Two LovesI've set this blog up to indulge in two loves I have in life, military history and writing. I'm not a professional historian (but I am a professional writer and author). I do have some experience in the military, starting my adult life after college as a Naval Intelligence Officer, so I feel I can justify at least some of my opinions. I'll also try to be good and cite greater authorities than me (and link you to retailers of their books as a courtesy plug).
Each post I will put up at least one map that I've made of a battle in history, with detailed orders of battle, terrain, geographical features and my own analysis and smart remarks about the battle. Each will also come with some suggestions for wargaming the battle. It's an activity which I find is quite interesting in experimenting with "what ifs" and theories of what went wrong, or if certain factors really made the difference; a kind of laboratory experiment.
What makes these battles "obscure"?I'm sure that many of you will not think these battles are obscure, while the majority of people in the world may have trouble even placing the American Civil War in the right century. Some of these battles will be less well known than others. And I've actually seen comments on some community boards like "Soor? Since when is that an obscure battle?" (To those people I say, "Wow, you're good.")
But the "obscure" part will have more to do with my own take on these events, characters, and interpretations than with the relative obscurity of the battle itself.
Mostly these battles will cover the 18th century, the Napoleonic period, and the American Civil War (though I may throw in other periods from time to time). Obviously this site is intended for a very arcane class of enthusiasts. And I hope someone finds them useful. But if no one finds any use for the collection, that's fine, too. I'm mostly doing it to please myself. And part of what pleases me is to share my interest with others.
At any rate, welcome. And enjoy.
Interest not only in military history but maps has absorbed me for decades (often, as with so many other hobbies, to the exasperation of wife and family.) Using the digital skills I've acquired over the years in my "day job" as an advertising creative, I've created highly detailed maps (usually at 1:3600 scale) of some of history's more interesting battles. I have been fascinated with maps since I was a child, and even back then would spend hours making them with pen, ink, and watercolor on huge rolls of butcher paper. As Adobe Creative Suite and other digital graphic tools came in, I embraced these and when not designing ads, employed them to create ever more detailed maps.
The posted maps will be of a relatively low resolution, but but they have been created as high res, layered PSD and INDD files (many over a Gb in size) the detail such that you can zoom down to see individual guns, horses, soldiers, regimental flags and uniforms (overhead perspectives, of course). Flattened PDF or JPGs of these high res files are available for download via a DropBox folder for a nominal PayPal charge of $15 for personal use only. For republication and use in a published game or another website, the license fee is negotiable.
If you are interested in purchasing any of these battle maps, let me know by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll arrange to get them to you.
Orders of BattleI have also acquired, from a variety of invaluable and exhaustive sources, such as Scott Bowden, Christopher Duffy, George Nafziger (a former, fellow Naval Intelligence Officer) and others, comprehensive orders of battle, on a unit-by-unit level of detail. These OOBs can be quite useful in recreating war game scenarios. Some of the OOBs are derived from documented "parade states" where the armies were more organized and the bureaucracies behind them more sophisticated. Others were inferred from the reported sizes of the entire armies involved and average field strengths of units down to the battalion, squadron and battery level were derived using the arcane miracle of algebra, whose secrets I learned at Hogwarts.
Where known precisely (at least from historical records) the strengths of specific units are listed exactly. Where not known, I have given their individual unit strengths as an average based on the reported total army strength. These would appear to be more rounded numbers (e.g. 450 for a battalion).
For military miniaturists, the OOB tables are also color coded. The first column is usually in the base color of the uniform coat of that particular regiment--that is, where the unit had uniforms. The second column is in the color of the regimental facing (the cuffs, turnbacks, lapels). For older armies these would have varied considerably. In the period of my primary interest (18th and 19th centuries) these would have been relevant. But for irregular armies...well, what difference does it make?
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Copyright 2017, Jeffery P. Berry Trust. All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced or re-posted without permission the the Jeffery P. Berry Trust. The maps and OOB charts, as well as certain original graphics, are all protected by Digimarc digital watermarks and trackable, so don't even think about copy-and-pasting without my knowing about it, thanks to the miracle of digital registration. However, feel free to link to this site from other, related sites for the purposes of sharing information.