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Welcome to Clash of Steel!

Featured battle : Crossing the Beresina

Part of The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

Date : 21 November 1812 - 29 November 1812

Napoleon's Grande Armée had fallen to between 49,000 and 25,000 effectives [with possibly another 40,000 stragglers following on]. His line of march from Moscow to Minsk lead to a crossing of the river Beresina at Borisov. He had Kutusov with the main Russian army [65,000] in distant pursuit, Wittgenstein's I Corps [30,000] closing from the north and Tshitshagov, Third Army of the West [34,000] approaching from the southwest across the road to Minsk. In a series of actions, by bluff, subterfuge, dogged fighting and brilliant engineering Napoleon was able to extricate a significant body of troops to link up with fresh troops and continue the retreat. Of the Russian high-command Kutusov was laggardly, Tchichagov was hesitant and only Wittgenstein showed spirit and determination.

Featured image :

Battle of Lansdown Hill, Waller's second position

Battle of Lansdown Hill, Waller's second position

A view south from the centre of the battlefield looking at the plateau at the top of the hill. This is where Waller and the Parliamentarians fell back to form a second line after the ferocious initial assult of the Cornishmen.

Gallery updated : 2021-04-01 18:52:49

Featured review :

A Noble Crusade

Richard Doherty
This is the story of the fighting Eighth Army from its creation in 1941 to its disbandment in 1945 . The many levels of action are covered from the strategic thinking which determined its use and its composition, which changed over time, to the individual hero charging a machine gun emplacement. In reading this book one becomes very aware of the changes in the character of their battles from the mile after mile dashes through the desert to the yard by yard slog through Italy. The author draws out the multi-national nature of this ‘British’ army with troops from all over the world from Canada to Poland, the long way round, and even Italians after their country’s capitulation. The index of VCs reflects the multi-national nature; the largest number of VCs being from India and the only double VC of the war was a New Zealander.
There is an interesting set of photographs, some useful maps and the bibliography is extensive. The research must have been considerable and has resulted in a most readable, at times gripping, story which can be enjoyed by a very wide range of readers.
After enjoying the book so much it may appear churlish to enter a major criticism but this is the story of less than half the Eighth army. For each man in the firing line there were seven or eight behind the lines, and occasionally in front, enabling the fighter to do his job. For example in the battle of Mareth, when the New Zealanders went through Wilders Gap they were guided by Military Policemen who had been carried well in advance by the LRDG and had signed the route some then stood as individual pointsmen at special places on that route. A chapter on the support Corps would have moved this book from very good to superb.
Given that caveat we highly recommend it to a wide range of readers.

Pen & Sword Military, 2020

Reviewed : 2021-03-02 12:12:26