Wednesday 29 August 2012

Madasahatta - What it meant to me

SMS Panther

SMS Panther - the Iltis was one her sisters

This post is very much in addition to Bob Cordery's Madasahatta revisited and for fuller details of this legendary campaign see his Colonial Wargaming website for all manner of things Madasahatta related  (and a good few other things besides) - Colonial Wargaming.

I came to this campaign more or less at the last knockings but the impact and the imagery that it cemented in my consciousness has stayed with me ever since and, if truth be told, has coloured much of my wargames plans and ideas over the years. At the time I was a young man of my late teens/(very) early twenties and I was awestruck at the sheer scope and panache of the undertaking - in my opinion fully up there with any of the works of Featherstone, Grant, Young, Lawford or anybody else - and it took my own wargames adventure into directions I would never have considered otherwise.

Thinking back, my very brief cameo role in the campaign (I commanded a German gunboat during a naval bombardment) as a junior officer in the Imperial German Navy using Fletcher Pratt as the rules of choice - on a tabletop mind! -  (Port Maleesh if memory serves although I remain to be corrected) introduced me to a number of lifelong interests including naval wargames, SMS Seydlitz, a passionate interest in anything Ottoman Turkish and also a liking for the idea (if not the execution) of the small war.

File:SMS Seydlitz mit Zeppelin.jpg

SMS Seydlitz with her Combat Air Patrol - an unusual picture if only because she is in one piece....

Bob and I have been bouncing a number of emails around about the whole Madasahatta idea and how it could be gamed again in some fashion. I have a number of ideas (as does Bob I am sure) involving for me blocks and Memoir of Battle as the rules of choice so I will be sure to post what comes out in the wash.

In passing I should say that this will not even be an effort - it will be fun, just like the original.


Tim Gow said...

How did your command fare? I think we should be told...

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

The Iltis survived the action by the simple expedient of sailing around in the harbour being bombarded in a succession of circles of varying sizes. Plus the fact she was too small to be bothered about. I did manage to score a single hit with a 12pdr on one of the attacking battleships which earned her several salvoes of 12" shells in return - luckily her temerity was not rewarded with any damage - unlike the Seydlitz which took a real hammering.

Iltis was later scuttled to prevent capture.

All the best,