‘The Battle of Goose Green... The Aftermath’
The first crucial land battle of the Falklands War took place over 14 hours on May 28-29, 1982.
Located on East Falkland’s central isthmus, the settlement of Goose Green was also the site of a small airfield. Almost 1200 Argentinean forces, mostly army but some airforce, were in a series of well-defended positions, within striking distance of San Carlos Water, where the British task force had just made its successful amphibious landing and therefor posed a potential threat.
The main British assault force consisted of the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (2 Para) together with a troop of three 105mm guns from 29 Commando Regt., Royal Artillery and one Milan anti-tank missile platoon plus several Scout helicopters. In addition, close air support was provided by three Royal Air Force Harriers and naval gunfire from a Royal Navy frigate, HMS Arrow.
Initial intelligence suggested that Goose Green was lightly defended however as the British paras began moving forward across the bare, windswept landscape they came under increasing enemy fire while still managing to force some of their Argentinean opponents to fall back.
As the enemy retired they combined with other units and actually strengthened their defence line bringing down heavy machine gunfire on the advancing British forcing them to take cover.
With the advance held up 2 Para’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. ‘H’. Jones moved forward to see for himself the situation on the ground.
To regain the initiative and inspire his men Colonel H. led a charge towards one of the main enemy trenches and was fatally shot down by an Argentine army sniper.
In the hours following the death of their colonel the various elements of 2 Para began moving forward once more fighting a continuing series of fierce skirmishes and fire fights that again forced the enemy back.
By last light on 28 May the British Paratroopers had, after many hours of fighting, surrounded, but not captured, the enemy position at Goose Green. The paras were exhausted, cold and low on water, food and ammunition and their temporary commander, Major Chris Keeble came up with a cunning plan... He sent a message to the Argentine garrison commander offering him the opportunity to surrender his force and save lives or face an ongoing battle the next morning where he and his men would suffer the horrendous consequences... and many more casualties.
Early the following day, 29 May, the enemy commander agreed to an unconditional surrender and the Argentineans laid down their arms.
An amazing and vitally important victory was won by guts, perseverance and more than a little guile too!
No battle, no matter how successful, comes without a cost...
The British lost 18 killed (16 Paras, one Royal Marine pilot and one commando engineer) and 64 wounded.
The Argentine forces had almost 60 killed, another 86 wounded and more than 950 captured.
This latest ‘Falklands’ release shows six soldiers of both nations (3 paras and 3 Argentineans) in the immediate aftermath of the surrender as the British ‘Toms’ disarm and escort their prisoners towards a secure holding area.
“The Emperor’s Own Imperial Guards’ Fifes & Drums”
Here’s a neat and colourful little set of seven Napoleonic musicians from the Emperor’s own Imperial Guard better known as ‘The Old Guard’, possibly the most prestigious formation of Napoleon’s ‘Grande Armee’.
Famously devoted to their Emperor, he even referred to them as ‘my children’, the members of the ‘Old Guard’ were specially selected based on their physical traits, most notably, above average height and previous military experience and battlefield bravery.
Similarly the musicians accepted into the regiment had to be of proven musical ability and meet the same physical requirements. The sole exceptions were the young boy musicians who were often orphans or teenage children of serving Guardsmen who were trained by their elder fellow band members.
This seven-figure set includes the decoratively dressed Drum Major wearing the be-plumed bicorne alongwith TWO adult side drummers and ONE younger drummer. Alongside them are TWO more ‘Old Guard’ fifers and a junior fifer.
The seven-figure set comes in its own special box with a decorative full colour label.
NA501 Emperor's Own Imperial Guards' Fifes & Drums
NA502 Old Guard Drummer - Single, additional Side Drummers are available to enlarge your fife & drum corps.
NA503 Old Guard Fifer - Individual Fifers to increase the fife & drum corps.
French Imperial Guard
On The Streets of Old Saigon
VN145 Pink Lady Vespa Girl - The traditional national dress of Vietnamese girls and women is the ‘Ao Dai’, a long, form fitting, silk tunic worn with pants and most commonly seen on special occasions such as TET, the New Year celebration or for weddings and funerals.
Before the ready availability of Western dress for Vietnamese women many schools and colleges also required their female pupils and students to wear some form of everyday ‘Ao Dais’ as part of their uniform.
This young women wears a colourful, pink-patterned version of the national costume as she navigates her gleaming white Vespa through Saigon’s bustling streets.
VN150 Red Vespa Girls - As two more young Vietnamese women make their way about town, the passenger here rides ‘side saddle’ as she clutches a small bunch of flowers... Perfect for any Vietnam street scene!
Vietnam - Tet'68
Bluejackets In Action’
World War II U.S. Navy uniforms have a unique lineage that dates all the way back to the War of Independence.
All the uniform details such as bell-bottom trousers, neckerchiefs and sailors collars all evolved from decorative or functional items of past naval uniforms and modes of dress.
This means that when certain uniform features become several generations old, they often become ‘traditions’.
It is these traditions that still inspire pride in every sailor who wears the uniform of the United States Navy.
One tradition that began in the mid 19th Century and lasted well into the 20th Century was the term of referring to sailors as ‘bluejackets’.
This came about from the introduction of the regulation navy-blue jumpers, bell-bottoms and caps for all enlisted seamen.
Eventually the navy blue uniform would become cold weather wear and part of the full dress parade uniform.
These latest U.S. Navy sailors / bluejackets are an alternative version of K&C’s long-retired but very popular ‘Sand Pebbles’ crew from a few year back.
Then all of our ship’s crew were dressed in ‘undress whites’ suitable for service in the tropics and the Far East.
The only exception were a pair of ‘swabbies’ on shore patrol duty. Personally speaking I’ve always liked the navy blue uniform and thought it would be fun to provide the alternative.
Although these first four sailors are in familiar poses lookout for future releases of all-new U.S. Navy sailors in their ‘bluejacket’ landing party role.
USN025 Bluejacket Marching w/Rifle - The M1903 Springfield Rifle was an American five-round, magazine-fed, bolt-action rifle used primarily in the first half of the 20th Century.
All of these ‘bluejackets’ are wearing web belt order complete with 10 x ammunition pouches, a water canteen and a sheathed bayonet in addition to long web gaiters.
USN026 Bluejacket Standing Firing Rifle
USN027 Bluejacket Kneeling Firing Rifle
USN028 Bluejacket Port Arms
KOKODA: The Long Bloody Trail
By the middle of 1942 Japan’s empire extended in depth across vast tracts of China, the Pacific and Southeast Asia. During the six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hong Kong had fallen, rapidly followed by Malaya and Singapore, then the Philippines and finally, the Dutch East Indies.
Now the Japanese stood poised to attack Australia’s territory in New Guinea, just one hundred miles north of the great southern continent.
With New Guinea as a forward base Japan’s navy and airforce could attack Australia, threaten its link to America and also act as a ‘shield’ to protect its newly-acquired Dutch East Indies.
Beginning in March 1942 the Japanese had already landed at various points on the north coast of New Guinea and started to advance towards the key objective, Port Moresby, the territory’s capital and main port.
In May 1942 however, the Battle of the Coral Sea thwarted an additional Japanese plan to launch an amphibious assault directly on the port.
The main effort now would be an overland thrust south westwards along the Kokoda Trail (or track) running across the rugged Owen Stanley Mountains via the native village of Kokoda.
At this time, the island’s Australian commander mistakenly believed the Trail was impassable for large-scale troop movements and the Japanese only encountered minimal resistance from a small force of New Guinea volunteers.
By the end of July 1942 the Japanese had captured Kokoda and brought almost 14,000 battle-hardened troops into action.
As the military situation deteriorated more experienced Australian units began arriving at Port Moresby and were immediately rushed northwards to the front-line towards the rapidly advancing Japanese.
Following the first clash of arms on August 26 the Australian reinforcements were pushed back once more to a ridge overlooking Port Moresby.
Once there fresh Australian reinforcements arrived to bolster the Aussie line and the fighting moved elsewhere.
Soon however the Japanese realized they had seriously over-extended their supply lines resulting in severe shortages of food and ammunition.
Even in retreat however the Japanese could still prove a deadly foe and many more battles were to take place before, in November 1942, the Aussies managed to retake Kokoda itself and a nearby airfield.
AUSSIE GRIT & GUTS
The struggle for the Kokoda Trail was marked by great courage and endurance in the most appalling conditions by the soldiers of both sides.
Those who took part would never forget the harsh physical and mental demands of fighting in a steep mountainous terrain with the constant damp of the tropical jungle and the ever-present dangers of disease and discomfort.
For Australians in particular the Kokoda Trail Campaign is a testament to their amazing endurance and tenacity that equals even the Legend of Gallipoli.
This new King & Country series of figures once more pays tribute to the honour, memory and sacrifice of all the Australian fighting men who fought and died on that long bloody trail in a place called ‘KOKODA’.
KOKODA: The Long Bloody Trail