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The Thirty Years War.

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by harrytheheid, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

    I've moved this thread from the "Completed Figure" section to here and hoping it'll open up interesting conversations on one of my favorite eras.

    The entire subject of "The Wars of Religion" in Europe are a source of major fascination.
    This book is fairly interesting;

    This relatively obscure Michael Caine movie set during the TYW is pretty good as well;

    I'm intending to revisit the TYW in 75mm, (Avanpost's terrific range of resin figures), but that won't be for a while because I've so many other things going on right now.

    The "Montrose" biography by John Buchan I've previously referred to in connection with my soon-to-be-finished small diorama is the second edition published in 1928 - which I first read in 1966 when I was around ten years old, although most of it went straight over my head. Having been written around one hundred years ago, the style is a product of it's time, but still accessible for modern readers.

    Here's a few cherry-picked excerpts. The bold italics are mine as they're related to the scene just prior to "The Sack of Aberdeen" that I'm trying to re-create; and I've slightly altered the narrative for clarification.

    Montrose had 1,500 foot and some 70 horsemen. It was his business to beat his opponent as soon as possible, for Argyll, with a formidable army, was lumbering in his wake, and Fabian tactics would land him between two fires. On the morning of the 13th, according to his custom, he sent an envoy to the magistrates of the city summoning them to surrender, advising them at any rate to send the women and children to a place of safety, and warning them that those who stayed could expect no quarter.

    Why did Montrose preface this engagement with a threat so foreign to his character and practice? It would seem that he was in a mood of anger and strain. His force was heavily outnumbered and needed encouragement; he realized that his affairs stood on a razor edge, and that his failure now would mean destruction. His mood was to be further embittered. The magistrates courteously entertained his messenger and made a drummer-boy who accompanied him the present of a silver piece, but as the two returned under a flag of truce the child was treacherously shot by one of the Covenant soldiers.

    Patrick Gordon says that the victors lost but seven men and the vanquished a thousand, which is manifestly absurd; but beyond doubt the flying Covenanters were cut down without quarter, and stripped before the fatal blow, that their clothes might not be soiled with their blood. In the streets unarmed citizens were butchered, women were violated and slain or carried into captivity, and death did not spare the very old and the very young. For three terrible days the orgy lasted.

    Montrose’s record had received its darkest stain. What is the truth about the sack of Aberdeen? On the nature and magnitude of the atrocities it is hard to dogmatize. The sack of Aberdeen was not only a crime, it was a fatal error. This was no Covenanting city, and the majority of those who perished inside its walls had been forced into the fight. Montrose had spoiled his chance of getting recruits for the king among the burghers of Deeside. All over Scotland, too, the tale, zealously disseminated by the Covenanters, and no doubt wildly embroidered, must have deterred moderate men from casting in their lot with one whose methods seemed more like a Tilly or a Wallenstein.
    theBaron and billyturnip like this.
  2. billyturnip A Fixture

    I'm just getting myself organised to travel back up to Aberdeen this morning and have downloaded Buchan's Montrose to my Kindle to read at sea.
    Once I get settled in I'll revisit the books I mentioned earlier and have a look at what is written about the sack of Aberdeen. I know there's an account in one of them.
    harrytheheid likes this.
  3. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

    Here's an interesting review of "The Last Valley" that kind of echo's my own thoughts about the movie.

    Funnily enough, I watched "Dr Zhivago" last night, just to get myself into the vibe for my upcoming Tsar Nikki II vignette - and there was Omar Sharif who would a few years later reprise almost the same role in his TYW movie.
    billyturnip likes this.
  4. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

    The thread title should of course be....."The Thirty Years War".
    Getting old is a real bummer.
  5. housecarl A Fixture

    Changed Harry.(y)
  6. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

    Thanks. :)
  7. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

    It's ridiculous.
    This has been waiting for about a year for the second flag to be added, the figures to be based into the vignette and the groundwork finished.
    I've simply no excuse for such deplorable laziness.
    It'll be done tomorrow, or maybe Friday, or....
  8. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

  9. Ray Stout Active Member

    I know they're classed as "Faction" but have you read Nigel Tranter's books on Montrose? Also, there are 2 large Picturs in Salford Art Gallery of Montrose on the scaffold and Argyll on the eve of his Execution 10 yrs. later, They're buried opposite each other in St. Giles in Edinburgh. I also have the Cinema Promo magazine for the Last Valley Ray
  10. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

    I used to have almost all Tranter's historical novels Ray; the one published posthumously about Andrew Wood being among the very few exceptions.
    I've been gradually buying them again as ebooks for my Kindle though.
    I've read and re-read "The Young Montrose" and "Montrose; The Captain General" umpteen times down the years.
    Tranter's books can be a bit uneven, but the Montrose books are up there among his best, along with "The Bruce Trilogy", "The Stewart Trilogy" and "MacBeth the King".

    montrose3.jpg _62112617_montrose2.jpg
    billyturnip likes this.
  11. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

    Finally made a start on basing these figures into this "War of the Three Kingdoms" diorama today.
    04. Marquis of Montrose_b.JPG

    Still working on the second flag though.
    03. Solemn League & Covenant Flag.JPG

    The groundwork will be semi-cured by morning, so the figures will come back out while some more work is done on them.
    05. Marquis of Montrose_a.JPG

    Then it'll be time for the static grass....
    06. Marquis of Montrose_c.JPG

    ....and clean up the edges on the display table.
    oldtrousers and billyturnip like this.
  12. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

    We've kind of went off on a tangent from "The Thirty Years War", and my previous post should probably have gone into the WIP section, but, oh well....
  13. Ray Stout Active Member

    My God, you've had those figures hanging around a long time!! mind you, I'm using the Art Gerona Scottish Border Reiver in a group my self with a Limited edition mounted Border reiver from The gallows Bird that New Hope did all those years ago. New Hope did a good 54mm seated Cavalry Officer from the 30yrs, war too, but, I've not seen one in years. It's a great period to model, with so many different styles. I had a go with a 54mm diorama called the Hungry Wolves. I'll try and photogrph it and upload it. Ray
    harrytheheid likes this.
  14. billyturnip A Fixture

    Looking good.

    This quote from How the Scots Won the Civil War A McCrae may be of interest.

    Finding an army drawn up against him, Montrose sent a letter advising the townsfolk of his terms: Aberdeen was to be given up to him entire, or all who resist were to receive no quarter. As set forth in Chapter 20 of Deuteronomy, peace was to be offered and, if forsaken, all men of that city were to be put to the sword. His terms were given to the people of Aberdeen in the company of some gentlemen and a drummer. The council drafted a reply, but it was not to reach Montrose under a flag of truce, for the drummer was shot dead whilst returning to his lines, ostensibly by a Covenanter horseman. Montrose was incensed and, giving the townsfolk no time to withdraw, ordered the attack.

    harrytheheid likes this.
  15. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I do tend to jump around from one project to the other resulting in some of my stuff being shelved for ages. To some extent it works for me as it saves me getting bored. Even more important is; sometimes I just can't "get" a figure right - the Art Girona Borders Thug is a case in point, but I left the figure alone for a while and then came back to it - and I'm happy with how he turned out in the end.
    I really want to step up to those 75mm TYW figures by Avanpost but am snowed under right now, both time-wise and in terms of available hobby funds. Still, they'll be something to look forward to once I clear my feet and start completing all the 54mm stuff I'm doing at the moment.
    Looking forward to seeing your Hungry Wolves diorama.
  16. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

    Hot dang....:shy:....now I'm going to take another look at my write-up on the incident.
    Having said that, I don't have a Covenanter horseman available, so the culprit will just have to stay where he is....:D
  17. billyturnip A Fixture

  18. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

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  19. harrytheheid Well-Known Member

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  20. harrytheheid Well-Known Member


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