Category: Rif Wars

The Rif Wars were the main Spanish contribution to the Scramble for Africa. Officially the Rif wars spanned the years 1893-94, 1909-10, and 1920-26, but in reality this was a period of fairly continuous conflict. For example both Millán Astray and Francisco Franco made their names leading Regulares in the Moroccan campaigns between 1912 and 1920, i.e. in a period outside the official wars. Look else where for other Spanish-Moroccan Wars: Spanish-Moroccan War (1859-60), Ifni War (1957-58) and conflict in Spanish Sahara (1956-76).

Jesús Dapenas paints a Spanish FT-17 for service in the Rif

FT-17 Tank Number 8 - Cipris Turtle Mascot - 24

Jesús Dapena has continued his interest in Renault FT-17 Tanks in the Rif War by building a 1/16th model of a FT-17. He has painted it to represent Lieutenant Cipriano Briz (“Uncle Cipri”) tank, in the Rif War. Jesús shared his ideas and photos, and gave me permission to post them here. All words are Jesús’s.

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Making boulder and rock fields for Crossfire

Rocks24 Portuguese Cacadore in the rock field

The Crossfire supplement Hit-the-Dirt introduces Boulder Fields and Rock Fields as Crossfire Terrain for scenarios in the Italian Campaign. My post Types of Terrain Features in Crossfire explains how they are used in the game. In this post I explain how I made mine. Simple but excessive is the summary. Simple because I start with actual rocks. Excessive because I base, paint, and flock.

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2018 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2018

Continuing my Megalomaniac tendencies, this is my reflection on 2018 and how I did against my world conquering goals. Check out my 2018 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian for my overly ambitious aspirations.

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Top 20 Pages on Balagan

Balagan Site Stats

I started this blog on 21 Feb 2001 and then Migrated Balagan to WordPress on 15 Sep 2013. So, roughly 4.5 years ago. One of the great things about WordPress, compared to the hand crafted HTML site I had before, is that I get statistics on page views. Apparently I’ve had 1,176,779 views since I migrated and 1,125 comments. My biggest day (23 Feb 2018) brought 2,420 views – this was because Reddit got hold of my Academy of Street Fighting: Tactics during the Battle of Stalingrad post. Today is a typical day with 750 views.

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2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2017

I have noticed that my The Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian of 2015 was literally a confession, describing my overly inflated ambitions and incomplete projects. But the 2016 edition was more a reflection on my progress against those goals. It has been a 23 months since the 2016 edition and it is time to revisit. But I’m going to split the reflection aspect from the confessions bit. So this is my reflection on the 23 months from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2017.

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Map of Key Locations during the Rif War by Jesús Dapena

Rif Places - Jesus Dapena

Jesús Dapena shared his map of the key locations of the Rif War with me back in 2002. But the public has never seen it before. Since then Jesús has evolved the map further and now it is based on Google Maps. Map and words by Jesús.

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Renault FT-17 and Schneider M16 CA1 Tanks in the Rif War

domin06 Schneider M16 CA1 Artillery tank about to descend from its carrier

In 2002, perhaps because Jesus Dapena had published some photos of Renault FT-17 tanks in the Rif, Santiago Dominguez sent Jesus some more photos of the Spanish FT-17s. But he also included photos of the more elusive Schneider M16 CA1 Tanks used by the Spanish in the Rif War. Jesus recently asked me to republish them.

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Renault FT-17 Tanks in the Rif War

Briz05 - FT-17 tanks for protection of the convoy to Tizzi-Asa - Cipriano Briz

Back in 2002 Jesus Dapena published some photos of Renault FT-17 Tanks in the Rif War; photos taken by Lieutenant Cipriano Briz (“Uncle Cipri”). I thought they were cool, got in contact with Jesus, and linked to his material from my Rif War pages (Timeline; Painting Guide; Sources; Orbat). Recently Jesus got in touch with me to explain that his site has now disappeared. Jesus kindly shared the content with me so I could republish them. All words and photos by Jesus.

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2016 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac surveying all those unfinished wargaming projects in 2016

It has been a year since my Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian so definitely time for the 2016 update. I figured that, by sharing what I’m working on (far too much) and where I was up to with it (not far enough), I’d feel bad enough about my lack of progress to limit my work in progress and get some projects finished. Well, it worked, but only partly. I still worked on seven projects this year and finished none.

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28mm Rif War figures from Rif Raf Miniatures

If 28mm is your thing then have a look at the superb Rif Wars figures from Rif Raf Miniatures. They have a good sized collection already and it is growing. They focus on the 1920s. Richard Ansell is the sculptor and the casting is done by Griffin Moulds Ltd.

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Fuego Cruzado: Crossfire House Rules for Spain’s Wars

Fuego Cruzado is my Crossfire variant for early 20th century wars involving the Spanish, notably the Spanish Civil War and Rif War. All of my normal Crossfire House Rules apply. These house rules are additions specifically for Fuego Cruzado.

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John Arnall – Missing in the Rif

John Arnall 1901

Ann Procter wrote in about a distant relative who died during the Rif Wars …

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How to Convert Ansar Figures to Riffi

As discussed on my 15mm Wargaming Figures for the Rif Wars page, nobody that I’m aware of does an accurate Riffian figure. I decided to buy 19th Century Mahdist/Ansar figures with rifles and convert them to Rif. I’m not a figure designer so my aim was to give the impression of a Rif rather than get pure accuracy. This page describes what I did.

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Steven’s 2nd Tabor of Regulares of Tetuán

Regulares P1030361 Company Commander side

I’m building up the 2nd Tabor of Regulares of Tetuán from Column Asensio of 1936. Battalion Code = “T” for Tabor or Turban or Tetuán within the Unit ID for Crossfire.

As long as you led from the frontwhere they [the Moroccans] could clearly see you upright, they would follow.

Alferez Juan Crespo.

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Geography of the Rif Wars

I wanted to get a sense of the geography of the area in which the Rif Wars was fought.

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