Category: Portugal


Flight Plan Africa – Portuguese Airpower in Counterinsurgency, 1961-1974

T-6G Harvard, Cufar, Guine

John Cann published “Flight Plan Africa” in 2015. If you are interested in Airpower in Counterinsurgency, particularly the Portuguese experiences in 1961-1974, then get this book. I’ve taken a few notes, mostly quotes of bits I found interesting. To liven it up a bit I’ve included photos from other sources.

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Steven’s Commandos for the Portuguese Colonial War

Portuguese Commando Combat Group 01 Close Up

I have blogged before about my figures for the Portuguese Colonial War but they were on on individual bases. Now I have rebased for Fogo Cruzado – my period specific variant of Crossfire. That means each base is a fire team. I had to expand the numbers considerably. This week features my commando combat group.

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The Flechas – Insurgent Hunting in Eastern Angola 1965-1974

The Flechas Cover

2013 was a great year for books in English on the Portuguese Colonial War. One of them was John P Cann’s book on the Flechas (Arrows), a specialist indigenous unit fighting for the Portuguese in Angola and later in Mozambique. The book is part of the AFRICA@WAR Series. What a find! I took a few notes.

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Helicopter Landing Zone Requirements and Crossfire

Standard Helicopter Landing Zone (Venter, 1994, p159)

I have found myself looking at the Portuguese Colonial War again recently. Last night I was reading “The Chopper Boys: Helicopter Warfare in Africa” by Al J Venter again and thought I’d share something on Helicopter Landing Zone Requirements and Procedures.

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How to Arrange Peninsular Infantry on Big Bases

Basing Peninsular Infantry on Big Bases

A couple of years ago I put my few Peninsular War figures on big bases. Some French Dragoons and various Spanish new battalions. Now that I’m trying to finish my Albuera project I’m going to supplement these with more figures. Before I do that I have to decide, exactly, how to deal with the company distinctions of the various nations. The French, who gave each company in the battalion, including the fusilier companies, pose particular challenges.

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Battle of Albuera 16 May 1811

Battle of Albuera Map by Steven Thomas

There are quite a few interesting things about the Battle of Albuera (16 May 1811). Enough of interest that the battle has become the subject of my first Peninsular project. The battle was the bloodiest of the Peninsular War. It was a major battle but had modest sized forces involved. Wellington wasn’t there. The battle has French columns facing British (and Spanish) line – so is a good exemplar of what happens in that situation. As a result the core of the battle was a long gruelling musketry competition. It has perhaps the most famous example of cavalry charging, and

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Why Volley and Bayonet for the Peninsular War

Highlanders

There are a few reasons why I’ve gone for Volley & Bayonet to use for Peninsular War and specifically my Albuera Project.

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Who Were the Gardingi in Visigothic Spain? And were they armoured?

DBx and FOG are wrong. The gardingi were personal military retainers of the Visigothic king. They were wealthy and led their own retainers into battle. Given they were wealthy, and a military elite, they probably fought mounted. And in an army where even some slaves wore armour, it is beyond belief that these palatine officials were unarmoured.

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Revised DBA Army List for a Western German Horde

Vandals

It bugs me when rules writers introduce arbitrary distinctions between troop types and armies. From what I’ve read there was little difference between the Germanic tribes operating in western europe during the migration period leading to the Fall of Rome. I’m interested in the Early Visigothic, Early Vandal and Suevi because they operated in Spain and Portugal, either passing through or settling permanently. The DBA army lists for these armies, II/65, II/66 and II/72c respectively, highlight the issue for me as they differ in ways that are inexplicable to me. DBA is not alone as other rule systems also distinguish

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DBA II/72c Suevi 250AD-584AD

The Suevi are covered by DBA army list II/72c Suevi 250AD-584AD, an option within II/72 Early Frankish, Alamannic, Quadi, Suevi, Rugian or Turcilingi. They were part of the general chaos during the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and ended up in Iberia. This post is part of my series on Troop Identities in DBA Army Lists.

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DBA II/66 Early Vandal 200AD-442AD

The Vandals were a Germanic tribe that crossed the Rhine into Roman Gaul, helped with the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, settled in Iberia (Spain and Portugal) before crossing to Africa. They hung out with the Alans. DBA army list II/66 Early Vandal 200AD-442AD is the army before forming the African Kingdom. This post is part of my series on Troop Identities in DBA Army Lists.

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DBA II/65 Early Visigothic 200 AD-419AD

The Visigoths had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Roman Empire. At times fighting against them, notably the Battle of Adrianople where they thrashed the Eastern Roman army, and sometimes operating in conjunction with the Romans as Feoderati. They ended up in Spain. In DBA they are list II/65 Early Visigothic 200 AD-419AD. This post is part of my series on Troop Identities in DBA Army Lists.

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Simon MacDowall – Germanic Warrior AD 236-568

Simon MacDowall Germanic Warrior

I was thinking about a revised DBA army list covering Early Visigothic, Early Vandal and Suevi so thought I’d better do a bit of research. So on a rainy sunday I browsed through Simon MacDowall’s book on the Germanic Warrior at the end of the Western Roman Empire. As usual I couldn’t help taking a few notes.

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Ancient Spanish Cavalry

Spanish Mustang

A few notes about Ancient Spanish Cavalry.

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Brigade Bases for Volley and Bayonet

Volley & Bayonet has big bases. Pretty much all troops are based on 3″ x 3″ bases; you can have any number of figures you want of any scale. I recently rebased my Peninsular War figures on big bases. I wanted to leave myself options so I effectively went for half size V&B bases. Each of my bases is 80mm wide by 40mm deep and . gets six cavalry or 12 infantry. Two of these, one behind the other, is a V&B brigade stand.

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