A contribution for this Blog from my friend Michael Oliver, coauthor of the books NAPOLEONIC ARMY HANDBOOK (I and II) and THE BATTLE OF ALBUERA 1811, GLORIOUS FIELD OF GRIEF.
It's very good news to know they are wargaming the Battle of Salamanca at the Museum of the 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot in Chelmsford.
I'm looking forward to receiving the pictures he is promising.
It has been some years since I enjoyed the company of Miguel-Ángel and his lovely wife, Chus, in Salamanca – my second home city. However, I am hoping to bring the absence to an end in a year or so when my colleague, Richard Partridge, and I pay our fourth visit to research the War of Independence battlefields for our forthcoming book “Battle Studies in the Peninsula” for Partizan Press.
I have had a pleasant reminder of a few years back, when Miguel came to the UK and we visited the museum of the 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot in my first home city of Chelmsford. Miguel had brought with him some artefacts from the Salamanca battlefield and the museum’s curator, Ian Hook, was very pleased to accept them on behalf of the museum. They now have a special place among the museum’s exhibits – including the French Eagle taken by the 44th at the battle of Salamanca.
It was, therefore, with considerable pleasure that I received a telephone call from Ian Hook asking if the Wargames club to which I belong would give a demonstration display of a wargame at the museum’s open weekend on 25th & 26th September. Ian remembers Miguel’s visit very clearly and asked me to wish him well. Called “Salute the Soldier”, the day will recall events related to the regiment’s involvement in conflicts and actions throughout the world including the taking of the eagle.
It did not take us long to decide what wargame to play it had to be the events of 22nd July 1812. The field of Salamanca is too large to cover on the table top but we shall show terrain related to where the historical capture of the eagle took place and re-create the events that led up to this event. I am hoping to have some photographs of the wargame and the open day which I will provide to Miguel for inclusion in the blog.