The Green Mountain Men of the Vermont Militia

After General Burgoyne's attack on Fort Ticonderoga, the American garrison commander, General St Clair, decided to abandon the fort om July 6th and make haste with his army to put as much distance between his men and Burgoyne's British and German forces.

In the scorching July heat and through heavily forested terrain, the Americans cleared 26 miles, reaching Hubbardton, a small hamlet in the wilderness. St.Clair chose to leave a rearguard to slow any attempt by the British to pursue, while he with the main army continued their quick march south.

The commanders of the rearguard, Colonel Ebenezer Francis and Colonel Seth Warner, assumed they had put sufficient distance between themselves and the British, so on the night of the 6th their men settled down to sleep and recover from their day's excursions without posting a proper picket line.

In actual fact the British had pursued the Americans with equal vigor, having discovered Ticonderoga empty, the Scotsman Brigadier Simon Fraser had gathered together a quick pursuit force made up of several companies of Grenadiers, Light Infantry, the 24th Foot and in support three Brunswick units as well. On the night of the 6th they too rested near Hubbardton and prepared for their attack the next morning which they readied for at 3am.


Suggested initial set up for the battle of Hubbardton 1777

ORDERS OF BATTLE


BRITISH FORCES

Brig. Simon Fraser - Commander in Chief - Veteran, Elite, Inspirational leader

Grenadiers (200 men) - 12 figures - Open order infantry, elite, veteran, musket

2 x Light Infantry units (2 x 200 men) - 2 x 12 figures - Open order infantry, well trained, veteran, musket

24th Foot (200 men) - 12 figures - Open order infantry, well trained, veteran, musket

Lt.Gen Friedrich Adolf Riedesel - sub-commander - Veteran, experienced, respected leader

Brunswick Jagers (200 men) - 12 figures - Open order infantry, well trained, experienced, musket

Brunswick Grenadiers (200 men) - 12 figures - Open order infantry, elite, experienced, musket

Riedesel's Regiment (200 men) - 12 figures - Open order infantry, well trained, experienced, musket


AMERICAN FORCES

Colonel Ebenezer Francis - Commander in Chief - Veteran, Patriotic, Inspirational Leader

2nd New Hampshire Regiment (400 men) - 24 figures - Open order infantry, trained, patriotic, variable morale, musket

11th Massachusett's Regiment (400 men) - 24 figures - Open order infantry, trained, patriotic, variable morale, musket

Colonel Seth Warner - sub-commander - Veteran, Patriotic, Inspirational Leader

2 x Units of The Green Mountain Men Vermont Militia (2 x 400 men) - 2 x 24 figures - Open order infantry, trained, patriotic, variable morale, marksmen, musket


THE BATTLE AS IT HAPPENED

The battle began on the right, with the 24th Foot attacking the New Hampshire Regiment commanded by Colonel Nathan Hale. Despite being outnumbered the experienced British troops made a steady advance, routing the Americans and capturing their commander.

Attention was then given to the centre with the British Light infantry advancing with the 24th Foot now in a flanking position to support them. Colonel Francis was determined to stand his ground and fighting became an intense firefight testing drilled obedience against patriotic fervour, Major Grant of the 24th was killed in the fighting and the British looked to hesitate in their attack, pulling back to regroup and rally.

On the left, Colonel Fraser sent forward his Grenadiers to climb Zion Hill, a deceivingly steep mound, and attack the Vermont Militia in the flank. Due to the incline the advance took far longer than anticipated and during this apparent lull, Colonel Francis launched his own flank attack on the opposite wing, reinforced by some of Hale's men who had rallied and decided to return to the field. The attack seriously threatened Fraser's position and the battle for quite a while hung in the balance. The sound of gunfire had alerted St.Clair, now a distance away, but he decided not to send reinforcements, likewise the noise also alerted British forces, especially Riedesel who was marching to support Fraser, he immediately sent his Jagers forward at double pace while his other units followed up. These German Jagers emerged from the thick forest and on to Francis's attack, hitting them in the flank. At the same time the British Grenadiers completed their hill climb and after regrouping launched themselves into the flank of the Green Mountain Men. Still the battle held as a fairly even stalemate until Colonel Francis was struck a fatal shot, his men previously so enthusiastic by his leadership, began to panic and the American line began to crumble before turning into a rout along the entire line.

The Americans lost 150 killed, 450 wounded and 250 captured to the British 60 killed and 150 wounded.


British Grenadiers charge American lines

WARGAMING THE BATTLE

This is an excellent battle to game, not requiring too many figures and being pretty evenly balanced throughout.

It would lend itself to large skirmish rules as well as regular sets.

For those inspired by this battle and period, take a look at our American War of Independence Starter set which includes both a British and American army, complete with MDF bases and the brilliant Land of The Free rules published by Osprey and full of excellent information. You can find it at https://www.thelittlecorporal.co.uk/product-page/the-complete-awi-starter-set




The Battle of Civitate - 1053

The Normans had begun to arrive in Italy around 1015, initially as pilgrims visiting the shrine of Saint Michael, "the warrior saint", at Monte Gargano in Apulia, Southern Italy. Their warlike nature was soon acknowledged by various local warlords and soon they found themselves in demand as mercenaries for the patchwork of Italo-Lombard kingdoms and dukedoms that sprawled across the centre of the Italian peninsular. As well as their internal rivalry, these small kingdoms also feared attack from their two more powerful neighbours, the Holy Roman Empire to the north and the Byzantine Empire to the south, not to mention raids by pirates and Muslim forces who occupied Sicily. In short, the need for good quality, hard fighting mercenaries was never in so much demand and the Normans were only too happy to help anyone with sufficient payment, with more and more arriving from France as each year passed. When some of their employers began to run low on money they opted for gifts of territory instead and by the 1040's they had established three distinct dukedoms of their own; Aversa, south of Naples was held by Richard Drengot who had arrived in 1046 with 40 knights, Melfi on the Apulian border on the east coast was held by Humphrey D'Hauteville, and finally Robert Guiscard held territory in Calabria, the toe of the Italian boot.


In 1049 a new pope was anointed, Pope Leo IX and the following year he went on a tour of southern Italy to assess the political situation throughout the land. He was shocked to find that almost everywhere he heard bad things about the Normans, their brutality in local governance and constant use of strong arm tactics against innocent people. They were after all, masters of the feudal system, but the pope found it abhorrent and the following year when he went to visit the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry III, he requested military assistance to bring the Norman nuisance to an end. This almost happened in 1052, when Henry agreed and sent an army south, only for it to be recalled before crossing the Alps after his advisors persuaded him not to intervene, albeit for their personal reasons of not particularly liking the pope. Undeterred, the pope asked the Duke of Lorraine for help and he sent 700 Swabians, fierce Germanic infantry famed for their two handed swords. In addition to these various other regions from Germany and around Italy sent men; Apulia, Gaeta, Campania, and many more - basically everyone that the Normans had ever rubbed up the wrong way. By 1053 Pope Leo had around 6,000 men and in addition to that he then agreed an alliance with the Byzantines. A plan was conceived that the Papal army would march south east and the Byzantines north to surround and defeat the largest Norman territory of Melfi on the east coast. Hearing of these plans, Humphrey requested all available help from the two other Norman territories and both Richard and Robert force marched cross country to join him in what was going to be possibly the end of the Normans in Italy. Despite these two joining Humphrey, the Normans could still only muster 3,500 men, it was therefore vital to stop the pope and the Byzantines from joining forces and with that in mind the Normans advanced north to face Pope Leo's army near Civitate.



Suggested initial set up for the Battle of Civitate 1053

ORDERS OF BATTLE using figure/men ratio of 1:25


NORMAN ARMY

Humphrey D'Hauteville Duke of Apulia - Commander in Chief - Veteran, Elite, Fierce Warrior, Inspirational Leader

Norman Knights (1000 men) - 40 figures - Heavy cavalry, close order, armoured, veteran, fierce warriors, lance, shield

Richard of Aversa - Sub Commander - Veteran, Elite, Fierce Warrior, Inspirational Leader

Norman Knights (1000 men) - 40 figures - Heavy cavalry, close order, armoured, veteran, fierce warriors, lance, shield

Robert Guiscard -Sub Commander - Veteran, Elite, Fierce Warrior, Inspirational Leader

Norman Knights (1000 men) - 40 figures - Heavy cavalry, close order, armoured, veteran, fierce warriors, lance, shield

Slavic Infantry (500 men) - 20 figures - Open Order infantry, light armour, trained, steady, spear, shield


PAPAL ARMY

Rudolf, Prince of Benevento - Commander in Chief - Veteran, Experienced, Average Leader

2 units of Crossbowmen ( 2 x 300 men) 2 x 12 figures - Trained, inexperienced, militia, crossbow

2 units of Infantry (2 x 700 men) 2 x 28 figures - Trained, inexperienced, militia, spear, shield

2 units of Knights (2 x 1000 men) 2 x 40 figures - Heavy cavalry, close order, armoured, trained, experienced, lance, shield

Werner Von Maden - Sub Commander - Veteran, Elite, Fierce Warrior, Good Leader

Swabian Infantry (700 men) 28 figures - Close Order, Heavy infantry, veteran, elite, armour, 2 handed swords, shield

Albert Von Winterthur - Sub Commander - Veteran, Experienced, Average Leader

German Archers - (300 men) 12 figures - Open Order infantry, light armour, trained, steady, bow

German Infantry - (700 men) 28 figures - Close Order infantry, medium armour, trained, steady, spear, shield


THE BATTLE AS IT HAPPENED

Pope Leo had opted not to been seen fighting a battle so had taken refuge in the town of Civitate with his Papal Guard, appointing Rudolf of Benevento as his field commander. There were in fact quite a lot of Dukes and Lords in the Papal army due to it's multi-dukedom make up, each with their own group of troops. This led to a rather disorganised deployment, with the infantry especially appearing more like a rabble than organised soldiers.


The battle opened with Richard of Aversa leading a powerful charge of his knights across the open ground towards Rudolf's men. Despite being hugely outnumbered, these Normans thundered through the poorly formed infantry, scattering them before then crashing into the cavalry. The ferocity of the charge sent the entire left wing of the Papal army into flight back to Civitate with Richard and his knights in hot pursuit.


In the centre, Humphrey charged the Swabians to his front who held a good position on the crest of a ridge that ran across the battlefield. Unlike their Italian comrades they stood their ground and wielding their two handed swords repulsed the charge. Humphrey regrouped and charged again, and again, and again, each time the Swabians stood firm, causing increasing casualties to the Norman knights. One witness reportedly said he saw "bodies of knights cut in two with dismembered horses laying along the line of battle". Robert Guiscard, initially holding back as a reserve, now charged forward too, smashing into the German infantry to his front and with his Slavic infantry sent them into a rout. Unlike Richard who chased after the Papal soldiers, Robert rallied his men and turned to smash the flank of the Swabians to support Humphrey's next full frontal charge. Even being attacked on two sides did not weaken the Swabian's resolve, who now formed a tight square of swordsmen and continued to hold back the Norman charges, inflicting heavy losses on the mounted knights. Just as Humphrey was beginning to think further attacks looked futile against such stubborn resistance, Richard of Aversa returned with his knights and charged the Swabians in the other flank and rear. Now totally surrounded and vastly outnumbered with no means of escape, the Swabians began to lose men, gradually forming a smaller and tighter formation, they opted to keep fighting to the last man.


After hours of bloody, savage fighting, the Normans had won the battle. As they advanced to Civitate the citizens of the town overwhelmed the pope and his guard and threw them out of the city walls to the Normans, who promptly took Leo as hostage. He was held prisoner for the next nine months until written assurances were granted by all their enemies that the Norman lands would be recognised as legitimate hereditary territories. They expanded on these over future generations and notably Robert Guiscard with his brother Roger captured Sicily from the Muslims, creating the Norman Kingdom of Sicily in 1130.


WARGAMING THE BATTLE

This is an excellent engagement to fight in miniature, and a fantastic change to the usual Norman v Saxon "hastings" style wargames. The Papal army would look very much like their Norman opponents in armour and dress, but with generally round shields instead of kite ones, so it should be easy to form up both sides.

If you're inspired to re-fight this battle then we suggest two looks at our online store.


The fabulous 15mm Dark Age range form Splintered Light Miniatures (USA) and available exclusively in the UK and Europe from ourselves.








Or for those who prefer boardgames, the brilliant Cry Havoc hexmap game called GUISCARD lets you re-fight Robert Guiscard's battles across southern Italy and Sicily. The artwork of the counters is out of this world which helps make this range of games still hugely popular over 40 years after being first created.


French Marshal Turenne directs his men at The Battle of The Dunes

The Battle of the Dunes, it could be argued, was a conflict in three separate wars, the Franco-Spanish War of 1635-1659, the Anglo-Spanish War of 1654-1660, and to some it is a European extension to the English Civil Wars as both armies fielded large amounts of British troops, with the Royalists fighting with the Spanish and the New Model Army fighting with the French. It was a truly international affair and therefore a battle well worth looking further in to and replaying.


Oliver Cromwell had made an alliance with the French King Louis XIV in 1655. He was concerned that the heir apparent Charles II and his younger brother James were in the Spanish Netherlands trying to gather support, both financial and material, to invade England and resume the English Civil Wars to win back the throne after their father Charles I had been executed by Parliament in 1649. By forging an alliance with Louis he aimed to support French hostilities with Spain sufficiently to stretch their resources to a point that they couldn't assist Charles and James in their plans to invade England.


In 1657 Cromwell sent 6,000 men of the New Model army to France, landing at Boulogne they bolstered the local French commander's force; Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Viscount of Turenne and Marshal of France. With his reinforced army Turenne took Gravelines and Mardyck (now an outlying suburb of Dunkirk) with ease and then in 1658 began to lay siege to the port of Dunkirk with further support from Cromwell in the form of an English fleet to blockade the port by sea.


In response, the younger Captain-General of the Spanish Army of Flanders, Don Juan of Austria, mobilised his army which was in Brussels, and against the advice of older and more experienced commanders, marched to Dunkirk in order to relieve the siege. He approached the port with an army roughly the same size as that of Turenne, and with a multi-national force that was similar too. The main point of difference was command; Turenne was an experienced, wise veteran of war, while Don Juan was an impetuous 29 year old, accompanied by two sub generals, Conde, the Marquis of Caracena and James Duke of York (future King James II), both of whom had been part of Louis XIV's service before being reluctantly drawn to the other side after Louis' treaty with Oliver Cromwell.


As the two armies formed up on the morning of the 14th June 1658 on the coastline outside Dunkirk you can see that there were several tests of loyalty and of future position at stake.



Suggested initial set up for the Battle of the Dunes

ORDERS OF BATTLE - using a 1:20 figure scale


FRENCH ARMY

Marshal Turenne - Commander in Chief - Veteran, Elite, Superb Tactician, Inspiring Leader

Sir William Lockhart - Sub-Commander - Veteran, Reliable, Stubborn. Inspiring Leader

From left to right

Lockhart's Cavalry (500 men) - 25 figures - Close order cavalry, medium armour, veteran, well trained, stubborn, sword, pistols

3 x Units of French Cavalry (3 x 500 men) - 3 x 25 figures - Open order cavalry, medium armour, veteran, well trained, impetuous. sword. pistols

Front Line

Alsop's Regiment of Foot (800 men) - 40 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, well trained, stubborn, musket/pike

Clarke's Regiment of Foot (600 men) - 30 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, well trained, stubborn, musket/pike

Cochrane's Regiment of Foot (800 men) - 40 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, well trained, stubborn, musket/pike

Lillington's Regiment of Foot (600 men) - 30 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, well trained, stubborn, musket/pike

Morgan's Regiment of Foot (800 men) - 40 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, well trained, stubborn, musket/pike

Reynold's Regiment of Foot (600 men) - 30 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, well trained, stubborn, musket/pike

Second Line

Scottish Bodyguard Regiment of Foot (400 men) - 20 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, elite, veteran, stubborn, musket/pike

Douglas's Regiment of Foot (600 men) - 30 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, elite, stubborn, musket/pike

Dillon's Regiment of Foot (600 men) - 30 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, well trained, stubborn, musket/pike

French Huguenot Regiment of Foot (800 men) - 40 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, well trained, reliable, musket/pike

4 x Units of French Cavalry (4 x 500 men) - 4 x 25 figures - Open order cavalry, medium armour, veteran, well trained, impetuous. sword. pistols


SPANISH ARMY

Don Juan of Austria - Commander in Chief - Inexperienced, Rash, Impetuous, Over Confident

Conde - Sub-Commander - Experienced, Veteran, Tactician, Inspiring

James, Duke of York - Sub-Commander - Inexperienced, Cautious, Inspiring

From left to right

4 x Units of Spanish Infantry (4 x 1,500 men) 4 x 75 figures 4/5 muskets 1/5 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, trained, steady, muskets/pikes

Duke of York's Front Line

Duke of Gloucester Regiment of Foot (500 men) - 25 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, well trained, loyal, musket/pike

Willoughby's Regiment of Foot (500 men) - 25 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, well trained, loyal, musket/pike

Ormonds Regiment of Foot (500 men) - 25 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, well trained, loyal, musket/pike

Second Line

The Foot Guards Regiment of Foot (250 men) - 12 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, elite, musket/pike

Lord Muskerry's Regiment of Foot (250 men) - 12 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, veteran, elite, musket/pike

Main Infantry body left to right both front & rear ranks ranks

2 x German Infantry Regiment of Foot (2 x 360 men) - 2 x 18 figures 4/5 muskets 1/5 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, experienced, steady, musket/pike

3 x Walloon Infantry Regiment of Foot (3 x 300 men) - 3 x 16 figures 2/3 muskets 1/3 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, experienced, steady, musket/pike

2 x Scottish Regiment of Foot (2 x 360 men) - 2 x 18 figures 4/5 muskets 1/5 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, experienced, steady, musket/pike

2 x Irish Regiment of Foot (500 men) - 25 figures 1/2 muskets 1/2 pike - Close order infantry, no armour, experienced, trained, impetuous, musket/pike

Right Flank (Conde)

2 x French Regiment of Foot (350 men) - 17 figures 4/5 muskets 1/5 pike - Close order infantry, light armour, experienced, trained, steady, musket/pike

Cavalry at rear

6 x French Cavalry Units (6 x 500 men) 6 x 25 figures - Close order cavalry, medium armour, experienced, trained, impetuous, sword, pistols


A panoramic view of the battle with Dunkirk in the distance


THE BATTLE AS IT HAPPENED

The battle opened at 8am with the experienced Turenne using one of the most effective tactics when it works, turning a flank. Lockhart's infantry were given the objective of capturing the sandhill opposite them, which was occupied by 6,000 Spanish infantry. So steep was the slope that Lockhart ordered his men to rest for two minutes at the bottom before attempting to scale the hill. When they did start, they climbed in pairs, each man assisting the other man then visa versa, until they reached the summit. There they faced a massive Spanish force, but they quickly grouped and stoically advanced to the attack, steadily pushing back the Spanish by pure determination. The Duke of York tried to relieve the Spanish with his own counter attack supported by cavalry, but French and New Model cavalry swept forward and routed the English Royalists as well as the Spanish infantry. The pressure now fell on the centre, and soon the German and Walloon infantry cracked and began to run, and each time a Spanish unit fled the French increased the pressure on the remaining units. Eventually only the great Conde and his Catholic French units remained until under threat of complete encirclement they left the field. Turenne's cavalry pursued the Spanish army relentlessly, while the infantry returned to the siege of Dunkirk which would fall ten days later and be given to England as reward for it's efforts.


WARGAMING THE BATTLE

Considering how popular both the English Civil War and Thirty Years War are to game, most gamers should be able to find the figures for this battle quite easily. It is by no means a foregone conclusion, as with all games the "Dice Gods" can really upset the best laid plans, and it is certainly an interesting game with the different nationalities and subtle differences coming into play.

For those not sure about it in miniature figures, there is an excellent hexmap game that covers this battle in our online store by VaeVictis - With Honour and Panache
















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