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Versinikia 813

Paul Leach                                Miniature Wargames 287        March 2007

WAB scenario covering the Byzantine campaign of John Aplakes against Khan Krum's Bulgar army.

The Late Roman Art of War: Constantine the Great

IIkka Syvanne                            Slingshot                                247 July 2006

An excellent overview of the campaigns, strategy and tactics of Constantine the Great including his Balkan campaigns based on the authors doctoral dissertation.

Life & Battles of Janos Hunyadi

Matthew Haywood                    Slingshot                        244 January 2006

This is Part 2 of the series (Part 1 March 05) that looks at the battles of the Hungarian warlord. It covers the conflicts from 1444 to 1456 including the Varna crusade and the Battle of Belgrade. Hunyadi inflicted more defeats on the Ottomans than any other previous Christian commander.

The Prince and the Emperor

Thomas Zacharis and Greg Maynard                 Military History             August 2004

A short article on the campaign and siege of Dorystolon (Silistria) 971. Prince Svyatoslav of Kiev had, in a short period, expanded his domains to the Danube. The new Byzantine Emperor John Tzimisces had subdued the Bulgarian Tsar and concentrated his forces at Dorystolon facing a reduced Rus army with its strength dispersed into the Danubian garrisons. The siege was a mixture of investment and large scale sallies in which the Rus failed to breakout. Eventually Svyatoslav was forced to treat with the Emperor and abandon his Danubian dreams. He and his army were slaughtered by the Pechenegs on the journey home.

Kingdom in the Sun

Nick Hankins                           Medieval History          August 2004

The first of a two part series on the other Norman conquest Southern Italy and Sicily in the 11th Century. The Balkan interest is that these Norman states invaded the Byzantine Empire through present day Albania. The full story is probably best told by J.J. Norwich in his classic Normans in the South but this is a well written and illustrated introduction.

Battle of Kosovo 1389

James Held                               Medieval History          January 2004

Concise description of the battle and its place in Serbian folklore. Highlights the very limited and contradictory sources available.

Alexander the Great

Various                                                Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy                        No.7

A range of articles in this Spanish wargames magazine featuring Alexander the Great. A detailed breakdown of the army lavishly illustrated with models and maps. Followed by a refight of Granicus, a period bibliography and details of figure manufacturers.

Xerxes Greek Campaign

Barry Porter                                         Military History                                     July 2005

General overview of Xerxes invasion of Greece in 480BC and the battle of Salamis.

CAMPAIGN OF JOHN TZIMISKES AGAINST THE RUS 969-71

Mike Reeves                                        Slingshot                                                           243 November 2005

Short article of the campaign that concluded at the Battle of Dorostolon in 971. Sets out the background to the campaign and how the Byzantines had to play off neighbouring states to maintain their position in the Balkans. Useful bibliography.

Invading Asia: The Macedonian Cavalry of Alexander the Great

Manousos Kambouris            Slingshot              226 January 2003

A two part study of the development of Macedonian cavalry under Alexander the Great. starting with its organisation and origins this study looks at the key units, the Companions then the Scouts as well as their mounts.

The Evolution of Hellenistic Infantry

Luke Ueda-Sarson              Slingshot              222 May 02  

In this first part of this new series the author looks at the reforms of Iphikrates. He is credited with reforming the equipment of the hoplitesreplacing the large hoplite shield with the smaller pelta as well as lengthening the sword and spear.

Mehterhane: the origins of the military band

David Nicolle                 Osprey Military Journal              Vol. 4/1

This article covers the history and instruments of the Ottoman Mehter band. A replica band performs daily today at the army museum in Istanbul.

Colour, Cues and Considerations: Hellenistic Military Dress

David Karunanithy            Slingshot                        220 Jan.02

A study of the terracota evidence for Hellenistic military dress and shields. The author looks at objects found in various sites and together with sketches draws conclusions on both the descriptions and colours of dress and shields.

Greek Military Cuisine

Nick Sekunda                      Osprey Military Journal          Vol. 4/1

The military cuisine of the ancient Greeks is described in this article together with a few recipes. As tomatoes, potatos, oranges and lemons had yet to arrive in Greece, barley and fish (mostly salted) was the staple food.

The Gothic Art of War

M. Fredholm von Essen        Slingshot                  219   November 2001

A detailed study of the organisation and battle tactics of the Goths from the earliest recorded appearance until Theoderic the Great. This article looks at organisation, command and control, morale as well as the role of infantry and cavalry.

The Battle of Versinikia 813

Steven Neate                    Slingshot                        218 September 2001

A brief description of this battle between the Emperor Michael I and Khan Krum in 813. Despite outnumbering the Bulgars by possibly two to one, the Byzantine left wing's initially successful attack was not supported leading to defeat and abdication for Michael. The article provides a good description of both armies and army lists for several wargame rule systems.

The Alexandrovo Tomb and other Recent Discoveries

Christopher Webber         Slingshot                         216 July 2001

This article describes archaeological discoveries at the beehive tomb at Alexandrovo (near Haskovo in Bulgaria) together with other finds at Perperek and Starosel. In particular they appear to show that Thracian nobles would have worm similar costumes to the Greeks and Macedonians. Photographs from the tomb can be viewed at www.the-thracians.com/alexandrovo_tomb.htm

The Thracians

Christopher Webber         Wargames Illustrated        August 01

A concise description of the Thracians covering army organisation, tactics and how to paint miniature figures of them. The article concludes with an army list for Warhammer Ancient battles rules system.

Khan Krum and Byzantium

M J Henderson                 Miniature Wargames         June 2001

Potted history of the foundation of Bulgaria and the establishment of an empire under Khan Krum in 808. A brief description of the armies with gaming and figure availability.

Macedonian Unit Organisations under Alexander

Luke Ueda-Sarson            Slingshot                        214 March 2001

The author describes the organisation of Macedonian infantry phalanxes and discusses the difference between the theoretical organisation and the likely reality on campaign. He also concludes that infantry regiments were probably 2,000 strong and not the 1500 usually stated which therefore means that Alexander's infantry force was larger than commonly thought.

The Thracian Sarissa

Duncan Head                   Slingshot                         214 March 2001

This article outlines the evidence for the Thracian use of the Sarissa as either an infantry pike or cavalry lance or possibly both.

Of Ox-Hide Helmets and Three-Ply Armour

David Karunanithy              Slingshot                         213 January 01

This study looks at the armour and equipment of Macedonian phalangites as described in the Roman history of Cassius Dio (164-235AD). The author argues that Dio's description of military equipment details should not be distorted by bias. He concludes that the cuirass may actually have been composed of three layers of a sturdy buckram material, with padding between each layer. The standard helmet issued to rank and file pikemen was probably made of  ox-hide with metal being reserved for file leaders.

Battle of Pharsalus

Jonathan Jordan                 Military History                   February 2001

A summary of the Roman civil war campaign which resulted in the Battle at Pharsalus (modern day Fersala) between Julius Caesar and Pompey in 48BC.

Greek Swords and Swordmanship

Nick Sekunda                   Osprey Military Journal           Vol.3/1

A description of the swords carried by Greek Hoplites and their use in battle. Well illustrated.

Hoplite Shield Devices

Nick Sekunda                   Osprey Military Journal           Vol.2/5

A useful and well illustrated description of hoplite shield devices in Ancient greece during the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Very helpful for those new Foundry Greeks.

The Siege of Constantinople

Ben Yates                          Miniature Wargames        207 August 2000

Two part narrative description of the final siege in 1453.

The World of the Greeks

Adrian Garbett                   Wargames Illustrated        155 August 2000

Concise overview of the ancient Greeks to go with Foundry's latest range. Most useful for the painting guide for Spartan and Athenian armies.

"Like Beasts of Prey" - Thrace and the Thracians

Christopher Webber           Slingshot                        Jan 2000

First of a multi-part series on the Thracians. The first part covers the geography, climate and vegetation of ancient thrace correcting some of the errors in current wargame army lists. The second part deals with cloak designs, caps and Pelte shield designs including illustrations. Excellent resource which includes a helpful bibliography. Further details on the Thracians can be accessed on the website www.sydpcug.org.au/thrace.htm.

The Lack of a Western Military Response to the Ottoman Invasions

Kelly DeVries                    Journal of Military History              July 1999

The author looks at the reasons for the lack of a western response between the battles of Nicopolis (1396) to Mohacs (1526). She identifies three main reasons. The Christian powers were too busy fighting amongst themselves, they were too frightened of Ottoman military power and the Hungarians were too successful in resisting further Ottoman advances. She concludes that there was an element of all three reasons but that "at least for the short term, the Hungarians were doing a fine job of keeping the Turks out of the rest of Europe".

Adrianople 378AD

Stephen Allen                       Practical Wargamer            1999 Yearbook

A brief article on the destruction of the Eastern Roman army of the Emperor Valens by the Goths on 9 August 378. The author sets out the background to the battle followed by a description of the armies and the combat itself. There are suggestions for wargaming the battle and a DBA army list.

Kosovo Polje 1389

David Collins                         Osprey Military Journal         Vol. 1/1

A topical challenge to many of the popular myths surrounding this battle. The author describes the development of the Serbian Empire and the advance of the Ottoman Turks into the Balkans. What is known about the actual battle is reproduced with prints from relevant Osprey titles.

Hoplites and Phalangites + Officers in Classical Greek Armies

Peter Hall and David Harthen                Slingshot        July 1999

Two stimulating articles on the organisation of ancient Greek armies. The first looks at why Philip of Macedon did not adopt the Hoplite as the backbone of his infantry force. Peter Hall argues that Philip's Phalangites came from a similar supported middle class as the city state Hoplite. Challenging the commonly held view that they were a class of small farmers.

David Harten argues that classical Greek armies  (other than Sparta) did have officers below the rank of Strategos. His case rests primarily on Athenian sources and Xenophon to argue that the Greek hoplite phalanx could not have operated without junior officers.

For Ottoman DBM players there is also a helpful article by Richard Bodley Scott on using a 500 point army in competition wargames.

Macedonian Military Costume

Duncan Head            Slingshot         201   January 1999

This article looks at Macedonian military costume on the Agios Athanasios tomb painting. This  aristocratic tomb is near Thessaloniki and was excavated in 1994. It dates from the last quarter of the 4th Century BC and includes a number of paintings of soldiers during the period of Alexander's 'Successors'. The article describes the paintings in detail and debates the question of Macedonian 'regimental' uniforms.

Into the Byzantine Vacuum

Stephen Ryan                Practical Wargamer      Vol. 12/5  1998

A campaign scenario for a Byzantine power struggle in the period from the beginning of the 9th century to the end of the 11th century. The article gives a brief breakdown of the main units and personalities as well as a fictitious alternative. Nice colour plate of a Byzantine Tagmatic cavalryman in 840AD.

Phalanx Organisation under Philip and Alexander

Peter Hall. Slingshot No.194 November 1997

This article considers the origins and use of Macedonian heavy infantry as developed by Philip and refined by Alexander the Great. It is argued that the phalanx was more flexible than sometimes imagined although not without its deficiencies. It was this flexibility together with effective support from light troops and cavalry which gave it an edge over its hoplite opponents.

The Othismos: The Nature of Hoplite Battle

A.K.Goldsworthy.  War in History Vol. 4, No. 1

The author challenges the orthodox view of the hoplite phalanx battle as a gigantic shoving match. He argues that the deep formations had more to do with control during manoevre than impact.  The othismos therefore was a term used to describe a type of stubborn determined fighting with the massed formation providing mutual support. Not a human battering ram.

The Battle for Thrace

Paul Browne.   Slingshot  July 1997

A well thought out  DBM mini-campaign based on the events of 969AD in Thrace. The key players are the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, John Tzimisces Strategos of Thrace, Kende Khan of the Magyars and Price Svyatoslav of Kiev-Rus.

In the same issue is an interesting history of the Catalan company which ravaged most of Thrace in the early 14th Century.

 

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