Saturday, September 8, 2018

The swedes stage a false flag attack against Russia!

Ok, that was clickbait. This news is 230 years old, but it makes for an interesting and largely forgotten story.

In the 1780's, Gustav III of Sweden wasn't happy. His ancestors were great warrior kings and he wanted to be one too, but the geopolitical position of Sweden did not offer any good opportunities for a would-be lion of the North. The days of Sweden being a European great power had been numbered since Poltava. He needed a good war but Swedish law did not allow the king to declare an offensive war by himself. His cousin, Catherine the Great of Russia was busy fighting a war against the Turks. Maaaybe there would be a chance to capitalize on that. He just needed a casus belli. A great lover of the theater, Gustav hatched a plan..

It is not conclusively proven that the incident at Vuolteensalmi strait near Puumala was staged, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest it was. In the spring of 1788, the King was already making plans for an offensive war and making secret preparations. He had also commissioned some Russian uniforms to be made and held talks with the commander of the Savolax Brigade. In June, there were reports of Russian troops violating the border near Vuolteensalmi and some men of the Savonian infantry regiment were sent to investigate. At Vuolteensalmi strait they encountered what seemed to be a Russian force, and a firefight at a distance ensued. After an hour or so, the encounter ended. The Savonians reported having shot only twice and the Russians had failed to kill or wound anyone. Enraged, the king declared war on the aggressors and he had a legal right to do so as this was obviously a defensive war!

The summer cabin of my wifes' family is in Puumala, only ten kilometers from Vuolteensalmi so I took my family there today under the pretense of picking some mushrooms in the forest.

The strait on a period map. The strait is narrow and shallow and there was a small bridge across.
The bridge is long gone and the road hasn't been used for a long time.
The foundations of the road can still be seen. The Savonian infantry took cover in the woods on this side from the "Russians" firing at them from the other side.
The strait would have been easily fordable this time of year.

No monuments or plaques for this historical event.
Sweden went into war ill-prepared and Russia wasn't as distracted by the Turks as the king had hoped. If cousin Gustaf wanted a fight, Catherine was happy to oblige. By summers end, the Swedes and Finns were on the defensive and the Finnish officers who had seen through Gustaf's ruse were plotting to mutiny because of the unjust war. The situation would only get worse in 1789 and only the victory at the Battle of Svensksund in 1790 would scrape up enough "war score" for Gustaf so that he could sue for peace. Gustav ended up being assassinated by his own nobility that same year.

Also, we found some mushrooms on the site, too!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Grom the Paunch and friends

Here are Grom and his mates. I took advantage of my airbrush while doing the wolves which made the project a bit easier to tackle, but this still took me some effort as there's quite a lot of surface to paint, shade and highlight. 

A unit of three chariots can be used in Kings of war. I never used light chariots in Warhammer Fantasy itself, thinking they were too flimsy.

"Witness me!" I got a bit of a Immortan Joe vibe from Grom so I made one of the goblins give him a salute.

The backs of the wolves have been airbrushed with a couple of layers of grey on top of white. I then gave them some sepia wash as well as Nuln Oil. The end result is quite acceptable for the quick paintjob.

I found an old Goblin banner from my bits box. It was in rough shape but ended up fitting quite well!

The skin on these goblins ended up a bit darker than I planned.