Detling Military Odyssey

From a Fairfax point of view this was a small do, there being four
pike, twelve musket, two sergeants, one drummer and one officer. It was
an ECWS major though and there were probably a couple of hundred on the
field, certainly one of the opposing pike divisions I saw over 30 pike
in it. There were also hordes of other re-enactors, including a
disturbing number of SS and Hitler Youth.

The Saturday saw
some rain and a very boring battle (we were in reserve and it was a
billiard table relieved only by someone’s very small shed, a couple of
loose fences and some bales of hay). All round us were lots of wigwams
and we attempted bravely to follow the script but in the end gave up
and took a cannon before the KA retreated from the field. All in all
not the most exciting battle and one which I’m sure I could have
handled better as Sergeant if I’d been a little more confident about
use of initiative.

Sunday was a much nicer day and we swapped
ends for the battle. One of our brave musketeers had enough and didn’t
appear, so we were eleven that day. Having resolved not to worry too
much about the script (the cavalry defected to our side before the
battle started so we knew it wasn’t going to hold) we had much more
fun. Our day was more fluid, we got stuck in with club muskets on
several occasions and most of the musketeers fired all their shots
(towards the end we ended up in a rag-tag skirmish line before either
routing or being over-run and killed). Again I’m sure I could have
handled this better, but it was a huge improvement on the previous day.

The best bit was staying to watch the T-34 vs Tiger battle and
the soviet partisans killing a German recce patrol when they stopped
for a comfort break (as it is often euphemistically called round here).

I didn’t stay for Monday as Tracy was working so no idea how
the third day of battle went. We did go shopping but didn’t find very
much that wasn’t WW2 or saddo militaria related. Although I did get 3m
of mustard wool for a nice civvy coat or something. I also managed to
pick a box that meets the MSER standard for storing black powder (from
one of Bright’s that makes them).

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About Author:

James has a keen interest in military history, backed with experience as a TA reservist and a 17th century re-enactor. He has designed and run several face to face social games and is the editor of MilMud, the journal of the CLWG game design group. He is currently working on a book on the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution.

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