• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Eochaid

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Big, low, manly voice

In land where the sky seems to sink into the lake, lived peaceful people. But one day warmongering neighbours invaded them, and they now have to fight for their freedom...

A new action movie by oscar winning Judas Maccabeus, starring Sylvester Stallone as Robert, Hugh Grant as the captured officer, Gwyneth Paltrow as the Princess and Jay-Z as the menestrel...


:D :D :D

WILL READ THIS
 

unmerged(10971)

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Originally posted by Eochaid
Big, low, manly voice

In land where the sky seems to sink into the lake, lived peaceful people. But one day warmongering neighbours invaded them, and they now have to fight for their freedom...

A new action movie by oscar winning Judas Maccabeus, starring Sylvester Stallone as Robert, Hugh Grant as the captured officer, Gwyneth Paltrow as the Princess and Jay-Z as the menestrel...
Not... quite.

For one thing, I haven't won an OscAAR, now have I? :D

Don't forget John Rhys-Davies as William. ;)
 

Eochaid

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You haven't won an oscar YET (who knows...) :D
 

unmerged(10971)

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I'm bumping this for two reasons.

One, people should really read the excellent battles in here and more importantly, add their own.

Two, although "Voyage Through the Mist and Fire" has been abandoned, I do have good news. I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.

Just kidding. :D The good news is that my intended climax, a grand battle at a small Belgian town called Waterloo, will still be featured in several installments in this thread very soon.
 

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Here's a rare thing indeed, a short post from me! :p

This is from the early part of HistoryPark: Who Wants To Be Napoleon!

I hope you enjoy.



Another hurried conference between Larry and Napoleon resulted in orders for General Oudinot to pause on the defensive south of the Rhine in Zeeland. He waited patiently for the Prussians to cross the Rhine and then struck their slow-moving column as it deployed for battle. Routed and streaming back toward Arnheim, the dazed Prussians were harassed by French cavalry and horse artillery. Fast-marching French demi-brigades of infantry kicked up dust on alternate roads as Hohenlohe struggled with the few scouting reports his cavalry could bring in.

Reports that the French had crossed the Rhine with barges lower down did not concern him at first. Only control of the Rhine bridge at Arnheim mattered. The garrison was silent, but that only meant the messengers were not getting past the French light cavalry.

Or so he hoped.

When the Prussian column got to Arnheim, they found the Rhine bridge held by a small French force of dragoons and light artillery. Some of the artillery had been Prussian, only days before… but a cannon’s mouth speaks not of loyalty.

Nothing for it, then, but an assault straight across that old stone bridge. No boats could be found near at hand; no time to range up and down the river looking. The French were being held back by desperate rearguard actions, and if the army was to be saved, the bridge must be retaken.

Desperate now, each arriving Prussian infantry unit was thrown into headlong assault across the old stone bridge. Exhausted, thirsty, and demoralized the infantry went forward in rigid, slow-stepping columns.

The first time, they nearly broke through. The second time, they nearly broke through. The third time they did break through, but were driven back by furious assaults of French dragoons and artillerymen fighting hand-to-hand with rammers and pistols.

The fourth time they stumbled over the heaps of dead and slipped in slicks of blood, special parties heaving the corpses and screaming wounded over the sides into the cold gray waters of the Rhine. But the cannon – the roaring, hellfire-spewing cannon – broke them and drove them back down the bridge.

The fifth time, the French dragoons were counting out their last cartridges and the artillerymen were frantically trying to get reserve ammunition from somewhere – anywhere. The fifth time, even the Prussians could sense, was going to be the last.

The column swept down the bridge, bayonets down and ready. No man stopped to fire – only rapid, remorseless assault could carry frail human flesh over the hasty rock and log strongpoints, past the cannons’ yawning mouths and on to safety.

The French crouched, holding their fire to make it count. The Prussian infantry – the best-drilled and most savagely disciplined in Europe – stomped down the bridge in lockstep. The cannon roared - the ranks went down, like a brick wall falling, whole files thrown down like toys kicked over by an angry giant. And then the fire slackened, and Frenchmen turned to run - and the Prussians came on – over the abatis, and on over the French, and past the cannon, and off the bridge.

The Prussian major – sole survivor of twelve officers in this attack – directed his men to secure the bridgehead, round up the prisoners, and send messengers back down the bridge to Hohenlohe, to let the General know the bridge was open.

Shaken and exhausted, the troops were allowed to fall out in shifts and sip some water while work parties dismantled the French strongpoints and threw more corpses into the river.

It seemed only a short while before a group of officers from the General’s staff came trotting up. “Major von Hollmann! Lieber Gott, Hollmann!” And when the Major looked up into his friend’s eyes, he saw the tears running through the dust of his cheeks, streaking his face. “The French infantry came up an hour ago, Hollmann! They struck us from three sides – the army broke - headquarters is overrun – Hohenlohe is wounded, a prisoner. He has susrendered the army, Hollmann! We are all prisoners!"

"Gott im Himmel, Hollmann – it was all for nothing!”
 

TreizeV

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What a brilliant idea for a thread ;) perhaps ill post some of mine when my AAR gets to the good battles.

Btw LD i just noticed, your battle of Paris happened on my birthday :D how nice
 

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TreizeV said:
What a brilliant idea for a thread ;) perhaps ill post some of mine when my AAR gets to the good battles.

Btw LD i just noticed, your battle of Paris happened on my birthday :D how nice
I planned it that way. ;)

And you're right, this thread shouldn't die. Maybe I'll drop in another battle or two myself...
 

Amric

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Hey, LD, you think I should drop my description of the running battle the Cypriots had with the natives?
 

unmerged(10971)

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[A gloss-over of the pre-Waterloo events.]

The Hundred Days: 1 July-10 October 1815[*]

PART I: The Prelude to Waterloo

Wetterin, Flanders: 1 July 1815

"Well, if the Little Corporal intends to get anywhere, he'll have to go through us!"

Colonel John Piper of the 35th Infantry Regiment sat in camp outside a small town on the Scheldt. The army was preparing to move southeast, to Brussels.

"Far as we know, Napoleon's army right now is in Charleroi, moving to Quatre Bras. The Dutch have a front guard there, and Wellington's got some men in Ligny. But it won't be enough. The whole army has to get to Brussels to protect the city."

"Where do you think the battle's going to be, Colonel?"

"One of the small towns between Quatre Bras and Brussels. Nijvel... Eigenbrakel... Lasne..." Piper traced a line along the map, then mumbled, "Maybe even there if we're slow..."

Everyone looked to see where Colonel Piper was pointing. The town he indicated was called Waterloo.

Brussels: 6 July

"There we have it, General. Those Dutch couldn't hold their position for half an hour."

Arthur Wellesly, First Duke of Wellington, brushed his subordinate's comment aside. "It wasn't the Dutch men's fault. It was Napoleon's. But we can defeat him still. Most of our army is still well rested, and if we act quickly and skillfully we can choose the place of battle."

"What do you propose?"

"Keep the main part of our army rested. We shouldn't go too far from Brussels. Waterloo, or Lasne, perhaps. Have some of our cavalry keep Napoleon on the right course. We want to make him attack us. If he does that, he can be defeated."

"General Wellington, sir!" A messenger had come in. "News from Berlin."

"Ah, the Prussians! I hope they have sent an army our way. That would make this coming engagement much easier."

"No, sir. Field Marshall von Blücher, he started moving his men from the Prussian areas in west Germany. He really wants to fight, he was humbled by Napoleon a while before. But Frederick William, the King, he wouldn't have none of it. We won't have any help from the Prussians or Austrians."

"Well, that's a shame. We will take our stand at Waterloo, even without the Prussians. Why don't we take a look at our field of battle?"

South of Waterloo: Later that day

Wellington and his staff came up the ridge near Mont-Saint-Jean.

"Over there." Wellington pointed to his right. "What is that?"

"Hougoumont. A strong point in the area."

"That will be our right flank. Now... this ridge most likely will be a much-contested point. It is a good place to stand. And if Napoleon takes Mont-Saint-Jean, our retreat will be cut off, but he must get there through here. Here is where we will stand. We will take shelter behind this ridge and await the Emperor."

--------

[*That's actually 101 days, but who cares? The Hundred Years' War was 116 years...]
 
May 8, 2004
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Campaigns and Battles 2

I know that I think of making an AAR as a long and sometimes boring task. Thats why sometimes I like to show just a small portion of a game. The point of this thread is so players can write small stories about just one war or perhaps one battle. Another part of this thread is that the readers will hopefully coment and give advice. The posts do not have to contain charecters and plots and can just be naratives, but plots usually help. I hope that some people will write in. I know I like to hear about a good campaign against the Turks. Now if someone does decide to post I would like to say that length is no problem, but try to keep it one post. Be creative and I hope someone writes in with an interesting campaign. Now I started this in the Eu@ disscussion area and got two posts one of which suggested I post here, so I will give it a try.
 
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A Great Battle of A Great War

A Great Battle of A Great War​

October 6, 1915

The Bulgarian-Ottoman border had been relatively uneventful since the Declaration of War on the Infidel nation to the north since the acquisition of Dedeagach (Thessaloniki) soon after the outbreak of war. The only action seen was the occasional failed amphibious landing by the foolish British in an attempt to secure the Fortress City of Constantinople and ship supplies to the Russians and the faltering Eastern Front. These doomed single division expeditions ended every time with the British escaping to Bulgaria.

October 6 seemed to go as most other days for the 1st and 4th Kolordu, the 9 division garrison of Constantinople, whose Commanding Officer, Field Marshal Liman von Sanders, had full assurance in to successfully defend the Capital of the Ottoman Empire from all invaders. However, at 19:00, an Anglo-Bulgar army at least equalling the Turkish garrison in size and equipment was spotted crossing the border.

With all confidence that at least one of the three nearby armies, if not all, would be marching to help defend the capital, Liman von Sanders marched his troops out to engage the enemy.

October 7

After initial contact the opposing armies had begun digging defensive lines a few miles south of the town of Luleburgaz, both armies with access to a railroad which was hoped to provide supplies. Losses were still low for 1st and 4th and all but the most pessimistic of troops believed victory would be relatively easy.

October 9

Two days of clumsy inexperienced trench warfare had taken their toll on Liman von Sanders’ men. The two cavalry divisions had been rendered useless in the trenches and British shelling had destroyed the railway and cut off the Turkish army from supplies sent from the rest of the Empire.

No news of reinforcements had arrived and Liman was beginning to question - Question why his situation was being ignored by his leaders. Why were troops not sent to his aid? Did his government not care for the defence of the capital? Did the great Sultan Mehmed V not want his empire, his palace in Constantinople, or even his own life? If his leaders were not in the capital, where were they? Liman knew these questions would be answered in time, or, as he increasingly feared, not at all…

October 10

A decisive British offensive had split the Ottoman forces in two. The greater part of the army, including Liman, was cut off from the rest of Turkey with the only route of escape being in the direction of Dedeagach. The considerably smaller part was broken and seen fleeing in the direction of Constantinople, presumably to seek refuge behind the great, but currently undefended, city walls.

October 12

The small ragged force of men had entered through the city gates in early morning, before dawn, and taken up positions along the large stretch of wall. Private Hamideh El Selim was one of the few soldiers left with a route back to the Capital City. With the confusion during the British assault of two days previously the group of soldiers had been split off from the rest of the army. Due to great misfortune all divisional commanders had stayed with the rest of the army and there was no real leadership in defending the city. None of these troops were badly injured, as all the seriously wounded were left behind so that the retreat could not be slowed down. Even against the odds the men left were determined to hold against the Infidel west and defend the Sultan. El Selim knew that there was no hope, but still he knew that like all the other men, he would fight until death. Leaning against his rifle he could see in the distance, if he squinted, the advancing enemy. He knew that by now the other half of the army was gone. All he could do know was sit and wait…

Liman considered himself and the remainder of his army lucky. Most of the Anglo-Bulgar army had continued on to the capital, leaving him with less opposition than before. On the other hand, his men were low on ammunition and being slowly pushed back towards Dedeagach. With Constantinople long ago out of site, what was left of his troops’ morale was dropping rapidly. None of them, including Liman could imagine in all possibility that their Great City might still be standing.

October 13

The army of Infidels had now reached the City Walls and put the defenders under heavy fire. After looking around him along the wall and seeing that there were still not many casualties, El Selim turned back to face the enemy and continued firing. He began to hear faint whistles coming from behind enemy lines which were getting louder. He looked up to the sky and prayed to Allah. Then a bombardment of artillery shells struck all along the wall in quick succession. Although the wall remained standing many of El Selim’s party did not, lying dead amongst piles of brick and mortar. In his position above the gatehouse he looked back across at the enemy as a large explosion deafened him.

El Selim looked around at the rubble and then down at himself. As the world around him faded, he recognised the boots of the Infidel British marching over his lifeless body…

At 11:00 on October 13 1915, the British Empire officially declared control of the Ottoman Capital, and handed over to the nation of Bulgaria. The remaining Ottoman troops were subsequently expelled from the area to Dedeagach.

----------------------
Taken From A Hearts of Iron:The Great War MOD Ottoman Empire Game
 

Sindai

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So I was the Ottomans, valiantly crushing the Knights in a war with me against them and Venice. I siege Malta for a long time - using both a siege value monarch and the surviving starting cannons as well as blockading to ensure I can actually win the siege. Malta finally falls - and then I'm suddenly at peace with the Knights without getting anything! What happened?

I go hunting around for a few minutes and realize that the Knights also own that tiny island south of Italy that Spain moves them to via event later on. That island was in revolt, so when Malta fell the government fell and I got nada. :p

Got Hellas, Ionnia, and Crete off of Venice though, so the war wasn't a total wash... :p
 

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There was an AAR thingie called Blood and honour or something like it, with only battle descriptions, I'll see if I can dig it up and merge it with this :) that way you'll have tons of bloody battles ;)

V

EDIT merged new Battle thread to the existing
 
Last edited:

Shaytana

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I have removed this post...due to it being part of my former aar stuff, that is now a novel in the works...sorry.
 
Last edited:

Valdemar

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*Bump*

Recently a few similar ideas have come floating up, so I'd bump this one and move it to the main forum, I suggest it should be used for ALL battle descriptions, no matter which of the subfora the AAR is written for :)

V

EDIT, again, I merged the threads :)
 
Last edited:

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This brutal little piece is from my on-going (but infrequently updated) Victoria AAR, Kiltartan's Cross. It involves an ambush of a British regiment by Irish irregulars. A lot of blood, not much glory.

***

October 16, 1874

The Third Company of the Royal Highland Regiment marched with a swinging gait down the beaten dirt path toward Killarney. As they went, they sang in time with their steps:

What is right and what is wrong by the law, by the law
What is right and what is wrong by the law
What is right and what is wrong, a short sword and a long
A weak arm and a strong for to draw.


At their head marched Captain Lloyd McPherson and the company piper, whose skirling notes seemed to pull the Black Watch along. Behind the piper, at the head of Second Platoon, strode Lieutenant Barclay Drummond. He cast a wary eye at the low green hills all around. It had been a dry summer, and the heat had carried over into the fall. Dust arose around the troops as they marched. Dust which will show our path to any watcher, thought Drummond, but the old man acts like this is a parade. Drummond hurried forward.

He marched up alongside the Captain. "Sir!" McPherson cast a glance over at him.

"What is it, Lieutenant?" McPherson had never liked the young Drummond. Too anxious, too eager. Not really command material.

Drummond, ahead of the dust for a moment, took a deep breath. "Sir, this area has been full of Fenians and rebels. Perhaps we should order the troops out of march formation?"

"What, what? Surely, Lieutenant, you don't think some armed rabble will attack the pride of the Black Watch!" McPherson shook his head sadly. "I'm sorry, Lieutenant, that you have such a low opinion of our men. We'll march on to Killarney, take the town, hang anyone involved in the attack on the RIC barracks there, and be back in Ulster by November." McPherson fixed Drummond with a steely gaze. "Am I clear?"

Clear as coal, sir, Drummond wanted to say. "Sir, the RIC has suffered major losses in this area. We may be attacked. We should be ready, sir." McPherson showed no sign of listening any further. Drummond sighed, saluted, and silently fell back to his own men. He turned to Sergeant Shaw. "Sergeant. Tell the men to load. Just in case, eh? And do it quietly, Shaw."

Shaw looked puzzled for a moment. Ah, well, who am I to question the children that command us? He saluted, and began to move back among the Second Platoon, quietly ordering weapons loaded. When he was finished, he came forward to Drummond. "What's the matter, sir?"

Drummond grimaced. "Can't shake the feeling that Captain is leading us into an ambush, Sergeant. What d'you think?"

Shaw looked at the Lieutenant with a small amount of respect. "I think you're learning, sir." Drummond, surprised, looked over at Shaw. "No insult intended, Lieutenant Drummond, sir," Shaw continued, "but a lot of officers don't think at all. Nice to see you're not one of them, sir."

Drummond chewed his lip. "I suppose I'm honored, Sergeant. Let's just keep our eyes opened."

***

What makes heroic strife famed afar, famed afar?
What makes heroic strife famed afar?
What makes heroic strife, to whet the assassin's knife
Or hunt a parent's life with bloody war.


At the front of the column, from a small bend in the road, came a sight: a class of school-boys, maybe twelve of them, led by a nun, approaching the troops. Captain McPherson smiled at this quaint sight, and at the nun, for bride of Christ or not, her face was comely enough after a week on the march. When the boys saw the troops, they let out a ragged cheer and ran forward, laughing. Wish that nag Drummond could see this, thought McPherson. Show him the people down here love us.

The boys flowed around McPherson, and he let out a hearty laugh as they did. The nun was coming forward, a pretty smile on her face. What wonderful green eyes, McPherson marveled. He held up a hand, and the piper slowed. The column began to pause.

***

Drummond heard with curiosity the silencing of the piper, and was shocked to see a ragged group of boys running through the ranks. Some of the peeled off here and there to talk to the troops, to ask for candies, to gaze at their weapons. Two were coming his way. One ran over to Sergeant Shaw, the other up to him.

"You're the Black Watch, ain't you?," said the boy.

"Aye, we are, lad," said Drummond, his eyes darting around nervously. Shaw had bent over to talk to the boy next to him. Up ahead, he could see another boy had stopped Lieutenant Logan of First Platoon, and one was with Logan's Sergeant.

***

McPherson stopped the column for a moment. He swept his hat off to the nun. "Good day, madam, good day."

The nun's smile widened. "What unit is this, Captain?" Her voice was almost musical, and even one as tone-deaf at McPherson could tell she was happy to see them.

"We're the Royal Highlanders, madam. We're here to put a stop to the Fenians that have been terrorizing you." He bowed deeply, in what he thought was a most gallant manner. When he looked up he was staring down the barrel of a revolver.

The nun's green eyes had turned to ice, but the pretty little smile was still there. "You're the Black Watch," she said, "and we're not Fenians. We’re the Irish Revolutionary Army."

***

Alarms were just beginning to sound in Drummond's mind when the pistol shot sounded. Suddenly, the boy in front of him reached under his shirt and pulled out a pistol. "Christ!," shouted Drummond, as he fumbled for his own pistol. He heard a shot, close behind him, and Shaw's screaming, and then the boy's pistol went off, close but high. A chorus of shots erupted, and Drummond's pistol was out and he fired twice into the boy's face, then turned. There was the boy that had shot Shaw, preparing to shoot the Sergeant again. Drummond fired once, catching the boy in the back. Louder shots now, rifles, and one of his men dropped into the dust.

Drummond looked around wildly. He saw the company colors stagger and fall near the front, and Lieutenant Logan writhing in the dust as a small red-haired boy fired round after round into his body.

***

From a low hill overlooking the bend in the road, Sean Doyle smiled. The British troops were in chaos already, most of their officers down. He watched as Megan shot the piper, then the flag-bearer, and the colors of the Black Watch fell into the dust.

He raised his rifle to his eye, focused on an officer trying to rally his troops near the middle of the disintegrating British line, and shouted, “Let them have it, boys! Kill every last one of them!”

Doyle fired.

***

The round smashed into Drummond’s shoulder, spinning him around and throwing him into the dust. He could hear his men shouting, panic growing quickly. Bullets were pocking the dust all around him. One slammed into the road right in front of him, and for a moment he was lost in the exquisite tiny dust devil it threw up. We’re all going to die out here.

Drummond stood, ran over toward Shaw. The Sergeant had a hole in his belly, and black blood was flowing. “Shaw! Shaw!” The wounded man’s eyes opened slowly.

“Lieutenant. Get the men off the road. Charge one of the hills.” Shaw coughed, spewing blood between his fingers.

Drummond nodded, looked around quickly. Fall back, back to that hill over there, he thought. It’s a bit higher, better ground to fight on. To die on.

He leaned down and picked up Shaw. The pain in his shoulder was massive, and he almost stumbled. “No, sir, leave me here,” Shaw moaned, “get everyone out.”

Drummond started to run the best he could. “Shut up, Sergeant, that’s an order,” he said. Then he shouted: “Black Watch! Fall back! We’re ambushed! Fall back to that hill!”

Eager for command, men began to follow him, up and off of the road of death.

***

Megan McKeena whipped off her nun’s habit and strode down the center of the road. She had McPherson’s pistol in one hand, her own in the other. The British were running now, back down the road, and the fire from the hills was whittling them down one at a time. But Megan didn’t care.

Ahead, she could see her boys, those that still stood, firing shot after shot into the wounded English. And she walked among them, an angel in black, finishing off anyone else that moved.

***

“Damn it all!”, Doyle shouted. “They’re getting away! After them, charge them, attack!” Doyle and the rifleman charged down the hillside. But already what had been a mass of panicked men was turning back into the Black Watch, and as the British gained the hilltop they were forming a line.

The tactical situation was shifting too quickly for Doyle, the street brawler. Some of the English were going further up the hill, to kill of his men at the top. And one British officer, heedless of the shots raining around him, started walking down the line of soldiers with his sword, ordering some to kneel, some to stand.

***

There were still shots coming from the top of the hill, but they were slowing as the men he sent up finished off the Fenians. “Steady, boys, steady, form the line, right here.” He had maybe thirty men on the line, and ten of them were wounded. But they were in their element now.

“Wait for it.”

The Fenians were closing now, firing as they ran. An undisciplined rabble, the Captain would call them. Deadly enough on their field, true enough. But this ground is ours.

“Wait for it!”

Someone fired near the end of the line. Drummond cursed, and shouted again. “Wait for it!” The Fenians were close now, close enough. Drummond roared. “Volley fire!”

It was a ragged volley, but was enough to serve.

***

It seemed like a whirlwind of bullets to the untrained, but Doyle had lived through Manhattan, and Providence, and saw it for what it was. A last gasp. But his men, farmboys mostly, were already falling back. He watched in helpless rage as they started streaming past him. He shot wildly at one of his retreating men, and shouted: “Keep at them, my lads! They’ll break!” From ahead, he could see the English officer steadying his tiny line. He heard him shout again: “Volley fire!” Doyle dove to the grass.

***

When Megan McKeena reached the end of the trail of the dead and dying, she finally looked up and around. At the top of a nearby hill, the surviving British had now formed a small defensive circle. She could see Doyle, further off, sending men to surround them.

At her feet was a British private, grasping his thigh with all his strength. She could see the bright arterial blood welling out between his fingers. He looked up at her with hope and fear in his fading eyes. She lowered the pistol at his head, and whispered in a lilting voice. “Go back to hell, English.”

And night fell.

***

Then leave your schemes alone in the state, in the state
Then leave your schemes alone in the state
Then leave your schemes alone, adore the rising sun
And leave a man alone to his fate.


In the darkness, Drummond tried to take stock of his situation. Twenty-three men of the Black Watch still alive, but seven of those would never make it out. He could hear in the darkness the enemy moving toward an encirclement. The moon as a curved dagger low in the sky, mocking him by providing no light.

He walked up to the top of the hill, where the wounded were, and found Sergeant Shaw. He knelt down beside him. “Well, Sergeant, how are you, then?”

Shaw managed a small, weak smile. “Dying, sir, with your permission. Funny, though, I always thought’d be in the Punjab. Never in Ireland.”

“Permission to die denied, Shaw. I need you.” Drummond gave Shaw a nip from his flask. “Any ideas, Sergeant?”

“They’re getting us surrounded quickly, sir. They’ll kill us all in the morning. We haven’t the ammo to fight for long, and I’m damn sure they outnumber us.” Shaw coughed wetly.

“Those aren’t ideas, Sergeant, they’re facts. How do I get us out of here?” I’m supposed to be in command, Drummond thought blackly, and I’m asking a dying man how to live?

Using his last strength, Shaw stood. His face was white bone under the shallow moonlight. “Right, then,” he said with effort as he hobbled over to the other dying wounded. “Addison, Hannay, Hendry. You lads can still shoot straight, right?” Some nods. “And if we give pistols to Lyon, Jameson, and Ingram, well, you lads can make some noise as you die, right?” Shaw turned to Drummond. “Sir! Lead out everyone who can walk, lead them north. Far as you can before dawn. We’ll make some noise, hold them off.”

Drummond went cold. So this is command. Deciding who dies. He saluted Shaw, then shook his hand. “I’ll send reinforcements as soon as I can.”

Shaw smiled grimly. “No, you won’t, sir, but it’s nice of you to say so. Get them going, sir.” The Sergeant took a rifle and propped himself up on a rock.

Drummond gathered those that could walk. When they were ready, Shaw suddenly shouted to the night and the moon: “Come on, you cowards, don’t take too long! We’re getting bored up here!” He started to fire at distant moving shadows. A desultory firing started from the hillside, was answered from below, and in the noise Drummond quietly led the rest of the men away into the darkness.

***

Of the Third Company of the Black Watch, thirteen men returned to barracks. When they returned to the hillside near Killarney with the rest of the Regiment, at the beginning of a bleak November, they found a pile of their dead left to rot. The Fenians had taken their rifles, their uniforms, and their boots. The crows had taken their eyes. At the top of the hill flew a great green flag, with a gold harp in the center.

The flag came down and was burned, and the dead of the Black Watch were buried. Then, with a sad tune skirling from the pipes, they marched on down into Killarney, where they killed every man of fighting age, and every boy over the age of twelve, and burned down the convent, for nuns and children had been seen shooting British troops.

And when they came to town two days after the British troops had left, Sean Doyle watched the line of slowly swaying corpses with a smile. For every man they kill, two join me. Every loss is a victory. He gave Megan a hug and a kiss, there in the orchard of dead men the British had planted.

You've heard about the B-men the cruel RIC
You've heard about the Black and Tans in bygone history
But there’s another regiment the devil calls his own
They’re known as the Black Watch commissioned by the throne

These soldiers come from Scotland a place you all know well
From the hardest part of Glasgow the teddy boys do dwell
They're given a British uniform they're given a British gun
They joined a British regiment to have themselves some fun
 

Machiavellian

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I thought I would add a battle from one of my earlier AARs. While this AAR is still in progress, the battle I am posting seems like ages ago. Anyway. I am Hungary and I am at war with the Ottomans, the date is 1458 I believe. This battle was on page three of my AAR. Enjoy.
---
"Why, then the world 's mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open.
-The Merry Wives of Windsor. Act ii. Sc. 2." -Shakespeare, William


"It is the habit of every aggressor nation to claim that it is acting on the defensive." -- Nehru, Jawaharlal

The battle of Daphni

After the victory in Nafplien, Matyas Corvinus was eager to engage the Ottoman Turks in a climatic battle. Perhaps Corvinus believed that god truly was on his side for he showed no fear in spite of the growing Ottoman forces and the turks reputation in war. As the summer came to an end, Matyas gathered his troops: young hungarians, a few scattered knights, serbian and albania mercenaries, and greek patriots around the Orthodox Daphni Monastery. The Ottomans had allowed the church to continue to opperate, rather than force Islam on its citizens, and in hindsight this would prove to be disatrous for the Turkish Empire. Having selected the ground on which the battle would be fought, Corvinus allowed the Turks the option of when.

On September 2nd, as the sun grew weary in the sky, the first clashes of the battle began at the eastern wall of the old Byzantine monastery. The Ottoman army, led by a distant nephew of the Sultans brother decided to engage first with Cavalry, attacking the formation of serbian mercenaries located within the lush gardens. While initially victorious, the Ottomans were apparently unaware of Corvinus's alliance with the monks tending the holy place. The serbian mercenaries fled behind the well fortified walls and began launching arrows and torches over at the helpless cavalry. Much of the foliage caught fire and caused the horses to panic and throw their riders. Others were killed by the hail of arrows coming over the walls.

When King Matyas became aware of the attack he was quick to act. Forming up five quick pike regiments he ordered an advance on the turkish army, sounding horns only at the last moment to advise his men behind the walls to stop the blind arrow storm. While the spearwall had mixed success, Corvinus did not despair, for his he still had a card up his sleeve.

For days the battle went on outside the walls of the monastery. The length of the encounter slowly began to wear upon the Turkish forces, for while Hellas was still under their control, this monastery did not seem to recognize such and continued to provide relief for the Crusading Hungarians. By the seventh day the dead grew thick on the ground and the misery rose to new heights when it began to rain. Several battles occured during the downfall, steel meeting flesh, blood mixing with mud. In the end only death truly prospered.

On the eleventh day, when King Matyas learned that the Ottoman commander had injured himself falling from the back of his horse earlier in the morning, the King chose to strike the final blow that would banish the Ottoman turks from dominion in europe forever. The gates of the monastery were opened and the Cavalry reserve of A Hungaryi Sereg thundered out with righteousness in their hearts and fury in their swords. The hungarians attacked with a renewed savagery and soon the turks were on the run. The Hungarians spared few however, cutting down those that were too slow and it is said that a seperate grave had to be made for the mass of heads taken from the Ottoman host.

The battle had been won and soon it seemed that Matyas would keep his pledge to the greeks. By october Macedonia had fallen to another Hungarian army, even as the cities of Hellas fell under seige. It was not long before King Matyas Corvinus was outside the walls of Athens itself.

During the seige of Athens, Matyas learned that foriegn powers, most notably Venice, were funding disadents within his Kingdom. They were without a doubt seeking to take advantage of his absense to weaken the magyar nation in its time of adversity. Knowing there was little he could do, he prayed that his people would have faith in his guidence.

On February third, the year of our lord fourteen fifty nine, Matyas had triumphed. Hellas came under Hungarian martial law. Attica, Sparta, and even proud Athens itself were once more part of the christian world, even if not officially.
 

Valdemar

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A little something I wrote for Director's who wants to be Napoleon: A sea Battle btw Ottoman and french in the Napoleon Scenario:

Excerpts from the diary of “Sø løjtnant” Hans Lindholm.

July, The year of our Lord 1816.

Following the longstanding tradition of “Søe-Lieutenant-Selskabet” Hans Sneedorff and I have been send here to gather information on naval matters, a commission that has the gravest urgency after the surprising humiliations of the British and later the Colonial Government in America at the hands of this the very same navy some years ago.

The French ascending sea power has made this mission critical to our navy especially since we are now allied to England and by now are the only remaining seaworthy fleet aside from Spain and thus we find ourselves with the French Mediterranean Fleet.

We have been here for four months trying our best to learn as much as possible from our hosts out in the field of naval combat, naval construction and supply, training of both officers and enlisted men and if possible, technical advances in the filed of gunnery and navigation.

Our hosts have been courteous and polite, but unfortunately not very forthcoming. We have both been assigned place on a major ship of the line and placed in the care of the second in command, with a lieutenant acting as direct aid or liaison officer.

I have been placed on the “Censeur” a 74 gun ship of the line and Sneedorff on the “Bedford” a captured English ship of the line. We have been relegated to convoy duty, transporting the first part of the French army to Egypt, but with the army unloaded and the transports send back to France with minimal escort it is my understanding that we are to seek out and engage what ever force the Ottomans may have in the Mediterranean.

It will be an interesting tour, I understand the Turks still employ Galleys, something that we in Denmark have never utilized to a great extend, despite the Galley navies of Russia and Sweden and despite the very suitable waters for that kind of vessels surrounding Denmark.

It is my understanding from Sneedorff that we did indeed plan an entire Galley harbor in Nivå, I can only guess at the reasons for abandoning the plans, perhaps the utilization of land based forts and gunboats has made the plans redundant?


The sun was setting in the sea behind the fleet as they slowly hoisted anchor and started moving out of the protected bay and into the open sea, looking for the rumored Turkish fleet en route to Egypt.

Small and fast sloops followed by heavier frigates, sped out of reach and spread like a screen of hunting dogs across the water in front of the slower and more majestic battleships of the line.

Hans Lindholm was standing on the deck alongside Pierre LeForge, the second in command, watching the maneuvers, the French captain had learned to respect the professional abilities of his Danish guest and was curious to hear his reactions, once they finally saw action. He knew his viewpoints where not popular with all the officers, but he felt that professional sailors should be acknowledged and he had had many a late night discussion with his Danish guest over the last month.

The depart from the coast went without any problems and during the night the fleet had spread out into a huge search pattern covering a vast stretch of the sea and anchored along the north African coast. A small week went by without any news of the Turkish fleet, but on the sixth day since the departure a sloop sighted fleet movements along the coast, strength unknown.

The admiral ordered the fleet to close in and told the screen to avoid detection if possible, the enemy fleet was at least a day away. Nothing happened over night and the flag officers all met at the admiral’s ship for conference, leaving the LeForge in command on Censeur.

“What will happen tomorrow?” Lindhold was curious.

“Well, it off course depends on the Turks, but under the best circumstances we bunch them together and use our speed and range to crush them.”

Lindholm nodded, the Turkish fleet was rumored to consist of galleys and he hadn’t experienced that before. He wondered how different the tactics would be, the Turks surely wasn’t going to form up in battle lines.

The dawn came with a strange quite quality, this close to the African coast. During the night the French fleet had mover closer to the mainland and was now making slow headway due to an erratic and weak breeze from land.

The Turks had been anchored for the night and as the French sails appeared in the dawn light, they quickly began hoisting anchor and soon the dull beating of drums could be heard as they started forming up a couple of cable lengths from shore.

Despite the erratic wind the admiral immediately signaled the fleet to form a line on the outside of the Turkish fleet, the inside being to shallow for the deep draft of the ships-of-the-line and commence attack before the Turks could assemble their fleet into defensive positions. The frigate fleet was released to act on its own discretion and to contain any enemy vessels attempting to break away.

The main line formed painfully slow outside the bay, lead by “la Sirene”, while the Turks began to form a defensive formation at the wide mouth. To Lindholm it looked like a hedgehog, a half circle of galleys bows out, waves gently lapping at the bronze tipped rams, interspersed with the heavily armored Galleasses broadsides turned to bring their side mounted guns to bear. He lifted his spyglass and counted about 30 Turkish naval vessels and a number of smaller transports covering in the bay.

Slowly, ever so slowly the line moved ahead and “La Sirene” began pounding the Turkish ships while only receiving a token in return from the few bow mounted guns on the closest the Turkish ships. Lindhold turned his attention towards the shore and the water in the bay, something wasn’t right. The wind was dying, as the sun rose and heated the cold desert the breeze from land died.

The battle line was still moving forward and the first four of the French ships were now firing into the enemy, but now the ships were within reach of the heavier Galleasses and was beginning to take damage. From the center and far end of the Turkish fleet movement could be seen.

As “La Sirene” reached the center of the Turkish screen a couple of fast galleys suddenly shot out, intend on ramming and perhaps boarding the French. Their narrow shape provided the French gunners with the smallest possible target, but the distance was too great and the flimsy structures didn’t survive the meeting of steel balls.

Learning from their fate the next group of galleys shot out in front of the French line attempting to get in front of “La Sirene” out of the angle from broadside and into position to shoot the weak spot in bow.

The wind died down and the French line had almost halted, making it impossible to avoid the galleys. Steerage was gone and even attempting to turn broadside to the galleys would only risk broadsiding the next friendly ship in the line and exposing bows and sterns to the Turkish formation.

The new situation caused a flurry of action on both commanding ships and soon waters were whipped to foam as all the lighter galleys swarmed towards the first group of French ships, now stuck in the fire of the Ottoman forces.

Lindhold watched with a kind of detached calm as the French frigate force desperately tried to turn back in and engage the enemy, but even with the lighter hulls and better winds further to sea, their effort was futile, the wind had died and they could only watch as the Turks cut in between the immobilized vessels directing their fire at the exposed bows and sterns, avoiding the lethal French naval guns.

The rest of the battle line drifted slightly on the current, while the men lined the sides and masts of the ships and cried out in horror as the enemy started to take their friends apart.

The Ottomans concentrated their effort on the first six ships, disregarding the remaining French and the combining their firepower as even the slow heavy Galleasses made their way into the fray. The mariners and seamen of the inflicted ships manned the masts carrying handguns, tried to kill as many oarsmen and officers, but the Turks swarmed the ships like so many ants around the carcass of a beetle.

The morning dragged on and the frigates slowly made their way back, but the French admiral signaled for them to stay out of reach, else they fall pray to the roving bands of Turks. Finally the Turks managed to get a galley right under the stern of the second ship in the line, “Providence”, and they quickly blasted her rudder, effectively preventing the ship from moving, even if the wind should return.

“La Sirene” was ablaze, as the first ship in the line she was without even the protection and support from the other ships, the Turks had surrounded her bow and without mercy poured gunfire into her hull and rigging, as the small arms fire died out they closed in and started throwing firebombs and arrows into the helpless ship. Soon the fire engulfed the entire ship and the smoke from the pyre rose almost vertically into the still air.

Moments later a huge explosion stung the ears as a lucky shot send a third French ship, “Le Superbe”, to the bottom of the bay. A lucky shot through her stern had caught the powder depot.

Lindholm almost felt the collective shudder that went through the crew on the “Censeur” and he knew that many of the men feared that more than they feared the battle itself, fire was the greatest enemy on the sea.

The Turks, supported by their recent success, bore in on the remainder of the front group “Providence” was still fighting, but her stern was badly damaged and she had developed a list.

Lindholm looked at the smoldering wreck of “La Sirene”, then stood straighter, and picked up his spyglass again. Slamming the tool together he quickly turned and tried to locate LeForge.

“LeForge, look,” he pointed at the fire. “Tell your Captain to ready his ship, get those men to their posts and signal the fleet.”

LeForge looked at the once proud ship, then did a double take, the black smoldering column of smoke was starting to twist and turn ever so slightly in the wind, “It coming back?”

“Yes, yes, from the sea this time, the sun is high in the sky and the wind will move towards land. Tell your admiral.”

LeForge didn’t waste a moment and within a quarter of an hour all the French ships were lying ready. Only waiting for the wind to gather strength.

Another French ship was drifting like a wreck among the Galleys and the Turks feasted on their luck and were slow to notice the change. As the booming sound of sails being filled suddenly erupted all over the French line a frantic commotion started among the Ottomans.

But they were too late, in their eagerness to attack the French ships they had been dragged out of the bay, into the deeper waters and out of formation. Foam started beating along their sides as they attempted to recreate their defensive posture, but the oarsmen were tired from the frantic pace, racing to the attack, and they were clumped to close to maneuver.

The French battle line cut through the Ottoman group like a knife through butter, utilizing both broadsides, killing of the now almost defenseless Galleys. The ships furthermost away from the attacking French tried to make a run for it abandoning the transports to lumber slowly east, but the frigates now had wind in their sails and came after them like howling banshees.

Not a single Ottoman ship survived that day, the low draft of the frigates caught the last of the transports along the coast on the way back and the French fleet anchored in the very same bay as the Turks so recently occupied to tend their wounded and dead and begin repairs.

Five French ship-of-the-line was lost and almost all their crews.
 

Voshkod

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This thread has fallen a bit far down the page, so here's something from my first AAR (New England, Victoria): The only large naval battle I've written so far:

Far-call'd our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget!


The warships of the Commonwealth beat their way against the wind along the Canadian Atlantic coast. Alfred Thayer Mahan stood on the flying bridge of his flagship Massachusetts, staring into the spray and the mist. The navy's role in the opening stages of Operation Red was basic; defend the coast of New England, and keep the British from landing additional troops in Canada.

It was, mused Mahan, impossible. The Royal Navy was four times larger than the Commonwealth’s, and all of its power was bearing down on him. Somewhere out here, somewhere in these waves and spray, was the enemy.

The port-side lookout sang out: "Ship! 220 degrees!" Mahan swiveled his binoculars. Light cruiser, probably the screen for the main fleet. In this weather, it might be out of sight of the main body.

Mahan barked out orders to the signalmen: "Fly these flags; all ships course 200, full speed ahead, fire at 10,000 feet. Admiral's message to the fleet: New England calls her sons!" Flags began to snap up the halyards.

The lookouts on the British cruisers were slow to react. The main body of the Commonwealth Navy closed to 10,000 feet before the British responded. There was a mixed line of heavy and light cruisers, and some transports, before them. Mahan smiled grimly: "Raise flags; open fire, target the transports."

The A turret on Massachusetts roared, a rolling thunder as the other battleships joined in. The heavy seas made targeting difficult, but soon hits were being scored. One of the heavy cruisers split in the middle with a roar of fire that turned the mist all around orange, and cheers lifted from the deck of the Commonwealth ships. The British cruisers turned toward the battleships, main guns firing, screening the transports.

Spray flew around the bridge. Mahan was shouting, "Forward! Forward!" when the starboard-side lookout shouted: "Ships! 45 degrees."

His stomach clenching, Mahan turned to look. Great gray shapes were looming out of the mist. He knew their tripod masts in his sleep, for these shapes had haunted his dreams. Invincible, Indefeasible, Princess Royal, King Edward III, Agincourt, the royal and military history of England rolling out of the Atlantic fog in the form of black steel dinosaurs. They were already in range.

"Raise the flags; all captains shall engage the British dreadnaughts close in. Admiral's message to the fleet: No man can fail if his heart is stout. Bring us around to 45, full speed ahead."

His executive officer froze. "Admiral. That will let them cross our T."

"I'm well aware of that; but our guns will only be effective close in. They can outrun us, and they can out fight us. If we get in close, if our destroyers can fire torpedoes and we can get under their guns . . . ." Mahan trailed off. The flags rose.

The Commonwealth Navy battle fleet turned majestically toward the Grand Fleet. The stokers fed the boilers faster and faster, and the great white wakes spooled out behind them. The Grand Fleet began to turn to bring their broadsides to bear.

Aboard Washburn, slowed by a few hits from a heavy cruiser, the Captain watched as the rest of the battle line vanished into a squall. Red and orange lit the fog, and the sound of guns fell muffled.

***

The sun beat down on the Australian coast. The boats were pulling toward the shore, the soldiers straining at the oars. Major Douglas MacArthur stood at the prow, shouting "stroke, stroke, stroke!" Two boats away Major Pepperstone was calling to his crew: "Come on, men! First boat ashore gets an extra ration of rum!" It was to no avail. MacArthur's boat was pulling away and when it neared the shore, Mac leapt out into knee deep water and strode through the surf toward the beach at Melbourne, corn-cob pipe clenched in his teeth.

***

Old Jacob was mostly blind and mostly deaf, but as a lighthouse keeper at the tip of Cape Cod, did it really matter? He could hear the horn and see the light, and that's all the job required.

He was walking about the top of the light, staring toward the distant fog. Vaguely he saw large shapes moving about, then a great line of ships hovering out of the mist. Smiling, he ran back into the lighthouse and got out the biggest New England flag he could find. He ran it up the flagpole and began to cheer. The fleet was coming home.

Even with his cataracts, he could see some battle damage. On lead ship, the B turret was askew, on a trailing vessel the bridge was wiped away. But the ships were sailing proudly into Massachusetts Bay.

Old Jacob cheered and blew the foghorn, and he could hear the fleet responding. Of course, he was too deaf to hear "God Save the Queen" playing, and too blind to see the massive Union Jack trailing from the stern of Invincible, as the Royal Navy moved in on Boston.

***

Of Admiral Mahan's fleet, no trace was ever found. Survivors of Washburn reported it disappearing into the mist, and British logs reported a confused close-range melee between the fleets. In the wars to follow, especially the Second World War, legends of the ghost fleet of Admiral Mahan would be whispered wherever the Commonwealth Navy fought.