Friday, March 08, 2013

Battle for March..?

My plan was to write up this month's "Decisive Battle" as a battle that never was; a what-if of a French military move to nullify the Remilitarization of the Rhineland in March, 1936.

The problem with that is that there is very little information available about the military details of that event; almost all the written accounts give cursory details of the movements of the German forces and little or no information about the location of the nearest French forces. I have a 1977 work requested through interlibrary loan but it has not arrived and shows little signs of rapid movement; rather like the French Army in 1936 in that, really.

My alternative is the Battle of Glorieta Pass, a bizarre, tiny little engagement in which the Union forces from the Department of New Mexico pretty much drew against the Confederate Army of New Mexico but, in the process, managed to destroy the rebel trains. Without their logistical train the Rebs had to retreat; so the engagement comes off as a Union victory.

Any interest in this one? Or should I hang on and badger the library to hurry the hell up with the Rhineland reference..?

11 comments:

Ael said...

I vote for the one that is more fun for you to write.

FDChief said...

I think both are kind of a hoot; the one just because it was so important and because the counterfactuals are so entertaining, the other because it's so UNimportant and yet the battle itself is one of those awesomely fucked up things that happen in war; the Union is pretty much getting handed it's ass while in a moment of inattention the CSA guys leave their combat trains unguarded and one of the Union officers (who also happens to be the Chivington who does the Sand Creek Massacre two years later) swoops down and destroys it...

The only question is which one to do FIRST.

Leon said...

Both: Split screen.

Chief you'll be the vanguard of a new style...

mike said...

Glorieta!!! Is that the one where the Texas Lancers were using 12 foot lances and channeling Santa Ana's cavalry? Or maybe they were going back further and copying Qanah Parker's Comanches?

FDChief said...

That would be the Battle of Valverde, mike, same folks but in February. And, yes, somehow someone involved in raising the 21st Texas Cavalry decided that they were going to go Full Napoleon and scrounged up some real honest-to-Poinatowski lances. I understand that after their encounter with modern weaponry at Valverde the Texans 86ed the pigstickers and got them some firearms, so you wouldn't be seeing the lancers at Glorieta...

Still, interesting oddball little battle...

FDChief said...

Actually I stand corrected on the unit involved; the sources I could track down claim that the outfit was B Company, 5th Texas Mounted Rifles. Why the hell they had a company of lancers I have no idea, but I do know that the lancer things was a Texas deal; they had a full regiment of the guys (tho the Texas military history page says the lances were never actually issued).

Anyway, they did charge with their polearms at Valverde and they did get chopped down. Idiots.

mike said...

thanks Chief - If you do Glorieta now or in the future, please add some detail to Chivington's later infamous career at the Sand Creek massacre. I had always heard that the commander at Sand Creek massacre was a preacher, but Wiki claims he was defrocked. Hmmmm?

Barry said...

Rhineland uber alles!

brtrain said...

While you are waiting for that interlibrary loan to turn up, you could search out the main article in World at War magazine #21, which also contains a wargame on the subject:

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/74312/the-rhineland-war-1936-37

The no-game version is much cheaper

http://shop.strategyandtacticspress.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=WW21

Brian

FDChief said...

Barry, brtrain; MCL called and the Emmerson reference is in, so I want to do the Rhineland this month. And I did come across that periodical, brtrain, yes, thank you! It made me want to get it to play the game just to see what happens...

Talyssa said...

Haha did you choose one yet? Any history I can get is good...it sucks in school in Australia all we get taught about is Australian History...I feel so uncultured not knowing about the happenings around the world :(