Eighty years on. 30th November 1939


The Soviet Union invaded Finland and bombed Helsinki.

Game day 91. Japan

The merchant convoy sailed back to Kyoto to collect more troops to ship to Manchuria.

The Japanese armoured forces attacked Peking once again, with air support.  The Chinese defenders were wiped out.

Eighty years on. 29th November 1939


Adolf Hitler told his military commanders that England was the leading military power in the enemy alliance and the defeat of England was essential.  He ordered the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe to blockade London, Liverpool and Manchester, to attack shipping and to bomb factories, oil storage facilities and food stores.

It was reported that the British Exchequer had received substantial donations of gold and jewellery from foreigners in support of the war effort.

Moscow broke off diplomatic relations with Finland.

In Madrid the Spanish government ratified its friendship pact with Germany.  The pact included secret clauses allowing German ships to use Spanish ports.

Game day 90. Britain

Two empty convoys arrived in Boston, Massachusetts to collect Industrial resources for Britain.  A third convoy left Portsmouth heading for the Far East.  The Flotilla of warships in the North Atlantic sailed north, failing to locate the enemy submarine.

Eighty years on. 28th November 1939


King George VI of Great Britain signed an order authorising the seizure of German goods on the high seas.  The RAF attacked German seaplanes laying mines at Borkum, Friesian Islands.

In Poland, each ghetto was ordered to set up a Jewish Council of Elders, essentially to impose Nazi regulations.

The Soviet Union rescinded the 1932 Russo-Finnish Non-Aggression Pact.

Game day 89. Germany

In the North Atlantic the battleships and submarine continued to patrol searching for British merchant shipping, and in the South Atlantic the battleships once again headed south-west towards Brazil.

In Germany the 5th Infantry Corps continued its movement towards the border with France and Switzerland.

Eighty years on. 27th November 1939


The Finnish Government denied the shelling of Mainila (reported yesterday), claiming that the firing had come from the Soviet side of the border.

In Germany Aryans were given a 12-month deadline by which they had to divorce their Jewish spouses.  In Lublin, a labour camp holding about 45,000 Jews deported from other countries, an epidemic of typhus broke out.

It was decided that no Nobel Peace Prize would be awarded in 1939.

Game day 88. USSR

10th Infantry Corps in Ukraine moved south-west.  11th Infantry and 4th Armoured Corps in Caucasus moved westwards.  The Fighter group in Ukraine was moved to Karelia.

Background image copyright Milton Bradley Games

A wargaming update

Today I have been writing the rules for my “Bomber” game, based on Len Deighton’s eponymous book.  It’s all coming together nicely.  The game was first played as a post-Christmas fun game in Chris Scott’s gaming room.  I am now expanding it for a weekend at the Wargames Holiday Centre. The new version is much better than the early picture below.

I also spent a little time basing some 6mm artillery pieces for my domestic campaign game set in 1702.  For these games I normally use Irregular Miniatures blocks of 3 x 6 Infantry (a company or a battalion as required) and 1 x 4 cavalry (a troop or squadron).  But I find their field artillery pieces less than adequate, so I go to Heroics and Ros for the guns.  Irregular siege guns are much better than their field pieces.

As an aside Ian Kay of Irregular Miniatures was kind enough a few years back to sculpt for me a bunch of “early 18th century routing infantry” as a marker unit, based on his ACW-Modern period models.

Eighty years on. 26th November 1939


The Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian border village of Mainila, declared that the fire originated from Finland across the nearby border and claimed to have had losses in personnel.  The Soviet Union demanded that Finland withdraw troops from the Karelian Isthmus.

Map from Wikipedia

Map taken from Wikipedia

Ten people died when the Polish liner Pilsudski in Royal Navy service was torpedoed in the North Sea.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made his first radio broadcast since 3rd September, and claimed that the British knew the secret of the German magnetic mine.  Author’s note:  declaring to your enemy that you know his secrets seems counter-productive.

Game day 87. China

A fresh infantry Corps moved up to the west of the City of Peking to support the defenders.  The remaining two Corps moved towards Shanghai to retake the city and the province of Kwangtung for the Chinese.

Background image copyright Milton Bradley Games

Eighty years on. 25th November 1939


In Britain, after attempts to protect wild-roaming New Forest ponies from traffic accidents in the blackout by painting them as zebras, they were rounded up and moved to safe pastures.

These are New Forest ponies
and these are Zebras. Spot the difference (or should that be stripe?)

Game day 86. Japan

The Japanese made a determined assault to take Peking from the Chinese.  1st Armoured Corps attacked from the north, while a battalion from 3rd Infantry Corps attacked from the south.  The attack was supported by 2nd Fighter Group flying in from the east.

The Chinese 2nd Infantry Corps was wiped out and the 4th Infantry Corps lost one battalion.  On the Chinese side 1st Armoured Corps lost half its tanks and the 4th Infantry Corps was eliminated.  No aircraft were shot down.  The Chinese held the city. 

Background image copyright Milton Bradley Games

From little acorns, part 3…

Some weeks on. The electric wiring is boxed into conduit. The walls are re-plastered and painted. the skirting boards have been replaced and all the woodwork repainted.

But the two desks turned out to have the wrong metalwork assembly delivered. we have the smaller size dsk and the larger size frame. After a week of telephone calls we have been promised replacements “within 10 working days”.

This still leaves the house full of displaced stuff and a half-built desk in the middle of the office.

And we are still waiting for the electrician to return and re-enable the socket that he disabled when fitting the new switch board under the stairs.

And only a month until Christmas. More “Ho-Hum” than “Ho-Ho-Ho” in this household.

Eighty years on. 24th November 1939


Japan announced the fall of the city of Nanning in southern China, following an intense aerial bombardment.  This allowed the Japanese control of the Chinese supply route from Indo-China.

A contemporary map of the area around Nanning

Game day 85. Britain

The two convoys in the North West Atlantic sailed on towards Boston.  The Battle Flotilla sailing from Gibraltar moved north-west to protect them.

Background image © Milton Bradley Games