Welcome to my blog!

News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. I hope you find it helpful and entertaining.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Berlin to Baghdad Express

Just finished Sean McMeekin's book The Berlin-Baghdad Express - The Ottoman Empire and Germany's Bid for World Power, 1898-1918.

If a railway enthusiast picked this up he or she would be sorely disappointed. There is actually very little about how this amazing line was constructed. It is still the backbone of the railway system across large swathes of the Middle East.

Instead this is a book about Imperial Germany's attempts to harness the power of Islam against the British Empire. It catalogues the many schemes dreamt up in Berlin, at huge cost, with very little success. Spies, guns and gold tried to stir up Jihad across the Middle East, Persia and Afghanistan.

It's a great story, told fairly well, with more than a few topical references that also shed more than a little light on the current challenges in the region.

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The Scots are coming

Very busy at work and starting to panic as Carronade beckons and our Lord of the Isles display still needs plenty of Scots. Can't let the Norman's steal the limelight.

Finished some really nice Characters today. Love the guy with his hands in the air - no idea why, but who cares!


Plus some solid looking Thanes.



The skirmishers are nearly done. Then the spearmen. Oh and those nice, but fiddly banners.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Fields of Death

Just finished reading 'Fields of Death' the last installment of Simon Scarrow's Napoleonic quartet. This series takes the lives of Napoleon and Wellington and run through the Napoleonic wars as viewed by them.

Perhaps a strange choice of personalities to pick as they never met in battle until Waterloo. Although in this fictional series they meet twice. None the less two very different personalities are explored fully.

This final installment covers a long period. From the Danube campaign of 1809 to Waterloo. I was expecting two volumes to cover this period. Scarrow is of course an excellent writer of historical fiction. I just felt that he attempted too much with this volume.