, red pelted mastiff owned by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon but often entrusted to the care of conquistadors Captain Diego Guilarte de Salazar and Sancho de Aragon. Becerrillo's origins are uncertain, but it is believed he was born in the Americas in the kennels of Ponce de Leon. The earliest records of him date to 1511, but by then he was already described as sporting battle scars. The 16th-century Spanish historian and chronicler, Bartolome de las Casas, reported that Becerrillo "attacked his enemies with frenzied rage and defended his friends with great courage....," adding that the indigenous people were "more afraid of ten Spanish soldiers with Becerrillo than a hundred by themselves." While Becerrillo had been trained to kill, one historical account, tells a tale of mercy. The conquistadors were camped outside the settlement of Caparra in Puerto Rico waiting for the arrival of the Spanish governor. Looking for something to amuse themselves, Salazar gave a folded piece of paper to an old woman, telling her to deliver it to the governor. As the woman began on her way, Salazar released Becerrillo commanding him to kill her. As the dog raced towards her, the woman dropped to her knees and was reported to have called out "Please, my Lord Dog. I am on my way to take this letter to Christians. I beg you, my Lord Dog, please do not hurt me." Becerrillo sniffed the woman and then, disobeying his master's orders, turned and walked away. When the governor was told what had occurred, he released the old woman and forbade any further terrorizing of the locals, declaring "I will not allow the compassion and clemency of a dog to overshadow those of a real Christian."

The campaign of terror committed through Becerrillo came to an end one morning in 1514 when indigenous natives from the island of Vieques captured Sancho de Aragon. According to Spanish historian Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes in his 1535 Historia, the dog pursued the attackers who had taken off in dugout canoes, by making his way through the water. Becerrillo became an easy target and was hit by a volley of arrows. Spanish soldiers cauterized his wounds, but he died shortly afterwards. He was given a secret burial and, according to Oviedo, was mourned more than their fallen comrades.


Mountain Men were most common in the North American Rocky Mountains from about 1810 through to the 1880's, with a peak in the 1830's. Approximately 3,000 mountain men ranged the mountains between 1820 and 1840, the peak beaver harvesting period. Whilst there were many free trappers most mountain men were employed by major fur companies. The life of a company man was almost militarized. The men had mess groups, hunted and trapped in brigades and always reported to the head of the trapping party, who was known as a "boosway", which was a bastardization of the French term bourgeois.

The image of the lone trapper taking his leave of "civilization" and daringly plunging into the wilderness to meet grizzly bears, harsh winters, mountain lions, and American Indians has sparked the imaginations of millions. Stripped of its romanticism, the fur trade was a hard business, and its labor force was as overworked, underpaid, and subject to hardships as any other nineteenth century occupation. Bent over by the strains of their livelihood, few trappers remained in the business past the age of forty.

Of those who decided to enter the fur trade business, many failed in their attempts to garner profits. However, those with enough experience, ability, and luck were often able to make a decent living. Acquiring furs and transporting them to eastern markets presented a logistical nightmare. Moving pack trains of supplies into the mountains, and returning with bales of furs, was an incredible task. The thousand-mile trek through inhospitable western plains, rugged mountain passes, and lands claimed by occasionally unfriendly American Indians often invited tragedy. Carefully packed for weight and balance, a trade bale weighed approximately 90 pounds (41kg).

Another important economic dynamic of the fur trade was the depletion of the beaver which resulted from over-harvesting. In 1793 alone, more than 182,000 beaver pelts were shipped via the Grand Portage - a volume that was unsustainable and detrimental to the North American beaver population.

It has long been a tradition to view the environment as if resources were unlimited, and many business-minded merchants and trappers were determined to extract any resource that was easily exploitable. This attitude of short-term exploitation flourished during the fur trade and persisted after 1840, as the focus shifted from furs to minerals, timber, grass, land, and water. Over trapping led to the virtual extermination of the beavers; their exhaustion and the simultaneous decline in the popularity of beaver fur hats, replaced by fashionable silk ones, brought an end to an era. As they gathered furs, the trappers worked hand-in-hand, and sometimes competed, with American Indian tribes who had their own cultural traditions and distinct points of view. On the western plains and Rocky Mountains, the two very different cultures exchanged trade goods, but also ideas. As they came together in this wilderness, each culture would have to adapt to the other's presence. These two very different cultural legacies collided on the western frontier. Yet each accepted innovations from the other which suited their needs. The traders adopted American Indian foods, clothing, language, and geographic knowledge. Trappers and traders frequently took native wives, both to secure a helpmate and to solidify trading relations with specific tribes. The American Indians, in turn, welcomed manufactured trade goods such as iron awls and pots, beads, guns, and knives. Plains Indians expanded their production of bison robes to meet the new demands. In the long run, the exchange of robes for manufactured goods created a one-sided trade relationship. Many American Indians became dependent upon European-American trade goods, while others fought with each other for control of the hunting grounds. The effects of disease introduced by the European Americans seriously strained their social and cultural traditions. The strains created by the fur trade sometimes led to brief but violent conflict. Yet the traders and American Indians who exchanged goods and ideas had to meet on peaceful terms in order for the process to take place.

The fur trade and the knowledge exchanged between these two cultures would also lead to further settlement of the West. By the end of the fur trade era, the American population was ready to move west in search of new opportunities. Due to the fur trade, the migrating pioneers ventured into a landscape that was well charted, and one about which a great deal was known. Military explorers and settlers alike hired retired trappers and traders to guide them to their Western destinations. One of the major achievements of the fur trade was the conversion of the trapper's geographic knowledge, much of which was learned from various American Indian tribes, onto maps. In this sense, the trappers and traders of the 1820s and 1830s represented the vanguard of the great western migrations of the 1840s and beyond.


Carthage learnt the use of elephants from fighting in Sicily against Pyrrhus of Epirus between 278 and 276 BC. The Carthaginians quickly realized they could easily acquire African Forest Elephants which inhabited North Africa in great numbers. It was much easier to capture these elephants than import elephants from India. It was not long before Carthage had the most powerful elephant corps in the Mediterranean world, with stables housing up to 300 elephants located in the capital. They would replace chariots as the Carthaginian's main striking force.

The elephants primarily used by the Carthaginian armies were of the now extinct smaller African kind. They stood between 2m and 2.5m tall. These elephants were taken from the now long vanished forests of Numidia. Their primary use was to terrify the uninitiated man and horse, and they carried a single rider known as a mahout, who was armed with a javelin. Each elephant could also carry an additional soldier armed with javelins or a long spear.

It is believed that the elephants deployed at Zama did not carry infantry in howdahs on their backs. Most scholars doubt it as the forest species being smaller than Asian elephants, it is believed could not carry the additional weight. Any elephants with towers were believed to have been imported from India. However the Egyptian Ptolemies as well as Numidian kings are recorded as having put towers on forest elephants, and the Roman poet Juvenal mentions towers on Hanniba's elephants.

In 218 BC the Second Punic War began and the famous Carthaginian general Hannibal traversed the Alps to invade Italy with an army that included 37 war elephants, which were believed to be mostly African. In the course of that arduous crossing, many men, cavalry and draught animals were lost, but apparently (according to ancient sources) not a single elephant. The elephants were to contribute to Hannibal's first victory in Italy, on the Trebbia river, where they frightened the Roman cavalry and routed the Roman auxiliaries. Shortly after the battle, all but one elephant died. It is not known why? Maybe the after effects of exhaustion suffered during the crossing, or some disease incurred during the campaign, are all distinct possibilities.

The Battle of Zama in 202BC proved to be the crucial encounter of the Second Punic War. The Carthaginians led by Hannibal, met the invading Roman army under the command of Scipio, who afterwards was titled "Africanus". The armies were equally matched, but Hannibal had a force of 80 war elephants. The Carthaginian army had been assembled in a hurry, was manned with a considerable number of recruits and the recently caught elephants had not been fully trained.

Both generals concentrated their infantry in the centre, with cavalry on the wings. Hannibal stationed the 80 war elephants in front of his infantry, and started the battle by ordering the elephants to attack. Scipio had anticipated this attack and had set up his infantry in the usual standard 3 lines, but instead of the draught board formation he placed the maniples in rows with gaps between them. The lightly armed velites preceded the infantrymen, and were prepared to meet the advancing elephants. During the attack the Romans blew their trumpets and horns, and beat their shields with their swords, creating an unbearable noise. Some elephants frightened by the cacophony of noise pivoted and rushed into Hannibal's Numidian cavalry, causing confusion, which Scipio's own Numidian allies exploited to completely rout Hannibal's left wing. The rest of the elephants clashed with the Roman velites, and were drawn into the gaps in the Roman rows, where they were isolated by the velites and captured.

Because of these Roman tactics, the elephants did not seriously harm the Romans, whose cavalry having gained victory on the flanks, attacked the Carthaginian infantry in the rear, destroying Hannibal's remaining army.

Defeated in the second Punic War, Carthage was forbidden to keep war elephants.


The New Kingdom, is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the sixteenth century BC and the eleventh century BC. It was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power. It is also known as the "Ramesside period", named after the eleven pharaohs who took the name Ramesses, after Ramesses I, the founder of the nineteenth Dynasty.

Infantry were armed as spearmen, mace/axe men, and khepesh men who were known as Nakhtu-Aa which literally translates as Strong Arms. They usually carried a four to five foot spear, which was thrown just before engagement in hand to hand combat. Thrusting spears were not adopted until much later around the 7th Century BC.

One of the weapons carried by the infantry was the bronze Khopesh, which by this period had become quite large, and very formidable. A distinguishing feature of infantry of this period which sets them apart from the earlier Dynasties is the striped headcloth. The shield has also become larger than previously, which allowed the infantry to present a shield wall when necessary. Many reliefs from the period show these shields slung across the backs of infantry ether on the march or in battle, particularly when two hands were needed to wield the mace axe.

The Egyptians were experts in the use of massed archery. The infantry was usually divided into two. The archers by now were equipped with the newer composite bow, and would be deployed in linear formation. When faced with lightly protected troops such as the Libyans, massed volleys alone were frequently sufficient to effect the necessary level of destruction. Archers were an important part of an Egyptian army. They were not generally expected to close with the enemy which is evident by their general lack of body armour. Against more heavily armed and protected infantry the archers would be employed to deliver heavy covering fire for the close combat infantry known as Nakhtu-aa or "the strong arm boys". These would advance rapidly, discharging their spears in the process before closing with an enemy already softened up by the supporting fire of the archers, and attacking with their bronze khopesh swords or long mace axes.

For the manoeuvre of large formations on the battlefield the Egyptians relied upon the passing of signals by war trumpets. Although only capable of a few basic notes, these were clearly keyed to instructions such as "advance", "retreat" etc. Drums as in other armies throughout history would no doubt have accompanied infantry into battle, dictating their rate of advance, as well as being employed in more pacific tasks such as accompanying marching troops on parade. It is known that entry into battle by the Egyptians was accompanied by much noise from the instruments as well as from the battle cries and songs of their troops.

Standards in the Egyptian armies were varied, but each unit had its own standard. These filled a number of roles, identification on the battlefield was necessary for command and control, but also the standard was important for unit morale and status. The fan standard was probably the most common.

The peoples of the Mediterranean islands and the Agean region were known to the Egyptians as "the Sea Peoples" They included along with many other tribes the Lukka or Lycians. The recently released Trojan allies can be the core of a Sea Peoples collection. These tribes began raiding the coasts of Cyprus, Phoenicia, Canaan and Egypt in the years following the Trojan War. A huge horde migrating by land and sea attempted to invade Egypt, having already helped to overthrow the Hittite Empire. The Egyptians managed to defeat them and captured many prisoners, and would serve in the Egyptian army rather than end up as slave labour in quarries and gold mines.

Next month, the chariots will be previewed! The first sets will be available early next year.