Against the wind - Bantry Bay May 11, 1689

This second scenario using my 1/2400 ships is based on the events of May 11, 1689 when Admiral Herbert's English fleet attacked a French fleet under Admiral Chateaurenault in Bantry Bay on the south west coast of Ireland. It also gets me back to Ireland and my favourite theatre of the entire period.The historical action was inconclusive and involved 24 French and 19 English vessels. Most were 3rd, 4th or 5th rate on both sides. I have chosen not to re fight the whole battle but to pick a representative vignette in the form of a French ship running for the open water of the Atlantic instead of being trapped in the narrow confines of the bay.The main Battle of Bantry BayThe game was set at a 20 turn limit. The larger ships featured were actually present at the battle although I have changed the names of the captains. Those familiar with American rock music of the seventies may connect the scenario title with the name of one of the captains! Bonus ball question!Scenario: Against the wind , Bantry Bay, May 11, 16

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Blood & Cutts! Part 2

The second part of my piece on Lord John Cutts of Gowran.An appraisal of England’s fire eating generalEnglish hero - for sure, Subject of Swiftian satire - definitely!What he did bestHis speciality was leading assaults into the breach. Many of his wounds were received in such situations. He seemed to gravitate towards peers and superiors with a similar disposition to his own. One such, Thomas Tollemache, a rival of John Churchill and another fire-eater, died after being hit in the groin by a cannonball during the disastrous Camaret Bay amphibious landing. Cutts himself performed insanely reckless feats there yet, lived to tell the tale.Man on the make - Cutts at 24 leading Transylvanian locals against the hated TurksBeing point-man or any man for that matter, during the storming of a breach was generally recognized as a suicide mission. It was a task normally assigned to an army’s biggest, baddest head-bangers – the grenadiers. Tooled up with flintlock muskets, bags of hand grenades, hatchets, occasionally be

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Blood & Cutts! Part 1

This article appeared in issue #379 May 2019 or Wargames Illustrated. I am publishing it on the blog in three parts as it is fairly long.An appraisal of England’s fire eating general     John Cutts painted by Wissing around 1687, aged about 24Who?Like many notable men of his era, John Cutts is difficult to define in terms of good or bad, wrong or right. If considered only by his military deeds it is easy to be seduced and never get beyond the evocative sobriquet of Salamander - the man who can be found where the action is hottest and the danger most parlous. For wargamers, this may be enough. A Hector on the field of battle with more tales to tell in a single life than many others combined. Job done.Read about his political career and the portrait loses some of its lustre. Driven by chronic financial problems, the story of a wheeler-dealer, schemer, and petitioner involved in countless intrigues emerges to cast shadow across a previously sunlit vista. A hero who became the subject of Swiftian s

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