Archive for December, 2018

John Jenkins January Releases!

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

Thracians

Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Eastern and Southeastern Europe

The Thracians in classical times were broken up into a large number of groups and tribes (over 200), though a number of powerful Thracian states were organized, such as the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace and the Dacian kingdom of Burebista.

In the first decade of the sixth century BC, the Persians conquered Thrace and made it part of their satrapy Skudra. Thracians were forced to join the invasions of European Scythia and Greece. According to Herodotus, the Bithynian Thracians also had to contribute a large contingent to Xerxes’ invasion of Greece in 480 BC.

The Thracians were a warrior people, known as both horsemen, but mainly as lightly armed skirmishers with javelins, which were known as peltasts. They were regarded by other peoples as warlike, ferocious, and bloodthirsty.

The peltast, was a type of soldier of the ancient period, which probably originated in Thrace.

Thracian peltasts were to have a notable influence in Ancient Greece.

A Thracian Peltast carried a crescent-shaped wicker shield and was armed with several javelins (akontia).

The style of fighting used by peltasts probably originated in Thrace and the first peltasts used by Greek armies were recruited from the Greek cities of the Thracian coast.

They are generally depicted on Greek vases and in other images as wearing the typical Thracian costume, which includes the distinctive Phrygian cap made of fox-skin, with ear flaps. They also usually wore a patterned tunic, fawnskin boots and a long cloak, called a zeira, which was decorated with a bright, geometric, pattern.

Peltasts gradually became more important in Greek warfare, in particular during the Peloponnesian War.

They became the main type of Greek mercenary infantry in the 4th century BC. Their equipment was less expensive than that of traditional hoplites and would have been more readily available to poorer members of society.

When faced by hoplites, peltasts operated by throwing javelins at short range.

If the hoplites charged, the peltasts would retreat.

As they carried considerably lighter equipment than the hoplites, they were usually able to evade successfully, especially in difficult terrain.

They would then return to the attack once the pursuit ended, if possible, taking advantage of any disorder created in the hoplites’ ranks.

The Athenian general Iphicrates destroyed a Spartan phalanx in the Battle of Lechaeum in 390 BC, using mostly Thracian peltasts.

In the first decade of the sixth century BC, the Persians conquered Thrace and made it part of their satrapy Skudra. Thracians were forced to join the invasions of European Scythia and Greece

According to Herodotus, the Bithynian Thracians also had to contribute a large contingent to Xerxes’ invasion of Greece in 480 BC.

Later the conquest of the southern part of Thrace by Philip II of Macedon in the fourth century BC made the largest Thracian state, the Odrysian kingdom extinct for several years. After the kingdom had been reestablished, it was a vassal state of Macedon for several decades under generals such as Lysimachus of the Diadochi.

Thracians

Roman Army of the Mid-Republic

The Roman army of the mid-Republic (also known as the manipular Roman army or the “Polybian army”), refers to the armed forces deployed by the mid-Roman Republic, from the end of the Samnite Wars (290 BC) to the end of the Social War (88 BC). The first phase of this army, in its manipular structure (290–ca. 130 BC), is described in detail in the Histories of the ancient Greek historian Polybius, writing before 146 BC.

The central feature of the mid-Republican army was the manipular organisation of its battle-line. Instead of a single, large mass (the phalanx) as in the Greek and Early Roman army, the Romans now drew up in three lines (triplex acies) consisting of small units (maniples) of 120 men, arrayed in chessboard fashion, giving much greater tactical strength and flexibility.

The Republican army of this period, like its earlier forebear, did not maintain standing or professional military forces, but levied them, by compulsory conscription, as required for each campaigning season and disbanded thereafter (although formations could be kept in being over winter during major wars). Service in the legions was limited to property-owning Roman citizens, normally those known as iuniores (age 16-46).

For the vast majority of the period of its existence, the Polybian levy was at war. This led to great strains on Roman and Italian manpower, but forged a superb fighting machine. During the Second Punic War, fully two-thirds of Roman iuniores were under arms continuously. In the period after the defeat of Carthage in 201 BC, the army was campaigning exclusively outside Italy, resulting in its men being away from their home plots of land for many years at a stretch. They were assuaged by the large amounts of booty that they shared after victories in the rich eastern theatre. But in Italy, the ever-increasing concentration of public lands in the hands of big landowners, and the consequent displacement of the soldiers’ families, led to great unrest and demands for land redistribution. This was successfully achieved, but resulted in the disaffection of Rome’s Italian allies, who as non-citizens were excluded from the redistribution. This led to the mass revolt of the socii and the Social War (91-88 BC). The result was the grant of Roman citizenship to all Italians and the end of the Polybian army’s dual structure: the alae were abolished and the socii recruited into the legions. The Roman army of the late Republic (88–30 BC) resulted, a transitional phase to the Imperial Roman army (30 BC – AD 284).

Hastati (singular: Hastatus) were a class of infantry employed in the armies of the early and Mid Roman Republic.

They were originally some of the poorest men in the legion, and could afford only modest equipment. Later, the hastati contained the younger men rather than just the poorer, (though most men of their age were relatively poor.) Their usual position was the first battle line.

The hastati were formed into 10 maniples of 120 men each, therefore 1,200 men per legion.

Battles were conducted in a similar fashion; the velites would gather at the front and fling javelins to cover the advance of the hastati. If the hastati failed to break the enemy, they would fall back on the principes.

If the principes could not break the enemy, they would retire behind the triarii, who would then engage.

Roman Army of the Mid-Republic

Enemies of Rome – Iceni

The Iceni were a Brittonic tribe of eastern Britain during the Iron Age and early Roman era. Their territory included present-day Norfolk and parts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire,

Julius Caesar does not mention the Iceni in his account of his invasions of Britain in 55 and 54 BC, though they may be related to the Cenimagni, who Caesar notes as living north of the River Thames at that time. The Iceni were a significant power in eastern Britain during Claudius’ conquest of Britain in AD 43, in which they allied with Rome.

Increasing Roman influence on their affairs led to revolt in AD 47, though they remained nominally independent under king Prasutagus until his death around AD 60. Roman encroachment after Prasutagus’ death led his wife Boudica to launch a major revolt from 60–61. Boudica’s uprising seriously endangered Roman rule in Britain and resulted in the burning of Londinium and other cities. The Romans finally crushed the rebellion, and the Iceni were increasingly incorporated into the Roman province.

Enemies of Rome

Aztec

The TZITZIMITL or “Demon of the Dark” War-suit, was worn only by rulers and senior chieftains. It is also depicted in yellow and blue versions.

The Tlacochcalcatl or Captain of the Armoury wore this white tlahuiztli surmounted by a skull helmet with a black wig. The outfit represented the Tzitzimitl, a mythical demon who brought death and destruction to mankind.

Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

American Revolution – 2nd Massachusetts Regiment

2nd Massachusetts Regiment

American Revolution – Brunswick Grenadiers

Brunswick Grenadiers

American Revolution – Hessian Jager Corps

When the American Revolution began, the British Army was too small to overwhelm the rebellious colonies with armed might. Subsequently, United Kingdom entered treaties with a number of German principalities, which provided the British Crown with allied contingents for service in North America in return for monetary subsidies. A mutual aid- and alliance treaty between United Kingdom and Hesse-Hanau was entered in February 1776.

A Jäger corps under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Karl Adolf Christoph von Creutzburg was among the units in the Hesse-Hanau contingent

The Jägers were recruited from state foresters and other professional hunters. They were selected for their marksmanship, and were all volunteers, in contrast with the drafted or pressed soldiers that filled the ranks of the Hesse-Hanau infantry. The pay was higher than for ordinary troops. The British government especially requested Jägers for the American campaign, as they were perceived as better able to endure the North American wilderness.

Hessian Jager Corps

American Revolution

A split-rail fence or log fence (also known as a zigzag fence, worm fence or snake fence historically due to its meandering layout) is a type of fence constructed in the United States and Canada, and is made out of timber logs, usually split lengthwise into rails and typically used for agricultural or decorative fencing. Such fences require much more timber than other types of fences, and so are generally only common in areas where wood is abundant. However, they are very simple in their construction, and can be assembled with few tools even on hard or rocky ground. They also can be built without using any nails or other hardware; such hardware was often scarce in frontier areas. They are particularly popular in very rocky areas where post hole digging is almost impossible. They can even be partially or wholly disassembled if the fence needs to be moved or the wood becomes more useful for other purposes

Drums along the Mohawk

Second World War

JJD Second World War Aircraft Collection

King & Country December Releases!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

ROMANS & BARBARIANS


Go back almost 1900 years and you find yourself battling a different set of invaders… The Romans this time!

Back then both sides believed in “an eye for an eye… a tooth for a tooth!” Well, in this particular case it’s a little more deadly than that…



Romans

Boadicea


Boadicea or Boudica if you prefer was a Queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led a major uprising against Roman rule in AD60-61.

Originally Boadicea was the wife of Prasutagus, King of the British Celtic tribe called the Iceni. He ruled as a nominally independent ally of Rome but when he died Rome annexed his kingdom and had his property confiscated.

Prasutagus widow, Boadicea was a strong and skillful leader herself and soon gathered together her own and other tribes angry and rebellious against Roman rule and determined to overthrow it.

Within a short time Boadicea and her armies conquered and sacked several of the most important Roman settlements in Britain… They destroyed Camulodunum (Colchester) and even Londinium (present day London).

An estimated 70-80,000 Romans and their British allies were killed during this brief but bloody reign of terror.

Soon however the Romans regrouped their forces and, despite being heavily outnumbered, defeated Boadicea at the Battle of Watling Street (an ancient trackway between St. Albans and Canterbury). Following her defeat she is said to have taken poison to avoid falling alive into Roman hands.

Much of what is known about this remarkable female warrior comes from Roman historians, “She was tall in appearance with a strong voice, her mane of thick, reddish brown hair fell almost to her hips. In battle, she wore a tunic of divers colours over which there was a richly decorated metal breastplate, in addition she would carry a man’s sword and often a spear too.”

Our first Boadicea has the Queen standing ready to meet the Romans.



Romans

TEXAN DEFENDERS


Here are the first 5 reinforcements for the hard-pressed little garrison defending the old Spanish Mission in San Antonio against the might of Santa Anna’s army during March 1836.

Concerning the actual number of men defending the Alamo most eye witness accounts vary… anywhere from 182-257. Everyone agrees though that they came from all over the then United States and Europe as well as some locally born Tejanos (Texans of Mexican descent).

Most of these volunteers were civilian although some had previous military experience elsewhere. Their general appearance was as mixed and different as their various backgrounds and origins. A few had certain bits of uniforms, weapons and equipment but most wore their everyday clothes and carried their own chosen weaponry. Our first 5 figures display well this lack of uniformity and military formality…



Alamo Defenders

THE REAL WEST


If you are collecting K&C’s ‘THE REAL WEST’ you can never have ‘too many Indians’!!! Especially one as fine as this mounted warrior.



Battle of Little Big Horn June 25/26, 1876.

BUILDING UP THE
ATLANTIC WALL


The Atlantic Wall was an extensive line of coastal defences and fortifications built by the Germans between 1942 and 1944 along the coast of Western Europe and Scandinavia. Its purpose was to defend Nazi-occupied Europe from an attack expected to come from Great Britain.

Although construction began in 1942 by late 1943 it was far from complete and its actual strength and size was greatly exaggerated by German propaganda.

Early in 1944. as an Allied invasion of the Continent became ever more likely, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was put in charge of improving and building up the wall’s defences. Rommel’s main concern however was Allied air power. He had seen in North Africa how the might of the British and American air forces could inflict huge damage on his ground forces and it had left a deep impression.

In Western Europe he also knew that any German counter attacks would be broken up by Allied aircraft long before they reached any invading beachhead. Rommel intended to stop the enemy invaders on the beach itself and to accomplish that many more bunkers, pill boxes and beach obstacles had to be constructed and installed as quickly as possible.

In order to do that plans, designs and models for all of these defences had to be approved by the Fuhrer himself.

This original display set portrays just one of the many meetings where Hitler, the amateur architect, and three of his top generals, including Rommel review some of the latest design models for additional Atlantic Wall fortifications.

The set includes an arms-folded Fuhrer, Field Marshal Rommel, Field Marshal Walter Model on leave from the Eastern Front and SS Oberst-Gruppenfuhrer ‘Sepp’ Dietrich who would go on to command the 1st SS Panzer Corps during the Battle of Normandy following the invasion.

In front of all four figures is a large table on which are displayed a number of different bunker and pill-box design models for Hitler to comment on and, hopefully, approve.

A great little set that helps tells part of a very big and dramatic story!



German Wehrmacht

KUBELWAGENS




German Field Hospital

TALKING OF ITALY…


The successful and daring rescue of deposed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from the top of the Gran Sasso plateau must go down as one of the most dramatic special forces operations in military history.

Arrested by his own senior officers in July 1943, the former ‘Il Duce’ had been imprisoned in an isolated and well-guarded mountain-top resort in the heart of Italy called Hotel Campo Imperator.

Access to this Hotel could only be by a heavily-guarded cable-car station… or so the Italian captors thought.

An infuriated Adolf Hitler demanded that his old friend and ally be rescued and gave the task to his Paratroop Commander, General der Fallschirmjager Kurt Student to organize.

This, Student did immediately and brilliantly selecting some of his best paratroopers and officers.

For political reasons, an SS detachment, under the command of Haupsturmfuhrer Otto Skorzeny had to be involved, much to the dismay of both Student and his men.

On 12 September 1943, Student’s Fallschirmjagers plus Skorzeny and his small group of Waffen SS mounted their daring glider-borne assault on the Hotel and its most famous imprisoned occupant….

This great-looking four-man set portrays a forlorn-looking Mussolini just a few minutes after his rescue, walking with his hands dug deep into the pockets of his long, black overcoat… On his head a black ‘Fedora’ hat pulled well down a far cry from the proud and strutting, uniformed leader of just a few years before.

By the dictator’s side is the tall, confident figure of Hauptsturmfuhrer Otto Skorzeny, Himmler’s chosen man to accompany the Luftwaffe Fallschirmjagers on this dangerous mission.

Skorzeny, although a Waffen SS officer, is wearing the tropical uniform of a Paratroop Officer. The reason for this is that it was felt that German Luftwaffe airmen would be more ‘acceptable’ to Mussolini’s captors than SS men…!

Flanking both men are TWO actual Fallschirmjagers… One officer and one enlisted man… It’s interesting to note that while the officer carries the well-known Schmeisser MP40 machine pistol, his junior carries the revolutionary FG-42 Assault Rifle. This weapon, built in small numbers, was very advanced for its time but too costly and utilized too many precious metals to be manufactured in great quantities.

Both of our Fallschirmjagers are wearing the ‘Tropical’ versions of their camouflage smocks and the light Khaki, loose-fitting trousers.

This set also comes in its own Labeled box.



Luftwaffe

AUSTRALIAN REINFORCEMENTS


This latest 4-man set comprises four terrific add-on figures to the first five. Leading the way is a kneeling Aboriginal soldier of ‘The Royal Australian Regiment’ holding his M16 in one hand and signalling silently to his mates that the ‘enemy is in sight’.

Another kneeling soldier nearby lifts his L1A1 SLR to his shoulder and prepares to engage the enemy.

Meanwhile the remaining two soldiers move stealthily forward to take up fire positions as they await the remainder of the 9-man patrol to follow up.



Vietnam – Tet’68