Sunday, 26 June 2011

Balkan Air Power and the Wars of the Eighteenth Century

It has been a busy weekend one way or another and so I was delighted that our visit to our local boot sale was a successful one - although it was absolutely roasting and less than ideal for walking around in!

I managed to acquire a couple of very useful additions for the collection - the first of which is a Bleriot monoplane from the Corgi 'History of Flight' series. This is a lovely little die-cast model scaled (I think) at around 1/100th or 15mm. I picked this up for the princely sum of £1. I had seen this in various places for around the £5 to £7 mark which I would not have paid, simply because it is very much a 'nice to have' item rather than an essential. The reason I am pleased about acquiring this is because both the Bulgarians and the Turks used these in the First Balkan War. The variant was later than Bleriot's channel crossing special and the Bulgarians also used a two seat version. The model may not be 100% accurate but it does look very nice and will add a little extra eye candy to the ground action. The planes were used primarily for reconnaissance although the Bulgarians did carry out some bombing attacks using their Bleriot two seat versions. I am not sure if any kind of national insignia was used and so if not I could easily use the model for either side.

The second bargain was a pristine copy of Jeremy Black's Warfare in the 18th Century - published as one of the Cassell's 'History of Warfare' series. this is an overview of warfare in the 18th century and how it evolved from the time of Marlborough to the French Revolution. Rather refreshingly it looks at warfare across the globe and not merely from a Eurocentric perspective. I was very interested to see the fighting in the Balkans (Austrians against the Turks), the wars in India  - not just with the British and French involvement - and across the Middle East.

I have a strange relationship with the 18th century - I have played some hugely enjoyable games over the years using Charge! and various other rule sets but I have never managed to stay with the period for any length of time. Perhaps I am looking at the wrong part of it and should broaden my outlook a little - if so then this book would certainly be a good place to start.


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

I have two of the Bleriots myself (bought full price!) for use as recce aircraft (and possibly even primitive bombers) for the per-1914 period.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

It is a lovely little model and I will probably try and acquire a second. I have a single picture of a Bulgarian Bleriot in Vachkov's book and it appears to in exactly the same finish as the model so no painting would be needed.

The Bulgarian 'air force' did make use of the Bleriot as a simple bomber so whilst not particularly effective will be something to think about for the forthcoming Balkans set up.

All the best,