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Thread: Correspondence

  1. #1
    Hijo de Santiago robou's Avatar
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    Correspondence

    Hello and welcome,

    Now I do not consider myself much of a story writer, not at all compared to most on here. But I have decided to undertake this AAR for several reasons. A) I am desperate to continue writing narrative, and seeing that my 'AAR in Waiting' 'An American in Paris' has come to a stop early on due to writers block, I have decided to undertake something a little more factual. B) This period of history I am to delve into, I feel, is lacking in the minds of many as to its importance and flavour.

    So, I will endevour to write, albeit it very slowly (I can't promise updates for much less than evcery two or three weeks most probably until the summer), through the eyes of French, Turkish and of course British soldiers and sailors, the experiences of fighting in the Crimean War of 1854-1856 and some of the politicans back in Paris and London. This will not be an ahistorical narrative, and I hope meely to put words to the history, as this has, as far as I am aware, never been done apart from the film 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' which, although being reasonably accurate, only took events up to the Battle of Balaklava. Several famous lines from the Crimea still exists, mainly due to the tireless work of William Howard Russell who will feature as a main character in this AAR.

    I intend to have the first update out soon, at least by the weekend, but as I said, I cannot promise any regularity in my updating after that. Until then...



    Contents
    Last edited by robou; 30-03-2009 at 19:47.

  2. #2
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Oohh , a Crimean war narrative . This looks interesting
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  3. #3
    Zealous Firebrand Snugglie's Avatar
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    You did well with your last narrative so it'll be nice seeing this one. And hey, with an update schedule like that, even I will be able to follow!
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  4. #4
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    Sounds good, robou. I'm in.
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  6. #6
    Field Marshal phargle's Avatar
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    I will follow this like a puppy following another puppy's butt.

  7. #7
    Plus ultra! Capibara's Avatar
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    Yes! Another robou narrative AAR!

    *Happy dance*

    I'll surely be following.
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  8. #8
    Sounds like an interesting idea to me. I always enjoyed WWI books that showed soldier's letters, but I've never seen such a one with regards to the Crimean War. I will be looking forward to this.

  9. #9
    Cisár všetkých Slovákov demokratickid's Avatar
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    Oh! Nice idea, robou! Good thing I got here at the start, because I think it's going to be a fun ride! Eagerly awaiting the first update!
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  10. #10
    Saver of the World robw963's Avatar
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    You can count me in...sounds VERY interesting to me.

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    Roman LibrAARian comagoosie's Avatar
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    Way to plan this out, and I am sorry AiP hasn't turned out the way you wanted it too, it looked very nice from the beginning. I find it helpful to bounce ideas off of people, and like you did, showing me the first update for AiP

    and what a surprise this was for me

    I can't wait for this to start. You do seem to love the Russians...
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  12. #12
    Hijo de Santiago robou's Avatar
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    Malta



    Chapter I: Spending Time


    Colonel Ainslie looked longingly across the hall. The music was loud and one could barely hear oneself think over both the music and the constant nattering of young eager officers. Continually they talked and conspired with each other, always ready to ‘get at those Russian dogs’ and the like. They grouped together in corners, or even in the centre of the ball rooms and bickered away about what would happen when the troops arrived at the mighty Danube to ward the Russians off from Constantinople. Ainslie was more experienced to jump to such quick conclusions, but at seeing some of the youthful men, some barely old enough to shave their chins, strapped up in the scarlet red, it made him almost feel the same way. It was true to state that he could hardly consider himself part of the ‘old army’ of the times before the peace in Europe. Ainslie was not a relic of the forces of the ‘Iron Duke’ like Raglan, he was a veteran of peaceful times. True enough he had seen plenty of year’s service, but that was fighting in India or suppressing minor revolts in Canada. He made no mistake that the Sikhs had been tough and well disciplined opponents, but it wasn’t like fighting a major European power, with the latest in weapons and tactics. Of course, the Russians weren’t known world-wide for being great innovators of the new, but they would be a proper opponent for once.

    Ainslie let a tight smile run across his face, though by tilting his head downwards he hid it under the peak of his forage cap, an item becoming more and more popular among both men and officers, as the traditional shako fell to pieces in the heat of the Maltese summer. After his demeanour had returned to that of a senior officer, he lifted his head again to continue peering across the hall. The orchestra, while Ainslie had been thinking, had switched their tune to the new and popular Radetzky March, an import from Austria, written by Strauss for the Austrian Field Marshall of that name. Its military feel, the light tone and the fast moving pace had made it a popular dance among the British Officers of all ranks. There was precious little to do on Malta whilst the army awaited the command to set sail for Bulgaria. Dancing had become a highlight, as Valetta’s orchestra was of a most superb standard, and a great number of officers wives had been permitted to make their own way to Malta via France, and they needed to be entertained in the meantime.

    Other than that, the men had been kept busy continuing gathering practise with the new Minié Rifles. Of course, for those unlucky enough to be placed in the Fourth and Third Divisions, as well as the Royal Marines, they were still using the ancient Brown Bess, veteran of the Napoleonic Wars. They looked on in amazement as the men of the other three divisions were able to accurately hit targets at up to eight-hundred yards while the Muskets could barely hit anything past one-hundred. Not all the men took so well to the new, and viciously accurate, weapons. These were men who were used to the old muskets that would have to be fired in volleys to have a hope in the world of hitting anything. It was difficult to teach them all to fire independently; to each be able to judge range well, before the perogative of the officer in command of the line; to skirmish using the terrain to ones advantage. It was difficult, but several exercises did the trick eventually, such as marking out various distances on the beach, and no doubt the training would come into use one day. But this was a transitional stage for the army. Changing from one musket to the next offered little need to change doctrine, but a rifle as accurate as the Minié was a different matter.

    Ainslie snapped back to attention as he finally saw what he had been waiting for. Majestically moving across the floor was his wife, just arrived from Marseille, and eager to be reunited with her husband. Ainslie took a deep breath, shuffled his cap slightly and pulled the peak as low as it would go and then straightened his arms back down to the side of his scarlet tunic. He managed to widen a weak smile into something acceptable and warm, and look reasonably presentable in front of his wife. It wasn’t that he did not love her, not at all. He loved her more than any man could love his companion, but he was a soldier, and she was a soldier’s wife, and this was the way things must be conducted; discreetly and with private honour. His wife was dressed in a rather un-stylish blue dress and sported a wide straw hat. Her face struck a massive smile from side to side, and she held down the creases of the dress with her hands as she approached. As she came within touching distance, Ainslie raised an eyebrow and his wife almost burst out laughing in front of him.

    “It is for the sun, my love” she stated in her very noticeable Welsh accent, holding back the giggles whilst pointing at her hat very obviously. She was always merry and always carried laughter and joy around her. As much as Ainslie attempted to adopt his ‘discreet and private’ mood, she would always turn him from a grisly old soldier into a bundle of laughs and smiles. “And I could ask the same about that ” she said in return referring to his forage cap with such a smile still beaming out of her face.

    “It is-” Ainslie paused noticing that he actually had no official reason for wearing the cap apart from that his regiment had decided to adopt it as well. “For the heat” he stated, now returning the huge smile. He quickly moved his arms upwards and took firm hold on her shoulders and leaned over and lightly kissed her on the forehead. As he returned back to his original position, she stared right into his eyes and smiled as if to ask for more.

    “So how was the trip from France? I wanted to bring you along with me, but the authorities wouldn’t let me. Added to that, I do not think you would agree too well with the conditions of the military transports” he said, his voice filled with concern after memories of the huge amounts of sea sickness rebounded in his mind of the trip from Spithead to Valetta.

    “I think you will find I am tougher than you think, Stuart” she joked prodding him heavily in his stomach. “I have been a soldier’s wife long enough to cope with the rowdy lot you call your regiment” she chuckled out.

    “Perhaps so, my dear” he replied, joining in with the light chuckle, “but perhaps you would like to talk this over a dance?” He beckoned to the dance floor with his hand and she held it and dragged him forwards as another newer Strauss work, Liebeslieder, began to echo around the crowed hall.
    Last edited by robou; 10-01-2009 at 18:44.

  13. #13
    Zealous Firebrand Snugglie's Avatar
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    It's nice reading updates on this forum dealing with something else than death and destruction every once in a while. Ainsley seems like a good chap. Do you plan on following a few set characters from each side or switch to someone new for every episode?
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  14. #14
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    hmm a prelude and excellently written ! You've certainly matured in your writing , I think , robster A woman involved already . I wonder where this is going XD
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  16. #16
    Cisár všetkých Slovákov demokratickid's Avatar
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    Yay! Glad to see the first part is up, and I'm lovin' it! KUTGW!
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  17. #17
    Field Marshal phargle's Avatar
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    I dig the ballroom dance environment, even if it ain't exactly high society. Straw hats? Very fashionable.

    A good start that flows nicely. Carry on.

  18. #18
    Roman LibrAARian comagoosie's Avatar
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    I like it, everyone else likes it, let's keep the update train going

    Minié Rifles, were indeed revolutionary, though I doubt it revolutionized doctrines. They used Minies in the American Civil War and the Minie didn't impact much, whereas the shotgun did...

    Enough history talk
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  19. #19
    Plus ultra! Capibara's Avatar
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    Excellent start! I like this peaceful atmosphere, sort of the calm before the storm. Ainslie is going to have a tough time in Crimea, so let him enjoy the ball.
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  20. #20
    Kind of reminds me of War and Peace, but maybe just because of the setting. I loved the music description, (I love any good description of music) made for a very pleasant atmosphere.

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