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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Considering tehre were very few people who could even read or write in those days prior to 1840's printing expansionism ,especially soldiers(excluding officers) .

i doubt many soldiers could even read drill instruction manuals.Most enlisted men were from heavy industrial manual labor background, farming lumber mining factory backgrounds

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

"doubt many soldiers could even read drill instruction manuals"

Granted but I think this applies all the way through the colonial era particularly with native troops..

In 1964 the German parliement voted to pay the backlog of unpaid pensions to Askaris still alive who had fought in german colonial units during WW1... suprisingly 350 individuals were identified however only a few had the original certificate issued to them in 1918, the problem was how to prove that the rest had been German soldiers... one official came up with the idea to give each man a broomstick and ordered him in german to perform the manual of arms...
None Failed the much for written manuals...


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

"did your neighbors call teh cops chuckle"
Do you mean "again", Hank?
Unlike you, I've never been in the military so to tell the truth I haven't experienced anything like what we're writing about. I acknowledge your advantage.
I do know they can knock Napoleonic re-enactors into some sort of shape in a fairly short time. Basic drill.
In wargaming terms I think every troop type should be able to do nearly every manoeuvre but the poorer ones should take a lot longer.
I'm enjoying this discussion BTW.
regards, donald

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Hah, What i'm also getting at is its really pretty tiring even just walking about with a musket, and equipment giving one back ,feet sores and fairy heavyequipment on ones back.maybe a kettle also.There would have been alot of requirement to be comfortable.Weapons slung or carried at teh trail would be common sight until approaching a town village everyone would look smart(try to impress the ladies ).The fitness level of soldiers then was nothing like our modern day health and food maintained standards.

Drills load unload weapon and when to fire under pre modern open battle(non trench) conditions must have been very testing for company commanders Quite an apocalyptic event.Noise much smoke from powder(hah wet for the europs chuckle).ripple volleys and nervous discharges and people forgetting to load or unload properly.Weapon jams etc faling comrades and
a few cannon balls thrown in...mayhem.Sergeants pyhsidcally grabbing men to fill gaps.Men from second line companies moving forward to help fill teh gaps such commotion.

imagine try running with the equipment on farm land with swinging and rubbing into back sores from teh leather friction rubs from webbing. High porte across teh body is most comfortable wayy of running woth a weapon.But When you move teh weapon to a bayonetting position it is twisting your body and feels unnatural starts a yaw.almost feels like you run sidewards.See you can tell i do this often in my garden too.

Consider The uniforms which were made of a much much thicker density of wool than they make today.More stitches per square inch etc.much itchy uncomfort.Add a little(okay maybe alot then.. of rain to make european readers comfortbale chuckle).

Now throw all that into the thought bag, jump out the toy soldier box and start trying to stab someone with your bayonette.Its exhausting work .very quickly lose breath then stagger to teh next fight.adernalin floods in you become hoarse from tyelling and screaming.Deafened by someone discharging there musket
near your head .you look for the flag and see the familiar silhouettes in teh smokey field run a certain direction and follOw.Trip over a body or wounded combatant. I think i got carried away with the tide of the battle.Now its all quiet and the smoke is clearing.Carnage presents itslef,yelling wounded and horses screaming. Hooves thundering past and shadows waving swords in teh most.The trumpeter blares in the distance and fatigued silhouettes of soldiers are seen walking at all speeds through the smoke towards the sound to regroup. Some cuts and bruises throb sweat on the eyebrow which has dripped from your shako band, stained black from teh leather dye. Knuckles are skinend and bleeeding. The wind catches something and.......

Now i'm back looking at the wargame table.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Hi, Hank,
a very graphic description: well worth reading thank you.
You raise a lot of good points.
I would like to talk about fitness levels one day for example. (you don't think people back then were mentally tougher? I've read accounts of the retreat from Moscow. I don't think modern people could do it).
However back to topic.
If you used the Strelets' set on a wargaming battlefield, the figures are not looking that stressed (yet) but are still mostly carrying their muskets contrary to the drill regulations which (as they cannot read) were "drilled" into them (sorry for the pun) by loudmouthed & aggressive NCOs.
I don't say it never happened but it must have been very rare & only the greenest troops who were essentially untrained, may have looked like this.
cheers, donald

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Yes Donald , I think there should be more emphasis on NCO's postures/poses and seen to be going "monster raving bonkers" at their men in teh ranks .

NCO's(hard flat nosed ugly looking b'stards (think thats in teh Oxford english Australian,west edition) in battle then would be competing like semaphore flags for aggrssive verbal and hand signals.An NCO would not just point...(hahaha ..pardon cant hear what he is saying said the rookie) he'd really look like having the hernia to get the job done. Shoving pushing kicking wounded out the way grabbing shell shocked stunned rookies pushing into the gaps.For the love of the job of course...

My training team kicked the living kraap out of us in the 70's as that was before tree hugging and verbal abuse etc was invented.


The musket is on the left side to allow the lock to not ride against the body.
Last weekend in Virginia at 104 degrees I must admit we changed arms on the march quite a bit from the "shoulder" to the "support" and to the "advance" (in the right hand) to help the troops survive.
David M

Re: Drill

dave, i know the feeling got the callouses, I always seemed to get teh er..."honor"(too heavy for teh buddies) of carrying the team machine gun .Then when i eventually knew what i was doing, and understood everything else that was going on, a few thousand foot mile patrol ops and 2 years later, i got the (look up that western australian oxford english dictionary i mentioned above )back breaking korean war reject "mike fox" frequency dial radio set.chuckel .

Re: Re: Drill

Hi Hank:
Once with a Cdn Forces 25 set (Korean War vintage)straped to my back, I went through the ice on snowshoes. It is hard to swim with one of those on your back. I can fully understand your feelings about carrying kit.
David M

Re: Re: Re: Drill

hah thats are a "Polar Bear Club" member then.I did very simialr on a survival course.That put me off ice cube in my drinks for life.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Drill

Having shared that experience training in Arctic Norway, I have to say it didn't put me off ice cubes in drinks. It just put me off falling into freezing water while carrying my own weight in military kit.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Drill

Ian another polar bear club member, Funny i thought you guys like your beer warm.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Drill

That's our southern neighbours, the English, you're thinking about. Scots prefer their lager cold. And plentiful.