Sunday, November 09, 2014

Resuming Normal Services

Lo, and I present for your delectation a unit of Royalist horse in the form of a bunch of one-piece ECW Colonels.

Oh how they languished on my painting desk as I writhed in the grip of my various painting demons. Battles completed and Teen Turtles out of my system (for now) I can turn my attention to the next part-painted unit that similarly pine for the touch of my synthetic bristles.

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I note in passing today the centenary of the sea-fight between HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden at the Cocos Islands. In this unequal struggle four Australian sailors were killed and another sixteen were wounded. One hundred and thirty-four German sailors were killed and sixty-nine wounded. One hundred and fifty-seven come through the action unharmed.

I'll not go into the remarkable cruise of this small German cruiser nor dwell on the inevitable end of her career. Needless to say the cruise of the Emden and the astonishing escape of her landing party are pretty well my favourite sea-story.

I'll let Mike Carleton, journalist and broadcaster finish with a small vignette from his "First Victory" where he quotes the letter of an unknown German sailor who had been badly lacerated by two pieces of shrapnel, one of which had torn a hole in his back:

"We were rowed along to the Sydney one by one, put into a crane and hoisted on board. I myself was put into the ward room, which had been transformed into a hospital. Here too were berthed the wounded of the Sydney. we were at once properly bandaged and well treated as far as circumstances would allow... Next to me lay a sailor of the Sydney. He had his right foot blown away. He bent himself toward me and gave me his hand."

The Sydney sailor was Rich Horne. The two men lay there, side by side, holding hands in silent affirmation of their humanity.
Lest we forget.

3 comments:

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Rather handsome horsemen there, young de Latte. Rather handsome.

Best Regards,

Von Tschatschke

Steve Gill said...

Good idea to use the one-piece colonels for a troop.

A moving piece there from the story of the Sydney and Emden; thank you for the quotation.

DC said...

Nice to see those guys with paint on at least, you should do some more 8-)