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Author Topic: Operations in the Sudan (new thread title 1/16/21; more Ratings, pg. 4)  (Read 2927 times)

Offline bc99

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I know British Sailors have participated in numerous of the Queens Little Wars, the one I’m most familiar with is the Sudan Nile Expedition.

Where were the Royal Marines? Were they part of the naval brigade that went ashore? Did they see significant action, or any action during the 19th century little wars?

Thank you
« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 09:10:05 PM by bc99 »

Offline italwars

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2020, 11:57:59 PM »
Every question could be answered with YES!
I do not think anyway that the sailors were brigaded,  ashore, alongside with RMLI
From a wargame point of view to have a MG (Gardner or Gatling ) or a small piece manned by a landing party is a must for Sudan tabletop battles
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 11:59:51 PM by italwars »

Offline Plynkes

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2020, 12:13:22 AM »
In the Zulu War the Marines seem to have been counted as part of the Naval Brigades (though they wore their own blue uniforms and white sun helmets, they weren't dressed like the sailors), but in the Sudan they were their own thing, and separate from them. Off the top of my head, the Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI) and Royal Marine Artillery (RMA) were involved in both the Zulu War and the Sudan. Probably most famously, they were also involved in the Boxer Rebellion (Some consider that to be 20th Century, but for my money the year 1900 was the last year of the 19th Century, not the first of the 20th, but that's a debate for another day).

The RMLI and RMA were part of Graham's force in the Suakin campaigns of 1884/85, and thus fought against the famous "Fuzzy Wuzzies", that is to say Osman Digna's Hadendowa tribesmen.


With Cat-Like Tread
Upon our prey we steal...

Offline bc99

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2020, 04:35:24 AM »
Great info. Thank you both.

Would their equipment differ much from the kit used by the army? I have a box of Perry Sudan/Afghanistan. Would these work well?

I’ve found several pictures that depict the RMLI in a grayish-blue uniform, and some I’m a dark blue uniform. I’m sure depending on the campaign the uniform changed but was one more standard?

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2020, 09:26:01 AM »
You have the capture of Witu in 1890 on the east African coast which involved British forces avenging the massacre of nine Germans by Sultan Bakari. It involved 700 sailors and Marines from eight British warships (plus 100 IBEA Indian police and 100 Zanzibari regulars) with 4 MGs and 4 7pdr guns. (the picture below is allegedly of the British advance on Witu)

Also in east Africa you have the Mazrui rebellion of 1895-1896 which involved at least 400 marines and sailors supported by Regular Zanzibari soldiers storming a number of Arab rebel stockades.

In both cases  the sailors and marines seem to have fought together which I guess is unsurprising as the Royal Navy seem to have been reacting to a local problem with what ever they had available at the time.



« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 09:33:23 AM by Diablo Jon »

Offline Plynkes

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2020, 11:45:58 AM »
The dress uniform for the RMLI was the red tunic, blue trousers and Home Service helmet, same as the army. They didn't wear this in action during the period we are considering, though.

In the Zulu War, and in Egypt in 1882, the RMLI wore dark blue uniforms. Other than the colour, they were the same as those worn by the Army, so you can use Zulu War Brits for those (your Perry boys aren't quite right for that, but I'm sure they'd do).

The Sudan campaigns were a time of experimentation in new uniform colours. Many of the troops (including the RMLI) wore a light grey uniform designed to be a bit less visible. This colour wasn't used again in any other conflicts, as far as I know. Again, your Perry figures aren't quite right, as I think they have putteees, which the RMLI didn't wear in the Sudan. But they are pretty close.

Don't have any solid info to hand on what was worn in the African campaign mentioned by Diablo Jon.

Those Marines in China that were part of the defence of the legations wore white trousers, a dark blue 'work order' tunic, and a blue forage cap. The ones involved in the relief efforts wore khaki or summer whites with sun helmets.



So I guess it all depends what you want to use them for. There isn't really a single style that fits all cases (never bloody is, is there?). But I guess dark blue would be the most common early on, and maybe tropical whites in the 1890s, if you want a more generic unit, rather than one tailored to a particular campaign.


« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 11:51:45 AM by Plynkes »

Offline Jack Jones

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2020, 05:06:41 PM »
Regarding the Naval Brigades, Richard Brooks’ The Long Arm of Empire: Naval Brigades from The Crimea
to The Boxer Rebellion
is a really good reference.

Brooks states that Naval Brigade organisation and operations ashore were specified with precision in the 1859 document Instructions for the Exercise of Small Arms, Field Pieces, etc for the Use of Her Majesty’s Ships.

Companies comprised 80 men, commanded by a Lieutenant, aided by three Petty Officers, and two Boatswain’s Mates or Midshipmen.

A ship of the line might be able to deploy two such companies, a frigate one, and a sloop half.

When companies were brigaded together they were commanded by a Senior Captain or Commander, aided by a Lieutenant (adjutant or brigade major).

I believe RMLI were deployed in companies and battalions. These were sometimes brigaded with army infantry battalions.

I am modelling the early Sudan campaign, and using line infantry (without puttees) with light infantry command figures for my RMLI companies.

Cheers
JJ
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 05:04:48 AM by Jack Jones »

Offline bc99

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2020, 08:54:03 PM »
Continued good info. What are people using for RMI? I have copplestone, empress(I believe), foundry DA, and Perry. So hopefully figs that would fit with those ranges.

Offline Jack Jones

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2020, 09:01:11 PM »
I am collecting Perry Miniatures, but scouting compatible ranges to fill gaps or provide conversion possibilities.

Cheers
JJ

Offline bc99

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2020, 10:39:06 PM »
Again wonderful information.

I have taken a look at the book about the Naval Brigades and will probably pick it up from Amazon. As this has now slightly started to focus on the Sudan Campaign via comments, and I have the ear of some very learned individuals, what would be a comparable book for the Sudan Campaign in general.

I've taken a look at Project Guttenberg's copy of the River War, and will most likely peruse that. I'm thinking more of a modern-ish review of the Campaign. There seems to be very little about recent trips out to the various battlefields, if someone has a website that has any modern photographs of the battlefields I'd be very interested as well.

Finally, I've just received some Perry and Copplestone miniatures, so will be slowly putting them together to make a fighting force.

Offline marco55

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2020, 01:02:37 AM »
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 01:04:50 AM by marco55 »

Offline Jack Jones

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2020, 05:04:04 AM »
Brooks’ book is great, but only a small section is devoted to the Sudan.

Go Strong into the Desert is excellent, full of detail (OoBs, uniforms, contemporary illustrations, annotated battlefield photography) and likely to be sufficient for collecting/wargaming the early campaign.

If you want to go deeper, Snook’s Beyond the Reach of Empire: Wolseley’s Failed Campaign to Save Gordon and Khartoum is the book to go to, and an excellent companion volume to Go Strong ….

My own (burgeoning) list of references is here:

https://sandsofsoudan.blogspot.com/p/references.html

alongside my narrative of the development of my own Sudan project.

Cheers
JJ

Offline Plynkes

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2020, 08:26:06 AM »
As Jack says, Mike Snook's book has a fair few modern photos of the battlefields, with overlaid text and graphics showing troop dispositions and movements. Mostly Abu Klea (12 modern photos of that one), but a scattering of other places too (Abu Kru, El Teb, Tamai, Hashin).


It also has some rather nice colour uniform illustrations, done by one of the Perry Brothers (I forget which one).


« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 08:27:54 AM by Plynkes »

Offline bc99

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2020, 08:05:28 PM »
Strangely Go into the Desert is quite expensive here in the states. The cheapest I've found is $66, about 50 Pounds. That's double what the Perrys are selling the book for from their site. In that case, I believe I'll purchase directly from the Perry site, add a couple packs, and come out around $66 shipped.

I did use a gift card to purchase Snook's Beyond the Reach of the Empire.

Finally, as this is a miniatures site, I plan on preparing a test figure for my Naval Brigade. I'll get him prepped and worked on this weekend, hopefully get a picture up next week.


Offline Jack Jones

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Re: British Naval Brigade vs.Royal Marines
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2020, 10:09:22 PM »
I managed to find a mint second hand copy of ‘Beyond the Reach …’ for £20.

If you have a mind to buy books, the Warlord Games’ Black Powder supplement Blood on the Nile is worth having, even if you don’t use their rules.

It’s packed with photos of miniatures (predominantly Perry) as well as useful historical and gaming information. I bought it for the Fred Burnaby figure, and was pleasantly surprised by the rich content.

https://www.perry-miniatures.com/product/blood-on-the-nile/

Chees
JJ
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 10:11:40 PM by Jack Jones »

 

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